After purchasing an iPad back in May, I quickly realized that the days of lugging around my laptop were over. No longer would I burden myself with the weight and bulk of a 5.5lbs Macbook Pro — the future was thin, light and… lacking any sort of memory slot or connectivity port. Doh!
Initially, for my daily commute, I was satisfied with storing the iPad in my usual shoulder bag or Arc’teryx backpack. But such bags could easily hold half a dozen iPads, or more — I needed to downsize my bag as I did with my mobile computer.
So the other day I visited a popular bag shop and picked up a Porter Freestyle shoulder bag.
The bag is made from high density canvas that has been processed with a polyurethane film. This creates a weather-proof exterior that is similar in feel to leather, yet is lightweight and requires very little maintenance.
Critically, for my use, the bag is just large enough to store an iPad in a SwitchEasy Nude case, a Micro Four Thirds camera, and regular items such as a wallet and iPhone. Because I tend to overpack, I made sure to get something that would hold only the essentials, thus forcing me to travel light.
The bag features three zippered compartments, each containing several sub-compartments, that are easily accessible when the bag is being worn. I’ve learnt from owning other bags that capacity without accessibility is highly annoying; I always seem to be reaching for my gadgets, money, or other stuff almost compulsively!
In conclusion, I am quite satisfied with this Porter Freestyle shoulder bag. Although the color was not my first choice, the brown finish contrasts nicely with the metal zippers. Overall, the bag looks conservatively styled with its boxy look conveying a feeling of utility.
On the practical side, the main compartment not only stores my iPad, but also allows quick access to my camera — important for candid street shots. The other pockets are similarly well designed and help to organize my growing collection of smaller gadgets and personal items.
Porter has long been one of the most popular bag brands among Japanese men. Although their products are not so easy to acquire outside of Japan, you can search through their product catalog here and perhaps find an international reseller online.
Here’s a shot of the Porter Freestyle shoulder bag taken with my phone. The bag’s dimensions just fit the iPad, but there is ample girth to hold the Panasonic GH1 camera with extra lenses as well.