There've been some great...
November 20, 2011
There've been some great reviews about this bag, not just on JetPens, but in
blogs and other vendor websites as well - after having used the bag for about a
month, and now I can now say that all those reviews are justified.
I use this bag for a couple of different purposes. Despite there being a ton of
different pockets, each one is very accessible, and I'm not forced to pry into
any of the pockets to ready myself for a different job. I'm not going to go into
detail about every nook and cranny, but here are some features of the bag I like
The Main Pocket: And by "main", I really mean the biggest pocket - I'd argue
that the zippered pen/pencil pocket is the one I access the most, but more on
that later. The main pocket is zippered and located down the center of the bag,
hidden by the big flap. It is large enough to fit my 14.1 inch (widescreen)
laptop, and while my particular model is a thin-and-light, it would easily be
able to contain one of any thickness. By my estimate, it'd be able to handle up
to 15 inch laptops, but anything beyond that might be a stretch.
The lining of this pocket, as with the inner linings of the rest of the bag, is
a nylon that's less rugged than the outside nylon, and it likely wouldn't be
abrasive to any electronics you stick in there. Within these nylon walls is a
very thin padding. It's not by any means mean't for protection, but it does make
it so that you can't feel anything poking through from the bag's other pockets.
Sadly, the bottom of this pocket isn't padded :( This is the main reason I use a
laptop sleeve, because when I put the bag down on a hard floor, I'm afraid of
Another neat feature of this pocket is that it's got a lip at the top where the
zipper is (visible in one of JetPen's photos) that extends the storage height by
about 3-4 inches. This leeway makes the main pocket more versatile than that of
many bags I've seen/used.
Accessory Pocket: This is the pocket closes to the zippered pocket closest to
the body when wearing the bag. There are no dedicated mini-slots to slide in
individual pencils/pens, but I think this is part of the genius. I use
everything from fountain pens to drafting pencils, and more often than not,
individual pencil/pen slots don't fit my writing tools properly. The pockets in
the Nomadic are made of tough sturdy mesh, allowing me to slip my pens with even
the strongest-gripping clips into any pocket without fear of ruining the bag
fabric. The white mesh is also pretty see-thru, which is great for artists who
label their pencils/pens on pen casings.
The Strap: Just a little thing, but something I'm very particular about. Many
bags have a sliding pad that you can adjust according to how you wear the bag.
The Nomadic makes things a lot simpler - just pad the whole strap! No matter how
I wear it, it is padded at my shoulder, and I don't have to fiddle or adjust
anything to get that effect. As with any bag, you have to adjust the length of
the strap to fit your height. After having done this when I first got the bag, I
haven't had to re-adjust the strap length at all, which is something I've had to
do with some bags because I carry a pretty heavy load at times.
ONLY TWO GRIPES: There are other things about the bag that I like, but they've
mostly be said by other reviewers already. There are only two things I wish this
bag featured: the first is a short handle so that it can be carried like a
briefcase. When I'm lugging the bag out of my car, there isn't much to grab
onto, and I've basically got to man-handle it until I'm able to get it on my
shoulder. I'm not sure if this feature would actually be possible though, based
on how the bag's design.
The second thing I'd wish for is a waterproofed finish. Considering the cost of
the bag, I was hoping that the outer material would repel water better, but it
doesn't :( I was standing out in a drizzle one day talking to a friend, and I
could feel the outer material of the bag getting soft. I realized the water was
Normally I wouldn't give 5 stars to something that "could have been better", but
I feel like I won't find another bag out there that will come as close to
meeting my needs as this one.
Things I regularly carry in the bag all at once (and still with empty pockets
and room to spare):
-14.1in laptop (in sleeve)
-one 8 1/4" x 5 7/8" Black n Red notebook
-two 11 3/4" x 8 1/4" Black n Red notebooks
-Nook Color (in case)
-a ziplock of dried fruits/nuts
-iriver mp3 payer
-Klipsch earbud case (maybe 5x3in)
-cables for Nook, iriver, mobile phone, and laptop
-mini-mouse for laptop
-Belkin mini-power strip (only about 7x4in)
-Variety of 9 pens/pencils, boxy eraser, lead cases
-gum, microfiber cloth
-a couple of file folders for loose papers
All this stuff does make the bag a bit bulky, but it doesn't feel like the bag
is exploding, and the pockets direct the mass in such a way that it doesn't look
like I'm carrying a duffel bag.
BOTTOM LINE: This isn't the cheapest messenger bag out there, but it's also not
the type of bag I'll find myself replacing 3 years later due to finding
something better. I'll probably be using this bag for a long time, not only
because of its usefulness, but also it's solid construction. In that time, I
can't imagine that I'll find a use for every last pocket in this thing, but if I
do, I'll have considered this one of the best purchases I ever made!
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