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NIID Decode Tech Sling

This stylish sling might look small, but its customizable design has enough space for more than essentials. It's an office-friendly bag for your work-week that's just casual enough for after hours and weekends.   

The bag is currently a Kickstarter project that ends on Monday, Dec. 3 at 10:59 a.m. ET. and is well past its modest $5,000 funding goal and the company is ramping up production to ship to backers in January. There are a few left at its $89 early bird price, but it only bumps up to $99 once they're gone. The retail price is expected to be $119, which is still a deal considering this bag's quality. 

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Part messenger, part backpack

The sling doesn't have a big storage area like a messenger and is shaped more like a backpack and stays close to your body. The single-strap design makes it easy to get into the bag without taking it off your back. Expandable pockets on each end give you space for a water bottle and umbrella. 

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Wide and soft

The sling's strap is wide and it's well padded, so even with the bag fully loaded, it's still comfortable. 

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Shoulder bag when you need it

The strap is wide enough that you can shorten it and use it somewhat comfortably as a shoulder bag when you're not traveling far with it. 

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Grab and go

The padded grab handle is nice for when you're getting on and off public transit or walking down an airplane aisle or simply picking it up to put on your back. 

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Magnets!

NIID used a Fidlock magnetic buckle, which makes it a breeze to get the bag on and off without putting your arm through the strap and over your head. 

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Fast detach

Just pull up on the bead attached to the buckle and the strap comes apart. Bring the buckle back up to the attachment point and it magnetically locks securely in place. 

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Stash pocket on the strap

This little zippered pocket is handy for ID, train tickets and the like, but it's upside down when you're wearing it, which makes it difficult to see into the pocket and things could accidentally fall out when you open it.

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Secret stabilizer

The problem with a single strap is that biking, running or even just walking quickly can cause the bag to slide around. The Decode has a stabilizer strap that tucks into a small opening in one of its side pockets. 

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Ready for action

The strap just hooks onto a loop on the main strap. 

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Side access

Though it's not specifically a camera bag, the Decode can pull light duty as one. A third zipper pull on the main compartment allows you to get into the side to pop out a camera take a shot and pack it back up again without taking the bag off. 

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When division is good

A padded divider is included to create a section for your camera or anything else you want to separate. 

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Configure again and again

The divider attaches with Velcro so it's easy enough to rip out again and again for different layouts or just take it out altogether.  

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Keeping out thieves

The zipper pull has a loop on the end that can be put through a loop on the bag and clipped to keep people from easily accessing your camera.  

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Tech gets its own compartment

There are a two compartments in the Decode Sling: a 15-liter main compartment and a dedicated laptop/tablet compartment. The latter will hold up to a 13-inch MacBook Pro. I used it with a 13.9-inch Lenovo Yoga C930, which fit perfectly. 

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Pull it out

You don't need to take the bag off to get your laptop out. 

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Put it in

Though it is a bit easier to put your laptop back in the bag with it off your back. 

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Waterproof YKK zippers

Dual front zippers give you greater access to the main compartment. The bag itself is made from waterproof coated polyester with a nice soft feel to it and it held up in a recent downpour as I ran for a train. 

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Zippered organizational pocket

A zippered pouch on the inside of the main compartment gives you someplace to stash cables, batteries or whatever else you keep in tiny stretchy pockets. There is no key leash, though, which is what you'll typically find in this kind of pocket. 

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Another view of the inside pocket

The pouch material is stretchy, too, so you can store larger items inside. 

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Loops in the lid

Tucked under the top of the main compartment are elastic loops. I used them for pens and charging cables. 

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Open wide

The double zippers go all the way down and around the bag to let you open it up wide for packing and unpacking. 

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Fold it up

Basically undoing the zippers deconstructs the bag. 

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Ready for storage or travel

You can fold it up for when it's not in use. Or if you have room in your luggage, you can pack it to use when you reach your destination. 

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NIID Decode Tech Sling

The Kickstarter ends on Monday, Dec. 3 at 10:59 a.m. ET. and is well past its modest $5,000 funding goal and the company is ramping up production to ship to backers in January. There are a few left at its $89 early bird price, but it only bumps up to $99 once they're gone. The retail price is expected to be $119. 

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Backpacks, shoulder bags and more

Need something right now? Check out our gallery of laptop bags big and small. 

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Travel light, but don't forget your tech

Or if you need something bigger for travel that can still accommodate your laptop, tablet and other gear, check out our travel bag roundup . 

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