What’s in my bag? — Rayan Parikh
What's in my bag? issue #47
Sign up here to get What’s in my bag? a week early in your inbox.
Rayan Parikh is a freelance design strategist and researcher based in NYC.
About the bag
Combination Pannier Backpack ($179)
I bike to the office whenever I can. This convertible backpack has built-in locking clips that attach directly to my bike’s rear rack. The clip mechanism zips out of sight when switching to backpack mode. I’ve always had issues with backpack straps slipping off my shoulders, but these fit me perfectly. Surprisingly, this has turned out to be the most comfortable daypack I’ve ever owned.
What’s inside the bag
Landscape Ruled Spiral Notebook ($22)
As a lefty, I’ve spent a lifetime bothered by spiral bindings rubbing against my palm when writing. One day I had an epiphany, rotated my notebook 90 degrees, and never looked back. Unlike top-wirebound portrait-oriented notebooks, there don’t seem to be many landscape ruled spiral notebooks out there, but this format matches the way I think and write like nothing else.
Caran d’ache Metal Ballpoint Pen ($16)
I’m a sucker for nice looking pens that don’t break the bank. This Swiss pen’s hexagonal barrel feels really nice to my fingers, plus it looks pretty sleek and the push mechanism is smooth and unobtrusive. I keep it secured to my notebook with these useful, inexpensive adhesive pen holder loops that stick fast to the cover, so it’s always at the ready.
Vintage Folding Travel Cutlery
I picked up this German-made folding fork and knife set at an Amsterdam street market, and they remained in a kitchen drawer for several years. They found a new life this past January, when I resolved to eliminate single-use plastic utensils from my work-lunch routine. They are very thin and compact, but that also encourages me to take smaller bites and enjoy my food longer. I like that they are a lot less clunky than most contemporary foldable cutlery options.
This thing is an engineering marvel. It’s an expertly crafted electric friction drive that mounts over my bike wheel and provides an extra boost of variable power whenever I want it. I can remove or mount the entire system (battery + motor mount + sensors) on either of my two bikes in about 30 seconds. It weighs about 5 pounds total, so when the ride’s done, I just toss the whole unit in my backpack and I’m on my way. This was a big purchase for me, but it’s still cheaper than a decent ebike, I get to keep using the bikes I love and, most importantly, not create more attention from thieves since the whole system is portable. The inclines on the East River bridges have never looked the same since I got this.
Polarized ClipOns ($14)
For some reason I tend to lose expensive prescription sunglasses, so now I snap these on my regular eyeglasses when needed. At $14 I won’t blink an eye if I lose them, or if my prescription needs to be updated. They come in a variety of shapes to match different frames.