REVIEW – It’s 2018, and most of us haul gadgets around with us these days, ranging from a just what we can stuff into our pants pockets to a treasure trove of EDC or travel items. To meet the demand for organizing and protecting all of these items while on the go, Bond Travel Gear has developed several bags and pouches. A while back, our own Andy Chen posted the Bond Travel Gear Tool Roll Review and I was quite impressed with it, so I was quite interested to have the opportunity to try out several more of Bond’s products. Let’s check them out! Gadget on!
What is it?
Bond Travel Gear consists of several products including a small bag, pouches, a wallet, and a journal case that are all durably made from tough materials and include useful features for anyone who would like to protect and organize their various EDC or travel necessities.
Hardware specs & Feature List
Attache 13 = $109.00
- Available colors = Black/Tan, Multicam Black
- Fits: 13″ laptops, 12.9″ iPad Pro & similarly sized tablets
- Full clamshell opening to easily see and organize all contents
- Includes shoulder strap with all metal hardware
- “No-Slip” elastic and mesh pockets keep all items at the ready
- Large interior loop field protects laptop from scratches & allows additional accessories to be attached
- Dimensions: 14.5 in (36.8 cm) x 11 in (28 cm) x 4 in (10 cm)
- Weight: 1 lb 7.5 oz
Escapade Pouch = $44.00
- Available colors = Black/Orange, Coyote, or Multicam Black
- Tough nylon exterior fabric – abrasion and water resistant
- Rugged construction: double-stitched zippers and stress points
- “No-Slip” silicone-backed elastic securely holds your items in place
- Weather-proof YKK zippers
- Backed by LIFETIME GUARANTEE
- Dimensions: 7 in (18 cm) x 8.7 in (22 cm) x 1.2 in (3 cm)
Venture Pouch = $34.00
- Available colors = Black
- “No-Slip” elastic on one side, mesh pockets on the other
- Grab handle and attachment points to be used with our Shoulder Strap to convert it into a shoulder or waist pack
- Dimensions: 7.8 in (20 cm) x 3.5 in (9 cm) x 2.4 in (6 cm)
- Weight: 4.1 oz.
Field Journal = $39.00
- Available colors = Black/Orange, Black/Seafoam, or Coyote Brown
- Tough nylon exterior and stout YKK zipper keep your journal protected & out of the weather
- Interior organization fits Kindle, passport, credit/business cards, pens/pencils
- Includes (1) A5 Hardcover Notebook (refills here) with 296 numbered dot grid fountain pen friendly pages
- Dimensions: 9.25 in (23.5cm) x 6.75 in (17cm) x 1 in (2.5cm)
- Weight: 1 lb 4 oz
Travel Wallet = $34.00
- Available colors = Black
- RFID blocking fabric protects credit cards and passport from skimming
- Exterior pockets hold pens/pencils, lights, tools
- Interior: dedicated credit card slots, mesh pocket, and passport pocket
- Includes (1) A6 Pocket Notebook (refills here), features dot grid Tomoe River 68 gsm paper
- Dimensions: 4.5 in x 6.5 in x 0.75 in
- Weight: 3.5 oz
Bond Travel Gear was conceived by founder Chris Elfering who had spent time in the military and traveling around the world. Chris realized that travelers of all types have a common need for good, reliable gear that can organize and protect their contents while taking a beating.
Design and features
The first thing I noticed about all of these items was their high-quality look and feel. Each is made from super durable and abrasion-resistant 1000D nylon and other high-quality components.
The Attach 13 is so named because it has been specifically designed to hold a small laptop, such as a 13-inch size, or a tablet. The exterior has a clean, professional look that is very classy and subdued.
The bottom of the Attache 13 has a Hypalon panel for additional water resistance and durability. Hypalon is a synthetic rubber material that is used in inflatable boats, including the military Zodiac boats, so it has quite a pedigree of durability.
Above, a closeup of the Hypalon bottom panel contrasted with the 1000D nylon main body material as well as the water-resistant zippers.
Above, I’m holding the Attache 13 in my hand to give an idea of its size. It’s quite small and compact, perfect for a small laptop or tablet and some accessories, as you’ll see below.
The Attache 13 sports a special style of tough YKK double-pull zipper that has a flexible membrane that provides a high level of water resistance. It also includes zipper pulls made from knotted 550 paracord.
Maintaining the Attache 13’s simple appearance, it only has a single zipper pocket on the outside that is a good size for a wallet, phone, passport, or other smallish, flattish item that you might need to access quickly or frequently. The inside of this pocket is lined with a tan colored ripstop material and also includes the water-resistant YKK zippers and 550 paracord pulls as on the Attache 13’s main zipper.
The Attache 13 features strong, yet comfortable handles. The handles are actually made of a webbing that appears to be similar to seat-belt material, and the hand grip portion is simply rolled over and stitched in such a way that they are surprisingly comfortable to grip.
