You know how it is with Ikea: even though you don’t need anything for yourself, you always end up going back from the store with a few things. In my case, I returned with a brand new “bartending bag”!
A little thing about me: as hard as I try, I don’t know how to pack lightly. Even when I manage to leave with a reasonably filled carry-on luggage, 90% of the time I end up either checking it in or carrying it back like a dead body because I bought too much stuff during my trip and it’s become too heavy. Often times I’ve considered getting one of those backpacks with wheels but I was never entirely convinced…until Friday. See I was asked to make some cocktails at a friend’s birthday party. She was taking care of the hard stuff but I still had to bring the mixers and my bartending material, which basically meant I’d have quite a lot to carry with me and I don’t have a car.
Friday, at lunch break I accompanied my colleague to Ikea to buy some stuff for the office. Right when I entered the shopping area I saw a display of Upptäcka backpacks on wheels. When I saw they had the storage space with different compartments to transport several bottles, my shaker, my bar tools, as well as a few packs of juices and fresh citrus, I didn’t think twice and bought one. The price was friendly and I can use the bag to go on weekends away, which is after all its original purpose.
I used the bag twice since I bought it: on Friday when I went to the supermarket to stock up on syrups, fruit purees and citruses for the cocktails and, on Saturday, to bring all that plus my bar tools to the party. On both occasions the bag was filled with so much stuff that I didn’t even try to wear it on my shoulders – I wouldn’t even have dreamed of it with any regular bag – and I was extremely happy to be able to roll it instead.
The advantages of the bag are many:
– It’s a backpack: the weight is divided on both shoulders
– Its back shield and straps are padded, which makes it comfortable to carry
– It has wheels and a telescopic handle: it can thus be rolled instead of carried
– It has three compartments:
– One big enough to store up to 7-8 bottles, 1-2 shakers, some juice/fruit purees packs and some fresh fruits (depending on how much you’re willing to put in there and carry)
– One perfect to put your recipe books, wallet, change of clothes
– One containing several pockets perfect to place your jiggers, bar spoons, strainers etc.
– When not used, the straps can be concealed inside the bag’s back flap. In turn, when using the straps, you can either zip the flap back or let it hang so it will protect your back from the dirt on the wheels
– It can be converted into two separate backpacks: unzip the zip in the middle of the bag and you’ll separate the main compartment with the wheel support from the first two compartments and reveal another set of straps to carry the smaller backpack
– It has top and side handles, for those times, you know, when you’ve overcharged the bag, can’t carry it over your shoulders and, say, have to carry it by hand three flights of stairs
– It stands steady, even if you’ve packed it with a lot of stuff, thanks to its sturdy pull-out support
– You can lock it with a padlock
The cons/Room for improvement
So far I can’t really think of cons regarding my Upptäcka bag. There are however a few features missing that would have made it the absolute best bag in my opinion:
– A removable pull-out support, so you can pack your bag in your suitcase, if you’re taking it as a joker carry-on luggage
– A set of four multidirectional wheels to roll the bag in multiple directions upright, with no weight on the arm
And to make it the absolute best bartending bag:
– Adjustable inserts to put in the main compartment in order to separate the bottles and thus protect them from hitting and breaking
– An isolated main compartment to keep some products cool
While it was not designed as a bartending bag, Ikea’s Upptäcka bag most certainly fits the bill. Anyone else using it?