Beyond boring black bags ... the funky, chic and cool laptop bag!
Whether you like classic style, fashion chic or funky function, there IS a perfect laptop bag for you. These are the laptop bags I've tested as well as links to some other laptop cases, sleeves, briefcases and totes that I like.
There's a list right below here of all the reviews, though if you scroll through the lens, you may find a few surprises :) Thanks for reading!
Designers: if you would like your bag reviewed, please check this out first.
Gentlemen: Looking for something a little more masculine? Check out my Cool and Stylish Laptop Bags for Men lens!
Contents at a Glance
- The Plaforma is THE Hottest New Bag for...
- New Lens Alert - Funky, Chic and Cool iP...
- Ice Red delivers urban chic with the AVA
- The Jen Powered Crossbody: A Rechargeabl...
- Joyheel Laptop Bag - Click for Details!
- The Cool Laptop Backpack from Hadaki (Pa...
- The Sumo Combo Laptop/Tablet Backpack
- FYI - Missing Photos
- The Tuscany Leather Laptop Bag
The Plaforma is THE Hottest New Bag for iPads
For the bad boy (or girl) in you and your iPad ...
The Platforma - a sexy messenger-style bag just for iPads. But it's not just sexy, it has some crazy awesome functionality that will blow your mind. Check out my full review of the Platforma iPad Bag from Strotter. Photo Credit: Strotter.com
New Lens Alert - Funky, Chic and Cool iPad Cases
Yup - we're reviewing iPad cases now. You can check out the brand new Funky, Chic and Cool iPad Case lens.
Ice Red delivers urban chic with the AVA
A laptop backpack for city dwellers
When you live in the city (especially now at the darkest time of the year), you want a bright, slim bag you can configure in a number of ways. Check out the AVA laptop backpack from Ice Red Designs.
The Jen Powered Crossbody: A Rechargeable Bag for All Your Gadgets
From Urban Junket's New Line of PowerTrips - Rechargable Bags for Laptops and Gadgets
Ever have one of your devices run out of power? Of course you have. And it was THE WORST! Well the new line of rechargeable bags from Urban Junket attempts to address that problem. Check out the review of the Jen Powered Crossbody from UJ's PowerTrips line. Perfect to carry your iPad or other tablet.
The Cool Laptop Backpack from Hadaki (Paradise Aqua Collection)
Bright. Cheerful. Summer in a Bag.
Some days you need to blend in: performance review, you forgot to wash your hair, you owe your co-worker $20 bucks.
But some days, you want to stand out like a big aqua paradise backpack.
Conveniently, the Cool Laptop Backpack from Hadaki's Paradise Aqua Collection lets you do just that.
From the pink topstitching to the little feet for it to rest on, the Cool Backpack's details had me at "hello". However, as a *totally* scientific laptop bag reviewer, I put the bag through rigorous testing:
The outside of the bag features two netted side-pockets. One fit my water bottle and the other, a compact umbrella (for any unexpected meteorological conditions). The front of the pack features a deep zippered pocket with a pretty zipper pull. I've slipped in a makeup bag for easy access. My cherry blossom gloss is a must-wear with this backpack!
The above is an excerpt from my full review of the Hadaki Cool Laptop Backpack over on funchico.com - my laptop bag review site.
The Sumo Combo Laptop/Tablet Backpack
Perfect for sporty lady geeks!
Looking for a backpack that handily accommodates both your laptop and your tablet in a sleek and stylish way? Check out my review of the Sumo Combo Laptop/Tablet Backpack from Mobile Edge.
FYI - Missing Photos
Below you may see images that are "missing". They are actually there but not showing for some reason - if you click through, you'll see the image that is hosted on Flickr. My apologies! I hope Squidoo fixes this soon :(
The Tuscany Leather Laptop Bag
That touch of pink!
You can see my full review of the Tuscany on my blog.
The Tuscany laptop tote by Nunzia Design will put spring in your step and is available for $119 at Rainebrooke.com.
Chic Case for your Crafting Tools
The Craft Butler from Jordana Butler
If you're a knitter, you're going to love Jordana Paige's Craft Butler. Check it out over on my Funky, Chic and Cool Knitting Bags lens!
The Alesya Laptop Bag
A Southern charmer with brains and beauty
The Akiko Laptop Bag for Men
An urban gentleman's dream bag
Mamtak Bags, who designed the Aya bag reviewed below, also created this stylish and functional laptop bag for men. Check out the Akiko Laptop Bag over on my list of stylish laptop bags for men.
The Aya Laptop Bag by Mamtak
International flair for fall
Read my full review of the Aya from Mamtak.
SLAPPA KIKEN Laptop Bag
A seriously kick-ass bag for your serious gear
First, let's talk aesthetics: thanks to SLAPPA's patent pending M.A.S.K. technology, you have a choice of flaps to customize the look (and functionality) of your bag. SLAPPA sent me three to try out and they easily zip on and off. (Think Karate Kid style: Flap on. Flap off.) I'm a fan of the Lime Blast (I likes a punch of colour). The monochrome P-Tac Matrix flap is very cool looking, and there is also a woven flap called Jedi Mind Trix, which has velcro straps to let you carry more gear (including a yoga mat, if that's your thing. Jedis love the yoga). Note: you can see pics of these flaps in action over on Flickr.
Now for functionality: Just under the front flap are three very large rectangular, zippered compartments. When you're on a trip and making a presentation, you'll be able to fit all you need to connect your laptop to their projector and to a power source. External drives, powerbricks, adapters, and cords have roomy compartments and won't be mingling with your socks and underwear. The hardware on this bag is, like the bag overall, well-made and sturdy.
The interior of the bag is comprised of two clamshells that open completely for security-friendly scanning. One of the smartest features of the bag are the velcro flaps. When you want to open the clamshell compartments fully, unvelcro the sides - when you want to use the compartments as pockets, just secure the sides again. KIKEN!
The large shell storage section in the front of the bag will easily handle reading material, a few days' worth of clothes and your toiletries. A row of storage pockets provides organization to tuck away electronic accessories. Great detail: all of the lining is red so you easily locate items in bag.
The shell in the rear of the bag has a cushioned compartment that protects a laptop up to 17" (and SLAPPA notes that it'll fit Alienware m17X). This compartment faces a large zippered pocket, perfect for stashing work documents. Going through airport security, you just open this clamshell to scan. Everything is secured. Nothing's falling out.
The bag can carry a lot, so it's heavy when packed. Wearing the strap across the body is crucial. The adjustable shoulder strap, with its comfy shoulder pad, extends to approximately 51" from hardware to hardware at its max. If you are tall or have a sturdy build, the bag may sit a bit high on your body. To mitigate that, however, is the signature SLAPPA cushioned hand logo on the back of the bag, which keeps your heavy gear from bruising your hip or side.
Also, because this bag is meant to keep your tech gear safe, there aren't any easy access pockets anywhere on the exterior. Not great for getting to your passport or wallet quickly when travelling - but hey, if you can't get to them easily, neither can thieves. KIKEN!
All in all, if you are searching for a bag that will handle your tech gear, your overnight clothes and your monster laptop, consider the SLAPPA KIKEN customizable laptop bag. The kick-ass KIKEN retails for $129.99 over at SLAPPA.CA or SLAPPA.COM.
Sumo Professional Briefcase by Mobile Edge
A staple in your laptop's wardrobe
This bag is great for client meetings in the city or when I travel out of town on business. Actually, it's perfect to take with me on vacation too - it's for any occasion when I need my laptop (and why be coy? That's pretty much every occasion.)
The Sumo professional briefcase has a front zippered compartment for quick, easy access. There are accessory pockets, space for my business cards and keys, and when I take this bag with me to the airport, I can stow my passport and boarding pass in there.
Unzipping the main compartment of the bag reveals two storage areas sandwiched on either side of a laptop sleeve. The large front storage compartment is, like my perfect work suit, made to complement accessories. There are storage pockets for my electronic doo-dads, including a pocket that is lined with soft fabric. I put my iPhone there to keep it scratch-free. There's also plenty of room for my A/C adapter and various cords.
The cushioned, corduroy laptop sleeve is positioned in the middle of the bag, acting as a divider between front and back storage sections. My 15" MacBook Pro fits perfectly. The manufacturer states that it will fit a PC laptop up to 11" x 16" x 2", and this is realistic. When packed up, the center-positioned sleeve made the bag extremely comfortable to wear. Rather than a rigid laptop against my hip, the storage area next to my body had a more give and the bag felt more balanced.
