Hey look, it’s Lani crawling out of her cave! [Is it spring yet?]
Just a heads-up that Campmor is having a slew of Jansport bags on sale, including a few items that I think Travelite readers may want to consider:
|Jansport Euro Sak Travel Conversion Pack
Regular Price: $145.00
This traditional convertible backpack bag is a maximum-sized carry-on with stowaway backpack straps and a removable shoulder strap.
|JanSport Half Pint Daypack
Campmor price: $12.99
This is one of those small “backpacks” that are more like small purses. Nothing fancy here, except that they offer this model in an amazingly large assortment of colors and patterns. Plus, at $12.99 how can you go wrong?
|JanSport Fifth Ave. II
Campmor price: $9.99
Available in black, navy, and lavender (shown here), this item is a no-frills belt bag/fanny pack. If you like to use one of these as your little day bag while you toodle around Disneyland or something, $9.99 is an amazing bargain.
They have a full page worth of bags at that URL, including a wheeled bag (just a tad too bit to carry on), computer cases, soft-sided briefcases, external frame backpacks and standard school backpacks. I’ll personally try to pick up one of those Half Pints. As soon as I can decide what pattern I like.
Timbuk2 Stowaway Update
Last month, I told you about the Timbuk2 Stowaway. Since then, I’ve been testing it out, and I can offer some comments for you:
Stiff fabric: Timbuk2 is known for really rugged fabric, and the Stowaway is no exception. It is definitely very rugged, and I’ll never have to worry about the hems coming apart. That said, one issue with such stiff fabric is that when you have this bag set up to fold in the center, the folded part tends not to lay flat… especially if you have more than the minimal amount of stuff in the bag. That is, the “flap” (the top half the bag) sticks out a bit. I found that wearing the flap part against my body helped a bit, but unless I run this through the wash several times I don’t think it will get floppy at all.
D-rings: I’m accustomed to D-shaped rings on my Timbuk2 Metro, so I was a little surprised to find that the metal rings on this bag are very shiny, very thick, and very angular. In fact, I wouldn’t even call them D-rings; I’d call them rectangles. Maybe they were trying to go for an angular look to match the cut of the bag, but personally I don’t think the look of those rectangles is very flattering, and the angles make the straps a little harder to put on and off.
Strap: Speaking of the strap, the buckle ends are also the same shiny metal as the rectangles. Plus, they are also very stiff, meaning it actually takes a bit of force to remove and latch them onto the rectangles. If you’re used to the easier snap-on/snap-off of their quick release straps, you’re in for a surprise.
The good: This bag is best when you latch your strap onto the top ends and unfold the middle, and use it like a bigger bag. You can fit quite a bit in there, and it manages not to stick out too far because of the way it’s cut. It’s a simple bag with no dividers on the inside, so you can pack whatever you want and still manage to look relatively stylish.
The bad: The buckles on the strap are a pain to change. The metal is way too shiny (matte would’ve been so much better… or a smaller version of the curved D-rings from the Metro would’ve been so much better). If you’re the type to put a lot of smaller stuff in your bag (oh, let’s say a couple of pocket Moleskine notebooks, some pens, sunglasses case, cell phone, an iPod, and so on), be prepared to have to spend time trying to figure out where things are by touch. Even if you are wearing the bag folded, you have to reach in from the tall opening and reach deeeep into the chasm of the bag. The yellow version of this bag may make that an easier task, but the fabric is so thick I’m not sure how much more light you’d have to work with.
If given another opportunity to obtain this bag, I think I’d give it a pass, personally.
Speaking of Timbuk2…
I checked out their newest little Metro cousin, the Click.
An updated version of their popular extra-small Metro bag. Image from Timbuk2.
The thing is adorably cute, but if you are a Metro fan like me, you need to be aware of a couple of things:
- The strap is nonremovable! This was a huge disappointment for me, because I am a huge fan of their quick-adjust shoulder strap. And the reason the strap doesn’t come off is because…
- There is no hand-carrying handle on the top of this bag, something you get in the Metro. And the reason you probably don’t get the hand handle is because…
- There is no buckle release on the flap. Instead, you get a little pull-tab and you close the bag with Velcro. And without the 100% security of a buckled in flap, that Velcro will not likely keep the flap shut should you try to carry this with a carrying handle that’s only attached to the flap.
Don’t get me wrong. This is definitely very streamlined. It’s the same size as the Metro, and it’s really quite cute. I actually ordered that same one in the photo and was all excited to use it, until I noticed that the strap was sewn on there tight.
I wound up returning mine. Oh well, ya can’t win ’em all.