Bags now do everything, including charging your iDevice

Check out our recap of the urban bags that debuted at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Aug. 2-5. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

This SNEWS Outdoor Retailer Summer Market recap is brought to you by Cordura:

The reality is all of your customers are out on the mountain every single hour of the day. They travel. They ride the bus, or bike to work. They carry stuff — lots of stuff — and they need a bag that’s appropriate for the office.

So no surprise, a plethora of companies are offering multifunctional, spacious lifestyle bags for every customer — from the technology-addicted, power-hungry mobile media savants to those looking to fit everything they need for their daily routine.

One of the biggest stories is bags that incorporate a small power source to charge iPhones, iPads and other USB-enabled devices such as the new Power series from Timbuk2.

The Power Commute (MSRP $199, photo, right) comes with a Joey power pack that fits easily into its own custom pocket and has escape holes for the cords that can separately charge your iDevice and another that charges the Joey power pack. The power pack is designed to charge your device as fast as possible, and even if it’s only plugged in for a few minutes (as this SNEWS reporter discovered), it gives your device enough juice to get through the rest of the day.

The Timbuk2 products (the other of which is the Power Q Backpack) are not gender-specific, so we found a flashy women’s option over in the New Exhibitor Pavilion of a similar product. Urban Junket also has a bag with a Joey power pack that can charge a cell phone or iPad in its Power Trips collection, including the JB Powered Laptop Tote.

Patterns from different cultures are trending everywhere in fashion right now, and thanks to Ethnotek bags, those patterns are now part of outdoor lifestyle bags. But Ethnotek doesn’t rely on generic designs by random designers, rather it focuses on contracting actual artisans from other countries to make what the company calls the Thread, the interchangeable front panel for its products, which include the most popular Wayu Pack (MSRP $129).

On the women’s lifestyle bag side, there are many simple, colorful offerings with subtle prints. Sharon Eisenhauer, founder and owner of Haiku, recently traveled to Bhutan and was inspired by the murals she saw, several of which included a cloud motif. Eisenhauer’s Spring ‘13 line includes vibrant colors with embroidered clouds of every color, except black.

“I figured black clouds weren’t very happy,” Eisenhauer said. But the clouds bring a little happiness to the products in tangerine, stone green and raspberry, including the new Gym/Weekender duffle-style bag (MSRP $163), the Vertical Tote (MSRP $108) and the popular Bucket Bag (MSRP $78). Plus, Haiku continued its interest in bicycle bags with the Saddle Wallet (MSRP $59), a small wallet that fits on the handlebars of a cruiser of a bike.

Classic also seems to be back with Ellington’s vintage Italian leather Charlie Collection, which includes the Charlie Tote, a bucket-bag style bag (MSRP $289) and the Charlie Messenger (MSRP $259).

At OverLand Equipment, the company shrunk down one of its best-selling pieces, the Donner, to create the Isabella (MSRP $50). The Isabella has everything the Donner has except the two side water bottle pockets. It includes a cell phone sleeve and an oversize stash pocket. The side pocket has multiple compartments for a cell phone, chapstick and even enough space to store your snacks.

Another company offering classic, timeless options is Lilypond, which has the Magnolia (MSRP $79) with a 100 percent recycled CyclePond exterior fabric, a molded bottom, two side compartments and two interior zippered pockets.

Women also want to have that fun bag and that’s where O Loves M and Sherpani come in.

Merle O’Brien of O Loves M has developed a few new styles for Spring ’13. The hobo-style Holly (MSRP $54), the clutch-style Annie (MSRP $38) and the new Merle O zippered tote (MSRP $40) all come in vibrant colors with O’Brien’s signature yoga mat base.

Sherpani never disappoints outdoor ladies with their classic pieces in its three different lines, and their revamped Moda Sport line, which ditched its signature nylon for a cotton blend that’s a bit softer and more feminine. Its Mia backpack (MSRP $70) is a must-have for active women that can easily go from the gym to the work place.

--Ana Trujillo

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