I'm a bag geek. Bags make up a big part of my lifestyle. When I'm in town, I commute by bike with a courier bag. When I'm on the road, I commute by plane with a carry-on bag. I'm also a gear geek, so I need bags that let me carry all my gear. So when I saw the M-Audio Studio Pack at a recent trade-show for gear geeks, I knew I had to have one. The pack was designed to hold gear-specifically: Mac G4 laptop, Oxygen 8 MIDI keyboard, USB audio interface, mouse, headphones, CDs, mobile phone, PDA, cables. I own a G4 laptop, and it indeed fits well and is well-cradled. On the other hand, I don't own an Oxygen 8; so when I'm on the road, I use the Oxygen 8 pocket for two days worth of clothing. The rest of the pockets come in handy for all the geeky gadgets and supporting paraphernalia that I carry. The pack's zippers, clip points, and other hardware are of the highest quality, and the stitching is pretty much bombproof. The contoured backpack straps can be stowed away into a pocket if you need to check the bag on an airline flight. A removable shoulder strap lets you carry the bag on one shoulder. Where your butt touches the backpack is a business-card flap; it's hidden when you're wearing the bag but visible when the bag is off. Despite its cavernous interior and its foam-lined, semi-rigid exterior, the pack fits perfectly in the unusually cramped area below the window seats of the Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft flown by USAir Shuttle. (Fellow frequent flyers will appreciate this.) Furthermore, the pockets and flaps are configured so it's easy for me to pull out my laptop, my travel mouse, and my inflight power supply without having to slide the pack out from underneath the seat-a well thought-out bonus! Caveats? I wish it had a sternum strap to increase stability when biking. And too bad the interior divider in the main compartment can't be moved-as with "real" laptop bags-to better accommodate smaller computers; the G4 is quite a cinder-block, so I travel with a much smaller laptop. But these are small gripes when you think about all the smart engineering that went into this bag. I know a few road warriors like me who could use this exact bag! (MSRP $89.99, www.m-audio.com)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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