The Attache 13’s carry handles are stitched to the outside of the bag and have extra stitching in the high-stress areas for added strength.
The Attache 13 features all metal shoulder strap hardware, including the D-ring attachment points as well as the beefy shoulder strap spring-hooks. High durability on all of these components.
The Attache 13 is a “clamshell” design that unzips more than 3/4 of the way around to open and allow the two halves to lie fully flat, which is great for easy loading and unloading. The entire inside of the Attache 13 is a similar tan color as the lining of its single outside pocket. I like this because rather than having it be black, which could be difficult to locate objects inside it in low-light situations, the tan color provides a bit better visibility of the contents.
Let’s start with the non-laptop/tablet side. This side has several pockets and webbing to hold gear and gadgets of all sizes and shapes. In fact, there are a total of 8 pockets, 7 elastic webbing slots and two small loops of material.
The two loops of material in the corners appear to be made from 550 paracord and allow the user to attach things like keys, flashlights or carabiners. Also seen above, the zippers on the mesh pockets are YKK, the industry standard for quality.
As mentioned above, there is a band of webbing across the width of the Attache 13 that has stitching at various widths AND with no-slip patches that help keep items in place. Genius feature.
On the laptop/tablet side, the entire side is basically a single pocket that is built specifically to hold a small laptop, a 13-inch size or smaller, or a tablet.
The inside of the pocket is lined with a very soft, plush material to help protect its cargo from scratches. There is also a small strip of webbing that with a small Velcro strip that is used to secure the laptop or tablet.
In the image above, I’ve loaded up the Attach 13 with several of my EDC items. It holds quite a bit, and can actually hold even more. Below is a list of all of the items I fit into it:
- Lenovo X260 laptop (in the large pocket on the left side)
- laptop AC adapter (in one of the two large pockets on the right side)
- Leather Squirt PS4 keychain multi-tool (hooked to one of the two 550 paracord loops in the corners)
- Mimobot Boba Fett USB memory stick (in one of the small mesh pockets on the right side)
- Renogy 10,000mAh Solar Panel Water Resistant Power Bank review (clipped to the other of two larger pockets on the right side)
- Mini stapler (in one of the small mesh pockets on the right side)
- GorillaDrive USB flash drive review (in one of the no-slip elastic webbing spots on the right side)
- Lumintop Tool AAA flashlight review (in one of the no-slip elastic webbing spots on the right side)
- Moleskine Volant XS notebook (in one of the zipper pockets on the right side)
- Microfiber cleaning cloth (in the same zipper pocket as the Moleskine Volant XS notebook)
- Small first-aid kit (in the other of the two large pockets on the right side)
One of the features of the Escapade Pouch that I liked immediately was that this particular model was in Multicam Black camouflage pattern, which is like a subdued, dark camouflage. The Bond folks also include a Shoulder Strap (available separately for $9.00; see here) that can be attached to the Escapade Pouch or the Venture Pouch (see below). The Escapade Pouch is a bit like a smaller version of the Attache 13 bag in its design.However, one difference between the Attache 13 and the Escapade Pouch is that the Escapade Pouch includes four D-rings on is back which can each serve as attachment points for various purposes. For example, you could use them to attach the Escapade Pouch to the outside of another bag or pack, or attach the Shoulder Strap (see below).As shown above, the Shoulder Strap can be attached to the D-rings on the back of the Escapade Pouch which turns it into a small shoulder bag. This Shoulder Strap has plastic hardware, unlike the strap that is included with the Attache 13, which is metal. Still, they are heavy duty and appear quite durable.
Similar to its larger cousin the Attache 13 bag, the Escapade Pouch includes a zipper pocket on the outside for small items. It includes the same water-resistant style zipper as well. The interior is grey ripstop material. Also, like the Attache 13 bag, the Escapade Pouch sports the same special style of tough double-pull YKK zipper that has a flexible membrane that provides a high level of water resistance as well as the knotted 550 paracord zipper pulls.The interior of the Escapade Pouch is lined with a light gray ripstop material with black trim. Again, I like this idea of having a light-color material for the interior lining because it can help to locate items inside the pouch in lower-visibility situations.As with the external design, the Escapade Pouch has a similar interior layout to its larger counterpart, the Attache 13 bag. As seen above, there are a couple of larger open pockets on either side, with a band of elastic webbing that has the non-slip coating underneath.
The opposite side of the interior, shown above, includes two large open pockets, as well as a mesh zippered pocket on the left and a smaller open pocket on the right. I found that that Escapade Pouch is great for electronic accessories, such as cables and adapters, as well as a notebook and pen, or a few other items you might want to have handy when you travel by air. It is small enough to fit into the seat back pocket of a plane and hold most, if not all of the small items we tend to want to have handy while on a flight without having to dig our larger carry-on back from either under the seat or the overhead bin.
The Venture Pouch is a smaller pouch but with a cool twist (which will be described in more detail below)–it can be loaded from two sides.
