In the past week I've gone from adoring this bag, to wondering if it would work for me, and back to really, really liking it.
When I first opened the bag I was in awe of its size. It is huge. Which will make it seriously great for travel. Then I touched the leather trim. Soooo soft. As I started to play with the bag I found huge “hidden” pockets- two in the front with those fancy leather pulls and one in the back, all sheltered under that soft leather. Nice.
So far so good, right?
Then I filled the bag, like I would for a trip. And I began to have my doubts. First problem: I have a 17″ laptop. It fits, but it was a hassle to get it into that pocket. I didn't feel like the long leather strap was really supportive enough to carry that large of a laptop comfortably; if I took it off the shorter shoulder straps were too short for that much weight.
But, I decided to really try the bag before I wrote it off. And, after two days I've come to really appreciate this bag and I can't wait to use it on an actual trip.
Here's what I like:
- I don't actually take a 17″ laptop when I travel; I take an Pink Acer Aspire One, 8.9″ that weighs 2.2 pounds. I carry it in a wonderful Janine King Laptop Sleeve with the cord and accessories in a matching wristlet. Both items fit very nicely in the pocket.
- The “hidden” pockets are absolutely huge! The single back pocket is the perfect place to keep travel documents safe and organized. It can easily hold a large passport/ ticket folder. And since it is close to your body it's safe.
- The two front pockets are great for those odds and ends that you always end up carrying when you have kids: notebooks, pens, crayons, playing cards, food.
- The three divided pockets on the inside kept my phone, iPod Touch and business cards easily accessible.
- The zippered pocket on the other side is roomy enough for a medium wallet or to keep make-up and toiletries.
- The size of this bag… Wow. It is huge. I could easily fit a one gallon bag with a change of clothes (undergarments, shirt, socks) and a pair of comfy shoes in here. As well as a book or two, a couple of magazines and snacks. And still have room.
- It can be worn over the shoulder or cross body.
The only remaining issue I had was with the straps. Luckily Hayden-Harnett has a How to Wear Your Ibiza page. And there I found my answer. If I unhooked the strap from one of the O-rings (which is just gorgeous. I wish there was a good photo of the O-ring somewhere because it is practically art), ran it through the opposite O-ring and hooked both clasps to the same O-ring I had a perfect length, perfect tension strap.
It was almost as if the clouds parted and I could bring myself to love this bag again. OK, that's dramatic, it did feel a little bit that way…
One more great feature of this bag- which truly makes it wonderful for travel with kids or a weekend jaunt… It “downsizes”. On the rear of the bag are three snaps and leather loops at the bottom corners. Simply snap, clip those O-rings through the loops and you have a smaller bag. You can put in a few smaller items and have room to expand for souvenir stops and shopping excursions. Or just the weekend farmer's market.
The tote is made of a sturdy nylon twill and can be spot cleaned. The leather requires a quality leather cleaner.
The bag measures 19″ long x 18″ high.
Available in olive (this is the one I have), smoke blue, red, chocolate and violet.