Many women have lamented the relative lack of stylish ways to carry their iPods. Although a few designers — Kate Spade, for example, — have responded with expensive iPod cases, Delarew Design has taken a different approach: They’ve created the Delapod line, a series of attractive and reasonably-priced bags and backpacks for women that have built-in iPod compartments. But the company didn’t stop there: Instead of making you fumble around inside the bag to access your iPod, each Delapod bag has a clear external PVC window through which you can view your iPod’s screen and access its controls.
The AccessPak is Delarew’s leather backpack entry in the Delapod line. At 10 inches wide, 12.5 inches tall, and 4.25 inches deep, the AccessPak is rather petite as far as backpacks go, but offers enough space for a wallet and several small books, with room left over for a few other small items. The inside of the main compartment includes pouches for a mobile phone and a PDA as well as two additional zippered pockets. The external compartment includes a number of organizational pockets; slots for business, credit, and ID cards; and a matching leather checkbook holder. Leather zipper pulls are a nice touch, as is the convertible leather backpack straps, which zip together to form a single strap.
The AccessPak’s iPod pouch and “window” are actually located on the back of the pack, which means your iPod sits against your back. This is a good choice, in my opinion, for several reasons. First, given that your iPod’s face is exposed to knocks and bumps, this location offers the additional protection of your body. Second, it makes the iPod’s screen and controls easier to access when you’re wearing the bag — you simply swing the bag off your shoulders. (If the window was on the other side of the bag, you’d have to take the bag all the way off and turn it around.) Finally, in this day and age of iPod-inspired muggings, having your iPod hidden against your body, rather than advertised to the world, is a prudent approach.
The AccessPak feels and looks well-made, and is available in five leather colors and finishes: red (pebble grain finish), black (pebble grain), hot pink (faux crocodile finish), light green (faux crocodile), and camel (smooth finish). The only criticism I’ve heard — we polled our female colleagues and family — is that the “mini backpack” look isn’t as hip today as it was a few years ago.