How Not Being Able to Find the Perfect Bag Inspired a New Company

Unable to find the perfect bag, industry veteran Brian Herd took matters in his own hands and designed his own that he called the totinit. Now his company of travel accessories including his best-selling Sling Pro

Earlier this month, Wifi Hifi received an e-mail from long-time industry veteran Brian Herd. Herd has over 30 years in the CE Industry having worked with companies such as Creative Labs during the heyday of the Sandblaster and MP3 rage, as well as working for LG Electronics where Herd managed the Best Buy account.

The cross body design of the totinit sling allows for easy access of essentials like a Smart phone

Herd, born, raised and still living in British Columbia, remains active in the industry working with companies like Hitfar, where he assists with the Canadian distributor’s big-box and online business for sleep technology brand ASTI.  But that’s not why Herd reached out to us.

When you have spent as much time on the road and in airports as Herd, you become rather particular of how you pack and what you carry.  Not being a fan of the classic business backpack and not finding the perfect carrying case to meet his needs, Herd opted to take his own initiative, and ended up designing his own carrying solution, an over-the-shoulder sling with multiple pockets that he now calls the totinit. That was in 2016, and today the “Tote-in-it” has expanded to multiple products of wearable tech fashion and travel wallets. The cross-body slings are designed for easy access of travel essentials such as Smartphones and passports. 

The author and his Border Collie field testing the totinit sling

“What we have created is a minimalistic bag that securely and comfortably carries all essentials, while keeping portability, convenience, and security top of mind” explains Herd. “The crossbody sling I imagined didn’t exist, so I went to work discussing options with various contract manufacturers. Soon after, I launched the totinit passport sling as my flagship SKU, and today we have broadened the totinit lineup by launching small travel bags and expanding into RFID minimalistic wallets” adds Herd.

A large plastic clasp allows the Sling to be adjustable to body size and a stretch neoprene material adds comfort over the shoulder.

Herd sent Wifi Hifi the totinit Passport Pro Sling.  The product uses heavy-duty sustainable recycled polyethylene, material known in the industry as rPET. Three carrying pockets are secured to the cross-body sling with industrial grade Velcro that can be easily adjustable along the cross section of the sling.  The sling is intended to be worn over your left shoulder, but I found that having the sling across my right shoulder felt more natural, so I simply unvelcro’d the pockets and reoriented them with the zippers facing up, which is a nifty customizable feature.  Had the pockets not been adjustable and only available to a left shoulder orientation, I would never have used the sling. A large plastic clasp adjusts the strap to accommodate body size. The largest pocket on the sling is lined with an RFID blocking material offering an extra layer of security for passports and credit cards.

Frustrated with carrying options that did not meet his needs Brian Herd (pictured) took matters in his own hands and designed his own bag that has since turned in to travel accessory company totinit

Our Field Test

We took the totinit sling along for a 90-minute hike that included a summit of a nearby mountain.  The first pocket snuggly carried a Smartphone, in my case the largest available iPhone where the pocket handled both the phone and my protective case with ease.  The second pocket carried extra glasses, my wallet, lip balm and a small sunscreen and the last pocket I used for car keys, dog treats and a light dog leash. A supplied carabiner could be used for attaching a water bottle or as a tie down to keep the sling securely in place if say, you were cycling. The ability to access my phone on the go for photos was a real plus and the sling’s design didn’t leave my back drenched in sweat which is typical of a classic backpack.

While the sling is designed with the pockets over the chest, both the author’s wife and daughter naturally gravitated the pockets lower and toward the back for what they called a more streamlined and feminin look

While Herd’s vision for the sling started as a solution for the business traveller to easily access a phone and passport without ever having to remove the product, I immediately gravitated the bag more as a solution for an adventure weekend of hiking, paddleboarding (not waterproof so don’t fall in!) or cycling.  The ability to ski with the totinit sling, and be able to access say a small Sony R1 camera for example, without unzipping a jacket or removing a backpack in the cold would be a real bonus.  We’re hoping that Herd and the team behind totinit are pleased that their cross-body sling can appeal in both a business or adventure weekend environment.  What we are really pleased to see is members of the CE industry putting their entrepreneurial spirit to the test and starting their own brands!  

Herd continues to expand totinit and the products can be found directly on the brand’s website, in addition to marketplace sites with Best Buy, The Bay, Amazon and later this month, can be purchased in all 80 London Drugs stores in Western Canada.  Father’s Day is around the corner! The Cross Body Passport Pro Edition $79.99