“A place for everything and everything in its place” is a motto I live by. Whether at the office, home or on the go, I like to keep things as organized as possible so I can find what I’m looking for when I need it. However, like many of you out there, I tote my laptop, tablet, and other tech gadgets with me to and from work on a daily basis, so the one place where my love of organization is lacking is in my laptop bag; and by laptop bag, I mean large designer purse. Sure, it has ample room to fit everything I need for the day ahead, but when the time comes to dig out my headphones or find my smartphone, it’s as if I am trying to locate a sunken ship in the Bermuda Triangle.

It was because of this daily battle with my Bermuda Triangle purse that I was excited to give the Cocoon Urban Adventure Messenger Sling and Cocoon 15” Laptop Backpack a whirl. You might wonder what makes these bags so special and how they might eliminate my endless search for my headphones, so before I talk about the specifics of the bags themselves, let’s talk about Cocoon’s GRID-IT® organization system.

Get Organized with Cocoon’s GRID-IT System

grid-itSo, what is GRID-IT, you ask? Great question. Cocoon’s GRID-IT organization system stows all your accessories against a flat, padded board via a unique and innovative weave of rubberized elastic straps. The idea is that you slip small objects, like your smartphone, earphones, chargers, keys, sunglasses or lip gloss into the straps to keep everything neat, organized and secure. Because of the design, there are endless configurations and endless ways to use the system


Putting the Cocoon GRID-IT Organizer to the Test

In addition to the two Cocoon bags I was asked to review, I was also sent the GRID-IT Accessory Organizer, which is a standalone version of the product that is available in a variety of different sizes, so I decided to try it out first. On the front is the GRID-IT weave of elastics, and on the back is a zippered pocket that runs the length of the organizer. To be honest, I didn’t see much use for the zippered pocket on the back since the opening is so narrow you can really only fit a handful of papers inside.

grid-it-fullThat said, the GRID-IT itself truly stood up to its promise of keeping my objects secure. I slipped in my smartphone, headphones, a USB key, my office key card, phone charger and lip gloss, and then proceeded to lift the organizer and shake it around. I learned very quickly that you need to make sure you place your items under the smallest elastic possible, otherwise they will wiggle their way out when you start to move around. However, once I rejigged my GRID-IT configuration, I gave the organizer another shake and everything stayed securely in place. At 12” by 8” the organizer was a bit too large for my purse but would work very well in a backpack or carry on, and the smaller 7.25” by 9.25” version would definitely meet my needs.

Using the Cocoon 15” Laptop Backpack

cocoon-backpackThe Cocoon Innovations Recess Collection 15” Laptop Backpack features a
very nice compact design with dedicated padded pockets on the inside to protect both your laptop and tablet. When I first looked at the backpack, I thought it seemed to be on the small side and didn’t think much else could fit inside once I had my precious electronics safely stowed, but I was surprised to find that I was able to fit my wallet, umbrella and book with ample room to spare. I did find that the two exterior water bottle holders were quite small, so getting my water in and out of them was a bit of a pain, but the padded back panel and water resistant nylon exterior proved to be ideal for my rainy Vancouver commute.

Of course the biggest selling point of the Cocoon Recess Backpack is its built in GRID-IT organization system in the front pocket. Measuring in at about the size of a standard tablet, it provides ample room to stash your smartphone, headphones, charger, or whatever else you need to keep neat, tidy and accessible. What I really liked about the design of the backpack’s front pocket was that there is room behind the GRID-IT organizer for even more storage space, and the fact that the zippered pocket opens on all three sides so you can lay your backpack flat and organize your gadgets with ease.


Testing the Cocoon Urban Adventure Laptop and Tablet Messenger Sling

cocoon-laptopTo be perfectly honest, I’m not a huge fan of messenger bags, but the understated design of the Cocoon Urban Adventure Laptop Sling is something I could see myself using when popping out to the coffee shop on a weekend to do some writing. For others, it might just be the perfect work or school companion. Like the Cocoon Recess Backpack, the main compartment of the Cocoon Messenger Sling accommodates both a tablet and a 13.3” laptop, and is exceptionally padded, so you know your electronics will be kept safe from bumps and bruises; however once you have a laptop inside, there is little room for much else.

On the back of the bag is a zippered pocket with compartments for a smart phone or small tablet as well as pockets for credit cards, school IDs, or perhaps even transit passes. On the front face of the bag is another large pocket that houses its GRID-IT organization system, which also unzips on all three sides so you can easily organize your cords and other accessories while laying the bag flat. While not necessarily my style, I did like how compact and functional the bag was, and how padded the shoulder straps were.

Interestingly enough, when I took the Cocoon Messenger Sling to the office, almost every male colleague of mine asked me where I got it, so perhaps it is targeting those who do not use designer purses as laptop bags like yours truly.


I really liked the innovativeness and functionality of the GRID-IT system as a standalone addition to any existing bag, or as part of either the Cocoon Messenger Sling or Backpack. It made it so easy to store and organize all my tech gadgets and accessories without them falling prey to the black hole in my purse. I also think that these bags and the GRID-IT system would work very well for travelling. Instead of tech gear, I could see myself using the backpack as a small overnight or gym bag, and the GRID-IT system to neatly organize my travel size toiletries. Either way, two thumbs up!

Stacey McGregor
Stacey McGregor is a marketing and communications professional based in Vancouver, BC. She has a passion for the written word, loves learning about new technology and gadgets, and enjoys sharing what she learns through Best Buy's Plug In blog.