This New Bag on Kickstarter Transforms Into a Handy Portable Workspace (and Looks Cute, Too)
I know it's called a "laptop," but I've never found working with a portable computer in my lap to be a very comfortable experience.
From the inconvenient placement of the keyboard, to the awkward way I have to bend my neck to see what I'm doing, it's not optimized for comfortability or efficiency. Unfortunately, I don't always have access to a desk when I'm on the go, so I find myself in this position more often than I'd like.
That's precisely why I was so interested when I was contacted by the team behind the Nomahawk Urban Nomads Bag. It was designed specifically with that issue in mind, working not just as a fashionable carrying case for your computer and other work tools, but also as a convertible workspace. They sent me one of their bags for review, and their Kickstarter launched earlier today.
The Urban Nomads Bag is a carrier bag that doubles as a fully portable work station that its wearer can bring with them anywhere. While it outwardly looks like a stylish messenger or tote bag, in mere moments it converts into a lap desk designed with comfortability and user-friendliness in mind.
The UNB comes in a messenger bag style designed for men and a tote bag style designed for women, each with their own unique and highly functional features. It includes compartments for all your homework needs, including space for a laptop and tablet, water bottle-holder, wallet, pencil case and even plugins so you can insert a power bank and externally charge your devices. Even then, the roomy bag has plenty of extra space for whatever extra textbooks, notepads, computer mouses and school supplies you'll need to tote around. The bags also come with a removable shoulder strap, giving the wearer extra carrying options.
The classic base bag is a leather and textile combo, while you can pay a little more for the colorful vegan leather bags or premium genuine leather styles, as well as for additional customization. During this crowdfunding phase, the base bags are available starting at approximately $199 each—or $179 if you can catch their early bird pricing—and later the bags will retail for $289 each. The project will be funded if they reach their goal of just over $112,000 by June 6.
I was excited to remove my women's Urban Nomads Bag from its large box as soon as it arrived. When I did, my first reaction was that the tote was heavier than I expected—though that made sense, given all of the features tucked away inside.
The bag housed various pockets, a waterproof cinch bag a water bottles or umbrella (complete with a velcro bottom), a wallet complete with a mirror, a velcro-bottomed pencil case and a sturdy detachable strap for transforming the tote into an over-the-shoulder bag. Plus, one compartment contained a couple of USB cables and a USB-C cable, which, when connected properly to a power-bank, allowed me to charge my phone, tablet or whatever else from via a cable from the outside of the bag. I immediately popped one into the bag to test the charging on my phone and was happy to see that it worked like a charm.
I also loved the bag's sleek look and warm brown color, though I'm not an expert when it comes to handbags. A few people in the office actually informed me that it somewhat resembles a luxury bag that's currently very popular. I think that's a pretty compelling selling point.
When it came to actually carrying my stuff around in the bag, I found that there was more than enough space inside. My laptop fit really comfortably inside the bag's sleeve, and the inside of the bag easily accommodated everything I carry to work every day in my backpack, with room to spare. Of course, packing it with stuff made it even heavier than it already was. While this wasn't too uncomfortable in short bursts, I bet I'd feel pretty achy after carrying it for an hour or two. I found that I preferred carrying the bag by its built-in handles than by using the bulkier removable shoulder strap, but if I were carrying it around for extended period, I might want to switch things up.
To use my laptop with the bag, I simply had to set the bag right-side-up on my lap and unzip the laptop pocket, extending the backing support built into the bag. Using my computer in this position was so much more comfortable than I'd anticipated, placing the screen almost at my eye level and my arms right out in front of me for more ergonomic typing. In fact, I'm utilizing the UNB desk right now as I type this.
The other side of the bag accommodates a tablet, and while I didn't utilize this space because I don't work on tablets much, it looks just as comfortable as the laptop mode, with a slight angle built in for visibility. I did, however, use this space for writing in a notebook, and that was also a pleasant and comfortable experience. Both sides include anti-slip material, so you don't have to worry about your stuff moving around too much.
I loved working with my UNB, but as I researched, I did get a little jealous of some of the features of the men's bag. All of the messenger bag's compartments are easily accessible from the outside, rather than tucked within the larger bag. It also comes with a slide-out surface for using a mouse, while my bag doesn't.
But in the end, I realized it was a tradeoff. From what I can tell, the women's bag has a lot more storage space, which is great if you're the kind of ultra-prepared person who carries a giant purse filled with whatever you might need during the day. Plus, there's the aesthetic. Since the two bags are the same price, the choice is all yours.
The Urban Nomads Bag looks great and is super functional, but it's up to you whether you think it's worth the $199 price tag. If you find yourself working in the quad a lot between classes, it might be just the thing to take your efficiency to the next level. If not, you may not get the chance to maximize your use.
Also, I wouldn't recommend going for the women's bag just because you're a girl. Since each bag has its pros and cons, it's worth looking into both and seeing which one will be the better fit for your needs and lifestyle. And if you think one looks way cuter than the other, that should definitely weigh into your choice, too.
And if you take part in the campaign, the bags are set to ship in Sept. if it's fully funded—just in time for the new school year.
Need to add more cuteness to your purse collection? Click HERE for my review of an adorable dino-shaped bag.