The back storage section is ideal for files and reading material. Like the front section, there's plenty of room. The back of the bag has a cool quilted design and a luggage pass-through strap (always a plus for me). The sides of the bag feature a water bottle holder on one side and accessory pockets on the other.
The Sumo briefcase is larger bag with dimensions of 17.5"W x 13" H x 5" D. Its adjustable strap was just long enough for me to wear comfortably across my chest. I loved the shoulder pad. It's removable and adjustable. The bag's faux-leather handles are sturdy and comfortable to hold. Accessing items in the bag while wearing it was a snap, which makes it great for travelling or commuting.
In terms of construction - like my perfect work suit - the Sumo laptop briefcase is exquisitely tailored. The bag is made of ballistic nylon and features strong stitching and sturdy hardware. The interior fabric features the cute Sumo print I love and the faux-leather covered bottom offers a little extra protection from sticky subway floors and the like.
For $99.99, the Sumo Professional Laptop Briefcase from Mobile Edge is a great addition to your laptop's wardrobe. Get a 15% discount on any Mobile Edge purchase when you enter the coupon code FUNCHICO at the checkout.
The Chloe Dao by Nuo Laptop Satchel
A laptop bag with a lot of look. Surely, Tim Gunn would approve.
Okay, maybe, just maybe, I'm talking about me. I can't help myself. Amazing designers, fabric mayhem and offensive comments? Reality TV's perfect blend of talent and ridicule.
In season 2 of Project Runway, designer Chloe Dao took the runway by storm, winning the competition. And now you can have a laptop bag that she designed for Nuo. The good folks at Kolobags sent over the Chloe Dao by Nuo Laptop Satchel for me to try out.
The Nuo Laptop Satchel is a true fashion bag. If I were sitting in a director's chair on the Project Runway set, I'd say things like: it has a sleek silhouette and elegant lines; the faux leather detailing and the hardware are appropriate for the design; the stitching is well executed; it does not seem like a mother-of-the-bride laptop bag.
OK, the print. I hear Michael Kors in my head saying "That's a lot of print!" (why is Michael Kors spending so much time in my head?) And sure - it IS a lot of print. But step back a second - the abstract floral print is bold, feminine and sophisticated. The pattern has a smart colour scheme: the brown, black, red and blue in the design are going to allow me to coordinate the bag with whatever I'm wearing. I can definitely "make it work!"
Road warriors, heads up: this is a fashion bag, for use when I'm not expecting much action. It's going with me to coffee and to business meetings. There's no additional protection on the bottom of the bag, like feet or a thick, super-sturdy panel. The interior laptop sleeve is padded, but it may not offer sufficient protect if you toss it indiscriminately in the overhead bin. It is, however, nice and light to carry. The Nuo Laptop Satchel has 14" long handles for carrying; the bag sits comfortably on my shoulder and under my arm.
In general, I need my laptop bag to have respectable storage, but not so many pockets that I forget where I stash things. The Nuo Laptop Satchel meets this need perfectly. Inside the bag there is a large storage area. My cords, powerbrick, and make-up bag have plenty of room. There are a series of smaller pockets to organize gadgets like my iPhone and can be secured with velcro and elastic. The compartment for my laptop is padded and secured with an elastic/velcro strap - though the strap is designed to accommodate a much thicker laptop than my slim MacBook Pro 15.
There is a large flat pocket on the outside of the back of the bag. This can be used to hold documents or reading material. And, with a zipper at the bottom, once you empty it, it can be transformed into a luggage handle pass-through. But my favourite outside pocket is on the front. Look at the picture - see those two leather-trimmed areas on each side. Those are two entrances into a cleverly-disguised outside front pocket: form + function = awesome!
The Chloe Dao by Nuo Laptop Satchel retails for $79.99 at Kolobags. A great price-point for a bag with gorgeous design and excellent functionality. Oh, and make sure you check out Kolobag's Facebook page - they often post great deals and promo codes there!
Speaking of discounts - use code FUNCHICO at checkout for 10% off at Kolobags!
The Funchico - a Vintage-Style Pink Laptop Tote
Classic Holly Golightly style, updated for the 21st Century
Meet ... The Funchico!
I'm thrilled that I finally had the opportunity, through a partnership with Rainebrooke Designs, to create my dream bag. The Funchico's design is based on a vintage train case - the kind that fashionable women used to carry on trains and ships as they embarked on exciting journeys around the world. Except, that bag silhouette wouldn't work too well for the modern laptop-carrying fashionista. But with a few tweaks, you get the Funchico.
The Funchico is a vertically oriented bag that will hold up to a 15.4" laptop. Well, actually, in some cases it will hold a 17" laptop. The sleeve in the centre of the bag is removable. And that's not just great for getting through airport security; that means that if you do have a larger laptop, you can just pop out the sleeve, and the bag itself has enough padding to provide protection for your laptop.
The inside of the bag is also fashioned on the train case. There are three generous pockets in the main compartment of the bag - they are loosely gathered and zippered to resemble the pockets in vintage luggage. The nice thing about them is that they will accommodate different size accessories - so whether your power brick is for a Mac or a PC, it will fit. As the Funchico is a clamshell-style, there are also two zippered slim pockets in the interior of the top of the case.
You can carry the Funchico either by its generous faux-leather shoulder handles or via the small briefcase-style handle on the top. And, of course there are four silver feet to protect the bottom from dirt.
Oh, I mentioned that the internal sleeve is removable. It's secured by Velcro strips and we've made sure that the "soft" side of the Velcro is on the interior of the bag, so, if you wanted, you could actually remove the sleeve and use the Funchico simply as an overnight bag. Sweet!
When designing the bag and working through the manufacturing process with Rainebrooke, we both wanted to make sure that we didn't sacrifice the environment for fashion. So all carbon produced during manufacturing and transport has been offset purchased through Carbonfund.org. And finally, we donate a portion of the proceeds to Dress for Success (Vancouver and Houston chapters) - an organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire.
You can purchase the Funchico at Rainebrooke's site - it sells for $99 US. And if you're not sure whether your laptop will fit, just contact Rainebrooke with the make and model of your laptop - they'll be happy to check it for you!
The Allie Laptop Tote Bag by Rainbrooke
Get in touch with your inner Elle Woods
The vertical Allie Tote is Elle personified. It's got classic lines, a classic colour combo of pink and black, and just the right balance of fun and sophistication.
The front of the Allie Tote has a large pocket with a place for pens and business cards. The pocket has a snap closure. And, yes, you guessed it - when I need to fetch a pen, I put my tote on the floor, and I bend -- and snap! (Get it? Get it? Okay, I can see by your face that you get it.)
Two smaller pockets, layered on the outside of the snap-pocket, provide access in a pinch. The Allie tote also features a deep, zippered pocket on the outer back panel. Perfect for stashing a little cash for a French manicure, or your passport for that trip to Aruba.
The bag zips closed at the top with a nice, sturdy zipper. Inside, there is a padded section for your laptop with an elasticized Velcro strap to keep it secured in place. There is also a large compartment with plenty of room for documents, a book, and power cords.
The interior also features a pocket with a Velcro closure and a zippered pocket, to store your keys, wallet, and Berry Pink lipstick ;-) I like that this tote doesn't have too many pockets. There are enough to keep me organized, but not too many that I am forever forgetting where I put something.
The construction of the bag is excellent. Form meets function here, with the designer's careful attention to ensure that bag is pretty *and* sturdy, while still being very lightweight. In particular, the handles feel very secure, easily handling the weight of a laptop and whatever else I'm carrying around. Oh, and the Allie also boasts one of my favourite features - little feet on the bottom of the bag, to give it a little added protection when you set it down at the spa.
The Allie's faux leather tote handles are very comfortable - I feel like I could carry this bag around at a conference or a workshop, and my manicure won't be ruined at the end of the day. I like, too, that along with being able to hold the tote like one would a briefcase, that the tote handles are large enough to slip my arm through. Versatile!
The bag also comes with an adjustable and removable shoulder strap. The strap is attached via hooks that have a swivel feature, so you don't have to fuss about making sure that the strap isn't twisted. The shoulder strap isn't padded, but with the vertical orientation of the bag, I found the weight was distributed so well that I didn't miss padding.
The bag is ideal for laptops with screens measuring 11" to 15.4" (both my MacBook Pro and Rose's giant Dell Inspiron 1520 fit with ease). It's made from nylon, and the handles trim are faux leather. (No Chihuahuas were harmed in the manufacturing of this product.) The price is right for $59. You can get the Allie Laptop Tote Bag at Rainebrooke.
