Moment is announcing an expansion of its softgoods line with the new Moment Travelwear bags. The new bags, which include a backpack, a tote bag, gadget organizers, and other accessories, are available through a Kickstarter campaign that starts today. Moment expects to start shipping the bags by November of this year.
Though Moment is best known for its mobile photography lenses, the company says that these bags are not designed to be camera bags, but are for everyday use. The backpack, which is available in two sizes (17 liter and 21 liter), resembles an old-school JanSport backpack, while the tote bag looks like any other minimalist tote bag you’ve seen before.
Inside, the bags have a variety of organizational features, including laptop and tablet sleeves, hidden pockets, key rings, and water bottle pockets. The backpack has a passthrough slot for a telescoping suitcase handle, while the tote has a padded base to protect your items when you put it down. Both designs feature “stormproof” 600D recycled Kodra on the outside, 210D nylon oxlan on the inside, and weather-resistant zippers. They are available in black, olive, or clay (a burnt-orange color). The backpack will cost $179 ($149 through the Kickstarter) for either size, while the tote runs $119 ($99 via Kickstarter).
In addition to the main bags, Moment has also developed two different gadget organizers that can be stowed inside them. The $69.99 ($49 on Kickstarter) Tech Organizer is a clamshell pouch with a variety of straps and pockets to hold items like a mouse, laptop charger, cables, batteries, and other accessories. Inside the organizer is a slimmer and smaller pouch that you can use for lighter carry days.
The $59.99 ($39 on Kickstarter) Battery Organizer is designed for photographers and videographers, and it provides specific pouches for memory cards and camera batteries. A clever layered pocket system allows you to easily separate fresh batteries from used ones, which should help keep things straight when on a shoot.
Finally, though Moment is marketing these bags as everyday commuting or carry bags, it is offering an optional padded camera insert that converts them into camera bags. The $99 ($79 preorder) MTW Camera Insert can be used as a standalone case or fit into any backpack large enough to hold it, but it was specially designed to go with the new MTW backpack and tote. It’s large enough to hold a mirrorless or DSLR camera and two lenses, and the included foam dividers have clever little pouches to store small items like filters.
A note on crowdfunding:
Crowdfunding is a chaotic field by nature: companies looking for funding tend to make big promises. According to a study run by Kickstarter in 2015, roughly 1 in 10 “successful” products that reach their funding goals fail to actually deliver rewards. Of the ones that do deliver, delays, missed deadlines, or overpromised ideas mean that there’s often disappointment in store for those products that do get done.
The best defense is to use your best judgment. Ask yourself: does the product look legitimate? Is the company making outlandish claims? Is there a working prototype? Does the company mention existing plans to manufacture and ship finished products? Has it completed a Kickstarter before? And remember: you’re not necessarily buying a product when you back it on a crowdfunding site.
Two hooks on the side of the insert line up with loops inside the MTW backpack to hold it in place in the main compartment, while the backpack’s main zipper allows you to quickly access your camera gear from the side. The insert was designed to be compact, which allows you to put other things in the backpack alongside it. This isn’t something meant for taking an entire studio’s worth of camera gear around.
With this new line of bags, Moment will draw obvious comparisons to Peak Design, a company that started out by making straps and other photography accessories before launching a wildly successful line of backpacks, totes, and organizers. Moment’s bags are unique from Peak Design’s in that they are not specifically targeting photographers (outside of the Camera Insert and Battery Organizer) and are more aimed at the general creative crowd.
They also have a different design than the Peak Design line, with softer materials and a less technical look. These bags aren’t meant to be used for hiking adventures or multiday trips either. They are designed to be something you carry your work gear around in on a daily basis.
I was able to briefly demo the 21-liter backpack, camera insert, and organizer accessories, and I found them to be more comfortable on my 5-foot, 11-inch frame than the similar capacity 20-liter Peak Design Everyday Backpack. The back panel has a stiff frame to support your laptop (my 15-inch gaming laptop fit without issue, and any size MacBook will slot right in), and the straps are wide with a breathable mesh material. There also are a lot of clever hidden features to help organize your stuff throughout, but from the outside, the bag generally just looks like a typical school bag.
Moment is entering a crowded market, at least according to my Instagram feed, which is filled with ads for bags that cater to young creatives on the go between home and the next coffee shop. It’s also launching a line of bags at a time when most of us do very little actual traveling and many aren’t even going into an office or coffee shop to work anymore.
Still, the sharp design and clever features of the Travelwear bags make them a compelling option if you’re looking for a new backpack or tote and don’t want to sport the same Peak Design bag every other techie out there owns.