This is probably the most unique messenger bag you will ever see. The Platforma Convertible Messenger Bag for iPad from Strotter won an Editor’s Choice Award at Macworld/iWorld 2013. It holds your stuff, including your iPad, but it will also turn into a mobile desk anywhere, any time in just a few seconds.
Platforma Convertible iPad Messenger Bag
You can wear it as a bag or as a backpack. The flap, gusset, piping and details are full grain leather. The rest is high density nylon with red soft nylon lining. It is water resistant and measures 12 x 9 x 2.75-in.
There are two diagonal quick access flap pockets with waterproof zippers, two front wall pockets with waterproof zippers, one inside open pocket for a tablet, and a magazine-size pocket on the back side. The hardware is polished metal, the flap closure is magnetic. The strap can be adjusted with one hand and it converts into a sling-type backpack in a few seconds.
View of access flap pockets
View of hardware
The iPad attaches to the back wall of the bag via a polycarbonate snap-on cover(case) with four magnets. The snap-on case is compatible with the Apple Smart Cover.
To convert the bag to a mobile desk you adjust the length of the shoulder strap (a one handed process), flip the case over, place the iPad in the snap-on case on the back side of the case where it is held in place by strong magnets, and start using it. When you are finished, reverse the process and continue on your way. This is a somewhat difficult process to describe, but fortunately there is a video that proves the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Using the Platforma
Using the product
Since I discovered the Platforma at Macworld, I had ample opportunity to observe numerous people of all heights and sizes using it. Everyone found it to be comfortable and easy to use. Those who were concerned about the security of the magnet system very quickly had their fears set to rest.
Giving it a more thorough test on home ground, I found it to be equally easy to use. I particularly appreciated the ability to adjust the strap length since I am very short. The strap adjustment feature is really quite clever and actually can be done with one hand. The case provides a solid surface for a mobile desk. Although the work station is certainly not as stable as a standard desk, it is very workable. Had I a job that required me to move from place to place recording information, I would definitely want one of these to assist me on my job.
Do I recommend it?
I do. Anyone who frequently finds themselves away from their desk, with no work space available, will love this bag. It will work equally well without the strap on a long commute when there is no stable typing surface available. It is well designed, attractive, and as an extra bonus, the snap-on case lets the user attach their iPad to a fridge door.