Trabasack Mini Connect, £29.95, trabasack.com
The Trabasack bags are a range of bags of various sizes, designed with the needs of the disabled customer. They vary from this Mini Connect (the perfect size for my laptop (Surfacebook Pro 5), charger, wallet, keys, book, phone, and portable charger) to the Trabasack Max, which looks big and smart enough to be a weekend bag, or a decent portable office.
These bags are designed for wheelchair users to be worn on the lap, but are not limited to that. While they come with a (removable) bean-bag insert with dedicated pocket to make them firm and stable on your lap, they also have a variety of straps which allow them to be worn as a backpack, shoulder bag, or on the back of a wheelchair.
It is as a lap bag that the Trabasack Mini Connect comes into its own. The ‘Connect’ refers to the surface of the bag, designed with the soft side of velcro, meaning that hook and loop tape can be attached to anything one wishes to keep in place. I’ve already got it on my phone and wallet – it wouldn’t deter a determined pickpocket, but it prevents me constantly dropping my possessions, which I really appreciate (as do the people with me!). You can buy the Trabasack Mini with a firm wipe-clean surface as well, which mimics a table, but I find the Connect surface incredibly useful. The fact that it is soft doesn’t put me off using it as a table, especially as it can be brushed clean.
They were clearly designed with disabled people in mind – the ring pulls are big and easy to grasp, the zips move smoothly, and the stitching is strong. The strap that allows them to be attached round one’s waist doesn’t require any fiddly grips to open, it’s just a simple round push-clip. Every aspect of this bag has been thought through to be as practical as possible for wheelchair users while out and about. Round the edges of the bag are a lot of D rings to which the supplied straps attach, to help the user carry it in whatever way is most convenient for them.
The bag is a bit of a crumb-magnet, but can be cleaned easily, and the crumbs are worth it for the convenience of sticking things to my lap knowing they won’t fall off. The interior is one large pocket, with a smaller zipped pocket to hold the beanbag cushion. I find this smaller pocket very useful for holding things like my wallet securely.
If I was suggesting improvements to the bag, they would include somewhere for me to clip my keys inside, and some more internal pockets – I find that when I open it, if I open it too far my possessions can end up scattering a bit, and dedicated internal pockets would help with that.
This bag is excellent – it’s deceptively large, with room for more than enough of my possessions, while slipping neatly into my chair. It’s non-fiddly, and easy to use. It attaches well, using easy clips that I can open and close with no trouble. The design, with multiple D-rings for the clips that hold the bag as a messenger/backpack/lap bag allows you to arrange these however you want. I really recommend you buying it – and I very much enjoy using it myself.
Disclaimer: I was provided with this product and associated accessories for free, to review on this site. My reviews are independent and the manufacturer had no control over them.