The Lady Lindy Laptop Tote from Bobarra
A Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag Fit for a Princess
When I first unpacked the Lady Lindy, I was struck by two things. One - the unusual fabric pattern. When carrying it, I've had a number of people say "Great pattern - what is that, fleur de lis?" Then they look closer. "It's frogs! Frogs!?". Yes, frogs. I have the "Charlotte" pattern (named after the delightful southern city in North Carolina; Bobarra also has several other more traditional fabric patterns if you're not a ranidaphile). From a distance, it looks like an elegant, slightly Tudoresque fabric - but up close, whimsical frogs. Very clever! The second visual aspect of the bag that really stands out are the scalloped top edges. I've never seen this is a laptop bag before and to me, it really takes the finishing to a whole new level. Again, sophisticated with a touch of whimsy.
Structurally, the Lady Lindy has two separate compartments which fold out flat, clam-shell style, making the LL checkpoint friendly. Very smart. One of the compartments also has a built-in clear plastic bag for carrying your liquids in your carryon. Extra smart. These two compartments are zipped together when you're carrying it. The "seam" where these two compartments join is protected by an extra strip of fabric-covered canvas; this is also the bottom of the bag so there are four demur silver feet to keep the Lady Lindy off the ground.
One side of the Lady Lindy is intended just for your laptop. This compartment is padded and lined with microfiber. The larger Lady Lindy fit my MacBook Pro 15 easily, plus I had room for a magazine. It would hold a slightly thicker laptop if you have a PC - just contact Bobarra and ask.
The other side of the Lady Lindy is where you stash the rest of your gear. The interior wall of this compartment has a zippered pocket for valuables or documents you want to keep separate. The exterior wall of this compartment has three open-topped pockets for small gadgets (my iPhone and iPod fit perfectly) or a small notebook as well as a few requisite pen holders. The main part of this compartment is quite roomy. I fit a Moleskine notebook, my powerbrick for my Mac, a small pouch of electronics, my business card pouch, a folded pashmina and my noise canceling headphones (the big, over-the-ear style) in this compartment.
The hardware on the Lady Lindy is quite strong. All of the zippers are high quality and the zipper pulls are padded and covered in canvas fabric for easy gripping. I found the Lady Lindy light and easy to carry; the canvas straps are quite comfortable both over the shoulder and to carry in my hand. And the centre zipper on the Lady Lindy to activate the checkpoint friendly clamshell feature is easy to open. Just remember, you can't have anything else in the compartment with your laptop in it.
My only tiny quibble with the Lady Lindy is that there isn't an external pocket for something like my boarding pass or iPhone. But, I know that it would distort the elegant lines of the Lady Lindy, so I was happy to stash those items in my purse.
The Lady Lindy comes in two sizes (for 13" and for 15" laptops) and four patterns. It starts at $175 for the smaller size. You can find the Lady Lindy at Bobarra's web site. And while you're there, check out the Kindle covers - in both fabric and leather.
Chic at 17"
Your big screen deserves to look good too!
UPDATE: Zegari has let me know that their super chic Barcelona now comes in 17"! Excellent news! You can check out my review of the Barcelona below.
The Urban Junket Laptop T.O.T.E.
Pretty in Magenta
You know the ones I mean. Those teen movies where the female protaganist is a bit of a tomboy who maybe wears glasses and she's desperately in love with the male protaganist, but he doesn't even see her! But then at the end of the film, he suddenly realizes that the perfect woman was right in front of him the whole time! Well...that's kind of how it was with me and the Urban Junket T.O.T.E.
I confess that when I first received the Urban Junket T.O.T.E., it was summer and I thought it was nice. It wasn't until the days started to get a little darker and the leaves turned that I really started to notice it - arrestingly colourful, slick and chic. How had I not seen it before? And how soon could I come up with an excuse to take it out somewhere??
The Urban Junket T.O.T.E. ("Tote" stands for "To Observe the Earth") comes in two sizes, the 15.4" and the 17", which is the one I have. Its glossy exterior is eco-friendly coated canvas made from non-toxic dyes - a definite plus in my book.
The glossy material is also water resistant - another plus in rainy Vancouver - although there is a little gap between the zipper and the edge of the bag, so you know - don't toss it in the pool or anything.
The T.O.T.E. offers a myriad of carrying options. It has short handles, like a traditional tote, but it also comes with a two adjustable straps you can use to convert it to a backpack for hands-free travel. You can also hook the two straps together for longer strap to carry it messenger-style.
I'm also a fan of the T.O.T.E.'s exterior slide-in pocket - handy for quickly stashing a receipt or carrying a small book. But my favourite exterior feature is the side zipper pocket, which is just the right size for your phone or your keys. It saves you having to dig around in the bag when you hear that "Single Ladies" ringtone you keep meaning to change.
The interior of the bag is very roomy but still nicely structured, so even when you pack it full it doesn't get slouchy. The blue interior fabric is made of recyled plastic water bottles and non-toxic dyes, which makes it even more eco-friendly - and the bright colour makes easy to find what you're looking for.
The inside of the bag is divided into three compartments; the front, which includes a pen holder, a couple of device pockets (one open, one with a magnetic snap), a cool snap-off key chain and a little D-ring to clip the cute little clutch to (did I mention the cute clutch? Perfect for your wallet and anything else that you don't want rolling around loose in your bag.)
The middle of the bag has a deep built-in padded laptop compartment with a little strap to keep your laptop in place. I was able to get my MacBook Pro and all its attendant cords in there, no problem.
The back section of the bag features a good-sized zipper pocket and plenty of space for files, documents, periodicals, etc.
I'd definitely recommend this bag to a wide variety of women - students who want a cool laptop backpack, funky designers with giant laptops, a quirky, bold CEO - really anyone who wants a functional bag with lots of style.
The Urban Junket T.O.T.E. retails for $143 USD and a portion of each sale goes to carbonfree.org, which further helps to minimize the environmental impact of manufacturing and shipping.
Innovative design, environmentally friendly, eye-popping colour, enough room for your 17" laptop AND at a reasonable price? Sounds like Some Kind of Wonderful to me. If you'd like to make the Urban Junket Magenta T.O.T.E. your muse (it also comes in black, chocolate or grass green), check it out at the Urban Junket store.
Below you can check out the video where Tracey Dyer, the fabulous designer behind Urban Junket, demonstrates the three different ways to wear your T.O.T.E.
IceRed's Shine 2 13" Compact Glossy Laptop Bag
The Weather Outside is Frightful Yet This Bag is So Delightful
The Shine 2 is a mini version of the Shine Glossy Laptop Bag, made especially for your smaller laptop, netbook or the iPad I hope I'm getting this holiday season (hint hint, Santa. HINT HINT.) My review bag is a deep cherry red with white trim - a perfect match for my houndstooth winter coat, although I may now be forced to buy red boots to complete the look. I don't WANT to...I HAVE to. You know how it is, ladies.
Like the original Shine, the Shine 2 is made of glossy vinyl with nylon piping - so it looks sharp and is very practical in Vancouver, where precipitation is, shall we say, a frequent occurrence. It's also extremely lightweight - even with all of my gear in it, it feels lighter than my purse. It comes with a matching padded shoulder strap for over the shoulder or cross-body action but it's so light, I mainly used the two snapped handles to tote it around.
The interior of the Shine 2 is a bright orange, which makes it very easy to see what's in there. The bag boasts three main compartments. The front pocket features an open area and a couple of slots to fit your wallet or phone for quick access (I kept my sunglasses in there - I'm nothing if not an optimist).
The main compartment has a separate, plush laptop sleeve that fastens with a velcro strap. It also has an organizer for business cards, pens, PDA, a key clip and a zippered pocket for change. The interior was quite roomy with my netbook in the sleeve - plenty of space for my cords as well as a notebook or reading material or that six pack of Lindt chocolates I've been saving since my last Festive Special. You never know when you'll need holiday-themed sustenance while waiting for the bus.
The Shine 2 also has a magazine slot at the back where you can keep your latest WIRED or other important documents, like your gift list. It fastens with Velcro.
The bottom of the bag has little silver feet, which I'm always a fan of - I don't know if I hadn't filled the bag enough or what, but I had a hard time getting the Shine 2 to balance and ended up having to lean it against the table. Still, the feet help keep the bottom of the bag up off the wet floor, which is a definite plus!
The Shine 2 pretty much had me at "cherry red with white trim" but like all of Ice Red's bags, there's more to this bag than just good looks. The Shine 2 is very sturdy and well-made - nice silver hardware, good quality zippers and thoughtful, functional design. It offers that extra protection for your smaller laptop, netbook or iPad that your everyday bag doesn't - and it's super cute to boot! Kicky fun for your holiday wardrobe - and a nice antidote to that post holiday let-down. Well, that and Grand Marnier.
