We love looking in other people’s panniers to see what they’re carrying, so when reader Mark Watson sent photos of how he keeps his laptop safe from bumps and dust, we had to share.
We use a Macbook Air. It’s very light and compact and with Flash memory, so its harddrive is much less susceptible to vibrations on the road. To make the Air bombproof in the pannier we keep it in a lightweight plastic box, of the type that electronics people carry their bits and bobs in. The box is padded with closed cell foam.
Mark is a photographer, so his laptop is bigger and more powerful than the netbooks and tablets that many of us take on a bicycle tour, but the idea could be adapted for any computer.
Additionally, Mark carries something to back up all of his photos.
We carry two Western Digital USB hard drives (320/500GB) for our Adobe Lightroom photo libraries (I’m a photographer) with one as the main drive and the second as a back up.
This is bulkier approach than simply wrapping your laptop in a few clothes and stuffing it in a back bag but it’s certainly a very robust option, if you want that extra protection. Whether it’s worth it for you probably depends largely on where you are going (paved roads or lots of off-asphalt riding?) and your level of concern about your computer.
For an idea of what Mark is using his computer for, check out his amazing photography. He’s currently touring in Southeast Asia with his partner Hana.