What is it?
Nock Co. is the brainchild of The Pen Addict, Brad Dowdy, and master bag maker, Jeff Bruckwicki. Their previous Kickstarter to launch the brand brought about a selection of new pen cases that are intuitively designed and built to last. This time around, they’re switching the focus slightly off analog writing tools, and looking to break into the tech market. The Lanier is a slim briefcase / internal pouch combo that’s suited to hold a 13″ laptop, tablet(s), and some writing instruments. The idea behind the bag is that you can carry just enough to write or work, without committing to an entire large bag / backpack setup.
The Nock Co. Lanier is pretty low-key on the outside. The black Cordura fabric is understated and clean. There’s contrasting blue stitching across the front of the bag that adds a pop of color. It also matches the inside of the bag. The handles are nylon webbing that don’t have any padding, but since this case won’t really be doing any heavy lifting, they’re more than satisfactory. The Lanier also comes in an olive green color with really bright neon green lining. Included with the main bag is an internal pouch that fits a smaller notebook or iPad mini, some pocket notebooks, pens, and maybe one of Nock Co.’s other cases. The logo patch features black-on-black sticking and embroidery which keeps the bag looking really plain. While I appreciate the minimalism, I think the bag could use a little bit more visual flair.
Nock’s cases are made from a really sturdy nylon fabric called Cordura. This material is commonly found on military-spec bags. It’s water resistant and durable, and the stitching is strong throughout. The bag features some light padding on the sides, so your laptop will probably survive everyday bumps. and maybe even a short drop. The YKK zippers are smooth and high quality. I have no reason to doubt that this bag will hold up for a while.
Using the bag
The Lanier is aimed towards those who are looking to carry around their laptop and some other essentials. Unfortunately, my laptop is 15″ and will not fit in the bag. It does fit a large Rhodia pad alongside my iPad mini and Amazon Kindle. Everything I need on a daily basis simply will not fit in the bag. Alongside my 15″ laptop, I carry a camera too. The slim form factor of the bag will not accommodate anything wider than 1″ or so. I do like the smaller internal pouch, but I really wish it had dedicated slots to keep pens in place. They can easily clip to the pocket, but nothing prevents them from bouncing around and into each other. The pocket is begging for a Sinclair or Lookout, but the added bulk from a case within a pouch, within a bag is less than ideal if you’re trying to keep things slim. I will definitely be using the smaller pouch with my other bags, and it’s a shame that I don’t have a laptop that fits the bag to use it as it’s intended.
I like what Nock Co. does, and I think they do a great job of doing it. Ultimately, I don’t see the Lanier fitting into my set of distinct needs, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be great for a lot of people. If you’ve been looking for a way to carry around your daily essentials without the bulk (and happen to have a 13″ or under laptop) then this is the bag for you. I’d like to see some additional visual flair on the outside of the bag, and a few dedicated pen slots on the inside, and maybe a 15″ version in future renditions of the case. Thanks to Brad and Jeff for sending this over for review!
There’s a week left in the project, and it’s already well surpassed it’s funding goal.
Pledges start at $88 and the bag ships in April of 2017, you can secure one for yourself here!
Disclaimer: These bags were received as units for review, free of charge. All opinions are my own.