Review: ThinkGeek Bag of Holding Tote

Disclaimer: This is a review unit I was able to get from the lovely people at ThinkGeek.

As anyone who has been viewing this blog for a long time, you’ll know one of my pet peeves in my digital life is that I struggle immensely with finding the right sort of bag for my tech. I’m not entirely a “and the kitchen sink” kind of person. But, with my daily commute and the amount I have to travel, I do have to consider seriously what bag will suit my purpose the best. That usually depends on what I’m doing. Am I flying? Am I just going to town? How long will I be waiting for one form of transport to another? Do I need to bring clothes? A myriad of question always accompanies all of these essential choices.

Most people would know that I swear by my Timbuk2 Custom Prospect messenger bag. It’s my regular go-to for travelling and day to day use. You can find more of my gushing over it in my Women Tech Bag Video.

So, with the ThinkGeek Bag of Holding Tote, there are a few things that are worthy to note about it before we get started.

kgiq_convertible_tote_holding

Product Specifications

  • Convertible Tote of Holding
  • A ThinkGeek creation & exclusive
  • Comes with double handles and also removable backpack straps
  • Custom d20 print accent
  • Magnetic snap closure at top
  • Organizer built-in to lining (9 card slots, 2 open pouches, 2 zip pouches, ThinkGeek keyholder)
  • Metal feet on the bottom for durability
  • Materials: 100% polyurethane exterior; 100% polyester lining
  • Care Instructions: Hand wash
  • Exterior Dimensions: 13″ wide x 17″ tall x 4″ thick
  • Weight: 2 1/2 lbs.

It is a beautiful bag; its print accent is one of the most striking elements of the tote. It’s wonderfully detailed, and I regularly got compliments and comments from the passers-by who I encountered who were curious about where on earth I found a bag that had a pattern of a D20! It’s a testament to the care and craft of putting a bag together like this. kgiq_convertible_tote_holding_detSubtle details in the stitching and lining indicate this to the core. It’s challenging to find a rough edge on the tote, and that’s a testament to the craft of it in itself. However, that robust construction comes at a price in the form of its weight. It’s a good two pounds when its empty. So, if people are expecting this to be a light bag, I fear this may not be one for you.

That being said, I wanted to put it through its paces. I was off to a Ted X in Canada, and I decided since it was an overnight trip that I would need to bring a change of clothes for the event. I was also going to need to bring some form of entertainment, food. I made a noble attempt to fit all of these items into the tote but alas I failed to do so without leaving some essential items out. Which is a no-go for this bag to be used as my new travel companion. I’m not going to lie; I was pretty astonished that I couldn’t fit more into it, dimensions wise it’s a pretty big tote bag. Now, as my Youtube Review Video will show, I am bringing quite a bit, and arguably my packing cube for my clothes was the principal offender when it came to the space available. It was still none the less surprising though, as right now it’s not quite living up to my expectations for a bag that has the title of Bag of Holding.

My timbuk2 to had to resume its position for that particular trip as I had little issue getting the contents I needed there for my trip. Throughout my time bouncing from airport to airport to get to Toronto I was curious about what other use cases could I use this bag for? So, I decided I’m regularly in and out to college as well as the gym I would see if this would be a suitable all in one solution for this, as my Timbuk2 for those trips is complete overkill. Sadly, I ran into different issues when using this bag as a daily driver for my college and gyms trips.

kgiq_convertible_tote_holding_int1Cardinal of all sins for me is the lack of a dedicated pocket for my laptop/tablet. This is something I’m quite pedantic about. I think if you’re creating any bag, it makes sense to have a dedicated pocket for your tech that needs that added bit of protection. So having something that didn’t even protect my iPad had me quite frustrated in parts. I was always second guessing where things were in my bag or worrying if my lunch box was going to spill and what that would do to said iPad.

I ran into the space issue on multiple occasions too, sometimes having to forfeit a bigger towel for the gym or a bottle of water to fit something else in for a particular day. Which, evidently, isn’t a great solution for things either. It’s not as if I’d be bringing a lot with me for these sessions, but I’d always feel like I was running short on space.

It leads to a more significant comment too which is after a while it can tend to make the bag heavier than you would otherwise think. Having a 2-pound starting weight then adding other essential items on top of that can rapidly make a significant weight change to the overall bag and limits your options on how best to carry it.

kgiq_convertible_tote_holding_strapsMy go-to carry style was to use it by the handles on my shoulder as I was always overly aware in the backpack style that a small clip only closes the bag, and it would be straightforward to reach into the bag from that position pretty much unbeknownst to the wearer. So I didn’t have enough experience with the backpack style element to make a concrete opinion on it other than its relatively well executed but the straps suffer from the same fault that others do which is the straps are awful thin. This can lead to the straps cutting into your shoulders, and I am a women function over fashion. So, in my time of usage it didn’t get a lot of use, but as always your mileage may vary.

It might seem like I’m ragging on the Tote, but really, I’m not. I think I’d be more lenient on it if they’d omitted the title of it is a Bag of Holding. I think that’s where I’ve got the most of a mental block. I can’t view this bag out of the context of it being in its brand. The line is notorious for being compact but being able to hold pretty much everything. I’ve even seen the standard bags, and others in the range attest to this mantra. This, however, doesn’t.

Let me be clear; it is not a bad bag in the least. It’s incredibly constructed, aesthetically pleasing and works as a bag. But is it a bag of holding worthy of the namesake? I don’t think so.

You can find out more about think ThinkGeek Bag of Holding Tote at http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/kgiq/?srp=1

Watch “Should you Care? Gaming – Kingdom Hearts Series” on YouTube

I started a Youtube Gaming series. To kick things off, I’m playing all of the Kingdom Hearts games. We start with Birth by Sleep Final Mix. 