The Shine 2 Glossy Compact Laptop Bag comes in silver, black and pink and retails for $60.00 over at Ice Red Bags.
The Cozmo by WaterField Designs
Sporty ... yet sophisticated - perfect for the kicky business traveler!
So you can imagine my delight when the Cozmo by WaterField in "Stone" arrived on my doorstep, all sleek and well-proportioned. It's like I'd been given a second chance at love.
The Cozmo is more of a sporty, structured handbag shape rather than strictly a briefcase. But make no mistake - this bag is still all business.
At the back of the Cozmo is a pass-through - always a favourite of mine - that can also be used as a pocket when you don't need to slip it over the handles of your rolling luggage. The short padded briefcase handles made for easy lifting, even when the bag is full - and the shoulder strap balances the weight nicely when I wear across my body.
The front of the Cozmo has an big open slot with a zippered pocket inside; perfect for keeping a book or magazine handy and also great for keeping your passport or card wallet secured and at the ready.
The Cozmo zips open into two separate compartments. In the front inside of the bag, there's a spot for business cards and two more slim slots for your phone or PDA. There's a nice, roomy area for your cords, if you're packin' technology, or for files/books, etc. if you're not.
The second compartment is a large pouch fastened with a nylon strap. It's big enough to put your laptop in (both my MacBook Pro 15 and Rose's giant Dell Inspiron fit easily) but it's not padded, so for added protection, WaterField recommends using your own laptop sleeve or getting one of theirs.
Lucky for me, Heidi was kind enough to send over one of their laptop sleeves for me to try out along with the bag. The WaterField Laptop SleeveCase is made of cushiony neoprene covered with ballistic nylon and boasts a soft interior to prevent scratches. It fastens with a nylon strap at the top, so you don't have to remove the sleeve entirely to remove your laptop. The sleeve also has a slot at the back big enough for documents, if you just want to take your laptop and notes from your desk to the boardroom.
I've been using the Cozmo pretty frequently for business travel and it has held up very nicely to the wear and tear of airports and inclement weather. It's great looking, lightweight, quite roomy, extremely sturdy and, of course, super well-made (all of the Waterfield bags I've tried are top quality!) - and I love the marriage of sporty and sophisticated. Kudos to the Cozmo!
The Cozmo by WaterField Designs comes in 10 different colour combos and in three different sizes. Check out the WaterField site to choose your Cozmo. Prices start at $169 for the Cozmo, and they give you a great combo price, called the Cozmo Mambo Combo, if you buy the Cozmo and a Sleeve together.
Maddie Powers Cutebug Messenger Laptop Bag
Geek Girls, Go Retro with Your Laptop Bag!
What does this have to do with cool laptop bags? Well, two decades later and I still don't know if I'd go to heaven, BUT, I know what laptop bag I'd take with me to meet Jesus. And that bag, my friends, is the Maddie Powers Cutebug Laptop Messenger Bag - brought to you by Mobile Edge. When Matthew sent over a review copy, I thought I HAD died and gone to heaven. This bag is as close to perfection as possible. Let's break it down ...
First, the look of the bag. I adore anything vintage. Maddie Powers bags and accessories all sport covers from authentic pulp novels and digest magazines from the 1940's and 50's. Tres chic! This messenger bag has a cover from a novel called "Bright Promises". The rest of the exterior is black except for the back pocket. Flip this bag over and you have an exterior pocket that is covered in a royal purple faux-velvet. Read that again: Royal Purple Faux Velvet! This same material covers the shoulder strap pad. So HOT! Now, I only have tested it for a week, so I'm not sure if over the long term (and especially in the winter) the material will pill or not, but so far, so good. The back pocket seals with a small strip of velcro.
OK, let's flip open that front flap and see what the interior is like.
Yup, no vintage in here. This is all modern, sure to please any 21st century geek girl.
The main interior pocket has a self-contained sleeve that is made from SafetyCell [tm] ... a cool "lining" for the sleeve that has all these independent foam bumps. They function as "object deceleration" .. which I think means that they absorb more of the shock than regular single-layer foam cores if you drop the bag. Nice. Outside the sleeve is a large pocket that will easily hold several files, a notebook, magazine, power cord, etc. It also has a zippered pouch which would be good for items like plane tickets or travel docs that you want to keep separate and handy.
The other interior pocket in the front of the bag has the usual sets of pouches: mobile phone, pens, etc. It is big enough to house a power cord, wallet or other miscellaneous items. And it, too, has a zippered front pouch for additional docs or other important papers. The non-removable shoulder strap is very comfortable and can be adjusted to be quite long - so us big-busted gals can do the full across-the-body carry. The entire bag is really well constructed and is made of an easy-to-clean, water-resistent MicroFiber.
The whole thing closes with opposing velcro straps and they are long enough so that you can "over stuff" (really, can you ever carry too much stuff?) For the quality of the material and construction, the Cutebug Messenger doesn't feel any heavier than other bags of its class. It is, however, a little larger both in width and depth; I ended up wearing it a little lower on my hip than other bags.
Overall, I am really impressed with the quality of the Cutebug Messenger, let alone the funky quotient of this bag! There are only two tiny things I would change. One, it doesn't have feet on the bottom - most messengers don't have them, but I think they would really enhance this bag. Plus I'm finding that I really appreciate them, in general, to keep the bottom of any bag dry. Secondly, like all Maddie Powers bags, it comes with a set of Lucky Seven dice fastened to one of the shoulder strap attachments. Super cute, but super annoying after about 3 minutes of walking. Luckily, they are removable.
I love this bag .. like seriously. To me, it is the archetype of a funky, chic and cool laptop bag. I really hope Maddie Powers continues the line. I'd love to have some additional options available for the exterior picture, or, a way to swap front flaps, depending on my mood. Product extension?
You can find the Maddie Powers Cutebug Laptop Messenger Bag on the Mobile Edge site where it retails for $89.99 USD. You can also find its cousin, the Maddie Powers Cutebug Laptop Sheba Bag - made for laptops 14.1" and smaller.
Oh, and as a reminder, the good folks at Mobile Edge offer Free Shipping to all Squidoo customers. Simply type in SQUIDOO upon check out and receive free shipping on all purchases through 2007!
Sumo Women's Laptop Purse by Mobile Edge
Quilted Comfort for your Laptop
Of course the colour of the Sumo Women's Laptop Purse is the first thing that caught my eye, but I was also delighted by the shape of it; instead of your usual rectangular bag, the Sumo takes the edge off and curves around the top to create a softer silhouette. The quilting, accomplished with white topstitching over the high quality ballistic nylon, gives it a fun, fresh look and the leather trim and handles add a little je-ne-sais-quoi to the whole affair. Kicky!
The exterior of the Sumo has three small pockets - two zippered pocked in front and one open slot on the side. The zippers are covered with flaps and the zipper pulls are small - a challenge to open when you've just put on lotion - but the pockets themselves are ideal for those little items you're always reaching for - bus pass, keys, gum, etc. The pocket on the right has a little grommet to pass your headphones through - very handy for those long commutes when you just want to choose a playlist and go.
The two handles on the Sumo are a good width and have an 11" drop, so they'll fit nicely over your winter coat. The handles aren't padded, but the bag is extremely lightweight and well-structured - even when it's full of laptop and accessories, it's not too heavy to carry comfortably.
The bottom of the bag is a pebbled leather; there are no feet on the bottom, however, so a word to the wise - when your laptop's in there, it can get a little tippy.
The main zipper on the Sumo is good, sturdy and covered by little flaps, which I particularly appreciate during the wet season here on the west coast. The zipper pulls have PVC inserts with the super cute Sumo logo on them; the logo also appears on the front of the bag.
The interior of the Sumo is organized really well. There's a built-in padded laptop sleeve for your machine, with a velcro strap to keep it secure. The lining of the laptop sleeve is very plush and soft, to keep your laptop safe from scratches. It's SO plush, in fact, that I would like to take a nap in there. I was a little jealous of my laptop.
On the opposite side of the bag there's a large zippered pocket and a divider; a great place to put letter-size files or magazines to keep them pristine. On the other side of the divider there are three open pouches (a smaller, flannel-lined one and two larger ones) that easily hold your cords and electronic accessories.
The Sumo is quite roomy but thanks to its structure, it's difficult to overload - a blessing to someone like me, who always wants to take the kitchen sink everywhere I go. The laptop sleeve padding, along with the overall structured sturdiness of the bag, make the Sumo a good choice for commuters or travellers; I wouldn't hesitate to place the Sumo in the overhead compartment.
