Mac Sources - LANDER Expedition-Inspired Accessories Review

Quality, expedition-grade products for the modern explorer.

An accessory is defined as a thing that can be added to something else in order to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive. It is with this definition in mind that I approach reviews on products that accentuate other devices. I truly love great accessories. They can add so much to an experience and make you life easier. I was recently introduced to Lander – a company that specializes in creating great accessories for active lifestyles. Before I go too much farther, I have to say that I’m not a typically ‘active’ person, but I fell in love with the Lander products because of how versatile they are.

We are ‘wanderlusters’
Lander is a company that strives to make products that are purposeful and deliberate in their design. Their product designers blend modern style with outdoor durability to make the best possible product for work or for play. Their goal is to be utilitarian but to keep styles minimalisitc so that the modern explorer has everything they need at their fingertips. After having the opportunity to test out several items in their product line, I can say with certainty that their products are designed to work together, seamlessly as a brand family.

Timp Messenger Bag (20L)
I have a particular affinity for laptop bags. I’ve had just about every style possible and actually have quite a collection. I have a style of every occasion and thought I had seen them all. Until I tried Lander’s Timp product line. There are actually three different Timp bag styles – two different backpack sizes and the messenger bag. I had the opportunity to try the messenger style. The product line is described as designed for the wild, but stylish enough for the city. And it is.

The bag is made using a weather resistant TPU with a Rip Stop front panel. There are four ‘haul’ handles positioned around the bag for easy portability. No matter where you store it, you can easily grab it up and go. In addition to the handles, the Timp features a shoulder strap that is attached by caribeaner-like clasps. The back panel is made with a breathable mesh so that you don’t get over heated when you carry it around for long periods of time. There is a main compartment that has a sleeve and several pockets to keep your belongings organized. In addition to the main pocketed compartment, there is also a separate zippered laptop pocket. This pocket is fleece-lined and very protective for your laptop. I’ve been carrying my 13-inch MacBook Pro in it for some time and it’s been ideal for my daily commute.

One of the things that I truly love about this messenger bag – and the reason that I plan on continunig to use it for some time – is because there is no lack of space. The main compartment is soft-sided so it’s flexible. I was very surprised at the sheer amount of stuff I could carry in it. What’s even better than that is no matter how much you jam into the messenger bag, the weight is evenly distributed and it never ‘feels’ heavy.

Powell Case for iPhone
I’m very particular about the cases I use. I want them to be slim and comforming to my phone, but also protective. I don’t like the bulky ‘defender’ style cases because they just seem so constraining when it comes to actually using the phone. The Powell Case for iPhone is a really great compromise between tough protection and minimalist style. It is a standard wrap-around case that is Military 810 drop test approved. One of my favorite things about this case is its texture. The sides have a great ridge that prevents the case from slipping through your hands. The back is reinforced and made to be the protective barrier that your iPhone needs.

When I charge my phone at night, I use a charging dock. The dock I use is actually made to work with cases – even bulky cases – but there are some that just don’t fit. As a result, this is a big feature that I look for in cases – the correct size for docks. This can be a difficult task because many ‘slim’ cases aren’t very protective and many protective cases aren’t very slim. The Powell case is a perfect size and it slides right onto my Lightning dock. This is a huge convinence for me because it means that I don’t have to take the case on and off every day.

I’ve been using the case daily for many days now and have found that it’s more than enough to protect my phone. I don’t do any drop testing, but the phone has fallen a couple of times off my desk (about 3-4 feet) and the phone has remained undamaged. Powell is a great compliment to the iPhone’s design and it adds that vital layer of protection without adding bulk.

Cascade Portable Powerbank (5200 mAh)
I don’t know where I would be without portable power. That being said, there are some portable batteries that aren’t very portable. I had one that was the size of a small tablet. Being that I run off of mobile devices throughout my day, I cannot go without having a backup. The Cascade Portable Powerbank is a wonderful option for the on-the-go lifestyle. There are three different capacities available – 2600 mAh, 5200 mAh, and 7800 mAh – and they are all just a bit different in physical size, but all of them are easy to carry in your pocket. I have been testing the 5200 mAh version. It’s only about the size of a large pack of chewing gum. It comes equipped with a corded lanyard so that it can be attached easily to a caribeaner or keychain. In keeping with the minimalist designs, Cascade is designed with only one USB port and one Micro USB port for recharging. There is a 4-LED power indicator light that keeps you in check with how much power you have used.

In keeping with the minimalist designs, Cascade is designed with only one USB port and one Micro USB port for recharging. There is a 4-LED power indicator light that keeps you in check with how much power you have used. Cascade comes to you pre-charged, which means you can use it right out of the box. It’s a ‘universal’ charger and uses smart charge technology to autodetect what type of device is plugged in. The battery does output 2.1A, which is strong enough to charge a tablet.

While I have other battery packs, I’ve found myself reaching for Cascade more often than any other charging option. It’s convininet and easy to carry along with you no matter where you are going. I’ve plugged my phone into it and stuck both into my pocket at the same time with no space issues. The exterior of the battery has a nice, soft silicone feel to it with the same ridged design that I described with the Powell case. It’s a tough battery with a powerful output.

Neve Lightning Cable
As silly as this may seem to some, the Neve Lightning Cable might be my favorite accessory from this collection (that I’ve tested so far). The cable is a standard Mfi-certified Lightning cable for charging Apple devices. With that function in mind, it’s brilliant. I’ve taken it with me when I’ve been charging on the go with my Cascade battery and it works beautifully. I also used it recently when I did a clean install of my iPhone. I had my phone plugged into my MacBook and had no issues with the cable causing disconnections and there was no data loss. It’s a solid data transfer/charging cable.

While it’s functionality as a cable are impressive, I was really taken by Neve’s style. There are two sizes of the cable – 3 feet or 6 inches. I have the 6-inch version, which is perfect for my uses. It also makes for very easy portability. There are also two colors to choose from – Red or Black. I have the very bright red color. The cable is flat and made from a durable nylon material. I love this because it’s tangle-free. The cable is fleixble and easy to use in many situations. One very interesting feature of the cable is the Illumaweave reflective technology that is used with the nylon. It makes it easy to find the cable even in very dark areas. Neve was made to last and made to withstand most situations. It’s a great design and awesome companion for any Apple mobile device user.

One thing to note – all of Lander’s cables have a lifetime warranty. If something happens to it with regular use – it becomes frayed, stops charging your device, etc. – contact Lander and fill out the warranty form. They will replace the cable – no questions asked. This is something that many other companies do not provide.

Whether you are a wandering nomad looking for the next great outdoor adventure or an urban explorer trying to conquer the concrete jungle, Lander has a product that will suit your needs. I have seen a lot of products in these expansive accessory cateogries and think that Lander’s products are some of my favorite. I am looking forward to seeing what they design in the future. Read more