Proporta Gadget Bag Review

by Michael Kwan on May 31, 2009

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Between your iPhone and your BlackBerry, your digital camera and your portable hard drive, it’s very well possible that you carry around a fair bit of technology with you on a fairly regular basis. This may be a part of your daily routine or it may only come up when you pack up your home office for a trip on the road. Whatever the case, you want to keep things as well organized and managed as possible.

Aiming both to protect and organize your various peripherals is the aptly named Proporta Gadget Bag. While it comes with a shoulder strap and can be used much like a purse (or murse), the Proporta Gadget Bag is probably better suited as a companion bag for your backpack, attaché case, or duffel bag.

Keeping All Your Gadgets Organized

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Helping to protect your mobile devices when you are on the move, the Proporta Gadget Bag features a series of individual compartments that allow for both quick access and a sense of gadget separation. The padded inner lining minimizes the risk of scratches. Everything is held together with a series of zippers and Velcro straps.

The overall design aesthetic for this bag fits somewhere between being appropriate for the corporate crowd and being appropriate for the geek chic enthusiast. The main canvas bag material is your standard black, but the bag features a little bit of orange highlighting along the edges. This gives it a spark of personality without being too over the top. Overall, the gadget bag measures 26 x 21 x 6cm (10.4 x 8.5 x 2.6″).

Three Bags in One, Sort Of

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Calling this the Gadget Bag is a bit of misnomer, because it really consists of three semi-separate bags. The largest bag sits to the rear and it measures 26 x 21 x 3cm, giving you enough room for some of your slightly larger items.

Zippered to the front of this larger bag are a pair of front pockets. These front pockets, measuring 13 x 19 x 2cm each, can actually be removed completely from the main bag. All three components take on an identical design style, featuring a mainly black color scheme accented by orange highlights.

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If you’d prefer to use the three main compartments separately, you can do so. However, the Proporta Gadget Bag is designed to work mostly as one cohesive unit. It won’t be big enough to handle a netbook, but it seems like the largest compartment might have enough room for an Amazon Kindle. Smaller items, like chargers and other little peripherals, will have no trouble fitting in the front pockets.

Easy Access to Pockets

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Rather than acting as a larger bag that happens to have a few extra pouches and compartments, the Proporta Gadget Bag has kept things relatively simple. As mentioned, each of the three main compartments can be used fairly independently, so you can organize your gear based on three categories for instance.

Accessing the contents of the front two pockets is very easy, thanks to the easily accessible zippered portion. Getting to the stuff in the main larger compartment is just as easy, since the zipper to this is located around the perimeter of the bag, even when the front pockets are still attached.

Internal Damage Still Possible

While the overall build quality and choice of materials is quite good with the Proporta Gadget Bag, I do have a bone to pick with the design. I appreciate the use of three separate compartments for better organization, but there is nothing in terms of additional organization within any of these compartments.

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I suppose this is acceptable for the two front pockets, but it would have been nice to see a little more going on inside the bigger main bag. You get a little packet that attaches via Velcro on the inside, as well as a small bungee-style strap, but that’s about it. As a gadget bag, it would have been nice if Proporta had little slots designed for SD cards, for example. The availability of some inner pockets may have been nice too.

Because there isn’t any real separation inside each compartment, you can still withstand some damage to your various mobile devices. They’re protected from the outside with the soft inner lining and the seemingly water resistant casing, but they’re not protected from each other. As your sharp iPod shuffle scuffs up against the lens of your Flip Ultra, that lens might get scratched.

Cable Pass-Throughs for Headphones and More

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All three of the main compartments, as well as the small pouch that attaches to the inside of the biggest compartment, come with small plastic apertures. These give a little bit of exposure to the elements, but it means that you can easily pass headphone and charging cables through the bags without opening them completely.

If you’re traveling and want to listen to some tunes, you can keep your iPod or Zune inside the Proporta Gadget Bag and simply feed the earphone cord through the plastic aperture pass-through. The pass-through is also handy in tandem with a portable power pack, since you can keep charging with either the target device or the power pack inside the Gadget Bag.

Conclusion

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I can definitely appreciate the value that can be offered with the Proporta Gadget Bag. Even if your chosen laptop bag or backpack comes with a series of organizing pockets, they may not be enough to properly organize your numerous chargers, cables, and other peripheral electronic devices. This is especially true if you want to toss this stuff into checked luggage.

The padded lining provides a little bit of protection from bumps and bruises, while the plastic apertures make for a very convenient pass-through for headphones and other cables. The semi-separate yet connected nature of the three main bags (plus the extra pouch inside) is also good for organization.

However, the lack of further organization within each of the three compartments could be improved. Even though shoulder straps and the associated loops are provided, I wouldn’t use the Proporta Gadget Bag as a standalone product. I think it’s a little too purse-like for my tastes, but it could be a valued addition to your arsenal of mobile office equipment.

The Good

  • Durable materials should withstand mild weather conditions
  • Modular-like design appears to be versatile
  • Aperture pass-throughs for cables

The Bad

  • Lack of additional organizational pockets on the inside
  • Reattaching the front pockets can be finicky
  • Additional color schemes would be nice

The Verdict: 7.5/10

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

r4i firmware November 29, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Chances are you carry quite a few bits and bobs on a daily basis. As a self-confessed geek, I carry (in no particular order) an iPod, a pair of headphones for the iPod, a wallet, a Nintendo’s Lite, a mobile phone, a hands free kit for the mobile phone, some form of portable charging device for both the iPod and mobile phone, car keys, house keys, a book, a notepad… the list goes on.

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ps4 December 12, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Wow – isn’t technology great? That thing looks awesome!

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