So, I have finally found the perfect combination of iPad accessories for function, protection and portability.
Yesterday, I received the STM Scout XS bag which is absolutely perfect for carrying the iPad (complete with case), Apple bluetooth keyboard, charger and lots of other little accessories and gadgets (I'll also be carrying my digital camera in my travels). The case is the Sena Folio, and the device itself is covered in Ghost Armor on all sides.
Regarding the Scout bag, the compartment that holds the iPad is very well padded and has its own velcro pocket, so that the primary flap of the bag can be open without exposing the iPad. The second big pocket is enough for the keyboard and even a thin book or two. There's a smaller pocket that's plenty roomy for all the aforementioned necessary bits you may travel with, and there's an even smaller, zippered pocket. It has an attached keyring, which I've no intention of using, and there's a document pocket on the backside of the bag. It's miraculously light. Every time I hoist it onto my shoulder my mind automatically expects it to match the weight of my laptop bag, and my neck muscles brace themselves. But it's remarkably comfortable, with a broad strap, and it even has a padded shoulder cushion. I could carry this around airports all day long and not be exhausted, whereas my laptop was far more of a hindrance, so heavy that the strap broke under its own weight, one of the many elements which made that an awful time at the airport!
Needless to say, I'm stoked. I have the perfect setup for my iPad and I'm ready for the world. Now to wait for 2011 when I can actually travel again...