Vaya Bags Recycled Bike Tube Laptop Bag
Vaya Bags, www.vayabags.com
Thin and light; made from recycled and waterproof materials
Front pouch not waterproof; no padding for protection
US$99 + shipping
Vaya Bags’ US$99 Laptop Bag is, like all of Vaya’s products, made from recycled materials – in this case, recycled bike tubes. Vaya Bags prides itself on reusing and recycling materials that are already weather resistant, such as canvas scrap from sailboat factories. The Bike Tube Laptop bag is a great everyday bag for carrying your laptop and tablet while commuting, but like everything else in this world, it isn’t perfect.
This particular laptop bag is available in both a 15in and 13in version, optimised for 15in and 13in MacBook Pros, respectively. We tested out the 13in version of the bag which has overall dimensions of 38 by 28 by 5cm for the main compartment, and a front pocket which measures 25.5 by 16.5cm. Despite it’s petite proportions, it fit our 13in laptop (along with an iPad) quite nicely. There was even a bit of room left over for the charger, leaving the front pouch free for our miscellaneous items.
It’s (mostly) waterproof
The pouch on the front of the bag is surprisingly capable at carrying around all the random bits we like to keep handy. Things like thumb drives, pens, sunglasses, and adapters all fit nicely without making a big bulge. Yet it should be noted while the main section of the bag is waterproof, the front pocket is constructed from a different material – and the risk of water getting into the front pouch made us think twice at times about what we put inside it.
The bag is pretty slim, being more akin to a laptop sleeve than a full-sized messenger bag, but it’s versatile enough to be used for non-laptop carrying when needed. When we took it to the store to get a bit of food, it fared pretty well. Granted, we weren’t going to be able to get a baguette in it, but we avoided needing a plastic bag from the store – which was our goal. If you’re thinking about taking it to class, you probably won’t be able to fit any large sized textbooks alongside your laptop but a notebook might work.
While the waterproof material does well to protect your electronics from the elements, there isn’t much in the way of shock protection. The bag is two layers thick, with recycled inner tubes making up the outer layer and a durable canvas lining the inside. While rain won’t ruin your day, dropping the bag or getting knocked off your bicycle might cause some damage to the items inside as there’s no real padding to speak of. That being said, Vaya does custom make bags, so it’s likely they could add some if you wanted.
Overall, the Recycled Bike Tube Laptop Bag is a good, light bag that will protect your gear from the rain, and is capable enough to carry various odds and ends as well. However, despite its solid construction, it’s not going to be able to carry all of your books, nor is it lined enough to protect against impacts. Also, the canvas material on the front pocket could prove to be an Achilles’ heel – you probably wouldn’t want to put your phone in there and then run out into the rain to catch the bus.