Timbuk2 Terracycle Mail Bag Messenger Bag

Timbuk2 Terracycle Mail Messenger

Ever wanted a bag made form old USPS mail bags? Well, now’s your chance. Timbuk2 has introduced the Terracycle messenger bag made from old canvas mail bags. Each bag is unique and this option will only be available for a limited time. They are available in small ($99) or the medium ($109) and in original white canvas or in an overdyed brown (seems more UPS than USPS, but who am I to judge?).


Timbuk2 Terracycle Mail Messenger in brown

Bag Lust: Po Campo’s Midway Weekend

Po Campo Midway Weekender


Po Campo is a bag company out of Chicago specializing in stylish bags for the active urban dweller and bike-centric woman. Their latest creation is the Midway Weekender. It’s designed to comfortably hold a change of clothes and miscellaneous personal  items. On the bottom portion is a zipper compartment for shoes or sweaty gym clothes. The straps on the side will accommodate a towel or rolled yoga mat. Can be carried by the handles or by the shoulder strap included.

I think its a great looking bag, good looking but truly functional. The bag starts shipping February 17th. A bit late for my travel needs but I’ll definitely be considering one of these in the future.

The bag measures 16″ wide x  13″ tall x  7.5″ deep. Large enough to tote a laptop as well as all those items needed on a trip or just going back and forth to the office. It’s available in black, brown and a blue-and-white stripe. Vegan materials. $99.

(via Po Campo)

Review: The Hightower from Nock Co.


I was lucky enough to receive an early prototype sample of the Nock Co. Hightower case in the awesome Kickstarter edition peacock. The Hightower is one of the six products in the initial product assortment from Nock Co. which is currently available through their Kickstarter page only.


There is no branding on the outside. Its a blank slate for you to add patches or keep it plain. I love that the Nock Co. branding is subtle inside and not emblazoned on the front.


The Hightower is designed to hold three pens on the left hand side and a small notebook (might I recommend a Field Notes?) on the right. Though the right hand could also be used as a freestyle pen pocket. The interior of the teal case is navy blue and the trim is black. The flap keeps pens protected and keeps them from falling out.

I have never really used a slotted pen case before being more of a “throw every tool into a zipper bag” girl so it actually took me emailing Brad to figure out I needed to slide the clips over the slot to keep them in place. I kept losing my itty bitty Kawecos into the slot abyss. (Shakes head at self and says exasperatedly, “Idiot.”) Once that issue was addressed, I started playing with which notebooks I could fit into the pocket.


I had a  Field Notes, a Miro Utility notebook and a Cambria Cove (discontinued Hallmark subsidiary catalog company) notebook in it over the course of the week. Then I stuck them all in. It was a little bulky but it worked. There’s not quote enough room for a pocket-sized hardcover notebook — it fits but its a little difficult to slide in and out and close with pens in it as well. This didn’t stop me from carrying it around most of the week with ONE pocket notebook and my iPhone stuck in the pocket though. That worked pretty well.

The bottom line is that this notebook/pen case is flexible, very well-constructed and easy to use. I kind of fell in love with it this week, not that I should be the least bit surprised with all the thought and care Brad and Jeffrey put into creating these products.

Now I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the line. There’s three weeks left in the Kickstarter and then they’ll start production with plans to deliver by January 2014.

(more details are available in my previous post, Nock Co. or their Kickstarter page. And their are some other reviews of the Nock Co. products listed on Link Love this week.)

Ladies’ EDC: The Gold Edition


I know you boys out there talk about your EDC all the time. Well, I’m here to give the girls their five minutes. I mentioned a few months ago my desperate search for an easy EDC for the necessities of a modern girl’s life: phone, a couple credit cards, ID, some cash, pen, notebook and maybe, if I’m lucky, a tube of lip balm. I purchased the lovely Coach clutch I featured in that post but its a tad on the pricey side. When I saw this golden zip clutch from Fossil ($55), I knew I had to share it.

fossil-side view

There’s room for cards and cash and a mobile phone. I bet you could even squeeze a mini notepad (a Rhodia No.10 would fit)  and a compact pen in one of these as well. The lip balm might be tricky. But it sure is spangly! Its also available in black, brown, camel and teal (the orange, yellow and magenta versions are already sold out on the Fossil site).

