May 04 2012

Ogio Consul Review


I have long been aware of Ogio as a bag and pack maker but given that all the ones I had seen had someone else’s corporate logo on them I always assumed that they were an OEM manufacturer.

Imagine my chagrin at meeting them at CES and seeing the wide range of product they make at the retail level. They really cover the gamut from golf bags to luggage to a whole range of cool tech oriented packs.

After a protracted conversation with Mark in their booth it became clear to me that we were very much on the same page philosophically from a design standpoint. He was incredibly well informed on the company and its products. I guess that should not have been a surprise since he turned out to be the global VP of the division!

After some follow up conversations they sent me one of their Consul bags to review.

At about 11 by 13 by 4 the consul is either a small laptop bag or a pretty good-sized iPad bag, depending on your preference. It is a vertical or portrait orientation and made of mid-weight ballistic poly, making it a bit softer and more pliable than the same denier level of ballistic nylon.

There is an adjustable shoulder strap made of seat belt material. The strap is removable and is comfortable given the amount of weight you would normally have in a bag of this size. The dual grab handles are also comfortable and split the opening at the top of the bag. This means you don’t tend to lose things out of the bag even if the zipper is open.

The backside of the bag has a magazine pocket that runs nearly the height of the Consul. A standard magazine or 8.5 by 11 inch notebook will slip completely in or an A4 will hang over just a smidge.

Each side of the bag has three loops of the seat belt material. These loops are actually double loops with a tight loop and a looser loop on top of one another. While you could certainly use them as attachment points they seemed more cosmetic than utilitarian to me.


The front of the bag features four horizontal loops of seatbelt material, 3 with eyelets and one with the Ogio logo on it. The bottom has a patch of more abrasion resistant material to give the bottom a longer life.

There is a zippered organizer pocket on the front that is exactly the size to hide an iPad but this does not seem to be its intended purpose. Inside is an organizer section with 2 pen slots, 2 open top pockets and a zippered security pocket that stretches the whole width of the storage area. None of these pockets have much slack and they are going to be best suited for fairly flat objects.

The pocket is about an inch deep so it will hold a fair amount of stuff.


The inside of the bag is accessed from the top via zipper and it opens up about 2 inches down each side, leaving you a fairly small opening to access its innards. There is a red, padded pocket for an iPad that is spacious enough to fit an original iPad in a case and keep it right at your fingertips.


The opposite side of the section has a zippered pocket the same size as the outside magazine pocket and two open top pockets that are roughly half way down the inside of the bag and are about 5 by 4 inches each.



The Ogio Consul is well made and is comfortable to carry with either the handles or the shoulder strap. I prefer to carry the Consul cross body particularly if I have stuffed it full of kit. You can see in the picture below what I drug around in the Consul including a MacBook Pro 13″, iPad in a sleeve, backup battery, various chargers and widgets and stuff in organizer pouches.


According to the documentation the Consul will carry up to a 13 inch laptop…and it will…with a couple of caveats. The bag does not actually have a section set aside for this, so it slips into the largest open section of the bag. Unfortunately, this ties up the only unstructured section of the bag.

This is not a huge deal until you are trying to carry a laptop and an iPad at the same time. If this is the case, you will need to be a bit of a minimalist, which is not a big skill set for me. I guess you already knew that from the picture above.

With both a laptop and an iPad in there and the accessories that I am convinced that I MUST have along with me, the pack is pretty tight making it a bit of a challenge to get stuff in and out of the main section of the bag.

So, if you want to carry both the laptop and an iPad you are going to need to limit yourself on accessories. For this to truly be a computer and an iPad bag it would need to be at least a half-inch thicker.

If you are doing just a 13 inch laptop you are good and if you are considering this an iPad case you are absolutely golden.

I liked the Consul. The materials were solid, good zippers and Ogio made good choices on what to limit. If you are looking for a daily carry for your iPad or Ultrabook and you are intent on carrying every little accessory with it could be nearly perfect. If you are looking for a laptop or a combo bag I think you may want to look at one of Ogio’s larger bags.

Ogio Consul $75

OGIO International
14926 Pony Express Road
Bluffdale, UT. 84065
(801) 619-4100 PHONE
(800) 922-1944 TOLL FREE
(801) 619-4111 FAX

Customer Service – United States
(800) 922-1944

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