When I read up on the Sumo Women's Laptop Purse on Mobile Edge's site, they mentioned that they set out to create an elegant bag that doesn't scream "laptop" (which is perhaps why there are no little feet on the bottom of the bag). Personally, I feel the ballistic nylon makes the Sumo a little more "sporty" than "elegant" but that doesn't diminish my enjoyment of the bag. The Sumo is both really cute and, like all of Mobile Edge's great designs, very functional.
The Sumo Women's Laptop Purse is available in red or black and in two sizes - 13", which retails for $119US or the larger 15.6", which is $129US. See them both on the Mobile Edge site.
The Emily Laptop Tote by Rainebrooke
A Touch of Spring
So I was thrilled when Steve from Rainebrooke sent over their latest laptop bag, the Emily Laptop Tote. Not only is it a sleek, functional design, but the Emily is just the right shade of cherry blossom pink to nurture my spring fancy.
The Emily is a nicely structured tote with plenty of room for your day-to-day necessities - and your 17" laptop! For a structured bag, it's very lightweight and the padded faux leather handles are perfectly padded for easy carrying.
The Emily also comes with an adjustable, removable strap if you'd prefer to carry the bag over the shoulder or across the body, messenger-style. The strap has a nice shoulder pad attached, so even if you pack the bag full, it's comfy to tote around.
The Emily boasts three exterior zippered pockets - two smaller ones on one side of the bag, a large one on the flip side - for easy access to your phone, keys or passport if you're travelling. These pockets are quite slim, so you can't pack them full of things - which is great for me, as I'm always trying to pare down the amount of stuff I carry around.The zippers on the pockets are covered with a flap to keep them from becoming unzipped by accident - handy!
The bag itself is divided into two separate zippered compartments. The front compartment is organizer section with slots and open pouches for pens, business cards, PDA, maybe a book (or the e-reader you hope you're getting for Christmas - hint hint!) and any other cords or tech you may be toting. There's another zippered pocket in the front compartment for anything you want to keep especially secure (or for small stuff that can get lost in the bottom of the bag).
The back compartment is a separate, padded section for your laptop. The bag comfortably fits up to a 17" laptop and the structured padding keeps your computer snug and safe on your daily commute. You could also use this section for documents - plenty of space if you have a lot of papers to carry around.
The Emily is the ideal bag for the laptop-toting woman wants to add some colour and style to her laptop's wardrobe. And because of that roomy back section, I think this bag would be particularly great for teachers, social workers, lawyers, accountants - anyone who might have a lot of files or reports to take to and from the office.
The Emily comes in two colours - light, cherry blossom pink and hot pink (for when your laptop's feeling daring) - both are guaranteed to put a little spring in your step! The Emily is on sale right now for a mere $59.95USD - get yours at Rainebrooke.com.
The Geisha Rolling Laptop Tote
Mysterious. Exotic. On Wheels.
I couldn't bear to be parted from it - but fortunately I was about to embark on an extended business trip and needed a laptop bag to accompany me on my journey. We ran away together to Toronto, the Geisha and I ...and even after two airports and 10 days of commuting to far-away locations, I have no regrets.
First off - the exterior. The Geisha is structured enough that I trusted it to protect my laptop in the overhead compartment, but it still had some give to it, which was nice. The texture of the Geisha was a surprise - I was expecting a harsher, nylon sort of feel, but the Geisha's exterior fabric is more like a thin flannel over neoprene - soft yet sturdy. Even after a 10 day business trip, where I dragged it through various parking lots, the fabric shows no signs of wear.
The faux leather handles of the Geisha are nicely padded and they snap together for easy carrying (although sometimes the snaps did their best to foil me - oh, Geisha, you're so coy). If you want to carry the Geisha like a tote, it is surprisingly light for a wheeled bag and the telescoping handle zips into the bag when not in use, lifting smoothly out when you're ready to roll.
The only exterior pockets on the Geisha are the two on either end of the bag. They close using magnetic snaps - depending on what I had in them, the snaps would open unexpectedly, so I made sure not to keep my passport or anything valuable in those pockets. They were, however, excellent for gum and other flat items.
The interior of the Geisha is refreshingly simple. There's a section for your laptop that straps your machine in with a velcro strap. There's a zippered pocked for valuable or smaller items you need to keep track of. And then there's a roomy main compartment for all your essentials. The heavy silver zipper pull and zipper keep everything securely inside - no wimpy zippers here.
Not only did the Geisha have ample room for my laptop, cords, giant noise-canceling headphones and a thick novel, but it also had a calming influence during my latest business trip. For a wheeled tote, it's very light and handles very well. The extendo- handle is reassuringly stable and the bag is very well-balanced, both on the move and at rest, making the Geisha a pleasure to roll through the airport.
Plus, thanks to the Geisha's flower print and evocative name, I could imagine I was serving little cups of sake and giggling behind my giant sleeve at one of the Chairman's bon mots, rather than waiting in a fury of impatience for the glacially slow security staff to okay my tiny bottle of Purell.
I enjoyed the Geisha immensely and would definitely recommend this bag for the fashionable commuters among you. Going to and from the office, it's got room for your laptop & lunch or a pair of office shoes - plus it's easy on your back and its unusual floral print and fetching design definitely turns heads. And if purple's not your bag, it comes in red and lime green as well.
The Geisha Rolling Laptop Tote retails for about $145 US at eBags.com
Funky Wheeled Laptop Bags!
When function is just as important as style
What is most important to you in a laptop bag?
From my laptop bag, I expect
The Black Candy Laptop Tote from Rainebrooke Designs
Boppin' it at the sock hop with a retro chic laptop bag
But I've got one thing Joanie didn't have - and that is the rockin' Black Candy laptop tote from Rainebrooke Designs. Steve from Rainebrooke sent me a Black Candy to try out. At first glance, the shiny patent handles and trim definitely make me feel like this bag will fit right in with my current 50's vibe. But don't fret, there is nothing old-fashioned about the Black Candy. It's definitely a modern woman's bag!
The Black Candy is a split-style laptop tote. One side holds your laptop and has a removable sleeve for extra padding. The sleeve holds up to a 15" laptop - but if you remove the sleeve, a 17" will fit on the laptop side. The Black Candy is very well padded, so even if you don't have the sleeve, I don't think you need to worry about your laptop.
The other side of the Black Candy is for all those bits and baubles that make our lives easier (or possibly just more cluttered). Rainebrooke has included three zippered pockets one one side and a bag-wide mesh pocket on the other. There are also the usual holders for business cards and pens - handy! The main holding area of this side is very generous - it will hold a number of file folders, a notebook and possibly your lunch.
One of the VERY smart things about the Black Candy is that each of the sides of the tote has it's own zipper - so you don't have to have the laptop side opened when you're digging through the bauble side - and vice versa.
The Black Candy has very generous handles for over-the-shoulder or in-hand carrying. There are four metal feet on the bottom to keep the bag off the ground. There is one zippered pocket on the outside for stashing a wallet or other small item. Very handy, but I do wish this pocket were a little deeper - it doesn't *quite* hold a boarding pass and zip back up.
The Black Candy is available in black with red or pink patent vinyl trim and handles. I find that the red is darker and not as fire engine-y as I expected from the pictures on the website. So if you're worried about the red one being too bright, don't be. The pink one though - Steve says its pink is like cotton candy!
You can purchase the Black Candy from Rainebrooke's site for $149 USD.
UPDATE: There is a sale on the Black Candy right now - priced at $79.95. And FREE Shipping (US only). PLUS Steve is offering my readers an incredible additional 20% off that sale price! Use the code CANDY on checkout. You can't beat that deal.
And if you decide that you want a different Rainebrooke bag, the code FUNCHICO will give you 10% off. Check out the Rainebrooke laptop bag selection.
The Milano from Mobile Edge
stylish and versatile laptop tote for women
I'll admit that I was pretty skeptical about the faux-croc finish on the Milano tote (hello, sad Hollywood washout!), but once Matthew sent over a review copy and I saw how subtle and elegant it is with the great silver buckles and zips, I was hooked.
The shape of the Milano is quite stylish and very comfortable to carry. The handles are generous, making it very easy to sling over the shoulder (even with a thick jacket or coat), but not so generous that it drags the ground when you carry it in your hand. Opening the split zipper of the main compartment reveals a deep red faux-suede interior that would make even the most jaded saloon dancer swoon.
