What’s in your bag? is a recurring feature where we ask people to tell us a bit more about their everyday gadgets by opening their bags and hearts to us. Show us your bag in this forum post. This week, we’re featuring James Chae.
As a designer at The Verge my bag is relatively light and simple. I don’t have to carry around an abundant amount of gear like some others here, but I definitely used to be that guy. I once had an extra-large Timbuktu bag fully loaded with a 15-inch MacBook Pro, DSLR, bike tools, extra tubes, and a couple bike lights. I looked like the hunchback of Notre Dame. Over the years I’ve learned to trim down my daily load. Below are some of the essential things found in my bag.
When I first learned about Freitag’s unique creation story, I wanted one. For years, I searched for the right style and pined over the high price. Finally, a few years ago I rewarded myself with the Leo. It’s a nice fusion of several different styles and is similar to an old airline crew bag. The versatility is what does it for me. If I’m going somewhere I can pack everything I need, including a DSLR and a sweater. But for everyday use it conveniently holds all the essentials without weighing me down. I also love how I can carry it in various ways, either on or over the shoulder, or by the handles.
Phone and hard drive
I used to have an iPhone 4, but wanted a larger screen and was very curious about Android (a direct result of working here at The Verge). When Google announced the Nexus 4 I knew that I wanted to give it a spin. I’ve been pretty happy with it overall and I love the form factor. As a result, I actually find myself spending less time on my laptop. I also carry around a 1TB Seagate hard drive. When I was a freelance designer it was handy to have all my old work, and my “toolbox,” with me at all times.
Despite my love for printed matter, I’m not really a purist when it comes to paper. That said, I’m in a bit of a transition because I still love print magazines, have a bunch of unread paperbacks, and love my Kindle. That is why you’ll find all three in my bag at the same time. I don’t mess with touch and use a normal 6-inch Kindle.
Notebook and pens
I’m also in a strange transition period with notebooks and pens. Despite my love for Evernote I still need to pen things by hand. My dad instilled in me a weird love for pens so I always have a wide assortment of them on me. I found this wonderful Preppy fountain pen at the Japanese bookstore near our office. As for notebooks, I prefer the flip-over reporter style. I find it really easy to use and I enjoy pretending to be a writer. Also, this style is perfect for to-do lists.
Ray bans and wallet
I picked up these Ray Ban Clubmasters sunglasses a few years back in California. I’m not a huge sunglasses guy, but I had been in search of a pair for a while. When I found them, it was like a match made in heaven. The style and fit suits all my sensibilities. I’m pretty fussy with my wallets and have gone through many. When I finally committed to shelling out the clams for this Jack Spade wallet and felt the fine leather, I knew I made the right choice.
I’ve already professed my love for this camera, but I love this camera! Back in the '80s, the Olympus XA was considered to be the professional’s point-and-shoot. It truly is a great piece of glass that fits right into your pocket. Despite the inconvenience and cost of developing film, I still find the need to take a snap or two in my daily life. It’s fun to develop a roll that’s a few months old and revisit those fleeting moments of living in NYC.