Whether they use it for work or for e-mail to stay in touch with home, an increasing number of travelers wouldn't think of leaving home without their computers. To hold and protect these fragile electronic devices, manufacturers have developed carriers that do more than just hold a laptop--they do double duty as clothing bags, file holders and more. The following items may be available in area stores. Prices exclude shipping.
File in style: At first glance this bag, which measures 16 inches by 11 inches by 7 inches, looks like just another lush leather computer carrier. But the File-It Computer Case from Kingport International is quite a lot more. It is actually three bags within one roomy shoulder bag. Open the two Velcro flaps, and six legal-size, expandable file pockets provide organization for documents in the center of the bag. The padded zippered rear compartment holds a laptop computer and has six zippered disk pockets. The zippered front compartment holds a cellular phone, business cards and other supplies. Two additional outside pockets offer quick access to papers. Carry the bag by either the double-rolled leather handles or a detachable shoulder strap.
Kingport File-It Computer Case (item No. 61668J) is $229.95 from Hammacher-Schlemmer; telephone (800) 543-3366, Internet http://www.hammacher.com.
Lap desk: It's a computer carrier, it's a desk--it's both, and it weighs only about a pound. Unsnap the plastic quick-release buckles on the 14-inch-by-10 1/2-inch-by-4 1/2-inch Lapdog nylon carrying case, and the ingenious bag unfolds to become a laptop workstation. In the center, a nonslip foam pad keeps the computer in place. On both sides, large zippered fold-open pockets hang over your legs like saddlebags, with room for batteries, external drives, disks, paper and other gear. There's even a built-in roll-up wrist pad. An outside pocket provides space for a cellular phone. The carrier accommodates most laptops, including the large 15-inch-screen variety. A detachable shoulder strap is included.
Lapdog is about $140 from Shaun Jackson Design; tel. (888) 662-4300, Internet http://www.sjdesign.com.
Clothed case: For a quick trip where a single change of clothes will be sufficient, you may need no more than Kiva's 17-inch-by-12-inch-by-8-inch nylon Titan Computer Commuter. The zippered padded center compartment holds a laptop computer; a zippered front compartment has numerous slash and zippered pockets for files, disks, cellular phone and other materials; and a zippered expandable rear compartment holds a change of clothes or more business gear. Three zippered outside pockets, including a see-through mesh compartment, hold still more supplies. The three main compartments have double zippers that can be padlocked for security.
Kiva Titan Computer Commuter (K08-17) is $190. For a nearby store, call (800) 645-8818.
Fortunate wheels: Tumi makes some of the classiest luggage around--the linings are as luxurious as the exteriors. The company's new 21-inch-by-13 1/2-inch-by-8 1/2-inch Vertical Office wheeled bag is perhaps the ultimate overnight bag for the business traveler. The main compartment holds a change of clothes. A removable divider panel holds paper and files, and a front padded U-shaped zippered pocket holds a computer securely. Interior accessory pockets and an additional external zippered pocket provide more storage. The telescoping handle locks in place, and two sides of the bag have handles.
Tumi Vertical Office is $595. For a nearby store, call (800) 322-8864, Internet http://www.tumi.com.
Roll call: Orvis, maker of high-end fishing gear and outdoor wear, has expanded its stylish Battenkill line of distinctive forest-green luggage with leather trim. The new 23-inch by 14-inch by 9 1/2-inch-wide BusinessPlus Rollaboard (slightly larger than the Tumi version) holds enough clothing and accessories for a one- or two-night stay. It includes a zippered padded nylon laptop carrier with storage pockets and expandable file compartment, which can be stored behind an interior divider and is accessible from the outside via a zippered front panel. Or carry the computer briefcase separately. Two additional external zippered pockets--one expandable--hold papers, tickets and other gear. Grab handles on two sides aid portability.
Battenkill BusinessPlus Roll-aboard (G190J-00) is $275 from the Orvis Catalog; tel. (800) 541-3541, Internet http://www.orvis.com.
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