Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Travelon Tour Bag – Product Review

Big enough to carry several gadgets such as GoPro, still cams, powerbank, tablet, a small book, eyewear, etc. And yet small enough to easily carry it comfortably.  (It's almost Christmas, I subconsciously used my holiday-themed yak wool shawl as backdrop).

Let me first say that,  this bag has ANTI-THEFT as its primary set of features which is something that I have not (or even wished to) try or prove for real. :P
But obviously, knowing that I will “not be slashed”, or my magnetic cards remotely copied, or my bag secretly ‘pocket-picked’ - already add to my confidence and comfort while traveling or strolling in crowded areas.

I’ve used this bag a number of times either as my secondary office sling bag, or my ‘malling day bag’, and have used it in a couple of travels abroad.

I have several, what I call “sling bags” –  mostly local (Philippine brands) and made from hand-woven textiles (yes – I collect), and serious-and-mean bags such as Travelon.  Well, not all design and colors are of course ‘serious and mean’, but I chose black and more manly design for it to exude that ‘aura’.

My sling bag collection, not counting a couple more :)

Sharing here some of my review comments for this product;

1.      FIT FOR USE.  I’ll give a 9 of 10 (there’s always improvement, not sure what’s a good new feature).  This is highly advertised as an anti-theft bag.  And it has the needed features.  With steel mesh on its body and steel wire on the straps – there’s really a high constraint for the thieves or snatcher or slash-and-pick dudes to overcome that.  It has a pocket that prevents RFID (radio frequency identification), which is basically a no-touch capability to copy your magnetic data from cards. Zipper can be locked with hook preventing unwanted pick-pocketing.  If the bad guy knows about Travelon and sees you wearing one, I think he’ll just look elsewhere.
Best used in crowded areas like concerts; jeep, bus or trains; busy market places and the like...

2.      DURABILITY.  To be conservative, I’ll give 8 of 10. Obviously, with a bag designed to be ‘anti bad guy’, it has to be durable! Both the outer material and hardware are tough. If someone is to slash or stab me with a knife, although not recommended - this bag will be my first layer of defense.  To use it as a shield!  
The materials, the hardware and construction are pretty good.  Here showing strap metal clip which has a feel and look of a climbing carabiner (clipped here for display/ not part of the bag).

3.      AESTHETICS.  There are several designs, shapes and sizes to choose from.  I like my black tour bag as I can use it as office bag (but not so much for weekends when I wear board shorts and slippers).  I’ll give mine a 7 (but you can choose your style and color and up the score).
This black version has a good corporate appeal.  Goes well with typical smart casual, informal or even formal wear;
4.      SIZE and COMFORT.  6 of 10.  I’ve used this bag while seated in the plane, sleeping or not.  Even when I visit the washroom.  The idea is NOT to lose any item, or leave them unattended. Even if one is sleeping or doing toilet business. It’s small enough to fit in my seat (or my lap) while seated albeit sometimes competing with my tiny economy-class space.  It’s big enough to hold all critical items and key gadgets.  Smaller version will obviously provide more comfort (which could up your score) but will hold less content.
Small gadgets and stuff can easily be packed in!
5.      FLEXIBILITY.  8 of 10! While mine is small and just right for traveling, it’s also a good weekend or “malling bag” which can hold several other life-complicating gadgets such as e-tablets, GoPro, small still cameras, phones, or a book.  Wait there’s more –it can actually be used as a gun bag, a 5in+ barrel can easily fit in the outer pocket with velcroed flap.  Practice is needed if you aim for a sub-4sec draw-cock-fire as the pocket is a bit deep (i.e. handle fully inside even for a relatively big 4.25in barrel 1911 handgun).
(Using a toy gun here). There is a Travelon gun bag model but this one suits just fine. One may simply adjust the strap (ex. closer to the lower chest area) and practice a fast draw.

Zipper clip lock.  A simple and yet effective feature to prevent 'silent zipping'.

6.      COST.   Around $75US.  More expensive than typical sling bags, but hey – it’s a lot more expensive if your wallet or e-gadgets got picked!  But compared to other ‘nice brands’ with no anti-theft features, this has obviously more worth to it!  I’ll give it an 8.

Note: If it’s a robbery and your bag is wanted, just hand it over with no question!  Life is more valuable.  "Theft" is someone trying to out-smart you, so this bag is designed for that -- to out-smart the smarty bad guy!
At Abu Dhabi airport on the way to Brazil.

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