You can tell I’ve just gotten back from traveling because I seem to find myself on laptop bag websites trying to figure out what is going to work best for my next flight (in two weeks!). When I switched up from my little 12″ iBook to my current 15.4″ Macbook Pro I really started noticing the shoulder strain dragging my gear about in various backpack and messenger-style bags. Of course I’m one of those idiots who insists on carrying every bit of gear not only in-transit but also when cruising the convention floor. At Macworld expo two years ago I saw these funky hybrid messenger/backback bags that were designed to sit low on one’s “bum” to reduce shoulder strain from a New York design company called BBP (which stands for “Bum Back Pack”). I’ve loved my Hampton ever since. Alas, I’ve recently purchased a digital SLR camera and I now need to add the 35-mm style camera and lens to the carrying equation. Damn.
For this last trip I went minimalist and just used a sleeve with a strap from Tom Bihn for the computer and a very small generic Case Logic camera bag when on the Expo floor. That worked okay, but I didn’t have room for water or my 55-250mm lens. Damn. Thank god I was wearing my Internet cargo pants, so I had the pockets, but I wasn’t happy having my camera lens bouncing around in the thigh pockets (nor the bruises I was sure to get afterwards). Fortunately at one camera bag vendor I saw a reference to a camera/laptop hybrid bag from Tenba. Alas, by the expo’s first full day they’d sold out of this mysterious bag so I will have to see if this bag fits the bill when I get a chance to run down to my local “photography” store. Then in the course of my post-expo research I found out that one of my prior bag vendors, Tom Bihn, had produced an interesting TSA friendly computer bag. Camera/laptop bag… right. I need to stay on track. Thus the quest for the perfect laptop (/camera) bag continues.