• In-Flight/In-Car Gadget Bag?

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  • I've finally settled on generally packing everything for my travels in Pelican cases & checking them. I'm now searching for a bag to use in-flight and in-car. No laptop to carry (that BMF's in the Pelican). Something to keep my pockets empty through TSA chokepoints, and organized before & beyond.

    Just Kindle, car GPS, MP3 gizmo, phone, camera, chargers, rain jacket, tickets, receipts, Platypus. Extra room for whatever. Probably add my netbook (no tablet yet).

    I was thinking about the padded compartments of a camera case, but none I've seen have adequate non-camera/bulk space. I've been looking, too, at Shooter's/Tactical stuff, but nothing's jumped out so far.

    I've overlooking something - I'm excited to see your suggestions!

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    Question by wayne r

Craftsman tool bag, Sears. They usually have them on sale for seven bucks during holidays. Memorial Day and Father's Day would be good bets.

Answer by christopher

I tried camera bags for years, but never could find something i felt comfortable with. I switched to just carrying a toboggan/beanie in my regular bag rolled up to support the lens and wrap around a bit; this has worked well for me on multiple trips but YMMV.

The netbook changes your needed dimensions a lot. I've used this case for a netbook for a while and the strap seems a bit awkward at first glance but is actually really well done. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001F7KXB8/

When traveling, I try to use a smaller bag that can stow in my main bag. I have an old mountainsmith that I can't seem to find now, but it is similar to this one: http://www.mountainsmith.com/products.asp?productId=319&categoryId=49&subCategoryId=0&subCategory2Id=0

I've not used this bag but it gets good reviews at REI and I like the Osprey stuff I have. It is sized large enough you might stow your netbook in this. http://www.rei.com/product/773355/osprey-veer-vertical-shoulder-bag

Answer by itsrob

My wife got me a Maxpedition Noatak for Christmas last year. It's a little pricey (just under $100 on Amazon right now) and has a definitive MilSpec look to it, but it has a good number of pockets and storage compartments, as well as lots of exterior clips and straps (Maxpedition makes a bunch of modular accessories for their bags) and some cool/thoughtful tamper-prevention measures.

Answer by pleffas

I would look at Crumpler's bags, maybe the Kazoo. I bought one of their laptop bags (in hindsight, I should have gotten a smaller model but that's my own fault.) They are not cheap (the Kazoo is $55) but they are very well made.

Answer by derbes

I haven't tried anything from ONA but have done quite a bit of research and will be getting the woman's/purse model for myself for Christmas this year. They have a messenger style and a backpack that looks like it would fit your needs. http://www.onabags.com/

I do have a Kelly Moore woman's model and love it. There are a couple of messenger styles that would also seem to fit your needs. http://kellymoorebag.com/mens.html/

Answer by sar58

I would highly recommend a Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger. It's larger gearslinger than Noatak but can be had in a "leftie" version. I've used it for years and what I love about my Kodiak is that you can easily swing it forward in the crowded places where its security could be compromised when worn on the back. All pockets are perfectly accessible from the top or the side as well. The larger of the two front compartments on the Kodiak has a few dividers inside keeping your keys (attached to a built-in hook) separate from your gadgets so they wouldn't scratch.

Maxpedition gear is expensive comparing to some other brands, but the quality is far superior.

Answer by stano

How about Grid-It with whatever bag you want? http://www.cocooninnovations.com/grid.php

The GRID-IT!™ organization system is a proprietary patent pending object retention system. A unique weave of rubberized elastic bands made specifically to hold personal objects firmly in place.

Answer by shawnna robert

Check out Tom Bihn (www.tombihn.com) for a variety of travel bags: backpacks, accessory bags, small carry-ons, briefcases, laptop cases, whatever. Built for one-baggers, and built to last!

Answer by tdivcr

You could also check out scottevest.com for travel clothing designed to replace or at least reduce the need for carry-on luggage.

Answer by sedahi

Just chiming in here to add my vote for Maxpedition gear. It's all very durable and the tac-tie system lets you semi-permanently add additional pouches.

