What's in Andrew's bag: All the gadgets I need every day
Whether I'm just stepping out of the house for a few hours during the week or heading on a several-day trip, I want to be prepared for anything that comes my way. That means having a bag that's filled with tech and accessories that help keep everything in my life running smoothly, and make sure I can also do my job on the road just as well as I do back at home. With how much I travel, I don't have patience for low-quality or compromised gear; this is everything that I've picked to carry with me with years of real-world use to draw on.
The bag itself
Peak Design has changed my travel game, taking me away from a shoulder-wrecking messenger bag. The Everyday Backapack fits all of my gear neatly organized, with foldable velcro dividers and an array of pockets that are customizable for the day's needs. Full-zipper side access panels and tons of little features make it extremely practical.
Keep it organized
I carry tons of little accessories, batteries, chargers, cables and dongles in my bag, and the only way to keep it all organized and sane is to use these little mesh bags. Different sizes and colors let you find things at a glance, and you'll never go searching for something at the bottom of your backpack ever again.
Noise cancelling all day
Bose is still the winner for my noise cancelling headphones needs. They don't have world-beating sound quality or stunning design, but that's not hte point — the noise cancellation is amazing, battery life is long, and they're incredibly light and comfortable for hours of listening every single day.
Power for everything
With a USB-C laptop, carrying a big Power Delivery battery is a must. Mophie gets the job done with 26,000mAh of capacity, and 45W USB-C PD output to recharge my MacBook Pro rather quickly. Plus, it has an extra USB-A port to fill up a phone at the same time. And the robust design takes a beating without looking worse for wear.
I can't stand the MacBook Pro's useless TouchBar, and my keyboard has failed three times ... but I'm just not ready to leave macOS behind. So I use my MacBook Pro 13, and it's overall still a great machine. It's stable, battery life is good, the screen is great and it gives me access to my preferred operating system.
Long strong cables
You'll never find me leaving the house without a couple good USB cables. And when you need to recharge, the last thing you want is a cable that's too short. These 6-footers are great to deploy anytime, and they have a velcro cable tie to shorten up when you don't need all of that length.
A serious camera
I typically rely on my phone(s) for photos, but whenever I want to step the quality way up I toss my Olympus in the bag. It's compact enough to not burden your backpack, but produces great photos. I prefer the OM-D E-M5, but it's been discontinued — so the E-M10 is a good stand-in in this value-focused mirrorless segment.
Simple powerful charger
When I'm traveling for a long period I'll bring a bigger charger along with my dedicated MacBook charger, but for an everyday carry, I have this Anker two-port wall plug. Its USB-C port puts out 45W, which is plenty for my laptop or phone, and the extra USB-A port lets me charge whatever secondary device I need to while I'm out of the house.
I love my QC35 headphones, but sometimes I need something smaller and simpler — that's where the Galaxy Buds come in. They sit in my backpack at all times for when I don't need the big headphones, and they're even small enough to slide into a pants pocket. The sound quality is good, and the battery life is solid for true wireless earbuds.
A small battery, too
I typically keep the big Powerstation 3XL in my bag because it can charge everything I carry, but it's large and heavy and massively overkill just to charge a phone — that's where the compact Powerstation PD XL comes in. This little 10,500mAh battery has USB-C PD and USB-A in a tiny package that's easy to slip in a pocket on the go.
When I need a mouse
I'm adept with the MacBook Pro's excellent track pad, but when I'm getting set up for a longer session or need to do some precision work in Lightroom, sometimes I prefer a Bluetooth mouse. The Anywhere 2S is compact and light, with "never think about it" battery life and the Logitech quality you expect from all of its peripherals.
Think you drink enough water? You're wrong. Drink more. The best way to guarantee you're drinking enough water is to have a bottle with you as often as possible. Hydro Flask is one of many brands making these great vacuum-insulated bottles that keep liquids cold (or hot) all day. Go through a few of these a day, at a minimum.
Yup, I carry a lot
If that seems like a lot of gear to carry on a regular basis, you're right — it really is. But I don't carry it all every single time I head out; some things are locked in every time, but others are for specific use-cases.
I'm guaranteed to be carrying my Peak Design Everyday Backpack, with my MacBook Pro 13, Anker wall charger, Aukey cables and Mophie Powerstation battery inside no matter what, plus my Bose QC35 headphones on my head. But everything else is situational — my needs for photography, recharging devices and getting work done demand different accessories, and I pack for the day as needed.
Regardless of the exact equipment list in my bag on any given day, one thing that remains constant is that I can look to and rely on all of the gear here — it's what I use and trust the most.
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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.