The laptop compartment is in the centre of the bag which provides easy access as well as a nicely balanced bag. There are compartments on either side: one designed for folders and papers, plus a velcro-closed interior pocket; the other with all the small pockets and pen-rings you'd expect in a business tote. Two features of these compartments are worth noting. First, one of the pockets has a wireless security shield that protects Bluetooth devices from hacking - essential for gadget girls! The other is a detachable matching cosmetics mini-tote. I didn't think I would have a use for this, but lo and behold, after about a week, I did!
The ONLY negative that occurred to me is that it doesn't have an outside pocket. But that would completely destroy the aesthetic of the Milano, so it's not so much a complaint as a caution. If you want to see the bag in action, Mobile Edge has a video review on their product page that is worth watching (every designer should do video reviews!).
Sum-up: I really love the Milano. Here's how much ... usually I give my review copies away to friends and colleagues who need a little "funky, chic or cool" in their lives. Not the Milano. It stays with me. Get yours at Mobile Edge's website.
The CEO Black Tie Laptop Bag
Making a bride's job a heck of a lot easier
So, imagine my delight when this little number showed up in the mail to review - the CEO Black Tie Invited Laptop Bag - designed by Elizabeth West from C&G Weddings. It may look sleek and unfussy on the outside, but this bag is packed with more practicality than my grandmother's pocketbook.
On the one side, a lightly padded laptop sleeve can hold a slimmer notebook without distorting any of the bag's lines, but the scene stealer here is the little army of organizational and planning tools hiding in the other side, like a platoon of benevolent stationary fairies. Who needs a fairy godmother looking over the details when you've got an entire Staples aisle at your disposal?
In the side opposite the laptop pocket (the double sided bag actually unzips to lie flat, like a binder), there is a pocket for everything and everything you could conceivably need in your planning expedition is in a pocket - calculator, pens, post it notes, ruler, tape measure, stapler, hole punch...do I really need to go on? There's everything, quite literally, and if you need more than this...I worry for you a little.
As far as a fashion statement goes, the Black Tie bag is fairly tame - black nylon with white patent handles and accents, and a no-nonsense shape, the tote is all business and proud of it. Though there's not quite as much room as I'd like for peripherals and such and the laptop pocket doesn't offer a huge amount of protection - still, it's tough to complain in the face of all handy little gadgets it keeps tucked away for you. Pop in a glue stick, and you'll be ready to rip apart your own wedding magazines! Or, you know, run your interior design empire ... that little magazine pocket behind the binder clips could just as easily hold Domino as Martha Stewart Weddings.
The CEO Black Tie Laptop Bag, overall, is the bag for both the compulsively organized and hopelessly scatterbrained - both sides of the coins will feel a warm little glow to have everything they need right at their fingertips. The Black Tie version of the CEO retails for $180 USD on the C&G Weddings site. They have a couple of other versions including an orange canvas one and both pink and black croc styles that sell for slightly more. Check them out at CEObag.com.
Mobile Edge ScanFast Element Checkpoint Friendly Briefcase
The TSA approves...and so will you!
Such a vibrant pink! Such a rich brown! Such a delightful inner lining! I've been quite the smitten kitten with this bag.
I posted a review of Tom Bihn's excellent CheckPoint Flyer men's laptop bag on my Cool and Stylish Laptop Bags for Men lens, but this was the first time I'd had a chance to try out a TSA-approved laptop bag for women.
I tested the ScanFast Element out on a recent business trip and was very pleased with its performance in the security check. A quick unzip and the bag glides right through the x-ray machine, my laptop securely in place, the rest of the bag undisturbed. Very handy.
I felt quite smug being able to skip the "stuffing my laptop back into my bag" ritual that my fellow travellers were performing - in fact, the Element and I strutted all the way to the gate (with only a brief stopover at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory - I did have all that extra time, you know).
Like all of Mobile Edge's bags, the ScanFast Element is extremely well-made and designed with your needs in mind. You can carry it by the handles, or use the nicely padded shoulder strap to carry it messenger-style.
The bag itself is divided into three main sections. The front area unzips to reveal:
- A pretty, colourful striped satin lining that makes it easy to see what's inside the bag
- A pocket featuring Wireless Security Shield technology, which keeps your Bluetooth Phone/PDA safe from spam, hackers and viruses (Love this!)
- Pen and business card holders made of sturdy faux-leather material
- Zippered area for your wallet/credit cards, etc.
The laptop area is nicely padded and offers great protection for your machine - both my MacBook Pro and Rosemary's ginormous Dell Inspiron 1520 fit in there with ease (not, obviously, at the same time).
The ScanFast also has plenty of room for files in the third zippered section, behind the laptop - great for documents, keeping receipts and whatever else you need. And at the very back of the bag is a pocket big enough to slide a magazine or slim book - easy to access without having to unzip the bag.
Another great touch is the little removable zippered pouch that comes with the bag. I used it a lot and found it perfect for those little items that get lost easily in my bag - lip gloss, mints, keys, etc.
All in all, I felt the ScanFast Element was *almost* the perfect business travel bag. My only caveat emptors about this bag are:
- The pretty pink suede marks up fairly easily - most of the time, you can remove marks or smudges with a little rubbing but in places where the bag is pressed against your body, marks are harder to remove. I had a book in the back pocket of the bag - between the weight of the stuff in my bag and the friction against my hip as I walked, the dark outline of the book is a permanent feature on the back pocket. Not a big deal to me, but if you pride yourself on a pristine bag, it's something to watch out for.
- There's no pass-through at the back - I've been spoiled with other bags and really find the pass-through handy when I travel. Maybe in the next iteration?
Bollywood Style for Your Laptop Bag
Indian fabrics and adornments mark Gnana laptop bags!
Gnana is a new company that creates laptop cases and other professional bags using traditional Indian fabrics. Gnana (pronounced as Nyana) is a Sanskrit (the ancient vedic Indian language) word, meaning "knowledge of the ultimate truth". The bags are adorned with sequins and embroidery that has been done by rural women artisans in India. The bags from Gnana are beautiful, unusual and provide employment to women in an Indian village. Awesome. They sent over a bag for me to review - a briefcase style tote in some awesome orange fabric with silver piping!
I like the fabric very much. It is pretty and decorative and also quite sturdy. I've seen some bags before that have fancy fabrics but aren't ready for daily use (notably brocades and silks). This fabric held up to daily wear and tear - and doesn't show dirt.
The main interior section of the Gnana case has a well-padded place for your laptop. There are some small mesh pockets for gadgetry and notions opposite the laptop area. And behind that is a full zippered pocket, appropriate for documents, a notebook or other items you want to keep zippered up.
On the back of the Gnana is another roomy, full size zippered pocket. On the front, under the flap, is a final pocket with small sewn-in inserts for pens, business cards or other miscellany.
You can carry the Gnana by a handle on the top of the case or by the accompanying shoulder strap. The hardware on the Gnana is sturdy - both the zipper pulls as well as the shoulder strap fasteners. And there are thin rubber feet on the bottom which provide a modicum of protection from the surface you set it down on.
Gnana has a wider variety of styles and colours, including laptop cases, backpack and messenger styles. And good news for all you 17" owners out there - there are a number of Gnana styles that fit 17" laptops! Gnana bags retail for between $70 and $115 - depending on style and size. You can check out a variety of Gnana bags at CareerBags.com. The first one on this page is the closest in style to the one I reviewed here. You can also click through for bigger and more pictures of the Gnana.
The Casual Laptop Tote from Mobile Edge
Stylish laptop bag made from eco-friendly cotton
Sirocco Laptop Tote from Ice Red Bags
Sleek vertical laptop tote with unususal material and lots of pockets
The Veronica London Tote from CareerBags.com
Hollywood mogul and paparazzi magnet!
This was the call that played in my head as I opened the Veronica London tote that the friendly, fashion-forward ladies over at CareerBags.com sent me to review. Ellen and her team are located in LA and a lot of their clientele are very fashion-conscious celebs. So I got out my Oscar de la Renta suit so that the bag would feel more at home.
The Veronica London is a good-lookin' bag! It's a handbag/over the shoulder style made of super-soft chamois suede micro fiber with some nice leather detail. Classy nickel hardware. It has a single zipper closure on the top with no external pockets (think fashion rather than function). Also, a really nice decorative bag detail - a place for a monogram. You can choose your initials or, interestingly, the very pretty National Association of Women Business Owners logo. Which just goes to show you that Career Bags is fashion-forward AND business-minded. As an aside, CareerBags.com has a neat advisory board and mentoring program partners. You can get more deets at their website.
