Our Digital Nomad Packing List. Part 1A: Review of XD Design Anti-Theft Bag

First of all a bit of disclaimer, if you are here to read more of our journey and adventures then this post won’t be for you… But it won’t be long until there is another blog recapping on our latest experiences! Instead this is a series which is more of an informative read to fit in around our usual adventure blogs.

So now that’s out of the way let’s get into it. In this first part of the series we will be talking about our day carry bags we use for both freelancing and exploration, what we carry in those bags and why! As well as reviewing each item individually and our experience with them.

XD Design Bobby Backpacks

The popular anti-theft Bobby back packs from XD design immediately seemed like the perfect choice to carry both freelancing equipment and valuables around unknown countries with peace of mind. 

Walking Markets-7.jpg

A little over eight months ago Megan acquired a Bobby Compact back pack to carry her equipment whilst at university, work and on the road trips we went on. Really impressed with the quality and flexibility of the bag Tom shortly after bought the slightly larger Bobby Original. Ever since we have used them as our main day to day bags, for all manner of uses. But we will be talking about their uses as a daily carry bag for digital nomads, travellers and freelancers. 

Our primary motivation for choosing these bags are fairly self explanatory, boasting some of the best anti-theft qualities such as: Anti-cut materials, hidden zips and hidden compartments it makes it the perfect backpack for inner city living and exploration of new places! Whilst in the hustle and bustle of the Chiang Mai Walking Street markets it is common to see people wearing backpacks on their front, locking their zips with padlocks and rummaging for keys to get into their bags. However with the Bobby’s we had no such inconveniences, we wore them on our backs with confidence and without a second thought that our valuables were safe inside whilst we stopped to browse stalls and made our way through the dense crowds. When it was time to get out a phone, wallet or even our passports we could do so quickly and hassle free!

Don’t think the Bobby’s are just a one trick pony however, some of the other features which sold us on these bags are: 

  • Water Repellant Fabric
  • Contents Organisation 
  • Load Distribution System
  • Anti-Shock Padding
  • USB Charging 
  • Rain Cover
  • Dedicated large Macbook / Laptop Carrying Slot
  • Modern Styling
  • Lay Flat packing
  • Suitcase Attachment Strap

Comfort wise, the bag’s weight distributing design is so that the weight is transferred downwards rather than outwards as on with a traditional back pack. This has lead to hours of wearing, walking, hiking and exploring with a fully loaded bag with comfort and ease. Unfortunately it does not combat against sweat in south-east Asia’s extremely hot and humid climate, but there again, nothing does!

Let’s get onto capacity, as well as what we carry in our bag’s on a daily basis! We both have near identically packed bags for a day of freelancing, here is Tom’s both unpacked and packed:Bag-3Bag-2*Some items not photographed which are also carried in our bags which will be discussed in part 1B in this series are: Tom’s secondary camera, waterproof ponchos, life straws, travel adapters, roll-on 50% Deet bug spray and passport wallets.*

Bobby bags are amazing at absorbing items into neat and organised pockets, which makes them easy to find and access. As you can see Tom also manages to carry a 15inch MacBook Pro and a full size Gaomon tablet inside the padded pouches. Megan’s compact Bobby does also accommodate a 15 inch MacBook Pro the same as Tom’s, however it is more of a snug fit. The general storage area outside of the pockets and pouches is limited. There is enough room for a hard drive, mouse, Nexstand, a small camera, a compacted waterproof poncho, and water bottle but much more than this is a challenge. It is possible to cram in some extras near the top of the bag, but you shouldn’t expect to be stuffing a hoody into it anytime soon. 

Overall, the bags score really highly from us. For our application they accommodate everything, they are extremely well made and durable in our experience, the anti-theft features are the star feature and to top it off they don’t look bad!

A couple downsides to consider in your own personal circumstance:

They are pricey for a bag. Approaching and in some cases exceeding €100 they are costly, however is it better to spend the €100 and not have a wallet stolen with all your local currency for the day and cards in? Be on the way to a co-working space and have a MacBook nabbed whilst you wait to cross the road? On the way to the airport and a passport is swiftly picked out of your backpack? hmm…

Capacity for large or bulky items is limited. As I said this isn’t an issue for us, we do almost completely fill the bags with our daily carry items. But then that’s all we need! So in our application they are perfectly sized, however if you need to carry extra clothes, camera equipment or anything else bulky this bag won’t be for you. See Tom’s upcoming blog about his pro camera equipment bag if that’s more your bag… Bad joke. 

-> Get the ultimate digital nomad, freelancer and travel day bag now by clicking here! <-

Coming Soon: Part 1B, see our thoughts on what we carry in our Bobby’s for freelancing on the daily and why! 

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