As someone who works remotely, I find myself rarely heading out of the house unless I’m going to meet up with friends. Still, I always carry whatever I need for work just in case there’s some last-minute emergency that requires I hole up in a cafe for an hour or two. Over the years I’ve narrowed down what I carry to just a few basic essentials that I don’t feel comfortable going anywhere without. These are my staff picks that help me do my job regardless of my location.
Able Carry Daily Backpack
Starting with the bag that I use, I went with the Able Carry Daily Backpack in the super lightweight XPAC material. It’s highly water-resistant and I’ve been caught in plenty of rainstorms without ever having to worry about my gear getting soaked. What I like most about it is the understated design. It has plenty of pockets and compartments to hold what I need without attracting attention to itself. The A-frame build also keeps the shape of the backpack consistent whether it’s empty or full to the brim, and there’s even a secret pocket up top that I use for my keys and wallet during the day and perfectly fits my passport when I’m using this as my carry-on.
My main job here is writing, writing for our audio-based sibling site SoundGuys, but that also includes photography and occasionally video. For that, my weapon of choice is the Sony a6500 mirrorless camera. It has its issues that really irk me, but it’s such a good bang for your buck camera that I can overlook things like the terrible battery life and the weird SD card placement on the bottom of the camera. Autofocus is also insanely fast, and as someone who enjoys animal photography in my spare time, I can trust that it’s going to get the shot. I came from shooting with Canon and there was definitely a learning curve, but now that I’m used to it I regret nothing and have no problem recommending it to anyone that likes doing both video and pictures.
Huawei Matebook X Pro
I was a Macbook Pro user for years, but the Huawei Matebook X Pro is the one that finally convinced me to make the jump to a Windows PC. It’s an aesthetically beautiful machine (that, let’s admit it looks a lot like a Macbook) but with a great touch screen and working keyboard. The selling point for me though was the two USB-C ports and one USB-A port. While I am slowly making the transition to USB-C all of my things, the process is not complete and occasionally I prefer to not deal with dongles when someone hands me a USB stick.
Obviously Huawei has been in the news over its ban in the US, but it’s still easy enough to find this laptop online for sale.
Apple iPad Pro (11-inch)
While my Matebook X Pro is my go-to device for editing videos and pictures for work, my iPad Pro is what I turn to for everything else. It’s a great lightweight secondary device that I can use to write, research, or just catch up on YouTube videos with when I don’t feel like lugging my laptop all over the place (which is often). I previously used an Acer C720 Chromebook as my on-the-go work device but the iPad quickly took over thanks to the crystal clear screen and pencil support. Was it insanely overpriced? Absolutely, but it was worth every penny.
Google Pixel 3 with Moment Lens
I’m one of those Pixel fanboys you hear so much about. While I’ll probably get the Pixel 4 XL eventually if/when it goes on sale, I’m currently rocking the regular-sized 64GB Pixel 3. The small size is a perfect size for my baby hands and the camera consistently blows me away. I usually don’t have any kind of case on it but if I know I’m going to be going out on a hike or have a long day trekking through the city ahead of me, I’ll throw on the Moment Case so I can have some fun with the macro and wide-angle lens. Battery life is as bad as everyone says it is and I’m the first to complain about it, but I haven’t had the phone actually die on me in months. So I’ll keep using ‘ol faithful for as long as I can.
ADV.Sound Model 3 in-ears
My main job here is to review headphones and Bluetooth speakers over at SoundGuys, so naturally, I have an amazing top of the line pair of giant over-ear cans right? Nope. While I am lucky enough to try out some of the best headphones money can buy, my personal go-to pair of beaters are the ADV.Sound Model 3 in-ears. I’m constantly reviewing new headphones, so when I walk out the door I don’t want to worry about pairing or whether or not my headphones are charged up. These have a cool design, good sound quality, are super comfortable, and also have some solid isolation to block out sounds around me. Best of all, they’re not expensive so when I do eventually beat them down to the point where I need to replace them, getting a new pair won’t break the bank.
Victorinox Cadet ALOX
Every videographer/photographer should have a go-to multitool on them at all times, and for me that’s the Victorinox Cadet ALOX. You never know when you need to tighten down a mounting plate, cut some tape, or pop open a beverage (after work of course). I find the Cadet to be one of the best multitools ever made, even when compared to the plier-based Leatherman tools. It’s just so easy to slip in your pocket and it won’t draw any unwanted attention when you pull out the blade as swiss army knives are pretty much universally recognized and not too intimidating. Plus, they’re inexpensive and come in a bunch of different color options.
While I do own multiple smartwatches, I really only find them useful to track my runs. At any other time of day you’ll find the Lorier Neptune (pictured left) on my wrist. I recently became a pretty big watch nerd and while I’m still saving my pennies for my grail watch (Tudor Black Bay 58 if you were wondering) I find the Lorier Neptune to be just as elegant for a fraction of the cost. The vintage diver design, perfectly rotating bezel, 39mm size, and tapered bracelet makes it feel like it was made just for my wrist. I also own the Lorier Falcon (pictured right) which is just as well-built and has a date complication which is pretty useful as I always forget which day of the month it is.