We recently spent some hands-on time with a travel bag from Poros, a company in Seattle that is adding class to the powered carry-all market. There are currently three models available: the Cedar leather briefcase, the nylon Alder lightweight case, and the duffel-style Birch. We took the Cedar through a week of daily use, and here’s what we think.
The Cedar’s leather shell evokes durability; this is not glove leather. The rich grain provides a coarsely textured surface. The interior, meanwhile, is lined with a smooth, soft cotton blend of materials. When empty, the bag does carry some weight (about 4 lbs.), mostly due to the thick leather construction and concealed charger.
Inside, the Cedar offers a large main compartment and three slimmer ones, one of which can be zipped shut. There are also two small pockets, with the power cable encased inside one of these. The bags can all be ordered with one of three adapters: Apple 30-pin, Lightning, or Micro USB. We got a Lightning for our 6S Plus and iPads. The phone fit perfectly inside one of the pockets, even with its bulky case. The bag easily swallowed an iPad Pro and 15-inch laptop, along with their cases. And we put some magazines, a chock-full folder, and a notebook in there for good measure.
There was still room for some large items, but we opted for a number of smaller ones, throwing in chargers for all of our devices, and whatever accessories we like to take on a flight or long weekend, including a Bluetooth mouse, thumb drive, and a wallet-sized external terabyte drive. We also packed a bottle of water, sunglasses case, and a paperback, all distributed among the various compartments and sleeves.
The bag was a bit heavy at this point, and the frame of the internal battery could be seen from the outside, as our stuff pushed against it from within. But when thrown over the shoulder, it didn’t feel much heavier than a similarly packed standard bag. Besides, we had filled it to the gills for testing purposes. For a daily commute to the office with fewer items, it is sleek and easy to carry.
To charge a phone or tablet, you simply plug it in and the charger will automatically switch on. You can press and hold down on the button by the indicator lights to turn the charger off, and press it to turn it on. When you unplug your device, the charger automatically switches off.
With the Cedar on full charge, we were able to power up our iPhone 6S Plus three times from 20 to 100 percent, and our iPad Pro twice, and there was still one light left on the battery indicator. Poros wants its customers to leave their mobile device chargers behind, while maintaining power for an entire weekend, and it appears that you can do just that. The bag itself can be charged in 2-10 hours, depending on how discharged the battery is. It took four hours for our tester to fully light up the indicator after our charging cycles.
Though powered laptop bags have been around for awhile, we haven’t seen too many designed like a high-end business traveler’s briefcase. The Cedar is beautifully designed, but does not look like it came from the future.
The Cedar sells for $270, and can be purchased directly from the Poros website.