Here’s a problem: On long bike rides, you want your phone to send music, podcasts, or directions your headphones — but all that Bluetooth and GPS use runs down its battery.
Here’s another problem: No one’s really figured out a practical use for wireless charging yet, but it is pretty darn cool.
The “Mexxenger” bag from PAIX Design aims to solve both those problems. The attractive, if slightly bulky, messenger bag, comes with a pocket with built-in wireless charging that will charge your compatible phone as long as it’s inside. It’s the evolution of a series of design ideas the company first introduced in a backpack, known as the “BACKPAIX” in June 2016.
It’s not a revolutionary advance — in practice not that different from plugging your phone into an external battery in your bag — but it is a lot less clunky. There are no wires to futz with, only to have them fall apart between your textbooks. And there’s something just pleasing about slipping a phone into a pocket and having it instantly start to charge. You just have to remember to pull out your external battery though and recharge it overnight, or the pocket becomes…just a pocket.
I took the one PAIX sent Inverse to play with home with an old Galaxy S7 inside. (My current phone doesn’t support wireless charging.) The battery filled up by just under 20 percent percent over the course of my hour-and-ten-minute subway commute.
I’m glad I wasn’t biking though: The strap on our early test model snapped with my work laptop, meds, and the phone inside, crashing into the pavement of the street I was crossing. Gotta give PAIX credit though: nothing in the padded pockets was damaged. (And it’s not too unusual for early review models of products to have defects.)
The charging pocket is just one of a number of features designed to appeal to commuters, among them a waterproof pocket big enough for a whole flounder if you enjoying carrying fish), protection for your camera gear, and a funky little light that the company has programmed to work as a turn signal when coupled with a handlebar remote (though we wouldn’t recommend relying on it during busy commutes during busy commutes.)
Anyone who’s commuted with a messenger bag knows it’s not exactly the most comfortable way to get around, especially for cyclists. But if you’ve got strong shoulders and like a slick bit of luggage, you could do a lot worse.
The Mexxenger is currently in the middle of its Kickstarter campaign, and there are still a few early-bird slots available for $159. (The final bag will cost $200, according to PAIX). As far as we can tell, it’s the only messenger with wireless charging you can buy right now. As with any Kickstarter project, it’s difficult to know for sure when this thing will hit stores, so if you’re interested the crowdfunding site is probably your best bet.