Shawn Blanc interviews Patrick Welker, a freelance graphic and web designer living in Germany, about his setup — everything from office chairs to Macs to water filters — and why he uses what he does to get his work done.
Of his bag — the Ristretto for 11″ MacBook Air — Patrick says:
“When I’m on the road I use a messenger bag to carry my MacBook and iPad. I choose to go with the Ristretto from Tom Bihn despite the high shipping costs and customs tax that are due when importing something from the United States. The bag is equipped with the fantastic Absolute Shoulder Strap and a lot of their nifty pouches and leashes. Ninety percent of the times when I leave the house I travel with my bike, and due to Tom Bihn’s Guardian Dual Function Light I feel a lot safer when riding in the dark.”
Above? Patrick’s health appliances. He explains: “When you live and work all day long within a tight space and share it with another person, my belief is that the room you choose needs to have a feel good atmosphere. Moreover, if it is a home office you have the permission to go nuts. To conclude, for me this means transforming my workspace into a whimsical little world with a touch of kawaii.”
Jodi Ettenberg quit her job in 2008 to travel the world. Five years later, she’s still traveling, and has compiled a list of the top tips, tricks and resources she’s learned in that time. That’s everything from advice on pre-trip planning and insurance to what clothing to take to bags. Jodi’s bag? The Synapse 19. Of it, she says: “I went through a slew of different daypack options over my 5 years of travel but have ended up with a 19L Synapse bag from Tom Bihn. It’s small but holds more than you would think, it is really well built and they even have a safety whistle on the sternum strap. Friends recommended them heartily and I tried them out only in 2012, but I’m very happy with my purchase.”
The Synapse 19 backpack.
“The short summary of this review is simple: this is the benchmark backpack on the market today…. The Synapse 25 is the perfect backpack.”
“So far I have told you about the immediately measurable attributes of the Brain Bag such as size/volume, simplicity in design and the ability to get a straight black colored Brain Bag. However, the durability element had really been speculation based on reviews I read on the internet, and based on supposed typical use of the backpack. After over three years of being put through-the-ringer, I can confidently say that the durability of the Brain bag is superb. It has survived LSAT prep, numerous trips (usually the only thing I take when I travel), and most importantly 3 years of law school. It has withstood the attempted destruction of con-law textbooks and saved me the ire of being the full-blown-travel-luggage toting law student.”
“I’ll add a couple of other notes about the lower modular pocket that might not be obvious from these photos: First, even on the dyneema version, the bottom and “back”–the side that is against the Smart Alec–are black cordura to match the pattern of the Smart Alec itself. Second, there is a small pocket against the “back”, mirroring the inside pouch of the Smart Alec. Nice design touches to have the lower modular pocket mirror the main bag in such a way.”
“Combining spaciousness, an expansive soft shell, and an attractive, clean design, the Tom Bihn Synapse 25 bag is an attractive choice for people who need versatility from their backpack. The Cache on Rails upgrade makes it checkpoint-friendly, and for bikers and hikers, you can add a safety light or a built-in emergency whistle. Pricey but well-designed, this bag is a winner for people who need a backpack with a lot of space, but also want it to look good.”
“It is a rainy cold Saturday in Boston. Naturally, I decided to practice pack for my upcoming week long June trip to Hong Kong! I am tagging along with my husband while he is at a work conference. We tacked on a few days for fun together but I will be in charge of my own fun much of the time excepting evening work dinners.”