Chic go-bag for cables, aspirin, thumb drive, etc.
June 19, 2016 12:32 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a nice little bag or case to put in my brief case or backpack which has the essentials: thumb drive, Chargers, headphones, pen, painkillers, external power thing, etc.

I switch between brief case, knapsack, and duffle bag depending on my agenda (work, weekend, gym day), but there's an essential set of gear I always take with me regardless of where I am going: chargers, headphones, pen, thumb drive, you know the stuff. I guess it's the same for all of us.

I currently use a cheap nylon and Velcro thing I got at the dollar store which does the trick, but it looks, well, like I got it at a dollar store discount bin.

What's a nicer alternative for a mid-career professional guy? I don't know what to search for on google and anyway don't have a good eye for his stuff.
posted by mateuslee to Shopping (21 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Grid it?
posted by turniphead at 12:43 PM on June 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

Crumpler has some good products for this, although their selection depends a lot on your area (for example, here is their EU selection).
posted by neushoorn at 12:49 PM on June 19, 2016

I use a toiletries bag for this (mine is a girly floral one that came with a makeup promotion, but a nicer leather/high end fabric one might do the trick for people who want to be more professional).
posted by TwoStride at 12:53 PM on June 19, 2016

This Is Ground do a nice line of leather cases. I have one of the ipad ones and do just what you describe with it. The Tech Dopp Kit might suit you.
posted by corvine at 12:58 PM on June 19, 2016

I use this one. It's super pricy, but really really nice.
posted by mollymayhem at 12:58 PM on June 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

How about a plain leather pouch like these from Baggu? The large pine colored one is on sale and looks nice IMO.
posted by MadamM at 12:59 PM on June 19, 2016

JW Hulme bags are gorgeous.

How about thisaccessory pouch
posted by littlewater at 1:38 PM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm super happy with the Eagle Creek Pack It Specter bags. They are lightweight and durable. Easy to buy via REI, Amazon. I pretty much have all of the variations and find there is much to love about these bags - they are washable, the handles are useful, the white/green style makes it easy to see your stuff, they don't add to the bulk or weight you are carrying, and there are tons of size and style options. If not for these bags, my work bag would be a total mess!
posted by belau at 2:03 PM on June 19, 2016

I use little zipper bags commonly sold as makeup bags or dopp kits for this purpose.

Forever 21 always has them near the register priced at $5 or less, and they're almost always adorably designed. These are also easy to find at stores like Anthropologie, Papyrus, and other shops that cater to women and sell pretty little knicknacks in connection with clothing, stationery, etc. But I usually pick them up at F21 because they're so cheap. The higher quality stores might have "nicer" looking bags, but you'll pay more like $15-20.
posted by Sara C. at 2:24 PM on June 19, 2016

It's not chic but I've gotten good wear and use out of an amazon basics tech accessory case. Can also vouch for grid-it.

I know a lot of men who like sailcloth dopp kits for small bags ... unique, stylish if you're outdoorsy, indestructable.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:04 PM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

There's a nice suede utility bag for $11 or something on Amazon. I just ordered one. Many of the bags in this thread are lovely, but pretty expensive.
posted by OmieWise at 3:06 PM on June 19, 2016

If you don't mind being different, a Klein Tools 5139 zipper bag could work. And if you don't find it exactly suitable for your backpack, it's a nice household bag. The canvas one is just over $10.
posted by qsysopr at 3:31 PM on June 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

Tom Bihn Side Effect. Made in U.S., will last forever, a little internal organization. You can also attach a strap to carry it over your shoulder (comes with) or even get a wrist strap for it.
posted by praemunire at 3:32 PM on June 19, 2016

I use a few different small bags for this - one for electrical stuff, one for personal items like pain killers, hand cream, make up and a very small leather pencil case for my 2 nice pens and vpn token. I just throw the power pack in whatever bag I'm using, trying to find a small bag that also fits the pack makes the electrical bag too big for my liking. Much easier to find space for a few smaller bags than one big one. Mine are from my collection of nice little bags with socks and such they give you on long haul flights (if somebody pays for you to go business). But small make up bags, incl. the ones you get as free gifts with other purchases, mini packing cubes or pencil cases would all work well in terms if size and give you a range of style and price points.
posted by koahiatamadl at 3:33 PM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

I personally use a pencil case. Mine has two big pockets and a small one in the middle and works fine for me, but there's a lot of choice, including more rigid ones with elastic straps inside and whatnot. Head to a stationery / office supplies store and look around.

Or try one of those travel pouches that are used for cosmetics and the like? Also quite roomy and they usually have multiple different pockets, elastic straps and so on.

In both cases you should be able to find one you like that fits your aesthetic and doesn't look cheap, without breaking the bank.
posted by sailoreagle at 3:41 PM on June 19, 2016

I use a hard clamshell eyeglass case --- and mine currently has the chargers/cables for both my phone and my Kindle, a tiny tin of aspirin, and yes a thumb drive all tucked in there. Didn't cost me an extra cent since I already had a few laying around; and even better, they come in a variety of colors and patterns.
posted by easily confused at 4:14 PM on June 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

I was afraid that this one would look too 'tactical' and kind of gross in that way, but I use the Maxpedition pocket organizer for this job. In fact, I have two, one for everything you've listed, and one for a really small first-aid kit (because I have a kid, and it's proven to be invaluable at every single playground we hang out at). Its not as military as the pictures lead you to believe, especially if none of your other stuff is geared that direction.
posted by furnace.heart at 7:29 PM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Provided you like olive colouration, any halfway-respectable military surplus store will have dozens and dozens of different sizes and configurations of pouches and map cases and little bag things and stuff.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:17 PM on June 19, 2016

Waterfield is my preferred source for bags and such. I've been carrying their stuff for years and have never been disappointed.
posted by HillbillyInBC at 9:18 PM on June 19, 2016

I just bought an Out of Print pouch and a Blue Q zipper pouch for mixing and matching different go-packs for different bags. The Blue Q one is bigger, but the Out of Print one is more padded, but they both come in a variety of fun styles.
posted by helloimjennsco at 9:58 AM on June 20, 2016

Like others upthread, I use a cute make-up bag I got at Target back in the day for like $8. It's a bit of whimsy in my stolid work bag and more compact than most gear bags.
posted by smirkette at 3:24 PM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

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