I’ll be writing more for my day job, so it can be tough to remember that I want to produce content specifically for His Dork Materials as well. I want to try and ramp this up over the coming weeks and post more of my own unique content on this site, and actually writing that on a publicly available post is my way of urging myself to actually follow through.
In the meantime, however, I thought I’d link to some of my Tools & Toys work from the past year or so. It’s stuff that I’ve spent a lot of time planning, and while I don’t want to make my own homepage a giant link list for another site, it’s still work that I’m proud of.
I reviewed a bunch of Peak Design stuff, especially the backpack
My favourite Peak Design product, by a long shot, is the Everyday Backpack. It’s so unbelievably well designed that I’m still delighted to just hold it and use it, even after a year of ownership. It still doesn’t feel “normal” to me yet, especially compared to other bags. This is a modular, flexible camera bag done right, and there’s nothing else quite like it.
I also reviewed the Slide LITE strap, which seemed like the ultimate camera strap when I first laid eyes on it. However, after a bit more time with it, the initial excitement has waned a bit. I worry now and then about the metal hardware scratching my camera unnecessarily, so I’ve since covered them with electrical tape. I also think the strap feels larger than expected because the strap width doesn’t taper near the anchors, so the ends are just as wide as the middle. I do still really appreciate being able to adjust the length from either side of the strap.
Then there’s the Field Pouch. I didn’t expect to like this little pouch as much as I do. I wasn’t very excited when it was announced alongside the Everyday Messenger in 2015. It makes for a great mini bag in a pinch because I can attach my Slide Lite strap to it, but still has enough organization to replace all of the canvas zipper pouches I used before.
I also now own the Peak Design 10L Sling and the second-generation Leash — both of which I’m extremely happy with. I’ll probably review those at some point on this site.
My short-lived Killspencer Briefcase 2.0
There are times when you lust after a bag for a while, and after a few years, you realize there must be a good reason for it and you just make the purchase. This usually turns out well because marketing hype has a chance to distill into genuine interest. However, although I loved the look and feel of Killspencer’s Briefcase 2.0, it never felt like the right bag for me.
A big factor was that my camera didn’t fit nicely in its slim profile, but I think it was also because I was gradually falling out of love with messenger bags in general. They were once my ideal form factor, but there’s just no denying that they have an effect on my back when I load them up with more than just a laptop and charger. The dream was to walk around all day with everything I needed in my messenger, and just have it ready at my side. The reality was that my shoulder would hurt after an hour of wearing the bag with my usual load, and when I insisted on carrying my camera, it would bend the bag out of shape.
I like changing pace and using a messenger every now and then (I’ll use the 2Unfold for that), but I no longer consider it to be the ideal type of bag for everyday usage.
My glowing review of Apple’s BeatsX earphones
I’ve purchased two sets of Bluetooth headphones in the past two years, and only one of them have been worth it. Without a doubt, it’s definitely the cheaper and more convenient BeatsX from Apple.
I was worried that these would feel too cheap or flimsy, but I’ve gone running with them for two months and have used them throughout Toronto’s summer and winter. The battery life isn’t incredible, but they recharge so quickly and easily (via Lightning cable!) that it’s really no big deal. I use these so often that I can often wake up in the morning and realize that I’d never taken them off.
Overall, I much prefer these to the Airpods: they’re easier to wear, easier to charge, and also have passive isolation for public transit.
And that’s it! That’s my little review round-up of the work I’ve done at Tools & Toys over the last year. It was a pleasure writing for them, but I’m happy to be publishing more of my own work on my own site. It feels about time.