OK, back to the bag .. possibly my favourite thing about the exterior of the Veronica London tote are the little feet, especially the extra one in the middle of the bottom. I know it sounds a little ridiculous (really, the feet?). But sometimes, ladies, you need to set your very stylish bag down. And what if you're at the Starbucks and they haven't mopped the floor recently? Do you want your bag touching someone else's spilled Caramel Macchiato? I didn't think so. Little feet = good thing.
Onto the interior of the bag. The black VL tote has a bright blue nylon lining; the brown model has a brown nylon lining; I'd like to see that splash of colour in both models. The main pocket of the VL Tote also contains a removable sleeve for extra protection of your laptop. It is held in place, along with any file holders, portfolios, or headshots by a Velcro-ed strap.
The other interior pocket of the VL tote is rife with little pockets. Eyeglasses, mobile phone, OTHER mobile phone with secret number, pepper spray to ward off the paparazzi ... LOTS of pockets. There is this weird, half-height divider pocket that I'm not a big fan of .. I find it a little flimsy and unnecessary. But hey, I'm not a newly discovered ingenue, trying to make her way on the mean streets of LA.
The Veronica London tote is comfy to carry, really well-made and looks HOT! It will definitely suit any business or social situation and make you look like the star that you are; it will also stand up to being pulled in and out of the back seat of your convertible. The interior is not my favourite, but it is highly functional and your laptop is well protected. So, if you inhabit the fashion end of the spectrum, the Veronica London is a strong choice! It retails for $140 US at the CareerBags.com site.
UNI Cargo Laptop Tote from Ice Red Designs
Combining style and functionality ... bags for all lifestyles
Well, Ice Red Designs heard my rummagings and sent over a UNI Cargo Laptop Tote for me to try out.
The UNI is a vertically-oriented bag (something I've been wanting to try) with an austere exterior. I have the gun metal grey, and at first glance, you might think it wouldn't qualify as funky, chic and cool. But wait til you open it! The bright orange lining pops right out at you. But more importantly, so do all the pockets! So many pockets. And pockets in pockets. Check out the photo - the UNI keeps you organized. And you can put your whole office in there!
My MacBook Pro 15 fits snugly in the interior protected sleeve. The edge of my laptop peeks out which makes me a little uncomfortable, although there is a zipper on the top of the bag to protect all the contents, including your machine.
I really like that there are a number of outside pockets too, particularly handy on the plane when you just want to pull out a magazine and not fuss inside your bag.
The UNI is a comfortable over-the-shoulder style tote. And for those who really do take the entire office with them, the UNI expands an additional 2 inches through a clever side zipper.
The UNI holds laptops up to 15" and retails for $55 USD. Check it out at iceredbags.com.
Retrostriper from Oxio
bringing it back in classic style
Oxio has a couple of other bags as well: the Wholly Denim and the Xransporter.
Check out Oxio
Monaco from Mobile Edge
Bring it On ...
The Monaco is still your basic black, but has exterior stiching accents of either pink or red - just enough to stand out from the boys. The interior is all colour (which could be your little funky secret) and matches the exterior accent. There are several interior slots for file folders and accessories. As well as a padded compartment that fits laptops with screens up to 15.4".
Oh, and for those of you who are uber-concerned about privacy, it comes with a Wireless Security Shield pocket that protects cell phones & PDAs from hackers as well as new passports and RFID credit cards from identity theft. Now THAT is some geek chic!
The Monaco lists for $99 USD on Mobile Edge's website, mobileedge.com.
Yay, you've made it this far!
This module only appears with actual data when viewed on a live lens. The favorite and lensroll options will appear on a live lens if the viewer is a member of Squidoo and logged in.
All Timbuk2, all the time
The Luncheon Laptop Bag from Crumpler Bags
Stylish, vertically-oriented laptop bag
The first one I tried is The Luncheon. It's a super-cute, vertically-oriented messenger-style bag. Like most Crumplers, it comes in a variety of striking jewel-tone colours. I got the red one! The interior has two main pockets - a well-padded one towards the back for your laptop (holds up to 15.4" - my MBP fit, no problem at all) and another one towards the front which will hold a couple of books, accessories, etc.
There is also a very unusual external pocket in the front - it is under the flap so only accessible when the flap is open - you could fit a couple of smaller books or gadgets in here. Finally, there is a mesh zippered pocket on the interior of the flap. This is a good idea, in theory, a place to securely stash small items like pens or USB drives - but a little awkward to access.
The carry strap is sturdy and very comfortable with lots of length so you can wear it across your body. It is also removable which is a nice touch. In the back of The Luncheon, there is a carry-handle if you don't want to use the strap.
I LOVE the look and comfort of The Luncheon. It is good looking and made of high-quality materials. I do, however, have two beefs with The Luncheon. First, there is no external pocket. Why? WHY? Something where I can stash a boarding pass when I'm traveling? This annoyed me a little bit. Second, the padding for the laptop compartment is good, but not great. When I put The Luncheon in the trunk of my car, I heard and felt laptop connecting with the metal floor of the trunk. So, watch how you toss The Luncheon around.
The Luncheon comes in 4 striking colour combinations and retails for $100 CDN on the Crumpler Canadian site. Oddly, it's not listed on the US site (although it IS on the Australian site). The US site has its little brother, The Breakfast Buffet which holds laptops up to 12". It retails for $90. If you're interested in The Luncheon and are in the US, give them a call - they have a number of retail outlets and can help you find it.
The VertiGo from Waterfield
Handmade in San Francisco
The VertiGo comes in four sizes to fit most laptops. The inside has several compartments. Outside, there is a cell phone pocket and a front pocket for easy access. Love it! Clearly designed for folks on the go.
The VertiGo itself isn't padded for your laptop, but, Waterfield does offer a SleeveCase. And there is even a special VertiGo Mambo Combo which offers a discount when you get them both together.
The VertiGo ranges in price from $79 to $89 (without the Sleeve); the Mambo Combo ranges from $115 to $119. And Waterfield has other models if this one doesn't strike your fancy, including Cargo and Cozmo bags in some fetching colours.
Fun Messenger Bags
M. Avery Designs
Create the bag of your dreams from the comfort of your own home.
The "Patricia" is her laptop bag; a messenger-style bag with an interior sleeve and extra padding in all the right places.
The Patricia Laptop Messenger Bag
The Silver Petal Laptop Messenger Bag by Laurex
Lightweight, stylish and perfect for cyberspace!
The good folks at Laurex sent me a review copy of the Silver Petal - I knew as soon as I saw it that it would fit nicely into my cyberpunk fantasy for several reasons.
First of all, I love the Silver Petal's sleek messenger shape, its light silvery colour and the unique graphic design on the front flap. Secondly, the Silver Petal is made of durable, water-repellent PVC material - good for both real and fantasy snow. Thirdly, "Petal" is the name of one of the characters in William Gibson's book. Three for three, Laurex!
Even when my London fantasy breaks down, the Silver Petal continues to hold up. It's very lightweight for such a structured, well-padded laptop bag. And its wide rubber feet keep the bag from flopping over, even when it's fully loaded. The adjustable shoulder strap has a detachable pad in the same silver fabric as the bag, which makes for very comfy carrying. And the brass rings decorating the strap are a nice detail.
The front flap of the Silver Petal fastens with Velcro. Underneath the flap is the front zippered pocket with structured spaces for your iPod, PDA and pens. There's also plenty of room in there for your wallet, phone or paperback, like Mona Lisa Overdrive.
The main compartment has a removable laptop sleeve that fastens with a wide strip of Velcro. The sleeve itself is quite well-padded and fits most 15.4" laptops (I tried both my MacBook Pro and Rose's Dell Inspiron 1520 - both fit nicely).
An aside about the laptop sleeve - all of the Laurex messenger bags come with their own removable laptop sleeve. But if you're looking to upgrade (or if you just want a sleeve that makes a splash), each of Laurex's unique prints are reproduced on her laptop sleeves (I reviewed the Laurex Blue Illusion Laptop Sleeve on my Laptop Sleeve lens.)
Back to the main compartment - with your laptop in there, there's still room for all your power cords and other peripherals - or you can take the laptop sleeve out and fill the bag with books and binders. The main compartment also has a zippered pocket at the front near the top - good for secret things, like biosoft dossiers of key players in the London Mob.
At the back of the Silver Petal, there's a deep Velcro'd pocket, great for magazines, files or a notebook - anything you need easy access to on your commute.
I want to give an extra mention the excellent overall padding of the Silver Petal - it will definitely keep your laptop snug and protected. I wouldn't toss your laptop off Tower Bridge in it, but I wouldn't hesitate to toss it in the overhead compartment on a trip. To London. Perhaps this winter.
