For members only ↓ Sign up here →

Issue #51: The iPad Everyday Carry

🆓 This member post is free for all, thanks to our paying subscribers. Enjoy!


I’m happy to report that I’ve gotten my first vaccination shot, which got me thinking about the times when you could actually take your iPad, find a café, and get some work done outside your home. Maybe it’s not so far off anymore?

Working at cafés was never a big thing for me, to be honest. It’s often crowded, noisy, and the ergonomics (which I care a lot about, as you probably know) always suck. That said, it can be nice with a change of pace at times. Popping out to work from a coffee shop for a few hours doesn’t require a lot of gear — battery life isn’t an issue, and you’re unlikely to need anything other than headphones as well as potential typing and pointing devices — but there are some things I always bring.

Then there’s the more extended trips that take you to a different city, or in any other way moves you far from your normal work environment. That’s a more extended kit for me, obviously.

So today we’re going to look at what I stuff in my iPad bag for short as well as long excursions, my Everyday Carry — or EDC — if you will.

Always with me

If I’m bringing my iPad to work, there are some things that will always be there. There’s the iPad, obviously, the 12.9” 2021 Pro model sitting in its Magic Keyboard. While I use my iPad in many ways, not just as a touch-capable laptop by any means, I always carry it around in the Magic Keyboard. While heavy, it’s convenient, and the iPad is protected.

There are a few other things that I always have with me as well, in a small pouch I found at Muji. I think it’s for pens really, which makes sense because I’ve got my Apple Pencil in there. This pouch always contains the following:

  • Apple Pencil
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Lightning to USB-C cable
  • 18W USB-C charger
  • AirPods Pro
  • Cleaning cloth

This, together with the iPad Pro with a decent charge, will be more than enough for a couple of hours in a coffee shop. In fact, I could drop chargers and cables, but you never know when you want to top up your battery, or connect something.

A few words about adapters and cables

Speaking of connecting things, I often carry a small USB-A to USB-C plug. While I don’t use any peripherals relying on USB-A anymore, you never know when you need to connect something. Yeah, it’s a bit silly, but it’s such a small thing.

I do have a larger adapter for various connectivity things. It’s one from Satechi (there are so many options out there) which has HDMI, USB-A, USB-C, and a headphone jack. This one works well enough, but it’s larger, so I don’t bring it on everyday excursions.

It’s worth noting that I’ve done my best to stick to USB-C capable devices. I’d love to ditch the Lightning cable, but occasionally, I want to charge my iPhone, som that’s why it’s there. I experienced with the InCharge 6 cables, which are good, but I still needed two since they can’t pull enough juice out of the 18W charger when used with an iPad. It’s like using one of those old, simple chargers, and that just takes too long for anything larger than an iPhone.

Longer trips

This is where it gets interesting. I used to travel a lot, and that had other requirements, especially since it often involved airplanes. For these trips, I carry a lot more stuff. My work can lead to many different situations, so I tend to carry a lot of tools with me. 

Again, not counting the iPad Pro in its Magic Keyboard, this is what goes in my bag:

That’s a heavier package. If I know I’ll be short on power, I’ll throw in a power-bank or two as well. I’ve got a big one from Kanex that can charge my iPad Pro twice, I believe. They don’t seem to be selling it anymore, though.

Having both AirPods Pro and Max is a bit overkill, but I use them for different things. There’s just something with over-ear headphones that doesn’t do it for me in terms of taking calls, and you wouldn’t catch me wearing them in a video call, no way. The AirPods Max are great for noisy areas though, I like them a lot.

The DJI Copilot is worth a couple of words. I don’t love it, there’s some recurring firmware issue with USB-C on the iPad Pro that I keep fixing, and it keeps coming back. The BOSS app you use to communicate with it is pretty bland too. This device was more important when I shot a lot of photos because it has a SD card slot. Pop in the card, press a button, and the Copilot copies the data to its internal hard-drive. You can even copy from one plugged-in source to another, although I’ve never had any particular use for that. Having extra backup like this when doing photo gigs is a must for me. Granted, the 2 TB storage on my iPad helps because I can just import my photos to there as well.

The Copilot has another thing going for it, and that’s its ability to charge devices. I rarely have the need for extra batteries, but knowing that it’s there should it arise while waiting for a delayed train in the middle of nowhere is comforting. There are lighter and more powerful alternatives, but I like the fact that I’ve got an extra hard-drive with me. All that said, it’s likely that the Copilot will end up in my photo bag, since I don’t do many professional shoots anymore, and that USB-C connectivity thing is annoying. My daily camera these days is the Ricoh GRIII, and that’s fully USB-C compatible so I tend to connect it to my iPad, or just transfer the photos using Bluetooth. It’s a lovely little camera, catering for entirely different needs than a professional might have, but I like it. I’ll probably end up with a smaller hard-drive, and an extra battery instead.

There you have it, the stuff that goes in my bags — yes, plural: one for a couple of hours on the town, the other for travel — when I leave the house. Which hopefully will be something I’ll do a bit more often, I’ve missed the mobility that the iPad offers.

What are your must-carry accessories? Tweet me about it!

— Thord D. Hedengren ⚡️

In the (not so) wild…