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09. 28. 2006

VertiGo gear/laptop bag from Waterfield


When I transitioned from a behemoth laptop to my tiny Dell Inspiron 710m (which I love even though it's not the smallest or prettiest in its class), I bought a tiny laptop bag to go with it so I could really travel light. For awhile, I was so delighted with its slimness that I almost didn't mind that I had to carry the fat adapter in my purse. Never mind all the other stuff I generally carry, like pens, notepads, and cords for other portable devices -- no room for any of that stuff.

Looking for something a little roomier and more versatile, I came across a few fashionable, very ladylike styles that look like oversized handbags -- tempting if I weren't the type of ungentle person who regularly spills coffee, walks around in the rain without an umbrella, and throws things around in my car like a gorilla in a cage.

In the end, I bought this VertiGo bag (named that because it's, of course, vertical) with a laptop sleeve insert (I got the very bag pictured above, except with orange leather trim instead of the green). Made of a highly durable black, ballistic nylon, it comes in 4 different sizes, ranging in price from $79 to $89, with a choice of 9 different trims. I love that it's not strictly a laptop bag, which means I can use it as an overnight bag, as a carry-on when I'm flying, as a book bag (not that I ever read books anymore), or as an alternative to a handbag. There are a number of interior pockets for things like cell phones, pens, business cards, whatever. The exterior sports two large pockets, front and back (big enough for files, books, candy bars, water bottle), and one small pocket on the side (for another cell phone or iPod maybe, or a baby bottle if you use this as a diaper bag). I'm not sure why, but I feel like the vertical positioning makes it less cumbersome to carry.

When you use the VertiGo as a laptop bag, the sleeve slips right in and leaves enough space for other junk. The beauty of the sleeve (priced at $38 to $40) is that it can also be used on its own if you get it with the optional shoulder strap. This is good for travel -- dump the bag in the hotel room, and just take the lightweight sleeve with laptop to your meeting. The sleeve also comes in a horizontal version, and in numerous different sizes (to fit, among other things, the other gear bags available from Waterfield).


Waterfield sells a number of other styles of gear bags, as well as camera cases, iPod cases, pouches, and wallets. These aren't the cheapest accessories on the planet, but this is why:

No mass production or overseas workforce. WaterField bags are designed and made in San Francisco, where rent is high, labor is expensive and competition is intense. We wouldnt go anywhere else!

Everything about this bag is well thought out: for instance, the interior lining is gold rather than black to help with visibility (and I thought it was just there to be pretty), the pockets are designed for one-hand access, the non-sliding shoulder straps are imported from Switzerland, and industrial-strength hardware supports heavy loads.

Read about the founder, Gary, the cyclist and "bagophile" (I'm always happy to meet fellow bagophile) who set out to create superior gear bags with the help of his designer friends, and then brought the intelligence and experience of customers into the mix to perfect useability.

I buy lots of bags of every shape and size (it's an addiction) and often end up giving them away when others admire them, but this one is staying with me (at least until Waterfield releases something even more enticing in the future).

Posted by Hoyun    Category: accessories
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