Travel – Bag of Holding

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​Before Christmas, my family was at the mall. I rarely go to the mall anymore. No money, and I can get what I need at Target for the most part, but a new Think Geek opened a brick and mortar storefront in the mall, and we were curious.

It was fandom heaven.

An entire wall of Pops.

Clothes that I couldn’t afford even with lottery winnings: an $80 Tribble “fur” coat for example. Bathing suits, t-shirts, socks.

Stuffed animals, backpacks, and a $300 Captain America shield. It was gorgeous.

The one thing, however that caught my eye was something I’d seen in their online store and was interested in for a long time – their Bag of Holding.

The top bag is the one that I have. The second row is a smaller version, more of a day bag. I don’t recall the price they were charging, but it proclaimed itself as the perfect bag for a fandom con. If you follow the link to their website, there is a new version of the Bag of Holding. It’s a slightly different color, and has some reinforcement. It is also the same price as I paid. (c)2016-17

It gets its name from the same named item in Dungeons & Dragons. Everyone wanted one. If you had the gold, it was guaranteed that you’d buy this first or second after setting up your character sheet. It was a dream for a pack rat like me.
You could put anything in it, and it would fit and the bag would not get any heavier. You could carry all of your gear without any trouble at all. Weapons, tents, longsword or bow. Food. It made space for everything you could ever need, and light as a feather.Obviously we haven’t changed the laws of physics, so the Think Geek version is a large, organized messenger bag. I brought it down from the shelf to look at it; admire it.

I ran my fingers over the fabric. I unzipped and zipped each pocket. I played with the magnet closures. I put it on with the shoulder strap resting across my body and walked around the store while I looked at other things. It was glorious.

It wasn’t too heavy empty, which can be an issue with other bags I’ve used, and it sat at the perfect place on my hip. I could easily reach into it for anything without taking it off my body. It had a loop at the top, which made it easier to pick up and put on. It was pretty perfect.

It was also $50, so I knew I would have to relinquish it before leaving, put it back on the shelf and say goodbye. That made me sad, but of course, it was expected. Fifty dollars was just too much to spend in the weeks before Christmas. I just had a really nice birthday, a little more expensive than the usual because of the big five-oh, and I might have been feeling a little guilty.

And then, I noticed a sign and I discovered that all backpacks were 35% off. Hmm…does that include the bag of holding? It’s not a backpack; it’s a messenger bag….the only way to know is to ask, and guess what?! It was 35% off!

In the three months that I’ve been the proud owner of a Bag of Holding, I’ve used it for a number of different occasions: a day out, a single day through a weekend retreat, and a week in Florida that included airline travel and TSA screening.

For the most part, it performed stupendously. It’s a beautiful bag. Seriously, I love it!

It really lives up to its name. The biggest problem I have is my own fault. I put too much into it and weigh it down to the point where I can’t carry it as a day bag comfortably. How heavy I make it is the only thing that keeps me from putting more into it. If we’re traveling in the car, and I’m not carrying it for hours, it worked out much better.

There’s magnet and zipper closures; no velcro, which always gets stuck to my scarves or something else inconvenient.

It has a total of seven pockets to organize however to meet your needs. That includes a gusseted accessory pocket with a magnetic closure, a flat pocket large enough ot fit a tablet, a padded pocket that will hold a laptop (on the outside of the messenger flap) plus a flat zippered pocket on that flap, and the slip pocket with a magnet closure on the back.

Inside the messenger flap. The pockets are gradiated. The first is the accessory pocket, the second is a zippered pocket, which would hold a hardcover book and more. The third pocket is larger, and has a flat pocket that’s tablet sized. (c)2017

Accessory pocket. There is a lot of space for office supplies, business cards, pen slips. it doesn’t have a cell phone pocket but you could just drop your cell phone in if that’s where you wanted to keep it. (c)2017

The zippers all go in the same direction; you’d be surprised at how often this isn’t the case. The magnet closures are strong but still easy to open when needed. No matter how much I’ve stuffed it, the magnets keep the messenger flap closed over the three inside pockets, all of which individually close.
I don’t use a laptop, so for me the flat padded pocket is great to hold a couple of file folders, magazines, and for my big trip, I folded a large scarf for easy access during the always too cold flight.

It’s easy to try out new configurations depending on what you normally carry. I have a conference in May, and I’m curious how it does in that environment. I’ll be sure and update once it’s finished and I can give some more insight.

In addition, for traveling by air, it fits under the seat in front of you, and the slip pocket at the back is perfect to hold a small purse for easy access while traveling, and then it can be taken out for daily use once you get to your destination.

The back of the bag. The slip pocket. It has a magnetic closure and a slight gusset. The handle for easy lifting and underneath that is the zippered padded pocket. These, and the front zipper can all be accessed without opening the messenger flap, which is a great security feature. (c)2017

I don’t normally travel by air very often, but it really held up very well. When I needed it, I could put it on my lap to get something, and then put it back under the seat in front of me. Its size works for either a carry-on or a personal bag, and because I would put my purse in the back pocket, I got to bring an extra bag on board instead of rifling through the large bag for boarding passes or cash.
The one problem I did have was with the TSA was on the way back through Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport. I had everything packed so tight that the x-ray machine couldn’t see what was in it to their satisfaction, so it needed a secondary inspection with individual items going back on the conveyer belt in their own bins so they could be seen properly. This took a little more time than I wanted to spend in security. I didn’t have that issues when I left my local airport, but there could be several reasons for that. It was less crowded; we were literally the only ones going through security at that time. It may also have been the way I packed it (most likely) or it may have had something to do with the recent shooting incident at that airport the month before. I don’t want to disparage the TSA; they were great – polite, kind. They even offered to repack the bag. It was just the time that made me anxious because we were already running late.

All in all, I’d give it 10 out of 10!

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