Review: OGIO Bags

Posted on November 28, 2006

I’ve had a Sun messenger bag for eons, my signature bag of choice featuring my old TAOS tags and several charms I’ve accumulated over the years at various confs… but when I came to Joyent I was given an 15″ MacBook Pro and my trusty bag didn’t have a laptop compartment. I’ve never really been a laptop fan really, to me they are really just a portable console, little more. But it was time to get a new bag so that I didn’t have to carry both a laptop case (I borrowed Tamarah’s Incase PowerBook Sleeve, a great bag but carries your lappy and nothing else). Besides, for an SA his bag is one of the most important parts of his or her gear.

Then I stumbled over OGIO. Finally, a hip bag company that had the style of Da Kine and sensibilities of Samsonite. OGIO has two bags that are particularly interesting:

OGIO Hip Hop: This is the bag that got my attention. I first saw it while upgrading to Firefox 2.0 in the Mozilla Store. Its a pretty versitle looking bag, rugged and lacking that stuffy corporate look with all the features you want. You can pick one up with a Firefox logo on it for $60 or $54 and free shipping from eBags.

OGIO City Corp: This is the bag that I actually bought. The Hip Hop is kool but I wasn’t sure it really had enough space. I tend to carry between 1-3 books, several note pads, my Mac, badges, cables, some tools, and various papers, printouts and periodicals. This bag, given that I couldn’t physically look at any of the bags, looked the most up to the task. And it really is amazing.

The bag is really made up of 3 major compartments. The front flap hides the padded laptop slot and several zipped pockets of various sizes which are perfect for cables, accessories, media, badges, small tools, etc. The middle compartment is a large open space with 3 open pouches on one side, perfect for books, note pads, folios, or cable/tool storage. There is then another large zippered compartment with a 3 section acordion file, useful for organizing all those loose papers, nodes, printouts, handouts, etc, without shoving them all in a single compartment or carrying several folio’s or file folders.

In addition to those, there is a front accessible zipper pocket for quick-access items (tickets, pda, etc), a side cell phone compartment with a nifty little strap-thing to ease the extraction of your phone (great for traveling), and the rear of the bag features a double-zippered pocket which can be opened so that it slides down onto the handle of your roller carry-on bag. The rear of the bag also features a small padded open pocket for your iPod, which is handy so that its safe, secure, accessible, but also closer to you and less likely to be stealthily stolen from your bag.

The bag runs $80, which is a little steep, but eBags gives you 10% off plus free shipping, including the occasional sale on top of that making it much more affordable, and after getting this bag I’m totally convinced that its better to spend $70 on a really great bag than $40 on a crappy one.

OGIO Manipulator: I just had to mention this bag. Seriously kool and bad ass for those who want to not just impress, but intimidate. If Darth Vader carried crap to the Death Star, he’d use this bag. A similar yet slightly mellowed out version is also available: the OGIO Boss. The ‘Boss” is pretty expensive, but the Manipulator is a 2005 model thats still floating around and can be had from eBags for $58.49 with free shipping.