From the Barracks to the Boardroom, the M-Edge Bolt Backpack powers your devices all day long.
I have been a fan of backpacks and gear bags for quite some time. I have a 72 hour bag, a camping bag, a gym bag, a diaper bag, various luggage pieces. For me, bags with multiple pockets, allow for multiple areas for organization, and are far superior to those bags with fewer pockets. I really appreciate companies that try to provide cross-niche gear, gear that can be used in a variety of situations. M-Edge has done just that with their bag lines, by combining a healthy mix of gym bag and tech bag. Their Bolt bag motto “For working warriors who demand power day in and day out. Bolt Bags give you access to power both near and far.”
The bag is very attractive with a large emblem on the front bottom. “Bolt” makes sense for the bag as it is designed as a portable power system. I like the lime green accents, showing a “charged” effect. This is evident in the logo, the classy double stitching along the stress points and on the inner lining of the the shoulder strap. The offset of colors between the grey front and the black sides/back in addition to the lime coloring really give this a visual pop. The back of the bag (which rests on your back) is very well padded, and has molded moisture absorbing material. This really rests nicely on the back. The back is bonded to Lycra, which is moisture wicking and is odor resistant. The straps are well built, well stitched and are in general well done. I like the lime material inside of the strap, again made of moisture wicking material. One complaint, maybe the only complaint of the bag is that the straps really could use some padding and maybe even a chest strap. I have used other bags such as Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon II, that have both padded shoulder straps and a chest strap. This really does reduce bag fatigue. Comfort becomes important with prolonged usage.
One of the unique features of the bag is a listed installed 4000 mAh battery. Interestingly, during use of the bag and review of the battery, the battery is a 6000 mAh battery and not the listed 4000 mAh battery listed. The battery has its own pocket (please see pocket dimensions below). There are 2 outputs from the battery both listed at 5V 1A. There is built in wiring for the battery, which runs into the strap. Alone, having a battery may not be that impressive. However, this company really thought about the consumer and made access to the charge directly available on the strap. This is genius, and this works incredibly well. How many times have you had to dig in your bag for your battery? How many times have you had to strap cords around the bag, through hooks etc to get to charge your phone. I really like this bag.
By the end of the day, I tend to have roughly 30-50% power remaining on my iPhone 6S plus. I wish the output was stronger than 1A such as 2-2.1A. This seems to be battery dependent. However, I was not certain if the USB plug on the strap had any type of regulatory electronics or if it is simply a connector. I was unable to find this information on the website or the included information placards. The battery was more than adequate, this did charge at about a rate of 1% per minute. I was able to get the equivalent of about 3 half charges or just over 1 full charge out of the battery. This is on par with the current battery trends. Assuming approximately 80% energy conversion (80-90% is assumed) you can see that (6,000mAh*0.8)/2750mAh (iPhone 6s plus)=about 1.75 charge. I never charged from empty, so I was able to get a bit more out of the battery. It is important to note that these numbers will be reduced if you are using your device at the same time as you are trying to charge them. It is my recommendation to allow your device to charge in the off or standby mode. Otherwise, the power will essentially remain at its current level. This device will charge iPhone, Android and other smartphone devices. It should also charge iPad and other tablets but at a slower rate than most of the 2.4A chargers. There is built in auto shut-off, which conserves battery and protects the device from overcharging. Again, it is not certain if this is present in the battery or if it is in the strap input/output. Interestingly, the battery has an LED light that can be activated by depressing the power button and has a battery charge indicator. The battery alone is quite well designed and impressive. This is definitely a perk of the bag.
The bag is water resistant 1200 Denier military grade nylon. It contains waterproof YKK zippers (the best bags have these zippers). The zipper pulls are lined with lime green and stand out quite well. They look to be glow-in-the-dark, but they are not. There is 1 input and 1 output on the strap, which is more than adequate. The output is via standard USB A and input is via microUSB. Of interesting note, the attached informational plackard shows an apparently previous iteration of the bag. This image shows the power port on the left of the bag and not on the strap. It also lists the battery size as 4000 mAh, whereas it has a 6000 mAh included. The bag is listed as 1300 cubic inches, allowing for adequate storage. The main opening will accommodate a 17 inch laptop. It will easily hold a gym outfit/change of clothes and allow you to keep your phone charged during your activity.
A review of the pouches/pockets shows 6 external pouches. The main compartment, in the back, is accessed via zipper. Here you have 4 pockets. The back most internal compartment is 10.5 inches wide 1 inch deep and 12 inches tall. It is felt lined and well made. In front of this is another pocket listed In front of this is a smaller pouch that is 7 inches wide by 1/2 inch deep by 8 inch tall. The battery compartment is 3 inches wide by 4 inches tall 1/2 inch deep. The remainder of the height of the bag is accessible in front of the battery compartment. The battery compartment is lined with felt as well, which can decrease scratching of your gear. Zipping this compartment closed, there is a compartment in front of the carry handle. This is a rather deep pocket, that works well for a pair of sunglasses or keys. The dimensions of this pocket are 7 inches wide 6 inches deep.
If you notice from the images, there are floating cables in the bag, which unfortunately allows for them to get caught on gear in the bag. Quickly shoving gear in the bag may pull the input cord from the battery. I wish there was some cable management in the bag as the cords are just loose. The good news, you can replace the battery, add a battery, change the battery to a larger battery. I have a 20,000 mAh battery that seems like it may work well in this bag. If this is too big it will fit nicely in the mid pouch. My 8000 and 10000 mAh battery fit into this compartment. The output/input on the battery is 5V 1A. To test this I cut a standard USB cable and separated the red/black wires. I attached these to a multimeter and evaluated the output. It appears that the battery is the same output as the strap and that the charge rate is determined by the battery and not the connector on the strap. I guess I answered my own question from above.
Moving forward to the top front pouch on the bag, there is a 10 inch wide by 7.5 inch tall by 1 inch deep pocket. There is an included Key hook. There is a second compartment behind the first that shares the compartments’ dimensions. These pouches like the others are well lined, zippers are double stitched and well made. The bottom front pouch is an admin like pouch with 1 big pouch in the back 10 inch wide 8 inch tall. In front of this are 2 pouches 5 inches wide by 6 inches tall. Just like in the large pouch in back, you are given free space in the front of the admin pouch area. At the very front of the bag is zipper, 6 inches in length. This opens into a horizontal 6.5 inch pocket. Side A has a water bottle holder pocket that feels like coozie material vs elastic knee brace like material. It has a very large bolt icon on this outer edge as well. Side B has a pouch that is 7 inches tall x 4.5 inches wide and 1 inch deep.
To summarize, this bag is amazing and every tech lover/gym goer should have a bag just like this. It is great that the bag is moisture wicking and has built in odor resistant material. I like the added feature of the battery and the ability to access the battery, change the battery, upgrade the battery. Really any size portable battery will work. I would rate this bag as 5/5, even with the negatives discussed above. The included battery should have an output of at least 2A. I did not find flaw in the single output/input on the strap, as the battery had extra output that was immediately accessible. The pouch just behind the battery makes for a perfect iPhone storage/charging pouch. I would have liked for there to be a strap on at least the largest pouch to allow for a lock (especially as this is likely going to be a gym bag). The stitching is superb, the quality of the bag is well thought out. I find it odd that the listed parameters are actually less than those included with the bag (listed 4000 mAh battery vs 6000 mAh included battery). It is wide enough for a 17 inch laptop. I have shone the above pictures with an iPad Air 2 in landscape mode, to show available space. I am really pleased with this bag.
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