Helios Lite, A Designer Backpack With A Secret

Written by: Young Jeohn

It's one of the best looking bags I've ever seen. Smart and elegant, it isn't just slapped together as a "good enough" product to sell to everyone for a quick buck - no, this belongs on the back of a sophisticated professional who can appreciate good workmanship and attention to detail. It's smaller than the Helios, its big brother, but I think the Lite version is a great size for use everyday (as long as you don't have a huge laptop to carry around or thick stacks of court papers.) And it comes with a built-in secret - a secret compartment!

THE OUTSIDE

At first glance, you know the Helios Lite is something special and unlike every other bag made of the typical black or blue ripstop nylon. It's of an ultra lightweight and durable material, and feels as if you'd bought a custom made suit when you consider the textiles used, leather trim, stitching, lining, the pockets - it all hints at a certain elegance unobtainable from something mass produced. Most visibly, the custom zippers are half-rounded and snap into place while the buckles don't actually work like buckles, because hidden behind them are a set of magnetic clasps that actually close the bag. 

That came as a surprise to me, and it's a novel idea that sometimes doesn't seem to want to work. When it's closed, the magnets are strong and will stay closed. The issue is trying to close them - there is a small indent in both clasps that you have to match before it locks into place, which isn't always easy to do. What you end up with is a guessing game where you have to move the clasp around until you hear an audible "click" of the magnets attaching. This can can get frustrating when you're in a hurry, because unlike everything else that works like a charm and a half, this is the one thing that can either just work, or keep you guessing.

On the outside, the bag has a water repellent coating that allows any water falling on it to "bead off." And I know this happens because it was a windy, rainy and dreary day when I tested it. The bag got drizzled on despite my using an umbrella, but with a huff and a puff, I was able to "blow" away the water droplets. It was easier to do with this bag than with an umbrella, which might seem odd until you realize how good the coating on the Helios Lite must be. The only area not repelling water at this point was the seam of the zipper, but none of it got past the zipper teeth, so everything was dry and unaffected.

The bag is sized at 11.22" x 3.94" x 15.16", and that's large enough to carry your essentials and perfect for days when you don't need to lug around your whole life with you. The bottom is lined with a tougher, flat material that will keep your bag standing unless you overload it.

THE INSIDE

On the inside, there are organized compartments and pockets galore. For us modern day gadget lovers, I'm happy to report that it will easily fit and protect your Dell XPS 13, MacBook Air or any laptop up to 13 inches in its nicely padded lappy section. In addition, it'll keep your folders, papers and books in good shape as the bag holds its form well and won't crumple or lose its shape.

Upon closer inspection, you'll find a clever, adjustable strap inside. Whatever for, you might ask? To hold up your water bottle, silly! Now how many times have you had to rummage around the bottom of your bag to, once again, prop up your fallen water bottle or umbrella because it kept dropping over? No more of that, thank you very much. This saves a lot of aggravation (and time) from having to dig around your bag whenever you want to have a drink.

THE SECRET

This is my favorite part of the bag. There is a secret, zippered compartment built in to the back making it hard for anyone to reach in there without your knowing it. Heck, unless they've seen it, they won't even know it exists. Offering a generous amount of space (the bottom half of the bag, right up against the laptop compartment), it's where you'd put your wallet, passport or the imaginary wads of hundreds you just pulled out of the ATM machine. While it's easy access for the wearer of the backpack, it certainly won't be easy for unknown hands to get at. 

 Secret compartment! Not visible when you're wearing the bag, yet easy for you to access.

Secret compartment! Not visible when you're wearing the bag, yet easy for you to access.

For me, there's a second benefit that I derive from it, being a guy. I no longer have to walk around with an embarrassing etch of a wallet on my jeans pocket, because as you know, the more you walk with one (or some other object) in your pocket, the more pronounced (and permanent) the outline gets with every step you take. It really looks awful, and this is one way to avoid that embarrassment without feeling antsy about the safety of your important documents.

CONCLUSION

Moshi's Helios Lite is a well designed, beautifully functional bag that not only looks great, but gives off an upscale feeling that transfers on to the owner. Perhaps as an unexpected consequence, it'll force the owner to be conscious of what they're wearing if only to somehow match the upscale-ness of this fashionable accessory. You can find this product on moshi.com with a pricetag of $119.99 at the time of writing.

For more information: http://www.moshi.com

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Young Jeohn

Adding creative flair to Otakus & Geeks with his videos, photos and written musings. Having lived abroad with extensive travel experience from Scandinavian ice castles to the fashionable Harajuku district in Tokyo, he carries knowledge from old-skool anime days and enjoys eating with chopsticks (with expert precision), talking shop with companies large and small and other questionable activities he can't talk about in public. His website lives at http://www.YoungFromNewYork.com