(via Fossil)

Ask The Desk: Cambridge Satchel

Ask The Desk Header

Mary Ann asked:

How has the Cambridge leather satchel been working for you?
I am interested in getting one but would like to know more about it from a user.

my Cambridge satchel. tres bletchley circle!

I’ve had my Cambridge satchel for well over a year now. It is a classic English school satchel in medium brown and measures 15″x10″x4″. Its large enough to tote my 13″ MacBook Pro but on most days I don’t carry it with me since I have a workstation at work.

Cambridge Satchel

It is made from very stiff, thick leather. It needed to be treated with mink oil to help soften and loosen up the leather. Once I did that, it became a very comfortable bag to carry. Because of its generally rigid shape though, it is difficult to overstuff it like you might with a nylon bag or backpack.

Cambridge Satchel side view

The strap is adjustable by way of a buckle and is surprisingly comfortable without any extra padding. There’s a lot to be said for leather. I do wish I had purchased the model with the handle on top which would make it easier to pick up and pull in and out of the car. If you walk or take public transportation regularly, you might not need a handle but if you’re pulling the bag in and out of a car, the handle would definitely be advantageous.

It does limit how much I can carry since I can’t overstuff it which has actually been a good thing.

Cambridge Satchel inside view

I thought I’d share a peek inside the bag to give an idea of how much it will hold and still close easily.

Cambridge Satchel contents

Inside is an A5 and A6 hardcover notebook (Piccadilly and Leuchtturm 1917 respectively), my Lihit Teffa Bag-in-a-bag (holds my letter writing supplies), iPad Mini in a Macally cover, my LWA members pen case filled with lots of writing tools, a reusable shopping bag, a granola bar, hankie, Pantone business card case, keys, sunglasses, Swiss Army Secretary pocket knife, and a few loose pens.

The Cambridge Satchels are available in several other sizes and a huge array of colors. For the higher price and super durability of this bag, I chose a classic color (vintage brown) which would not feel dated or too trendy. The 15″ size like mine is $172 from the Cambridge Satchel Company. The Batchel (the same bag with a handle) is $187. And the Backpack model which is the same bag as the Batchel with straps to carry as a backpack is $195.

Bletchley Circle

If you’re looking for a classic bag made of durable materials and simple good looks, the Cambridge satchels are a good investment. I was tickled to see that a bag similar to the Cambridge satchel was carried by Susan (Anna Maxwell Martin), the main character in Bletchley Circle set in London in the 1950s. I told you its a classic.

Saki Collection Pen Roll

The Saki Collection pen roll (P-661) is a fabric pen roll available in six different traditional Japanese fabrics. The P-666 which is another variety of the same design available in seven solid colors with contrasting ties, if you are not a pattern lover.

The case holds about six pens, two in each of the three divided areas. Thinner pens or pencils might fit up to four in each compartment. Its a good option to keep finer pens from rubbing against one another if you store just one pen per compartment. My pens aren’t so fine that I need to be that cautious. It definitely is a better solution for full length pens, my little Kawecos and Ohto Tasche got sort of lost in the compartment though they did seem quite cozy all tucked in.

The Saki Collection pen roll is a lovely, elegant option at a reasonable price. Is it time to give your pens a classier home?

Available from JetPens for $13

Hey Goldilocks, pack it up!

After a Goldilocks moment with a couple sale backpacks I found on Timbuk2, I was able to establish that the 10L-sized Pisco was a tiny bit too small for me and the 20L-sized Shotwell was way too big. Goldilocks needed a bag that was “just right” so I’ve been on the hunt for something in the 15L range.Timbul2 didn’t really have anything in that range and most backpacks I found are either too hi-tech or too kid-centric for me. So, where do I turn? My friends, of course!

Thanks to a tip from Kathy at 16 Sparrows, I discovered the Kelty Cycle Hiker which coincidentally is 18L-sized and styled in a classic, non-super-hiker/skater/kid look. In cross-referencing, I also came across the iconic Fjällräven Kånken, a Scandinavian classic since 1987 which is a 16L volume bag. In the “plus column” for the Fjällräven Kånken is that its available in a wide range of colors but sadly it doesn’t have padded straps or much in the way of internal organization. The Cycle Hiker has more internal organization and those coveted padded straps but is only available in a few colors.They are comparably priced in the sub-$75 range though both can be acquired for a bit less with some searching on the internet.

Decisions, decisions! I think I’m going to order the Kelty.

Anyone else stocking up on back-to-school items, even though you might not be in school anymore?