Brooks Pickwick Review

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Tue 2015/04/21 15:37 JST in Gadgets
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before but I'm a bit of a bag otaku - I love bags! I think I like them because they help keep my stuff organized and the better the bag I find - the more productivity I will gain. Or at least thats the excuse I give my wife.
Today I'm going to review my latest bag that I've been using for the past year - the Brooks Pickwick Backpack.
I got mine from a cycling shop back in the UK near Liverpool Street Station (forgot the name of the shop) and remember it costing about 200 pounds at the time. The price varies a lot online as you can see from this Google Search.
I really liked the simplistic design and color which was worth trying to convince wifey to let me get it - we ended up agreeing that it would be her bag and that she was to let me use it ^^
At first I used it a lot when out n about on my Itachari roadbike.
These days however I'm usually using it with my skateboard.
And this is what the Pickwick looks like just over a year of use - bruised n battered ^^
There was one major problem with the Pickwick - when there is hardly anything in it - it goes all droopy.
I fixed this problem by getting some sheet plastic from Tokyu Hands in Shibuya. If you got a droopy bag and want to fix it then you can probably get some from your Home Depot etc.
All you need to do is cut the sheet plastic to a size that fits inside your bag - make sure it over wraps like this.
Now that the plastic sheet is inside the Pickwick, I've not only made sure the bag doesn't droop when half empty, but I've also made new compartments outside the sheet and inside of the wall of the bag which I use to put my Mac and documents.
Now the Pickwick is nice n puff even when nothing is inside and good enough for Mirai Smart Doll to lean on.
Looks like Kizuna is leaning back a bit to much ^^
The main reason why I came up with this idea was because I had the need to carry about my Smart Doll girls but wanted to have a way to also carry my laptop and other bits n pieces. I didn't like to have to pull everything out of my bag just to take Mirai or Kizuna out (first world problems.)
This is how a Smart Doll would fit inside. Good thing they have a chest big enough to prevent their face from rubbing on the inside of the bag.
Mirai and Kizuna are usually unruffled at the end of a journey with this new setup.
Infact I can fit in both Mirai and Kizuna at the same time.
My Mac would be slotted into the Pickwick outside the plastic sheet which means that it stays put when after removing Mirai or Kizuna.
Two simple pockets on the inside for bits n pieces.
The Pickwick has a compartment at the bottom of the bag which looks small...
...but is big enough to fit a camera lens.
Side pocket reaches the other end of the bag.
The hook design keeps the top secure while at the same time making it easy enough to open.
And this is my typical carry. I loathe my brown wallet but am only carrying it around so that I can experience how inconvenient it is - there is hardly anything in it and yet is as thick as 20 telephone books.
The reason I've been testing out many wallets like this one is because I'm designing my own line of wallets. There are many wallets out there that market themselves as being "thin" but none of the ones I've inspected seem practical. I want to make something that is not only practical for everyday use but thin at the same time.
The orange box with Mirai on it is the Moekana and Moekanji cases which I use to keep my business cards in.
The black rectangular thing with the red label I stuck on it is the Seagate Backup Plus Fast 4TB Portable External Hard Drive - its so good I bought 3 already. It's USB3 and works without an external power source.
The Mirai Suenaga Smart Doll brolley is in the top right corner and will be released soon.
Camera is the Sony A7 II with the Vario-Tessar T* FE 4/24-70 ZA.
What does your daily carry look like? If you post a link to a HD sized photo (1920 x 1080px) with an explanation of whats inside - and if I get enough submissions then I'll do a post showing everybody your goodies.
This is what the Pickwick looks like in action.
A view from the back - I've not buttoned up the top which you should do especially when it rains. The outside of the bag however is water resistant and looks like its been coated with something.
This is what it looks like from the front when worn. The dangly strap attaches to the other side for when you are climbing a tall building or jumping off an elephant onto a speeding kangaroo.
Now I'd like to show you just one of the smart things about Smart Doll - all Smart Dolls come with jeans with belt loops at the back - stick a carabiner through the back loop...
...hook the carabiner to the strap of your back pack/ruck sack or even loops that you may have on your jacket...
...and now you have a convenient way of carrying around a Smart Doll which leaves your hands free to pick your nose and ear at the same time - extremely handy when out n about.
This is just one of the ways which shows you how Smart Doll was specifically designed for the outdoors - all the other points are written up on the revamped Smart Doll website.
Here are some other bags which I've been using over the past 17 years or so. The most recent of this bunch was the red cote&ciel - I didn't really use it for too long as a Smart Doll was difficult to put in (more first world problems). I got it for about 22000 yen but if you can have it for 10000 yen if you are willing to pick it up from my Gotanda office.
The Jack Spade messenger bag cost about the same but I don't use it anymore either - if carrying something heavy, the weight will be placed on one side of the body but for my spinal hernia I found that a backpack with distributed weight across both shoulders worked better for me. If you want it then its yours for 10000 yen - although I did get a huge Mirai in her Solar Marine uniform printed on it.
One of the things about bags is that there is usually always something niggling about them. Many of them seem to be designed by people who do so because they *have* to as part of a job rather than because they want to make something that they would use themselves.
So far the Pickwick has been fine in this area especially as I can carry around my Mac and Smart Dolls without them interfering with each other. If I was to change anything then I would probably put two pockets on the front of the bag for items that I want to get quick access too. The pockets on the side and bottom have a waterproof seal and require a bit of a tug before they open.
Mirai enjoys being carried in the Pickwick. I've been wondering if I could improve upon the current Smart Doll packaging by making it into a tote bag instead of it being coated paper.
How many of you are a bag otaku? If you like bags then you can check out a review by my colleague of the nile feldspath rucksack and check the bag blog Carryology.