I’m looking at backpacks. I usually use fairly standard ones as long as they have what I want: padded laptop pocket, more than one compartment, space for pens, keys and small items, preferably mesh outside pocket for water bottle. My current one is from samsonite I bought at a discount.
The easiest place to get one is a department store, sports shop or the markets. Or wait for one of those sports and discount events that happen once in a while. I was idly looking on kickstarter and indiegogo and there are a few that caught my eye.
nomatic $179 — a large weekender that opens up all the way round
what i like: large capacity, zip that goes all the way round, useful laundry bag, hidden pockets, top pocket, laptop compartment inside back flap
what i like less: looks bulky and heavy, probably okay as a weekend bag but too big for day-to-day use, water bottle holder is buried somewhere inside
tgo tom $159 — another weekender
like: large capacity, opens all the way round, expands, dividers like a camera bag, comes with accessories that go on the straps and around the waist, lots of small hidden pockets
dislike: bulky, doesn’t look elegant, too many additional pockets adds to the weight and shape, shoebag that hangs outside the main bag is unsightly
lifepack $269 — backpack that includes solar powered powerbank battery/speaker
like: looks cosmopolitan, small enough for day-to-day use, external battery charges phones etc, clever idea to have it solar powered, hidden pockets, small accessories included (bottle opener, lock and cable)
dislike: expensive, what happens if battery stops working or backpack breaks, i have no use for speakers, only one main compartment
I like the first one, the nomatic, because it’s functional but it doesn’t scream out to me to get it. There seems to be an endless stream of travel bags offered on kickstarter and indiegogo so I’m not in any hurry. LIke a lot of crowdfunding projects they are priced a little too high for my liking. I get it, they’re not mass production prices. The problem is that I can get a not as fancy backpack for 1/3, 1/4 the price.
The one project I’ll do more research on and likely to back is operation refugee child. They distribute backpacks to refugee children and families in Greece. Basic necessities like first aid kit, soap, toothpaste. Underwear, socks, blanket. Toys, crayons and stationery. Protein bar. From their website:
it’s not just a backpack, it’s everything they have
$10 gets a backpack and $45 gets a filled backpack delivered to a child or mother in need.