My snowy London fantasy blurred just a little when I discovered that the Burberry coat I have my eye on would cost me a month's rent. Fortunately, the Silver Petal transcends fantasy with a very reasonable price tag! The Laurex's Silver Petal Laptop Messenger, along with six other fabulous Laurex designs and colours, retails for only $56.99 over at Amazon.
Courier Bagg from baggallini
They have a huge selection at Baggallini. One of my favs is their Courier Bagg shown here in the Tomato/Mango colour scheme. It is 14" x 13" .. so will hold a mid-size laptop. Both interior and exterior pockets. And it closes with a magnetic closure (no more riiiiiiiiiiiip sounds from all that velcro! though I don't know if the magnet impacts your laptop or not.)
Suggested retail is $75. You can visit their site to find retailers near you.
Sling Style Laptop Bags
Metro-Traveler Laptop Bag from Rainebrooke
Lightweight and functional laptop bag
The new Metro-Traveler's functional design, solid construction and uncluttered look made it the perfect bag for my working weekend. I basically needed to bring a pared-down version of my office over to the island with me; the Metro-Traveler helped me get organized and keep things simple.
I tested out the "traveler" part of the Metro-Traveler early on - the bag has a back flap that you can either use as an extra pocket (for files or magazines) or as a pass-through with your rolling luggage. When you're not using it, the pass-through is zipped closed at the bottom and Velcro'd shut at the top, which keeps the bag looking sleek.
Behind the back flap is a large organizer pocket with pockets and spaces for phone, pens, business cards, PDA, etc. The back pocket has mesh gussets to keep things that may have shifted during the ferry ride from flying out - a very nice touch. I tucked my moleskine notebook in there for easy access in case a brilliant idea struck me; it was great to be able to reach in and grab it without having to rummage around in the main part of the bag. Handy!
The main compartment of the Metro-Traveler is divided into two areas - there's room for up to a 17" laptop in the nicely padded laptop compartment and plenty of space in the second compartment for your power cords and other accessories. The second compartment also has spaces for electronics, a zippered pocket and a key tether - love the key tether. The Metro-Traveler is very lightweight and quite roomy - I managed to take my MacBook Pro and cords along with a couple of books and files without distorting the Metro-Traveler's lines.
The Metro-Traveler's envelope-like front flap fastens with a thick strip of Velcro, keeping the contents secure. And the two front pockets are great for whatever you need access to - phone, iPod, or, in my case, snacks! That ferry ride goes a lot faster when you've got enough M&Ms.
The handle of the Metro-Traveler has a nice, textured rubber grip on it, which makes it easy on the hand. I have to say that I have the same beef with the single handle and the handle placement as I did with the handle of the Metro-Lite. But I mainly used the sturdy, padded shoulder strap to carry the bag, which was fine.
While the Metro-Traveler's exterior is fairly plain, it does come in four hot colours (I had the royal purple)! The Metro-Traveler is on sale now for $59.95 over at Rainebrooke's site (a great deal in these uncertain economic times). And don't forget, Steve offers my readers a 10% discount! Simply use the code FunChiCo on checkout!
The Shine Glossy Laptop Bag by Ice Red Designs
Laptop...to the stars!!
The Shine Glossy Laptop Bag in Silver brought a big smile to my face when Alan revealed its silvery goodness. The shiny silver vinyl cover with white nylon piping made me feel like my laptop and I were blasting off into the future! The Shine Glossy is a delightful combination of space age camp and modern style.
The Shine's glossy vinyl exterior will slick off light rain (the kind you'd encounter while strolling through the spacecraft's hydroponic gardens). It's extremely lightweight and surprisingly roomy, as all laptop bags of the future should be.
The Shine Glossy has two handles that can be snapped together, for easy carrying. The bag also comes with a matching padded shoulder strap (and trust me - when you're using the bag to bring geological samples back from the planet's surface, a shoulder strap comes in handy).
At the back of the Shine Glossy is a large pocket big enough to fit a few files or magazines. The interior of the bag is lined in bright orange nylon - I love the splash of colour and the bright fabric makes it easy to find what you're looking for.
The main section of the Shine Glossy has a lightly padded built-in compartment to fit your 17" laptop. The laptop compartment fastens with a Velcro tab. When I say "lightly padded", I mean it - the Shine Glossy definitely needs to be strapped in for take-off and you probably don't want to take it on away missions to the centre of a volcano or other bumpy environment.
Inside the bag, opposite the laptop compartment, are two large open pockets, perfect for cords, tricorders and other peripherals. The main section offers plenty of space and would easily accommodate your binders, books, notebooks, holy texts of an alien culture - whatever you need to tote around from Engineering to your quarters.
The Shine Glossy's easy access front pocket has everything you need to keep you organized - a small zippered pouch for cash or bus tokens, a D ring for your keys and spaces for pens, cellphone, business cards and even a book (nights can get lonely in space).
The Shine Glossy is a sleek and stylish way for you and your laptop to travel, whether you're headed for the moon or just to the office. The Shine Glossy Laptop Tote by Ice Red Designs comes in Silver, Pink and Black and retails for $74.95. Check out all three Shine Glossy 17" Laptop Bags over at CareerBags.com.
Metro Lite Laptop Bag from Rainebrooke
Escape the boring black carrier ...
The first thing I noticed with the Metro Lite is that it lives up to its name - this bag is *really* light! It weighs hardly anything at all (technically, 15 oz) and has an incredibly slim silhouette. I was a bit worried about fitting in everything I wanted to carry, but that was part of my mission - to trim down the bulk. So, I gathered my essentials and got down to business.
The front pockets on the Metro Lite are perfect for small wallets, business cards, cell phones and keys. I found it quite handy to have these pockets - no digging around in the depths of the bag. As an FYI, if you have an old-school style cell phone, it could be tricky to fit it in.
My MacBook Pro 15 fit nicely in the main pocket. It is well padded so you don't need an additional sleeve. I also kept my Mac power brick in there as well. Because there is only one central pocket, I had to be careful where I put my power cord to avoid scratching my MacBook. The main flap as well as the small pockets in the front all have strong velcro closures.
The pocket in the back held my Moleskine notebook, a magazine, some papers and a couple of pens. It, too, has a velcro closure but only in the centre of the bag. What this means is that smaller items are at risk for escape if you happen to flop it down on the floor of a pickup truck. Guess who did that :)
The removable carrying strap is a standard strap with your choice of 2 shoulder pads (black or matching colour). My one beef with the Metro Lite is the handle. There is only one (not a pair) and it's positioned on the back of the main bag. Depending on how you pack your bag, this can make it a little awkward and unbalanced; also, it's uncoated/unwrapped nylon - depending on how heavy your laptop is, it could wear on your hands. I always used the strap when carrying this bag.
That being said, I love the colours, the construction is solid and the Metro Lite forces you to lighten up. All at a price point of $34.95 USD. Check out Rainebrooke's site for more details.
Luan Laptop Tote from The F'ace Brand
The folks over at The F'ace Brand sent me one of their casual Luan bags to check out. It fits the bill for a bag that makes the trip from home to office to cocktails with the girls. The Luan is made from durable faux leather and has a vintage crushed finish - so wear and tear doesn't really show. It has two carrying straps which you could use to carry the bag my hand or over the shoulder (though I did find this a little tight). There are two shallow front pockets which could easily hold a paperback, but do be careful - the pockets are shallow and loose; I wouldn't put valuables in there - keep them inside the bag.
The interior of the Luan is a nice chocolate brown to match the exterior of the bag. One side has all the specialized slots you would expect for pens, cell phone and business cards. The laptop sleeve is built into the bag. A note of caution here: the interior sleeve is not well padded so if you like to drop, toss or throw your bags - this may not be the one for you. There is not a lot of protection for your laptop.
The best thing about the Luan is its roominess. I could fit a number of items (including above mentioned shoes and lunch) along with my laptop. So if you need to carry a lot and aren't too reckless with your bag, this might be a good fit. If you are considering it, make sure you check the dimensions of your laptop carefully. My MacBook Pro 15 *barely* fit from a depth perspective. The F'ace Brand posts the dimensions of the bag on their site. Unfortunately, their site is in flash, so I can't link directly to the Luan's page. But if you visit TheFaceBrand.com and select "Collection" from the navigation, you'll be able to find it by its picture.
The Luan sells for 74.99 USD.
Something a Little Different: Funky Luggage Tags
Even our tags can be funky, chic and cool!
Well, these gems from Tepper Jackson enhance even the dullest bag. