Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Buyer's Remorse

I purchase a lot of stuff online and I have had a very good record so far. But I now have made a purchase that just did not live up to my expectations.

After a lot of research and reading reviews I made my choice. It was a very expensive choice but it had all the features I wanted and was a hundred dollars cheaper than the closest comparable alternative.

I had plans to check out the model in a store just to be sure it would work but ended up skipping that step. Oops!

The rolling camera bag/latop case looked very large when I took it out of the shipping box and it looked like the industrial size bag was going to be perfect. But, I was very quickly disappointed by how quickly I used up all of the avaiable space.

Since the primary storage area is intended for an SLR camera, lenses and accessories, there is a lot of extra padding and dividers. This is a good thing. Since I only own a few lenses, I thought this would be an excellent solution for organizing and storing all of my laptop accessories too.

But there just was not enough space, especailly since I have to carry TWO (2) laptops and all their stuff! The hardware for the handle and wheels takes up a lot of space too. The main thing I was missing was a logical location for the items that I need quick access to while on the plane. My MP3 player, noise-cancellation headphones, book/magazines, cell-phone, ID badges, keys, etc have no place to reside that is convenient.

Also, since I have TWO (2) laptops, the whole security screening process at the airports is a BIG deal for me. I need to be able to remove the TWO (2) laptops for their fun-filled ride through the X-ray machine then replace them in the bag in a fairly hassle-free manner. Since the only place I found for my headphones and book was on top of the laptops, it was quite a chore trying to make it through without spilling my stuff everywhere as I juggled everything.

Next disappointment, the single t-bar handle. Besides being a little bit unstable, since it is a single bar, I was not able to place a smaller bag on the roller bag for a ride-along. I am totally sold on the roller bag concept though. Not having the weight of two laptops/power adapters/accessories on my shoulders was heaven.

Access to the camera compartment (and therefore all of my laptop accessories) was hindered by two 'bat-wing' compression straps. It was a major pain to have to unclip them everytime I needed more than a three inch opening. I could not even get my SLR out without unclipping and it is at the very 'top'.

My smaller lens kept launching itself out of the bag. This was more likely my fault for putting it the 'top' of the bag, but it seemed like the perfect spot at the time I was loading everything.

So, we are boarding the plane and I am way in the back and therefore one of the first people on the plane. I get to my seat, unzip the bag, remove my headphones, MP3 player and book and toss them on my seat. I zip up the bag and heave it over my head to be suddenly halted by the miniscule overhead compartment not accepting my behemoth bag. After a couple of tries of removing items and re-arranging, I finally had a plastic bag (politely offered by the flight attendant) full of stuff, including one of the laptops! A fair bit of strong encouragment and the bag finally squished into the compartment. UGH! Flying home I actually packed one of the laptops into my check-in bag just to avoid the hassle!

I spent Saturday shopping around in Irving, TX for alternatives at various stores. I almost bought what I think will be my solution but I wasn't sure how to get everything home easily. I seriously thought about shipping the behometh home in a box.

I had such high expectations that the Lowepro Rolling CompuTrekker Plus AW was going to make my travels so much easier. Blast! Anyway, now I need to figure out what the return policy is on this beast (I'm not very hopeful - Ebay!) and find a place to buy my new rolling computer bag (and separate camera bag).

Hopefully I will be able to recover from this blemish on my record.

Comments on "Buyer's Remorse"


Blogger Tara said ... (Wednesday, July 19, 2006 9:24:00 AM) : 

what kind of noise cancellation headphones are you using?


Blogger erinannie said ... (Wednesday, July 19, 2006 9:56:00 AM) : 

May I humbly suggest-

Works great for me. I'm a true wimp. I actually pack my regular briefcase (with laptop enclosed), put it inside this thing, and still have room for my shoes and a change of clothes.


Blogger Shaka said ... (Wednesday, July 19, 2006 2:13:00 PM) : 

My headphones are Cheap (~$40) compared to some! I think they are Phillips or Panasonic and are the full ear type.

I got them a couple of years ago when there were very few choices. Now lots of companies are making noise-cancelling versions.

The full ear design cuts out a lot of noise on its own which is nice when the battery dies. The active noise cancellation works fairly well I guess.

I would love to try out the Bose, but I don't see myself paying $300 for headphones anytime soon though.


Blogger Shaka said ... (Wednesday, July 19, 2006 2:15:00 PM) : 

Thanks for the input Erin. Your link didn't work, but I assume you are refering to the wheeled carry-on bag. It is definitely a possibility.


Blogger Tara said ... (Wednesday, July 19, 2006 8:38:00 PM) : 

i just paid 200. lol. that's why i was curious:)


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