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What's in your bag, Thomas Ricker?

Honed by nomadism and an obsessive avoidance of girth

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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 Thomas Ricker.

I've had a love affair with computer bags for more than fifteen years now. A fixation betrayed by a dozen or so unused bags, each loved intensely for a time, then tossed to the side of the road like a sex crime, abandoned in favor of another.

My hauling needs have stabilized over the last two years allowing me to settle on just two bags: one that I use for everyday bicycling through Amsterdam, another for professional press events and travel. Preferences honed by nomadism and an obsessive avoidance of girth.

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The Basics


The North Face Base Camp Messenger Bag is my everyday tote. It has two suspended internal pockets, one for my 13-inch MacBook Air, and a smaller sling for a tablet, usually an iPad. The bag's slim but roomy enough to carry my computing devices and a DSLR fitted with an 18-200mm lens. And its waterproof, bike-messenger design makes it ideal for cycling in any kind of weather.

13-inch MacBook Air

It's the original ultrabook and offers a near perfect blend of power and portability. Not only is the 13-inch MBA (late 2011) a neat compromise between Apple’s 11-inch MBA and 15-inch MacBook Pro, it also runs Windows 8 with aplomb. I’ll upgrade to its successor when it finally goes Retina.

Nikon D7000 lenses

The D7000 is my Verge-issued workhorse for photography and video. The AF-S Nikkor 18-200mm is a highly flexible lens for event coverage while the AF-S Micro Nikkor 40mm brings industrial design to life in a way that words alone can't express. Sometimes I use it to photograph kittens, dinner, or kitten dinners.

iPhone 4 and Lumia 900

The iPhone 4 is my primary mobile computer. The Lumia 900 is my exotic mistress. As a long time iOS user I find Windows Phone to be visually stunning, but unable to satisfy the obscure needs that Apple’s App Store readily services.

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Magic box o' pills

This Altoids tin is the contributing factor in 90 percent of my “random" airport pat-downs. Ever since it made its first appearance at CES about five years ago, I’ve been the man — our man in Amsterdam — that everyone counts on to ease their pain. So hit me up on the sly if you’re ever suffering from common trade-show ailments like deep fissure leakage, head mumps, or Android overload.

Moleskine notebook and pens

That's right, it's another literary romantic with a Moleskine. I use it for note taking whenever I can't be bothered to produce electronic scrawl. There was a time, however, when I would draw inside a Moleskine using nothing more than a lit cigarette — a highly effective ruse to meet women of crude susceptibilities. My choice of pens is arbitrary, thieved whenever and wherever the need compels.

Apple earbuds

Standard issue earphones that I carry for utility rather than quality. I have a set of Klipsch cans I wear when the audio (or desire to pose) is more important than convenience.

Elgato Turbo.264 HD

Once a must-have, the Elgato Turbo.264 HD harkens back to a time before The Verge’s amazing video team. Still, I like to carry it around just in case I find myself in a situation where my MacBook Air needs a bit more oomph to process video. I have no idea if it's even Mountain Lion compatible, but I definitely enjoy carrying something called “the cat.”

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