Insights :: Nomad Travel Bag

by , February 14, 2013
Whether you travel for business or pleasure, there’s no denying that a good travel bag goes a long way to making your journey as convenient as possible. Since we know many of our readers travel a lot, we’re always keen to share interesting new discoveries in the travel carry category as we become aware of them. One such recent discovery is the Nomad Travel Bag, created for Mandarina Duck by designer Daniel Valsesia. Valsesia’s design experience extends to the likes of softgoods, luggage and business bags. We got some insight from the designer himself on the origins of the Nomad Travel Bag…
This project started because I wanted to create something that could be substituted for cabin-size wheeled luggage. I think there are a lot of people that don’t like using wheeled luggage because that method of carry is noisy (wheels rolling along the ground are noisy), plus it’s far from your body (when you travel, you want to keep your bag as close as possible). Also in terms of style, it can be difficult to easily match such luggage with your clothing style.
I think people can travel easily with the Nomad. It takes up the same amount of space as cabin-size luggage allowances and it’s easy to carry in all situations, from indoor to offroad environments. This bag also has a big expansion system in the back that doubles the volume.
There are two separate compartments that can hold different kinds of stuff. The bag offers internal organization for the likes of computer cables and other small items. In addition, elastic straps keep your clothes orderly and compression straps enable you to compress or enlarge the bag as required.
If you’re into handles you’re spoiled for choice with this bag, as there’s a handle on almost every side. The material  used for this bag is synthetic leather to make this product accessible to more people (with real leather the cost would grow too much!).
It’s important to note we haven’t tested this bag ourselves (it would be cool to get comments from anyone who has though) but it appears to offer some nice versatility, both in style and use. The accessibility options look good, with the front (or top, depending on how you look at it) two zips for quick-access items and the clamshell design of the main compartment for other items. Strap end retainers keep things looking tidy, and the numerous handles in combination with the shoulder straps provide flexible portability. Plus the Nomad has a backpack/duffel design that can transition from everyday use to travel use, with a casual-chic vibe that is suitable for business or leisure use.
The lack of a padded laptop/tech item pocket is a potential drawback, although you could overcome this by storing your tech gear in protective sleeves. A chest strap addition could also be useful, especially when dashing to catch a plane or train with a heavy load on your back (or just for general use when you’re lugging a lot of stuff around). Overall though, the Nomad Travel Bag looks like a stylish, solid addition to the world of travel carry.

  • Marc

    The bag looks very nice in my opinion but i would at least like to have the option to have wheels…

    i don´t think that the argument that they make noise is so important. there are lots of wheels that, depending on the ground, don´t even make noise (especially not compared to the environment noise on, for example, an airport).

    besides that i like the bag!

  • Daniel Valsesia

    Thank you Marc for your comment, I like know every point of view :-)
    I think that there are many backpack/duffle bag that can be good sobstitute of carry on trolley, my project is one of this. With wheels, besides noise, you’ll loose some space inside ( especially for trolley tubes) and more heavy. I think that every one can choose with or without wheels, personally I like travel for busines of leasure with large backpack, I feel safer and faster in the transfers.

  • Curtis

    Are the backpack straps concealable and is possible to use a shoulder strap? Do you plan to use a different lighter fabric (like cordura)?
    The bag looks very nice.

  • Daniel Valsesia

    Hi Curtis,
    yes, the backpack straps are concealable, but there isn’t removable shoulder strap. You can canceal 1 strap and use the other as duffle’s strap .
    I taken picture to explane you the way
    But finally , with backpack straps it’s more confortable and easy

  • Marty

    This looks really good.
    I really dislike wheeled bags, I just find they add an extra weight that doesn’t balance any extra convenience for me.

    So anything in this form factor I like to see. Things that are a better thought out bag, not just a backpack or a duffel bag.

    I would wonder on the synthetic leather front about its robustness. If this were to be a regularly used travelling bag they it’d be chucked around, put through x-ray machines, shoved under seats and everything like that. I’ve had some synthetic leather stuff in the past that’s not handled the rough life well.

  • Daniel Valsesia

    Hi Marty,
    I think that synthetic leather improved a lot performace and look ( very similar to the real one) in the last years. With this kind of material the bag looks good and in terms of durabilty, is ok for leathergood products. For next season I’m looking for new kind of fabric , in the past , for this kind of bag I tryed coated nylon , similar to Freitag ( but new and without any print ) , looks good also with that ;)

  • RL

    Is this avail yet?

  • Daniel Valsesia

    Soon in the shops

    • RL

      Any particular shops in the US/NYC?

  • Daniel Valsesia

    I think that there is Mandarina’s US distributor but sincerly I don’t know where you can buy in NY.
    For sure, when this bag will be avaiable you can buy it from Mandarina Duck Online shop

  • Theresa

    It looks like the compression straps stop short of the expansion zipper. How do you stop the bag from sagging when the zipper is open?

    • Daniel Valsesia

      Hi Theresa,
      compression straps are only in the front compartment and expansion zipper in the back. They don’t works togheter.
      I used this bag many times fully charged with open expansion zipper and right now without any problems ;-)

  • Rs

    Thx for the info. One last ?: any idea of availability timeframe

    • Daniel Valsesia

      Good news! maybe tomorrow will be avaible from Mandarina’s online shop ;-)
      Also for US market

  • David Bloom

    Nice looking bag. My suggestions would relate to constructiom, 1) ABS or some kind of Poly stay frame for lower chamber & 2) does expansion zipper chamber push the bag over dimensions for carry on size.

  • Jg

    Really nice bag!! I like the idea of it being cabin-size minus the wheels. All the handle options could be very convenient! I’d love to own this bag only if it was another material other than synthetic leather; it’s not that I don’t like it, but I’d rather have this bag in some kind of durable canvas material or coated nylon, that way I could choose a color rather than having only one option of black…

  • Daniel Valsesia

    For next seasion I’m looking for new material ( fabric) , also with some new bright colors. Right now this bag it’s avaible in black and brown

  • Jg

    I guess I’ll have to wait a year for different colors and material, but I won’t be able to resist owning this one!!

  • Daniel Valsesia

    Now you can buy it.
    Here, for US customers :
    You can choose also all other countries

  • Matteo

    I spent more than one day looking for the right bag for my next travell,
    this looks very nice… and now I’m uncertain.
    My questions are:
    The back exhibited zip is dangerous.

  • Daniel Valsesia

    Thank you Matteo for your interest! Capacity is similar as cabin size trolley, not totally waterproof but , for sure this kind of material can resist under the rain more then a lot of normal fabrics .
    I used this bag for many and many trips with open zipper in the back and never had any problems ;-)

    • Matteo

      Thank you Daniel for your reply.
      Yes, I’m looking for cabin size bags.

      Therefore ~ 40 l, I suppose.

      I’d like to see more pics from the Mandarina website,
      for example how it looks with one concealable strap in detail…

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