This Messenger Bag Transforms Into a Portable Workstation

Urban Nomads is a desk you can take anywhere

May 9, 2019 7:49 am
Urban Nomads Bag
It's a messenger bag, media dopp kit and a portable workstation all in one (Nomahawk)

We had a long-time employee here at InsideHook who hated working at his desk. So he’d sit hunched over on a shared office couch with his laptop. Eventually, he started putting a cardboard box between his Macbook and his lap so he could sit up straight and not fry his, uh, extremities.

Now he’s traveling the world, and he was top of mind as we tested out the Urban Nomads Bag by Nomahawk, which seems perfectly designed for mobile creatives and remote workers.

An ergonomic workstation, messenger bag and media dopp kit all in one, the UNB arrives from a German brand who previously crafted handsome leather bags and accessories under the moniker Leabags.

This time out, they’re keeping some of the style but adding a lot of additional functionality, particularly for travelers who want to sit down and work (comfortably) wherever they happen to land. The key here is that you can access all your devices (laptop, tablet, power bank) from the outside of the bag without unpacking anything — everything is a magnetic closure or zipper open away.

Here’s how you access everything:

Your tablet: Slide your iPad/tablet into the pouch. Access it by opening the front of the bag and fold the flap around to create the ideal working angle.

Urban Nomads Bag

Your laptop: Slide your MacBook (or any laptop up to 15”) into a dedicated compartment; the bag will serve as an ergonomic cushion and save you from the very real issues presented by setting a laptop on your actual lap. An external shelf will slide out if you want to use a dedicated mouse.

Urban Nomads Bag

Your accessories: When you need to open up the UNB, all your gear and cords are sorted into 12 different compartments. There are dedicated pockets to store and easily access your power bank (they provide the cables), water bottle and business cards, along with an RFID-protected compartment for your sensitive data and wallet.

The UNB even works pretty well if you’re using pen and paper — the back of the bag doubles as a writing/drawing pad, and you can velcro your pen case to the bottom or back for easy access to creative materials.

Some other nice features: the two straps on the UNB distribute the weight evenly on your shoulders (which is good, because the prototype we dealt with was noticeably heavier than an everyday messenger bag; it had the weight of an old-school briefcase). As well, there’s a handle that disappears when you don’t need it, and the bag has a sleeve on the backside so it can slide onto any trolley luggage.

Available in a men’s messenger and women’s tote, there are two sizes of the UNB, plus multiple color and three different design variations — the sporty “classic” line, a vegan variation using synthetic leather and a premium leather version. There’s also a mini version if you just use a tablet and no laptop.

Prices start at $160-$180 during the Kickstarter process, with deliveries slated for September.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.