The (Seemingly Never Ending) Search for The Perfect Bagâ„¢

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, I’m guessing you’re vaguely aware of my affinity for bags. It hasn’t gotten any better with time, only more focused.

In chronological order, as best I can remember it, I have owned/used the following bags since I started doing “computer stuff” and carrying a laptop: random black Northface backpack, Kelty Essential 950, Kelty Essential 750, another random black Northface backpack, non-desrcript black Target messenger bag, a Crumpler Barney Rustle Blanket, a 70’s Samsonite briefcase, a Tom Bihn SuperEgo, a gray Field Portage messenger bag, an orange Timbuk2 messenger bag, and (as of this moment) a black Manhattan Portage Laptop Backpack.

Obviously, I am on a quest.

To be honest, I love the the Field Portage messenger bag for the daily commute kind of stuff. But every time I travel and have to spend long periods of time carrying a bag, any kind of one-strap messenger-style bag digs a canyon of pain in my shoulder, makes it near impossible to remove items gracefully while sitting on an airplane, and apparently can’t hold a laptop, a book and an SLR camera without sticking 2′ off my back. The Timbuk2 is even worse at making me feel like a turtle, and for the life of me I don’t understand why they can’t make a bag that will sit up straight when you put it on the floor. 

I made the decision to switch to a backpack, and did months of research before finally landing on the Manhattan Portage Laptop Backpack. Work was nice enough to procure it for me. I love the simplicity (three pockets, no gadgets, no ridiculous crevices and extraneous material, a literal old-school aesthetic, etc.) What I don’t like is them telling me it “Holds up to a 15” laptop” when it actually “barely has enough room to violently wedge a 15″ laptop into it and zip the bag up tightly around both corners.” It’s the perfect laptop backpack, an inch too short. Manhattan Portage has a great return policy that I’ll be taking advantage of I took advantage of, which is in their favor, but this bag was made for 13″ laptops.

And so back to the Field Portage bag I go, ever in search of bag perfection on this side of heaven. (Though I do have my eye on the InCase Nylon Backpack…)