Cue James Brown. During the last month as we have been building Wayside’s new theatre a big part of my daily life has been shuttling between our office in one town and the new theatre site in another. It was obvious awhile ago that this was going to be an excellent opportunity to use my mobile arsenal to get work done. What also became apparent was that my current gadget bag was not going to fill the bill as I needed to tote a few more things back and forth than normal. Part of the reason for that was that the agenda for each day would change radically. A morning plan of going from one location to another with the intention to return would often get scuttled for one reason or the other, and I needed access to what I had with me at any given time.
So, I went searching for a larger bag that could do the trick. I settled on the Swissgear Maxxum (Amazon link) which I picked up on sale at Circuit City for $49.99. (Side note: I’ve discovered recently that products on the shelves at Circuit City often have a substantial discount if you order them online for in-store pickup. The bag was listing for $69.99 in the store. Amazon currently has it for $56.94. ) I needed a large bag so that I could tote a portable printer (The Cannon i70) back and forth in addition to the X61, and either the Asus R2H or the Samsung Q1P, as well as the Battery Geek Portable Power Station. In addition to my gear, I also needed to carry a shirt or two because I was running back and forth to media interviews constantly, and a quick change was often needed. So the Maxxum looked like it would fill the bill.
It did, in spades. The laptop pouch comfortably fits the ThinkPad X61 and keeps it secure. The X61 slides in from the top. There are more pouches and pockets than I know what to do with. I like the fact that the large center pouch has a foldable bottom flap that will keep the bottom of the bag flat when I stand it up in the car backseat or on a floor or table top. I also like the very roomy top pouch (designed for a media player) that allows me to toss my iPod, Bluetooth headset, PPC 6700, and several other small accessories in there and retrieve them quickly. There were a few days when I literally had twice what I normally carry in a gadget bag in the Maxxum slung over my shoulder. While that was a heavy load that I wouldn’t recommend for every day use, it felt comfortable enough carrying it slung over my shoulder. It served me well and I’m glad I made the purchase. As we begin to settle into a completely different routine with our office in one location and our performance venue in another, I feel pretty confident that this bag will allow me to carry more than need as I continue to shuttle back and forth.