I'm not going to recommend a specific model though, but I'll advice you to take a look at both their Versipack and Gearslinger series. The former are single-sling side-carry bags, while the latter are single-sling back-carry bags. Both series come in different sizes. Take stock of the stuff you want to carry, add some margin, and see which model fits your needs.

My regular setup is a Jumbo S-Type Versipack (s-type = left-side carry), with a phone-holster attached. When I travel, I normally add the Janus for easy access to things like passports and travel documents. Sometimes I also add an M1 waistpack (which can be attached using tac-ties). For hikes, I have the 32oz Nalgene bottle, for which the Jumbo has a special, collapsible compartment at the rear.

One thing to keep in mind: Don't trust the photo's on the Maxpedition website. Their regular bag-showing guy is tiny, so the bags look bigger than they really are.

Also, don't be put off by Maxpedition's focus on CCW (Carrying concealed weapon). The CCW compartment is ideal to keep quick access items (My keys and wallet are in there).

Hope this helps,


Answer by jeroen94704

Like many others have said, get something from Maxpedition. They have a huge range of styles and colours (not all look tactical), it is easily customised (they have a huge rage of pouches and other accessories although many models already have numerous slots and pockets) and the materials and build quality is second to none, I have had an MPB as my main work bag for seven years in a harsh desert environment and it has no discernable wear at all, most people are lucky to get two years out of a nylon bag here. They are also extremely good value in my opinion, not the cheapest but you will never wear it out. If you want another opinion, Jack Bauer uses Mapedition as his bag. There are lots of reviews on line. Check the sizes though if buying on line, some bags look bigger than they are, some look smaller.

Answer by mbk

For a courier bag, CourierWare. I've been using their bags for over 20 years (I just wore out my original bag a few years ago) and they're great people with a great product. US-made, if that makes a difference.

Another possibility is Red Oxx, perhaps the Gator or the larger Safari-Beanos PR4, or even the Roadster Mini Ruck Rucksack. I have a PR5 and it is awesome for traveling. It swallows stuff like Kobayashi swallows hot dogs. I haven't had any problems fitting it in overhead bins or under seats or checking it. And its construction is practically bullet-proof. Also US-made.

Answer by Dan West

For $18.81, there is no better case for electronics. AmazonBasics Universal Travel Case for Small Electronics and Accessories (Black). http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002VPE1QG/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i01. Compact to a fault. Hard shell outside. Brushed poly inside has many zippered and variously sized pockets. cannot be beat.

Answer by taomander

Zuca pro for Anything travel related. Using this for the Heavy stuff. http://www.zuca.com/ Bulletproof, Very happy customer after destroying too many bags to count. This one may seem pricey but I Swear It's the best money I've ever spent.

Tamrac Model 153 World Correspondent's Vest for the personal entertainment batteries and cables. Throw the wallet, keys, Phone, Jewelry, MP3 player, passport etc. in any one of the 5 zippered pockets. Plenty of velcro pockets left over for anything else you might want. Zipper everything up ahead of time and toss it in the plastic tray to run through the x-ray machine. Almost5 time for a new one of these.

Answer by iqak

Another vote for Tom Bihn (tombihn.com). A lot of Cool Tool readers are fans of his wonderful made-in-the-USA bags.

For your needs, you will probably really like the Co-Pilot shoulder bag or Synapse backpack, although there are many other sizes and styles to choose from.

I can't speak highly enough of his stuff. Nothing ever falls apart, and his customers are very loyal.... they even have a very active online forum! Check it out!

Answer by teni


This is a pretty inexpensive solution that has a couple higher security pockets that I keep my kindle fire in and you could pair it with some of the above Grid-It systems to make room. It also has separate compartments that could be used for the platypus especially if you wont be carrying a full sized laptop. It's got a lot of logo on it though but it's a nice clean solid color, at least in the all black one I have. However, I don't know if you want a backpack or something more "professional" in appearance (i.e. single strap messenger style or brief case type). I really like some of the Maxpedition tactical bags but I think they look a little extreme with the MOLLE system to be dragging through the airport. They are more suited to the outdoors.

Answer by fongoloid64
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