Gadget Guy Review: Hex Calibre Sneaker and Shoe Carry-on Bag
PHOTO: The Hex Calibre duffel folds out to easily fit your shoes without any finagling needed.
It’s one of the most frustrating parts of packing. Your shoes are dirty and no matter how much you try to remove all the dirt, there’s always the chance that between airline baggage handlers or random bag checks, your shoes are going to stain that nice sport jacket or irreplaceable button-down shirt, the only one that truly gets your waistline. Or even worse, your feet odor from the shoes permeates permanently into all your clothes.
We’ve been there plenty of times. That’s why I was so intrigued by the Hex Calibre Sneaker Duffel (shophex.com, $159). We’ve seen many bags that promise separate room for shoes, but just create an overall bulkiness to a backpack or suitcase that makes it hard to close. The nice part of the Hex design is it is squared off and truly sectioned into three separate sturdy compartments. The two end compartments comfortable fit one pair of shoes each.
The side pockets are separately lined and have a polyurethane divider to keep odors confined to the shoe zones. You don’t realize how much you need features until someone thinks ahead for you like this. There’s mesh sock pockets and ventilation eyelets in each side pocket so that the worst odors aren’t trapped in.
There’s also a padded laptop compartment, easy access pockets in the front to put your smartphone, iPad or keys into. The middle compartment was just as impressive as the shoe/sneaker sides, a deep middle that would easily hold five heavy sweaters. But even more, the tough interior made me plenty confident that I could put my tech in there with plenty of padding.
This is a well-made bag. I took this on a two-day trip to English Premier League football heaven, figuring it would be an extra bag for souvenirs. Instead, I found myself using this as my main carry-on bag because it held so much and – with its surplus-grade web strapping and strong leather zippers – held it securely.
We’re still in the infancy of the Gadget Guy column, but this Gadget Guy Platinum Pick is the best carry-on bag I’ve tested thus far (the Slicks backpack is outstanding as a carry-on but is made for multiple uses). It’s a bag stylish enough to fit in at Nordstrom but rugged enough to be your gym bag.
Scoring: Each category is scored between 1 and 10 for a maximum score of 50. Products scoring 48.0 or above earn the label of Gadget Guy Platinum Pick. If a product scores under 44 in our testing, we will not review it as we prefer to inform you on the best products rather than criticize the ones that aren't quite as good.
Products detailed above were provided to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Tim Wood and have not been influenced in any way.
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