I have always interested in getting a Nomadic wise-walker bag. Jetpens sells some online, but from the description it didn't seems to fit my needs. Luckily I am in Hong Kong and found the right bag for myself. Here is a review of the wise-walker OS01 bag.
Why is this bag so good? It looks small on the outside, but the carrying capacity is great. It is comfortable to carry, and it is secure.
The bag has a large rectangular main compartment, and a ton (well maybe 14) of organizing pockets and areas. When travelling or commuting, a lot of the items I crarry are small. They will all fit outside of the main pocket, leaving the main compartment for the larger items like laptop or camera and a sweater.
The bag is comfortable to carry. I like to carry these bags messanger bag style, with the bag resting on my lower bag. This bag has the air meshed in the back to reduce sweatiness, important when in Asia. The shoulder strap has a padded pad in the middle.
The bag is designed to keep its content secure. This is especially important in some cities like Hong Kong. I can keep wallet and ID cards etc in areas of the bag that is very difficult to be pick pocketed.
How to Use
When running around the city:
- I carry my Olympus E-M10 for pictures, a polo shirt for when entering crazy air conditioned restaurants and malls, and sometimes my kindle, in the main compartment
- My battery pack for my iPhone also goes into the main compartment
- My field notes and pen goes into the back compartment with my wallet
- Sun glasses, lip balm goes into the front compartment under the flap
- Amazingly, same items as above, plus
- my travel wallet in the back main compartment
- currencies goes into the secure compartment
- when going through security, all my metal items goes into the front compartment under the flap temporarily
The shoulder strap pad is sewn on as part of the strap. It is not movable. As a result it will not slide back and forth. This I think is a good design, but there are two related problems: one is that sometimes I like to slide the bag from my back to my front, for example when I am on a crowded subway train. Because the pad location is fixed, when the pad is set right for the back, it will be wrong for the front.
Most of the inside organizer pockets are made with a semi transparent mesh. So you can see what is in them. The ones that are not made with messed are padded.
Packaging -- look at the little "tab" that is used to wrap the strap in the packaging. Nice touch.
There are 10 pockets according to the product leaflet. In fact there are more. Check out these little touches:
- inside the front outside zipped pocket, there is two small shallow pockets that are good for subway pass cards.
- under the front flap, the lower zip pocket is for plane tickets
- the second zip pocket is double zipped, has three meshed organizer pockets
- the zip openning on the pocket is 2/3 high of the actual pocket depth. So things are not likely to fall out after the zips are opened
- the main compartment under the flap is about three inches deep, which is what I like about this bag compare to others. A 13 inch MBP fits into it with no problem
- the back zip pocket is double zipped, and the openning is 1/2 of the height, again good for not having things fall out
- inside there are two mesh pockets across the very back (outer side), three slightly padded pockets and two pen slots on the other side, and two meshed pockets behind them.
- There is a headphone cord openning right at the center of the back of the bag
- The back of the bag has the "airmesh" type materials. I can tell you it really makes a difference after testing it out in the hot humid (33C, 70% humidity) Hong Kong environment.
- There is a "security" pocket in the back of the bag between the back pocket area and the main area of the bag. Why it is a security pocket? It is closed with velcro across the entire length of the bag. If someone try to reach into there it will be difficult, and you will definitely hear and feel the "ripping" of the velcro
- and finally, there are two water bottle pockets on either side of the bag, and they are large enough for 500ml size bottles.
- I wish the bag has either little feets on the bottom, or maybe a different materials on the bottom, for when I need to put the bag down on the floor
- This is the only medium size problem -- the bag has a flawed side wing design in the main compartment. In theory when the front flap is closed, the side wings will fold inwards to make sure rain will not get into the bag. But I find that most of the time the wings ended up folding outwards instead (see pictures).
- Finally, the none movable strap padding problem as I mentioned above. I may replace the strap with something custom or more comfortable
But seriously this is a very well thought out bag. I highly recommend it. However I seems to not be able to find it online in the US, nor in Shanghai.