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Summary:

Decentralized working has its upsides, as we’ve all been writing about on WWD, but one thing definitely suffers: my shoulders. It seems like everywhere I go – cafes, hotspot-enabled parks, office space – I’m lugging my laptop around, ready to work at a glimmer of a […]

Decentralized working has its upsides, as we’ve all been writing about on WWD, but one thing definitely suffers: my shoulders. It seems like everywhere I go – cafes, hotspot-enabled parks, office space – I’m lugging my laptop around, ready to work at a glimmer of a broadband connection. After a few blocks even the lightest laptop bag strap starts tugging on my shoulder like it’s holding the 9-lbs Dell, I spent a grand on for my first reporting job.

Now that my newer laptop is pretty light, and I’m still smarting, I’m starting to think it’s the bag. Maybe I should actually invest some time and energy checking out the ergonomics and design rather than opting for the free hand-me down from coworkers or friends. (No more thrift store buys.) I guess I should also pick one that looks decent enough, given its going to get worn more than my favorite sweatshirt.

A friend sent me a link to a company called Everquest Design which sells laptop bags with authentic pieces of the landing parachute from the Soyuz International Space Station, or cloth from Mount Everest expeditions. They’re probably pretty sturdy, but then I remembered that I’m not an aging business man trying to relive my extreme-sports youth. The idea is a little too Richard Branson for me.

Does anyone have a favorite laptop bag brand that has been their stalwart through endless telecommuting?

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  1. I’ve been using a messenger bag that I bought from Old Navy about 4 years ago. Its a very simple cotton bag with one main section and two smaller pouches all covered by one flap. Its an army green and, even though its meant for school books, fits the Blackbook and cables, cell phone, and portfolio perfectly. I was looking for a new bag a few months back but gave up. I really like messenger bags, but I can’t seem to find one thats not ugly as sin. As far as ergonomics are concerned the over the shoulder messenger-type bags are probably not good for the back as the weight falls on one point of the shoulder. I think a backpack style bag, though not stylish, is the best for the back as it spreads the weight of the bag out evenly.

  2. One of the best computer bag is made by the bike messenger bag company Chrome. It’s turning into the next “Timbuk 2″ in the bay area, they have a store on Folsom and 7th, it might be worth checking out.

    My favorite feature is the huge shoulder padding and strap and the no nonsense ergonomic strap design.

    http://www.chromebags.com/soma.php

  3. reloadbags.com bike courier bags by trade professional bags for fun.

  4. Unfortunately, it seems like it’s almost necessary to have two laptop bags. One for pure functionality, and one that’s slightly more presentable. In my case, I need a rugged bag for cycling to work that can fit my laptop (sometimes) my clothes, a book, my lunch, etc, etc. For this purpose, I use the Osprey Torque. Osprey makes great bags, and this one works well for my general laptop/ gear lugging needs.

    When I need to go to a meeting, or look presentable – I’d rather not have a big ol’ messenger bag with me. For these situations, I have a Tumi bag. All Tumi’s are guaranteed for life, and look very professional. There’s something for everyone.

  5. Lowe Alpine Megabyte. It’s a backpack. Much easier on the shoulders.

  6. I use the Targus Rogue backpack. I picked it up from Buy.com for $15, and it’s been great. I can carry a ton of stuff in it Backpack style, and it’s not a strain, it has room for all kinds of goodies, but still works well on lite mode, with only my laptop and a notebook in there. A special spot for the iPod is great as well.

  7. SpireUSA apparently makes really nice laptop bags, and you might find Hear Hear’s interview with him pretty interesting

  8. I find that Ogio makes some real quality bags that are very comfortable to wear throughout the day. Coming from a sales background, I am always walking with a bag on my shoulder and feel your shoulder pain.

    I have a 17″ notebook that weighs just over 10 lbs. and my shoulder doing very well thanks to Ogio’s messenger bag.

    Hope this helps.

  9. I like BumBakPaks for my powerbook…

    Has lots of pockets and space for other things too. The straps are ergonomic and backpack-like carrying when I’m running through airports.

  10. I bought one of the Everquest Design Soyuz bags a while ago (yeah, I was lured into thinking that something which brings Soyuz down safely might also be good for me) – unfortunately I have to say that the quality of the bag was absolute crap. It’s basically a very cheap bag with a little piece of space history sewn onto it… Do yourself a favor – buy it if you want to have a piece of history but not if you need a bag which you actually use daily.

    I recently bought a Vaude messenger bag and absolutely love it – durable, waterproof and easy to wear.

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