HANDS-ON: POROS BIRCH A WEEKENDER DUFFLE WITH A PERSONAL CHARGING STATION
Poros was kind enough to send us one of their bags for review, and we’ve got to say we were extremely impressed. Because I beat the hell out of my luggage, I tend to go with a hardshell case and a laptop, even for short weekend trips. But I think I’ve found my new go-to bag – The Poros Birch Weekend Duffle Bag ($269). After the initial unboxing, the first thing I noticed was the build quality.
The Birch is made with this thick nylon that almost seems bullet proof. I now understand why they call it ballistic nylon. The handles and straps are made of a high-quality leather that feel wonderful to the touch. The hardware is made with a brushed metal and looks and feels like it’ll be able to withstand long term use. Additional features include shoe storage with external access; a heavy-duty shoulder strap, a laptop and iPad sleeve, a zipped pocket for cords and such, and two small open pockets to hold your smartphone and pens and pencils. Put that’s not all. The thing that makes this bag really great is the internal charging station.
Built into the side of the Birch is a rechargeable battery that has enough juice to charge your phone up to six full charges or a tablet two full charges. Everything you need to charge your electronics is in the bag. When you open the top and reach into the smaller pocket on the right, you’ll find a cable with either a lighting, Apple 30 pin, or a micro USB connector (you choose when you order). Just connect your device, click the power button with power indicator, slide the phone into the side pocket and you’ll be fully charged in no time. On the bottom outside, you’ll find a zippered pocket that contains the wall plug that charges the battery. But even with all of this great quality and awesome tech, a weekend duffle is no good if it doesn’t hold all of your stuff.
When I’m going away for the weekend. The usual routine is to head out on Friday wearing clothes for that evening’s activities, and head home that Sunday. Hopefully not with too bad a hangover. Any weekender has to carry all of my gear, and if it can’t fit it, I’m not using the bag. The Birch measures 20″ long, 14″ tall, and 9″ wide. It’s not an overly big bag and would easily fit in the overhead or even under the seat in front of you if it’s not overly packed. I was a little concerned that it might not fit everything.
For weekend trips where there’s no formal requirement, I’ll pack the following:
1 pair of jeans, 2 shorts (1 workout, 1 casual), 1 pair of sweats, 1 zipped hoodie, 2 pairs of shoes (1 pair of chukka/dress, 1 pair of sneakers), 3 pairs of underwear, 3 pairs of socks, 2 button down shirts, 1 sweater, 1 13″ laptop, assorted cables, and 1 toiletry bag.
With a little extra push, a was able to get the bag closed. It was tight but ready to go.
The Poros Birch is a great bag. The quality is much better than you’ll find in most stores. The zippers they use are a very good quality, but I always have a little extra confidence when I see YKK stamped on the pull tab. I love the idea incorporating a charging station into the bag. The charging cables are cloth covered and look to be high quality that will last for years. The idea of not having to be a wall hugger is a major benefit. Bottom line – I think I just found the replacement for my hardshell case and backpack.