At some point in life most of us, tech fans, have been on a quest to find the perfect carrying device. Backpacks, messenger bags, or others. Myself, I have been looking for one for quite some time, and believe me when I say that now I am a proud owner of… a bad storage. Which reminds me, I really need to do an eBay sell out… anyway. Have I finally found one with Buddi? Let’s see.
Bags by Black is a new kid on the block. Originating from Johannesburg where they were designed by Vivienne Black, they have a UK base in Cheshire. We met them at the Gadget Show Live 2016, where they had their brand launch. Exciting!
Currently they offer couple ranges of products. A backpack called Buddi, and a bag Lexi. I had a pleasure of testing the Buddi bag, so let’s focus on that.
Buddi comes in seven different colours, and in looks reminds me of the early 2000’s sling backpacks. In fact, the design is exactly that only revisited. Nothing wrong with that. One feature which stands out straight away, are the straps. There are two straps which making Buddi more secure on your back. To be perfectly honest, I find them very useful when I cycle, but not so much when walking. I usually hide away the straps in little side pockets, and then I can use the sling backpack exactly as that. A sling backpack. When cycling though, these little straps are awesome. At first it takes a little “hmm… where do I plug this” moment, but after a while, the backpack is nicely secured on the back, and what’s most important – it doesn’t budge from that position. Well done.
In the backpack itself, we have a wide selection on pockets and compartments.
Largest section takes a laptop, up to 15.6” in size, with a place for a tablet (or a book and or magazine) right next to it followed by some general space.
Next chamber, has plethora of compartments, a key lock and placements for pens and such. I could fit in there my whole mobile office and still some.
Then on the front of the Buddi, we have a generic space for quick access, and a smaller compartment for something smaller, like change or tickets.
The front main strap has a place for a phone, and I managed to pack in there my Nexus 5X or Huawei P9, but I can see how this could struggle with a larger phone. I suppose you could fit it in there, but there is a lack of a secure strap to make sure the phone doesn’t fall out whilst cycling, or someone just doesn’t take it out when you’re in crowded situation.
The backpack fits nicely on the back, and with help of some padding, distributes the weight evenly, which is very helpful. I’ve managed to pack in my Macbook Pro 13”, Kyptonite bike lock, Fuji X-T1 with 27mm lens, spare T-shirt, couple notepads, bottle of water, phone, wallet, keys and a massive A4 size hard cover book, and all that was surprisingly not that much of an issue to carry. Could still fit in some extra bits if I had to.
On the camera note though. I do try to take my Fuji with me everywhere I go, which is part of a reason why I was looking for a perfect backpack for so long. Whilst I can easily fit the camera in the Buddi, I would prefer if it had some dedicated, padded compartment. A lot of street photographers don’t carry DSLR type of camera, but a small, inconspicuous mirrorless one, and we do not need super large amount of space. Yet something to protect that camera from other bits and pieces flying around would be nice.
All in all, there’s no denying. Buddi from Bags by Black is a must have accessory for anybody who leaves the house. Sure, it could probably do with couple changes in V2, but these are just my wishes. For it’s current itteration, it’s doing what it’s supposed to do, and it’s doing it very well.
Also worth mentioning – the price! At the time of writing it’s only £35 with free shipping in UK! Now that’s kind of difficult to beat.