I read Bijan Sabet's (@bijan) gift guide in December and thought there were really cool suggestions on it. One of them was for the Jack Spade Port Case Messenger Bag. Bijan said: "When I run around the city or make day trips to New York, I leave the MacBook behind. This bag is perfect for my needs and fits my camera, Field Notes, iPad mini, sunglasses, headphones and a few pencils and pens."
I added iPad mini and the Jack Spade Port Case Messenger Bag to my Christmas wish list and through the magic of my wife and my Dad, both were under the tree in 2012. Gotta say, this bag + iPad mini is a really, really good idea. When I went to CES in Vegas, I put my laptop & charger in my checked luggage buffered by clothes and I brought only the messenger bag on the plane. Once in Vegas, I set the laptop up in my room for working when I wasn't in meetings and I only carried the messenger bag.
What was Inside the bag? This: three KIND nut bars, a small Panasonic camera (mine's a ZS7 but link is to the updated version), iPad Mini (WiFi 64GB) and capacitive stylus, Star Wars Moleskine (thanks @jchackert!) and a pen, chargers for the iPad Mini and my camera battery, HDMI out cable for the iPad, Oakley Holbrook sunglasses, and a couple of USB thumb drives.
It worked wonderfully saving my back some stress and making me look more like an adult than a high school student. I highly recommend the bag and the iPad Mini. The smaller form factor is just perfect for the iPad and the bag is just enough for just what you need when you're on the road. Thanks for the suggestion @bijan!