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1/05/2009 â€“ The Mountainsmith Network : An Ideal Bag For Those Stuck In Economy Class
Briefcases, satchels, messenger bags, etc are part of nearly every travellers’ kit.Â Most travellers have a favourite bag, and many have a dozen favourite bags.Â Â I fall into the latter category; I’d be hard pressed to be pinned down a single favourite bag (well that is not true, the Mountainsmith Tour waist pack has been a mainstay of my kit for well over half-a-decade).
As my professional role transitions from full-time photographer to that of both a professional photographer and a travel strategist, my travel needs have begun to shift.Â Â This transition has introduced me to a wider array of bags and travel gadgets that I did explore when only travelling as a photographer.Â Sure I still travel with cameras, I don’t foresee myself ever travelling without cameras, but my packing needs have changed slightly
With these shifts in my travel requirements I have once again turned to a company I have relied on for years…Mountainsmith.
The newest Mountainsmith bag to enter my extensive line up of their bags is the Mountainsmith Network briefcase.Â Â The design of the Network is similar to other bags, such as the North Face Off Site (which I also own), however the Network is more compact and better designed for travel and dealing with confined carry-on space on aircraft.
My basic requirements for a new briefcase were simple. The bag needed to be compact, hold two laptops easily, a change of clothing, have a slot to slide of the handle of a roll aboard bag and have an organizer compartment that hold my Think Tank Cable Management 10 case, a hard drive two Moleskine notebooks (I write in one the other actually a receipt organizer).Â Â I looked at bags from Mountainsmith, North Face, Timbuk2, Think Tank and explore what I already had in my closet from Domke and Land End.
After reviewing many bags I once again found that Mountainsmith’s products were what I was looking for.
The Mountainsmith Network’s laptop compartment has a neoprene slot that easily handles a 15″ Apple PowerBook, while still having plenty of space to comfortably accommodate my 13″ MacBook as well.
The center pocket is used for my clothing. In this compartment I place a change of pants, dress shirt, under shirt, socks, boxers and my “3-1-1” bag with toiletries.
Finally the outer compartment, the organizer compartment is stocked with AC power supplies for both laptops, the Think Tank Cable Management 10, a portable hard drive, two Moleskine notebooks, CF cards and other basic accessories.
For easy access, on the back of the Network, along with a slot to attach the bag to a roll-aboard bag is a sleeve for a boarding pass. This sleeve is also incorporated into the Mountainsmith Tour and Mountainsmith Day.
A great feature of the Network, as well as other Mountainsmith bags, is the bright yellow interior.Â Searching for items in a black bag is challenging, and even more challenging at night or on a dark plane. I love that the bright yellow interior lets me quickly find objects in the bag with minimal hassle.
For travellers who fly in economy class (like 99% of us do) or who frequent life on regional jets and turbo props the Network is 16″x13″x6.5″ (40.5cm x 33cm x 17cm) allowing the bag to fit in smaller overhead compartments as well as under the seats of any commercial aircraft I can think of.
For photogs looking for a handy shoulder bag, this bag works well with gear as well. For a quick day out the compartment I use for clothing can easily hold a full-size DSLR body along with a 16-35f2.8 (or 28-70f2.8) and 70-200f2.8.Â Â I have used a Domke insert in this compartment as well as just stacked my gear in and been happy with the ease of use both times.
For now I foresee using this bag often as I travel with a camera or two out my shoulders on quick trips in and out of town where a briefcase is preferable to a backpack.
Below are six photos of my Mountainsmith Network bag.