I hope you enjoy it!

Should you Care? Gaming – Kingdom Hearts Series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLamKx3IzEL10GtRW6iNfj9cWkkR_YpsBg

Announcement: PanelxPanel Vol.1 No.1

I’m thrilled to announce that I’m a featured writer in PanelXPanel! Issue #1 discusses BEAUTIFUL CANVAS. 

What I write in this magazine is the femme fatale in comics and the impact of women in Beautiful Canvas. 

You can find some of the praise for PanelXPanel below: 

Pre-order: gumroad.com/l/PXPNO1 

PanelXPanel.com 

Best Cases for the Nintendo Switch!

With the new release of the Nintendo Switch on Friday the 3rd of March 2017. New owners revel in their new purchase! (Myself included) However, in the excitement, it is always likely to overlook one of the biggest features of the Switch. That is, its portability. If you have just spent €312 on a console that you intend on carrying with you on communities, you should really have a case to carry the thing in! So lets have a run down of the top Nintendo Cases that are available to purchase right now!

SF/Waterfield Design – Switch Case

SF/Waterfield Design are known for protecting they’re gaming kilt. Already having bags for mobile devices such as the 3DS and the Vita, it is no surprise that they’ve created a case for the Switch. Made from Leather, this bag has a stunning appeal in terms of its appearance. You would not mind carrying this pouch around with you in public. It just oozes of class. With room enough for cables, game cards, and headphones this pouch should definitely be a must see for those who are willing to spend a little bit more to get something exceptionally classy.

SF Nintendo Switch Bag
SF Nintendo Switch Bag

Pre-Order: $79

For those who are looking to move more than just their Switch and Joy-Con around. There is an option for a Multiplayer Pro Case. This can Carry everything from the dock to the Joy-Con Grips all in the typical classy design that you would expect!

Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Pro Case
Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Pro Case

Pre-Order: $149

Gamestop – Official Nintendo Switch Case

For those who are looking for the more official route. Gamestop Ireland are stocking the Official Nintendo Switch Accessory pack. This pack has the case itself, with the Nintendo Switch logo on the front and comes with a screen protector  and kickstand/stand for the Switch included in the bundle. At €20 if you’re looking for the Nintendo solution to your carrying problem, this is a good case to look at!

Official Nintendo Carry Case
Official Nintendo Switch Carry Case

HORI Switch Tough Case (Nintendo Switch)

For those who are looking for something a little bit more robust in terms of protection, but still are looking for something sleek. The Hori Switch Tough case will be a difficult one to beat. It’s hard shell, and focus on protection of the touchscreen built into the case itself makes this case a great alternative for those who don’t like the hassle of having to worry about screen protectors. (But please, put on screen protectors)

£29.99 at Amazon.co.uk

HORI Switch Tough Case (Nintendo Switch)
HORI Switch Tough Case (Nintendo Switch)

So what do you think? Are there any more cases I missed that you think should be on this list? What cases did you get for your Switch? Let me know in the comments below.

Remember to give this blog a share on your favourite social media, and don’t forget we have a Nintendo Switch Unboxing over at Should You Care? YouTube.

Beginners Guide To Battery Packs

This is a quick beginner guide as to what to look out for when you’re purchasing your first battery pack.

Technology. It’s great. You have an entirely digital world at your fingertips. From getting some much-needed work done at home or at the office to capturing those special moments when you’re out and about. If there is one thing we need to help us to stay on the pulse of things around us is power! This is a quick beginner guide as to what to look out for when you’re purchasing your first battery pack.

anker
Anker PowerCore+ mini 3350mAh

Battery Cases

So let’s start with our smartphones. By far these tiny glowing screens are one of the most used things in our modern lives, and the most complained about the problem with smartphones is battery life. Mophie aims to solve this issue with their charging cases, and these are some of the leading ranges of built-in battery packs. They cover a broad variety of devices from the latest iPhones to Samsung’s and HTCs. These cases are a perfect solution for those of us who need a little-added juice!

Battery Packs

Battery packs come in all shapes and sizes, but their purpose is the same. To keep you connected at a time when you need it most! Most battery packs won’t only charge your phone when you’re in a pinch. With the new opportunities that USB Type C introduces (A blog on this will be written soon so keep an eye out!), it’s time to actually start thinking about how these pockets full of power can be used to help you!

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-04-05-33

There are two things you really need to know regarding battery packs which are what size do you need your battery pack to be and what are you charging?

MaH (MiliAmp Per Hour)

Most lipstick style chargers or smaller thinner chargers are only designed with a small battery pack in mind. Smaller chargers tend to be lighter and hold less charge than their bigger counterparts which can often weigh up to a pound! So always be sure to check to see if the battery pack you want is a proper weight for you to be carrying around with you. Always try and get a battery pack that has the charge capacity and form factor that suits your style best.

The Power of Charge

The second thing you need to keep in mind is Amperage or A, you’ll see this on most of the spec sheets you’ll see on your chargers or your technology. As a general rule of thumb (this certainly doesn’t apply to everything but its a good start) 1Amp is ideal for phones and portable games consoles. 2.1 amp is perfect for larger tablets, laptops and things that would have bigger batteries. Typically, think of 2.1 amp for things that would have the biggest

pearl-rose-gold-hero_1024x1024
Pearl: Compact Mirror + USB Battery Pack 3000mAh

battery. Not all chargers would have this as an option, so it is always best to check your options before you purchase any battery packs, so that it suits whatever your charging.  
So what do you think? Are there any battery packs that you swear by? Are there any tips and tricks that you’d recommend to others? Tell us about them in the comments below. Be sure to give this video a thumbs up if you liked what you saw, hit that subscribe button and share this blog on your favourite social media. Keep an eye out for the video version of this blog on our Should You Care – Youtube channel