You almost certainly are the owner of an MP3 player, mobile phone, PDA, PSP, DS Lite, laptop or camera. Ten years ago it might have been unthinkable to carry more than two of these devices with you at one time, but these days, if you're a true urbanite, it's quickly becoming quintessential to getting through the day.
Admittedly, some of these things are unnecessary, but nevertheless you'll still have them on you because you never know when you'll need to take a quick photo of something, play three hours of Mario Kart or surf the Web at the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot. You might not want to admit it but you, and hundreds of others like you, are hooked on gadgets.
The problem, however, is that with so many new toys you need a substantial bag to carry them around. Fortunately, there are more gadget bags out there than you can shake a squirrel at and we've tested a few of them to see if they're any good.
First up is the Crumpler Cheesy Disco (pictured) available for £90 from the Crumpler Web site. This bag can hold up to 15-inch laptops and comes with a waterproof lining. There's a bunch of pockets and other hiding places to store things, and the shoulder strap comes with detachable padding. We really like the build quality on this bag and the waterproof lining does a good job of keeping your stuff dry in the rain. It feels comfortable to carry and you can take the padded laptop sleeve out if you don't need it.
This is the Acme Made Designer Slim that's aimed at women and is available at LaptopStuff.co.uk for around £80. Aside from looking nice, this bag can hold a 15-inch laptop comfortably. The inside is padded and should keep your laptop nice and snug, however it probably won't withstand a large fall. Our only concern with this bag is that it's rather minimalist and won't fit much in other than a laptop, but if style is your thing, Acme Made is with you all the way.
This is the JanSport Flash XL that costs around £60 from urbanindustry.co.uk. It can hold up to a 17-inch laptop and comes with a variety of storage compartments. The laptop sleeve is protected by the ShockShield protection system, which is formed of a layer of rubber-like honeycomb. We really liked the build quality on this bag, and while it's not the most exciting design, it does serve its purpose well.
This is the Knomo Frinton and, for a laptop bag, it emanates class. It's made out of genuine leather and fits most 17-inch laptops. The inside is padded and features a cool green lining. It's slightly heavier than other bags due to the fact that it's made out of leather, but it does look the part. There are several compartments to keep your stuff in, but we're slightly disappointed that there's no briefcase-style handle. It's currently available from the Knomo online shop for £165.
These are sleeves made by a British outfit called Wrappers, and they are especially designed for carrying and MacBook Pros. They all cost around £15 and come in a variety of textiles. While these aren't strictly gadget bags, we couldn't resist adding them since they're really different -- the corduroy one is even fireproof. These would make a great Christmas gift for any Mac-mad friends.
This is the Targus Urban Messenger that's available for around £35 from the Targus online site. It fits 15-inch laptops and is the most traditional bag that we tested out. It comes with a bunch of compartments for storing stuff, including a pocket on the outside for an iPod or mobile phone. It also comes with a weatherproof bottom section, so your stuff shouldn't get damp if you put it down on a wet surface. This bag is ideal if you want to keep it simple.
This is the be.ez LEvertigo Black Pearl and is available from macheaven.co.uk for £50. This has to be one of the more unusual gadget bags -- it holds the laptop vertically. The strap is made from the same material as a car seatbelt. It's padded, waterproof and it has a bunch of storage compartments. It's worth a look if you want something different, but we're not convinced that this is the most comfortable of the bunch, so test it out before you buy.
This is the tech air 5504, which will fit 17-inch laptops, and it's available from the tech air online site for £60. It's protected by a technology that surrounds the laptop compartment with a bubble of air, ensuring it won't break if you drop it from waist height.
There are two main compartments one for the laptop and the other for storing your gadgets. There's also a pocket on the front for anything else. We like tech air's build quality and it feels sturdy -- it's a good option if you want your laptop to stay safe against any drops or hits.