After three decades of travel, my "gear" has evolved from a diaper-bag sized purse in which I could find nothing at the time I needed it. Next was the fanny pack, such a novel idea until every tourist in every country was sporting one. I felt like I had TOURIST tattoed on my forehead. As it counted as one of two allowed carry-ons, I had to take a backpack. That left no room for a laptop when those became mandatory travel accessories for a foreign reporter.
I got creative and put laptop in backpack, which got heavier as the years rolled on. I retired the backpack after two unfortunate events: the first was getting robbed on Bus 64 in Rome, known as the "pickpocket bus." It truly is. I lost the equivalent of $30 and a prescription bottle of Lomotil, the heavy artillery against dysentery. I certainly hope the thief thought he had scored recreational drugs and is still afflicted. The second and last event was becoming unbalanced while wearing backpack while trying to use a squat toilet in India. And that was the end of me and backpacks, not to mention a Really Good Reason to avoid all of Asia.
My daughter gave me a nifty over the shoulder travel purse with lots of compartments for gear and granola bars. That and laptop case equalled two carry-ons and felt theft proof. Until the purse fell apart in the middle of nowhere. And no one had a safety pin or at least no one understood me. I don't know "safety pin" in Farsi.
Brenthaven came through for me with their Collins Messenger Bag that is a safe and stylish fit for my laptop. I felt great not having to lug around a computer case that labeled me as "no nonsense business woman." Sometimes I like to go to a nice restaurant looking like a normal person out for a fun evening or afternoon. That left me with no theft defying bag for wallet and other travel necessities.
A Brenthaven representative listened patiently to my travel travails and suggested a Collins Tech Bag. Brilliant! It has style PLUS room for camera, e-reader, notebook, pens, cash and credit cards, phone, and granola bar as well (I never leave home without granola bars.)
I have just returned from two trips using the Collins Messenger Bag and my new Collins Tech Pack. I felt safe, stylish, and prepared. I had everything I needed right where I could find it for the unexpected interview, photo op, phone call, need-to-read down times, hunger attacks, and unexpected street market finds. Although the Tech Pack is designed for iPads and tablets, which I don't have, it works for me now and will work when I finally get that iPad on my list.
Every traveler has a different need, and Brenthaven seems to have solutions for everyone unless you are traveling with your pet camel. (If you are traveling ON your pet camel, Brenthaven goods are sturdy.) Check out Brenthaven (dot) com and if you can't decide, talk with a representative.