Even with so many devices going toward the microUSB “standard”, I can’t help but travel with a minimum of three different types of cables — and sometimes more than that. My phone uses microUSB, my iPad has its own Apple connector, and my camera is miniUSB. When packing, I also need to bring along the battery chargers for my camera and MacBook Air, along with a few other miscellaneous doo-dads. You may recall that I reviewed the Skooba Design Cable Stable DLX early last year; while I have found it to be an excellent solution when I need to bring along the whole ‘kit and kaboodle’, there are times when I have wished that it was a little bit less … capable.
Enter Skooba Design’s newest model, the Cable Stable Mini.
Measuring 9.25″ long x 5.75″ wide x 1.5″ deep, the Cable Stable Mini is composed of black nylon twill on its exterior, with contrasting “smooth, scratch-free” neon green nylon pack cloth lining the interior. The Mini is made so that it is easily carried; there is a 1″ wide nylon strap handle on the top that tucks in or pulls out as needed, but I find that it is just as comfortable to carry the Mini in my hand as a clutch. A YKK zipper with a 1.25″ long nylon zipper-pull secures a 7″ long and 5″ deep pocket on the front. This pocket is perfectly sized for easy to lose items such as bills, memory cards, coins, thumb drives, and loose keys.
The back of the Mini does not have a pocket, but it does have a racing stripe.
Tugging on the 1.25″ nylon zipper pull opens the single YKK zipper that closes three sides of the case; when it is open, the Mini is similar to a book. Inside, the Skooba-branded neon green interior makes a bright background for the black elastic straps and the black neoprene pocket. What will fit inside? Let’s explore the options …
On the left there is a stretchy neoprene pocket measuring 4.5″ deep x 3.75″ wide; this pocket can hold my Canon G11′s charger with a little bit of room to spare. Next to it is a pen pocket, which is large enough to accept my favorite — the uniball Grip. At the bottom there is a 4″ wide x 1.75″ deep elastic pocket, which holds my spare business cards. Right next to the card pocket is a tiny elastic pocket that I didn’t think would be useful for holding much of anything, but it happens to hold my Kingston Digital Hi-speed Datatraveler Flash Drive perfectly. [affiliate link]
On the opposite wall, a 3″ tall, the bottom elastic is large enough to hold my MacBook Air charger block – minus the extra extension cable. The three 1.5″ elastic sections are perfect for holding a microUSB, Apple connector and miniUSB cable each. Thankfully I don’t have any more cables or pens that I need to bring, but if I did they could be arranged into the three elastic loops making up the Cable Stable Mini’s interior spine; the cool thing is that the small Apple AC adapter fits very well in the bottom elastic with the MacBook Air charger inserted; when I don’t need my MBA, I can bring along the iPad travel charger in its place.
And here is my Cable Stable Mini — packed and closed — all of the cables and chargers that I need to properly travel are inside and ready to GO. Worth noting is that having a proper place to store everything, rather than jumbled together in a larger catch-all bag, means that it would be very easy to see if one of my cables or charger were missing. Sure, it takes a moment to make sure that all of my cables are properly wound, but I usually do that anyway; now I just have a proper place to keep them.
If you have eyed the Cable Stable DLX and thought that it would be great, if it weren’t quite so big, then you will absolutely love the Cable Stable Mini. It goes just as easily from a desk drawer to a suitcase to your desktop!
The Skooba Design Cable Stable Mini is available directly from the manufacturer.
MSRP: $29.95 (Don’t forget: you can get 25% off orders of $75 or more when you use the code GDIARY during checkout)
What I Like: Small enough to easily pack or carry, but large enough to hold a lot of gear; keeps your cables and chargers organized, helping you to keep up with them when packing; YKK zippers and zipper-pulls that won’t break off; a zippered pocket, open pockets and elastic bands allow you to hold many odd-shaped items; Bright interior displays the items held for easy identification
What Needs Improvement: Nothing — it works very well!