Unit Portables laptop bag review.

I know it’s a bit out of topic, but still related to Teenage Engineering, somehow.

Let me tell you first that while I do not own the OP-1 carrying case, I’m an OP-1 owner and I was aware of the Unit Portables brand by that fact. I saw the laptop bag on TE shop site and it caught my interest.

I started school again and I wanted to try the Unit Portables Unit 01. I was able to find a local retailer with a good discount (50%) here in Copenhagen. Let me tell you that it’s a nice bag, like a messenger bag, with the twist of being configurable, as advertised. It’s very comfortable, and looks durable (military style polyester). It comes with Unit 02 and Unit 03, that are the small pockets you see attached on the outside, but they can also be attached inside.

The interior is as practical and minimalist as the exterior. There’s a laptop pocket and on the side you can attach the other smaller Unit Portables pockets.

I also got the iPad bag (Unit 04). However I use it with my Surface Pro. Being the surface a hybrid more than a tablet, it’s longer than the iPad and while it fits, it’s still a bit left out. You can attach the bag inside or outside of the laptop bag, sincerely I see no purpose of attaching it outside. And there when it loses some practicality, attaching the iPAD bag to the inside of the Unit 01 it’s not as smooth as it seems, and while it’s not difficult at all, I don’t see myself able to attach and detach it as fast as it would.

I think that the OP-1 case (Unit 11) could have the same problem, it’s pointless (and potentially unsafe) to attach it on the outside of the bag, and attached inside it will be cumbersome to reach. Not that is difficult, but it loses some elegance.

The only real letdown I found so far is the squeaking sound that the handles at the sides make. When the bag is empty, there’s no pressure at all so no sound, of course. But with the surface, some books and my coffee can, it makes these squeaking sounds while I walk. I put some lubricant oil on them but it’s still noisy. Not that important, but people could hear me walking from far, hehe. It’s not what you could expect from a premium product.

However it’s a nice bag, I would recommend it, and if you can find it with a huge discount like mine, you won’t regret it.

Thanks for the review. I’ve wondered what the bags were like.

Thanks for sharing that, I was interested in the backpack myself, but it looks a bit cumbersome. Do you think the Unit 01 can be converted into a backpack? it looks like the perfect size for me. Also, is attaching the Unit 11 case pointless and unsafe because the straps aren’t sturdy enough, or because it would attract someone to steal it?

I’ve been hunting for a quality roll top that would have a plethora of compartments for my Korg Volcas, ipad, cables, controllers, etc. Most of the musician and DJ bags I’ve seen seem way too big or really goofy.

Hey Kites!. I guess it can be converted into a backpack, actually it could be a good idea, but it will require some modifications which the bag itself is not designed for. You’ll have to find the right tailor if that kind of work is available in your country. It would be more of a bag mod.

I don’t see myself carrying my OP-1 in a pocket to the outside of the bag. I don’t own the OP-1 carry bag, but it looks sturdy enough and if the small pockets included on the Unit 01 are any indicator, it will fix good enough to the straps. Still I’m not comfortable with the idea. I would set it inside, but as I wrote before it might be a bit cumbersome to get it. It could attract people for sure, but somebody stealing it not much of a concern here.

I’m thinking of getting an Ableton Push and I think it would fit perfectly on the bag with the Surface and a small audio interface. There’s plenty of space and you could fill it to the top if necessary.

+1 for responding so fast! In the U.S. I can get one for $85, so you may have convinced me to pop on one.

The quality and design of the OP-1 case is close to flawless, especially with its memory foam to protect our little babies. So I’d imagine the Unit 01 to be just as good, but is there adequate padding in the inside?

I’m a bit handy with the sewing machine, so maybe I can whip up some leather straps on it. Thanks again for your input.

I got it today, now I’m going to mod the hell out of it.

So, I guess you did your mod on the Unit 01?. Can you post a picture please?.

I haven’t done it yet because I’m waiting for shoulder straps to come in the mail. But I got the gray one to match my gray OP-1 case, which looks pretty good attached to the outside of the Unit 01. The bag is decently crafted, but I think it could use more details and reinforcement, so I plan on putting a raw denim patch on the bottom and maybe for trim on the handle. Was thinking of making denim accessory pouches to match too. I’ll post and update sometime next week. :o

Finally got motivated to mod my Unit 01 bag. It needs more work and details, but sewing the straps down with my sewing machine was the most challenging part. Since I had to open up the back to tuck in the harness, I decided to make it into a hidden pocket and fastened a snap to it ( pic # 3).

I’m planning to add denim tabs for the straps to attach to at the corners and I’ll most likely be adding denim to the bottom/back for better gripping to my back. The denim is also to make the bag look longer because I screwed up and sewed down the straps a little low - so when I wear the pack it looks way to high and goofy. Haha, so adding the denim makes the pack reach a bit above my ass.

Baha, see what I mean?

lol @Kites. I do dig the asymmetrical symetry look with the OP-1 case mounted to it.

Bahaa I hope it’s not too geeky and techy, but rather geek sheik. Aha

Unit Portables is having a 70% off. Stuff are selling out fast!

It’s original, for sure, hehehe. Good Job. I like my Unit 01 as a messenger bag more anyway.

Have you had the same issue with the strap handles’ noise as I experienced?. I guess they’re giving away the bags because of not many sold. I won’t be paying their premium price for a soundly bag…

I found they’re also selling the Unit 05 (overnight bag) for a lower price in DK. But because of the bad experience with the handles with the previous acquisition, I won’t be taking this one.

Do you mean the plastic hardware on the left and right side of the Unit 01 (where the straps attach)? I took off the strap right away and never had a chance to use it as a messenger bag hah. That must be annoying to hear, especially if your traveling on foot a lot. :confused:

Ya everything is 70% off on their site and they practically cleared their entire stock. I ordered Unit 02 & 03 to get more organization going on the inside of my Unit 01. Too bad my shipping cost to the States added up to practically the same price with free shipping, hahaaha