My belongings can be categorized into two buckets.
- It lasts a very long time.
- It lasts about a year or less before it spontaneously combusts from over use.
My wife (or was she my fiancee at the time?) and I purchased semi-matching OGIO laptop bags in 2003. One for me to take to the office, and one for her personal laptop. My bag lasted about four years or so, until it crumbled into dust. I then switched over and annexed my wife’s laptop bag for the next few years.
This week, for an undetermined reason, the strap on my bag broke Monday morning on the Newark Penn station train platform as I ran to the PATH train. It’s not something that I can fix, so that’s it. I’d normally be happy to replace an old item with something brand-spankin’ new. Instead, I’m pretty pricky about certain things, and that includes laptop bags. It’s one of those personal items that have to be just right, because you live with it every day, whether it’s commuting on a train, going through the airport security checkpoint, or walking around town. It goes everywhere with you. It’s not just a bag. It’s attached to you, and in some way an extension of you.
Under those circumstances, finding the perfect bag isn’t easy. I’m not the fanciest person in the world, so what am I looking for in this unicorn?
- Functionality – I’m carrying a laptop, power adapter, iPod, headphones, papers, network switch, network cables, USB drive, business cards, pens, highlighters, bandages (hey, be prepared), water bottle (ok, Diet Coke bottle), which is all the usual stuff that business users carry.
- Durability – I’m an auditor, so I travel lots of places. Durability is important.
- Form factor – Travelling, so you don’t want the bag to be to bulky to run from place to place. Harken back to all the crazy stories of when I’m jumping onto train or trying to squeeze past the airport terminal jetway door. Try doing that with a big laptop case rolling behind you. Furthermore, maybe you go out for drinks later after work. You have to keep your laptop with you, so do you want this big suitcase next to your legs?
My hands and arms are pretty tired of carrying the bag this week, so I had to find a new laptop bag pronto. With some help from my friends (and lovely wife), I ordered one through Amazon Marketplace. It should be here middle-to-end of next week, so I expect my arms to look like Popeye’s by then.