The rear of the Venture Pouch is similar to the Escapade Pouch in that it has two plastic D-rings which can be used to mount it to the outside of another bag or pack, or to attach the Shoulder Strap (see below). It also includes a short length of webbing at the top that can act as a grab handle or attachment point.
Again, as with the Escapade Pouch, the Venture Pouch’s rear D-rings allow it to be carried like a shoulder bag or small sling bag with the addition of the Shoulder Strap (available separately for $9.oo as mentioned above).The Venture Pouch has YKK zipper, but more of a standard style, not the special water-resistant style as on the Attache 13 and the Escapade Pouch (however it does include 550 paracord zipper pulls that are color-matched to the interior lining color). I suspect that this is because the Venture Pouch is primarily meant to be carried inside another bag or pouch, not outside of it, so the added water-resistance would unnecessarily add cost to the product. In any event, as mentioned above, the Venture Pouch can be opened from the left side or the right side and each side has different pockets and compartments. The side shown above and be opened more like an envelope, and includes a padded divider as well as a few small pockets for storing and organizing items.
See above, 0pening the Venture Pouch from the opposed side is more like opening a lay-flat clamshell design and features a band of elastic webbing with the no-slip material behind it. Note also the “Seafoam” color ripstop interior lining to help locate items in low-light situations.
The Field Journal is essentially a durable case for a journal/notebook. A really nice, durable case. The Field Journal’s rear has a single pocket that runs nearly the entire length that can be used to store flat items.
Additionally, the rear pocket does have a small strip of Velcro that helps to keep items secured in it, which is a nice touch if you are carrying it around by hand outside of a bag.The Field Journal is a really nice size, not too big or too small, which is probably due to the size of journal/notebook it has been designed to hold (more on this below). The Field Journal has a feature that I almost missed at first, a strip of webbing along the side that can act as a carry handle. This is handy (pun intended) for when you are carrying it and want to ensure your grip is a bit more secure.The Field Journal’s zipper is similar to the zipper on the Venture Pouch in that it is a durable YKK brand, but does not include the water-resistant layer, but does include the knotted 550 paracord zipper pulls.The Field Journal’s zipper is a clamshell style that opens 3/4 of the way around its perimeter which allows it to lay completely flat to access its content, which makes writing in its notebook much easier. The interior of the Field Journal is laid out very similarly to other portfolio-style notebook holders, with pockets on the left and the notebook itself on the right.The left side of the Field Journal’s interior features several pockets including one long open pocket that runs the entire length for larger, flat items, plus a mesh pocket with Velcro closure at top, then a few smaller open pockets below this for smaller items.The right side of the Field Journal holds an included Bond Travel Gear A5 Hardcover Notebook. It’s a perfect fit.
Bond Travel Gear A5 Hardcover Notebook refills are available separately for $22.00. See here. They have 296 numbered pages made from Tomoe River 68 gsm white paper, a dot grid, an elastic keeper and lay flat when open.
This rear pocket also includes a strip of Velcro as a closure to secure contents like the Field Journal’s rear pocket.
Again, as with the Travel Journal, the right side of the Travel Wallet has a large pocket that captures the back cover of the included Bond Travel Gear A6 Pocket Notebook. This pocket can also hold a passport if desired.
The A6 Notebook refills are available in packs of three separately for $12.00. See here. They have 48 dot grid pages made of Tomoe River 68 gsm white paper
What I like
- Thoughtful, useful design and features
- Durably built with high-quality materials
- Understated style that looks rugged and cool
What needs to be improved
- Nothing (other than that they didn’t send me one of their DASH Dopp Kits to review also!)
Bond Travel Gear’s products are some of my favorite items that I’ve reviewed in a long time. They are all very thoughtfully designed and all include some very useful features but are not overly complicated by them. They are also very durably built with high-quality materials such as 1000D nylon, YKK zippers and 550 paracord zipper pulls. Also, they look rugged and cool. I especially like that founder Chris Elfering, an armed forces veteran, used his experiences in both the military and in world travel to create these products to meet real-world needs (and I also like to support veteran-owned and -operated companies). But the veteran aspect aside, these Bond Travel Gear products are really nice accessories; well-designed, well-built, and very affordable. Definitely worth a look if you are in the market for anything like any of these products.
All of these Bond Travel Gear items were very well-designed and built, and I still enjoy using them as both part of my EDC and for travel. It should be noted that sometime after this review was posted, Bond Travel Gear essentially closed up shop and rebranded themselves as Lochby (see lochby.com), whose products are similar, but rather than using the 1000D nylon fabric of Bond Travel Gear’s products, Lochby uses waxed canvas fabric for a more classic look and feel.
Price: Attache 13 = $109.00, Escapade Pouch = $44.00, Venture Pouch = $34.00, Field Journal = $39.00, Travel Wallet = $34.00
Where to buy: Bond Travel Gear and Amazon
Source: The product samples for this review were provided by Bond Travel Gear.