I’ve reviewed a number of products in the past from gadget accessory manufacturer M-Edge. The company offers a wide range of e-reader and tablet covers, cases and lights, offering a range of well designed ways to protect or dress up your favorite device. I just had the opportunity to test one of their latest solutions for iPad owners, the military inspired Trench Runner Messenger Bag.
While there’s a lot to like about the iPad, it’s not the smallest thing to lug around. When I’m leaving the house and taking an iPad with me, it’s usually a case of simply carrying it (rather inconvenient and conspicuous), stuffing it in a backpack (overkill for something of the iPad’s size although it does free up the hands) or putting it in one of my laptop bags (see backpack). The Trench Runner Messenger Bag is a really nice option that fills that need for hands free carrying capability without having to resort to a murse. While it’s designed specifically for an iPad 2, it also fits the original iPad and other tablets like the Galaxy Tab or XOOM. There are two interior compartments, both large enough to accommodate an iPad (with sufficient room for protective cases). The bag is fully fitted out with pockets and storage nooks, including two external secured pockets that can hold a cell phone, internal pen loops and credit card slots. Everything is secured with leather straps and brass snaps. An adjustable, removable shoulder strap is included and there’s even a small horizontal strap intended to make it easy to attached the bag to a suitcase handle.
In terms of functionality, it’s got everything I look for in a bag; it’s easy to pop the iPad in and run. As I’ve come to expect from M-Edge, quality is excellent, with perfect stitching, thoughtful design and an attractive look. The bag itself offers some protection against bumps, drops and weather, although it’s not padded or intended to be a emplacement for a good protective case. It’s made of weathered cotton canvas and available in two colors: US Military olive drab green and German grey. My wife and daughter — who are both big on the vegan thing — would be a perfect target market, except for those few leather straps; replace them with pleather and this would be the ultimate Vegan iPad slinger. Priced at $79.99 (available through M-Edge’s website).
About the colors, style and name. The Trench Runner Messenger Bag is part of a collection from M-Edge that features a military theme. They are offering a full range of military inspired accessories, including the Recon Jacket, Trench Runner Case and a Trench Runner Sleeve that all offer the weathered canvas look, along with subtle cues like chevrons (nothing obvious like camouflage patterns). And all of this dovetails with a very worthwhile cause that M-Edge is involved with: E-Books for Troops.
It’s no secret that I’ve become a huge fan of e-readers in recent years, but I’d never really thought about what technology like a Kindle could mean for a soldier. When you think about it, though, it’s a perfect fit. US servicemen and women who ship overseas are limited to bringing what they can fit in a backpack. Books are obviously not very friendly to these sort of restrictions and bases have limited libraries. But with an e-Ink e-reader being light, small, offering long battery life with the capacity to carry thousands of titles and ability to easily buy more online, the device is ideal for use by military personnel. M-Edge supports E-Books for Troops, donating camouflage Kindle jackets and e-Luminator2 booklights. The organization to date has provided a number of previously owned Kindles to US troops stationed in Afghanistan and other overseas locations (click here if you have a Kindle that you’d like to donate) with 200 Kindles ready to be shipped out in coming weeks. Read more about the nonprofit E-Books for Troops here.
Disclosure: M-Edge provided a Trench Runner Messenger Bag for review purposes.