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September 2008 Issue | Volume 34 Number 6| Page 18

TECHNOLOGY

Product Watch

I’ve had countless computer bags over the years, varying in size and style from roller bags, messenger bags and backpacks to one called the “Sherpa.” But it was always problematic finding a carrying bag that didn’t feel too cumbersome or—literally—like a pain in the back. At last, someone has designed the ultimate bag for the road warrior.

BBP (www.bbpbags.com) designs bags with the modern traveler in mind. While the company’s “urbanomic” (urban + ergonomic) backpacks look like messenger bags, you can actually switch back and forth between the two styles, depending on your carrying needs. You can do this quickly, with just a few easy steps, owing to BBP’s “Bak2Pak” carrying system of convertible straps. How easy? Check out the instructional video on the company’s home page.

BBP (which humorously stands for “bum back pack”) offers its product in multiple colors and in three lines—the Hampton, Street Flow and Biz Collections. I’ve been using a Hampton model (in Abyss Blue Tango) for more than 14 months now and I’m still as happy with it as the day I bought it. These bags have a number of well-thought-out features that make a professional’s life on the road easier.

The bags have a separate padded laptop compartment as well as a large main compartment for papers and a separate zippered section with pockets for computer accessories such as your power supply, mouse, USB hub and so forth. The interior includes additional zippered and mesh pockets for small items, and there are straps to hold an umbrella inside the main cover. The exterior has two water bottle pockets and a number of small zippered pockets for a cell phone, MP3 player and the like, as well as a luggage-handle pass-through system.

Plus, the main cover closes with plastic buckles attached to adjustable straps—an especially nice feature considering that other bags use hook-and-loop closures, which can make a lot of noise every time you need to open the bag in a meeting or elsewhere (like a courtroom) where “quiet” should be the rule.

One caveat: If you’re looking for a really lightweight bag, then a BBP bag is probably not for you. Empty, the small bags weigh 3.5 pounds and the large bags top out at 5 pounds. All that weight, though, is due to good materials and great padding for your notebook and your body. Still, I do have a couple of nits to pick with the bag’s design. One is that the carrying handle is made of nylon filled with padding and I would like to see it replaced with a rubber-grip that uses safety wire for more comfort and strength when toting the bag by the handle. Also, the bag lacks a convenient way to store the straps when you’re not using them.

That’s it when it comes to my nits—overall, the bag’s design, quality and value are terrific for the price. However, I feel I should disclose that I’m on my second Hampton bag because a plastic swivel attached to one of the bag’s shoulder straps broke. But I don’t completely fault the bag—I’d given it seven months of very hard use and, in the bag’s defense, I was carrying a lot of stuff, including my full-size Dell notebook and its accessories, a very large number of folders and my Fujitsu U810 UMPC and its power supply. In my defense, it all fit. In BBP’s defense, they shipped me a new bag ASAP and only charged me $10 for the shipping.

About the Editor

Nerino J. Petro, Jr. , is a legal technologist and the Practice Management Advisor for the State Bar of Wisconsin. A former practicing attorney, he blogs on legal technology and practice management issues at www.compujurist.com.

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