I’ve been looking over tech gifts for women lists and keep having the same visceral reaction to many of them. The pinkification is alive and well in the tech industry. Ideas  seem to end with “and cute” too often.  Many lists are simply insulting and out of touch. Women do not possess a hive mind and a shocking number of us loath pink & decorative tech. Here’s a list I culled from various sources this morning:

  • A piece of smart jewellery – “that looks cute’
  • A pair of wireless headphones that “look cute” 
  • An instant camera – “even has a selfie mirror so your leading lady always looks her best” 
  • Smart watch “If you know a girl who likes cutting-edge tech and sighs longingly while walking through the smartwatch section”
  • A “pretty charging cable”  
  • A “beautiful” or “cute” or “pretty” iPhone case
  • Commute Laptop Sleeve can be “carried along with her cash, cards, lipstick, and other necessities in this convenient clutch”
  • Blinq Ring “in pink”
  • Carry on luggage “in pink”  

So many lists seem to think women are only interested in tech if it’s made to “look cute” or has a function to help us “look our best”.  I’m not against people purchasing pink stuff or something that makes you feel pretty or cute. My objection is the forced diet of pinkified shit. It’s like a stroll down the toy section in any store. You have all the “boy toys” in neutral packaging and then the wall ‘o pink.  So, my response is to explore tech gift ideas for women that don’t pander to the notion we all want to look pretty and take selfies. It’s a list for everyone

Tech gifts for women – and everyone else in your life.

Things are a better, in regards to tech for women, than it used to be. A growing number of gift ideas are eschewing the stereotypical “pink & pretty” for practical, fun and functional.  So I’m going to start my recommendations with one of my favourites – a knapsack I bought over a year ago. 

Today’s gift is a great idea – a knapsack with slots and pockets.

Not strictly speaking a tech gift, but everyone could use help carting around tablets, cameras, rechargers etc without the hassle of digging through a mountain of stuff. The Tamrac Tradewind 18 camera bag is perfect. It has adjustable slots to keep everything organised, a separate slot for a notepad  and a tablet or 13” laptop and it’s water resistant.  This bag is lightweight and holds more than you think

Try the Tradewind Backpack 18 

Tradewind Backpack 18 - tech gifts for women

An off the shelf Tradewind 18

Unzipped Tradewind Backpack 18 showing compartments - tech gifts for women

Lots of adjustable storage compartments

The main thing I looked for when I was searching for a replacement bag, was adjustable slots. Depending on what I’ll be doing, I can change them up to fit my camera, battery chargers, snacks, cables, computer components and everything else.  Supper handy.  The top compartment is big enough to hold a windbreaker and a bagged lunch. 

The back of the knapsack serves as a zippered sleeve large enough to securely carry a note pad and 13″ laptop or pretty much any tablet. One thing I don’t worry about is slipping and falling in the winter, I know the tablet is well protected in the back. 

Make it unique

The bag is in a neutral grey/black so it’s the perfect canvas to express your personality. Here’s mine, all kitted out to suit me. My favourite button and badge store was a victim of gentrification so now I’m a little short on fun buttons. I’m still in mourning. My bag has had some hard knocks over the last two years and still looks like new. It’s very hard wearing. 

My Tradewind Backpack 18 complete with patches - tech gifts for women

Some buttons, a few patches and it’s personalized

Tradewind Backpack 18 showing filled compartments - tech gifts for women

Velcro compartments make it easy to adjust

The internal slots are fully adjustable. Strong Velcro keeps the slots in place so there are no worries about them slipping or detaching. After a lot of use, they are still a bugger to pull off and rearrange. The middle divider can be unzipped and all the slots removed if you need a full sized bag instead of compartmentalized one. 

The mesh side pockets are handy, but they aren’t good for holding a large water thermos. If you lean over, it’ll come crashing to the ground. I solved the problem with a few cheap clips I picked up at the local Dollar Store. Staples carries them as well.  Look for carbiners.  

A couple of dollar clips are great for securing water bottles

A couple of dollar clips are great for securing water bottles

 
Tradewind Backpack 18 showing mesh pockets holding water bottle

Two mesh pockets come in hand

The bag itself is lightweight and the padded straps make it comfortable to use for hours. 

Tech gifts for women, don’t forget the extras 

I’ve added  a few extras to my bag. The local Dollar Store carries bike lights that clip on to the loops and straps. At night light up like a Christmas tree.  I also grabbed a bunch of small string bags to keep items sorted. 

Small cloth bags to keep items sorted

Dollar store cloth bags to stay organised

One bag carries phone re-charger, headphones and a spare USB cable. The second one carries loose change and a third one … okay .. it carries hot sauces because you never know when you’ll have a hot sauce emergency. If I’m off to a client’s place, I can grab a fourth bag that holds extra flash drives and batteries. Any small string bags help keep everything in place. 

The bag retails for between $78 to $100. I bought mine on sale at a local camera store for around $60. Tamrac has a number of knapsacks and shoulder bags that might fill a need so wander yonder and check them out –  https://www.tamrac.com/ Don’t be put off by the notion they are camera bags.  Think of them as the ultimate organisational tools. 

I’m going to be reviewing and writing about more tech gift ideas, some I’ve actually tested, many I have on my wish list so keep checking back for ideas.  

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