Gadgets for humans

Bluelounge Postal Bag review — A convertible carrier for your quick trip or all-day journey

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Let’s talk about bags, and what we do with them. In my closet, I have a growing collection because I can’t ever seem to find one that works for the various things that I do. Sometimes I just need my iPad, sometimes I need my iPad, a laptop and enough extra batteries and charging cables to get me through a rough few days. The folks at Bluelounge have done an excellent job in bridging this gap with the introduction of the Postal Bag.

First off, a note about Bluelounge bags — They’re all made from 100% PET recycled bottles. So while you’ve become wise and started carrying a Nalgene instead of buying a Dasani, you can feel good about the fact that you’re helping to offset those people who haven’t yet reached this higher state of water consciousness. The recycled material ends up feeling nothing like what you’d expect. It’s soft, supple and wears over time unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

But now it’s on to the details. The first thing that you’ll notice is that the Postal Bag looks like…well…a postal carrier’s bag. At least that’s the appearance that it has when it’s extended to its full size. In this form, you can stash a 15-inch MacBook Pro into the bag vertically. A 13-inch Air fits horizontally, even with the bag folded over. I’ve found that I can comfortably fit my 11-inch Air, my iPad, power adapters for both and a few miscellaneous items into the Postal Bag in the folded configuration. It’s not going to carry the kitchen sink like the Tom Bihn Super Ego, but it’s a great bridge.

Inside the main compartment you’ll find only a padded divider that will keep your tablet or charger from impacting your laptop. On the outside, front of the bag there are two stash pockets, and another full-width pocket on the back. A final, zippered pocket covers 2/3 of the top, outside portion and remains accessible when folded over.

The carrying handles are comfortable, and the extendable strap allows the bag to ride on your side or back akin to a messenger bag when it’s folded over. But there’s a bit of a catch, and it’s the only gripe that I have — The Postal Bag is designed to be thin and mobile, so large chargers such as those for the MacBook Pro don’t have an especially comfortable place to sit. I’ve managed to tuck mine into the stash pockets in front, but it does create a bit of a wart on the bag that is larger than I’d like.

All in all, this is a small trade-off for a bag that has otherwise proven to be the perfect balance between my oversized backpacks and my always-too-small day bags. Available exclusively in the Rust color, it’s worth every penny of the $128. If you’ve not yet invested in a great bag that you’ll be happy to carry every day, do yourself a favor and don’t shirk away from dropping a few bucks onto something that will likely last longer than you will.

Want more from Bluelounge? Check out our review of the company’s upcoming products from CES 2013.

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Published March 12, 2013 — 17:28 UTC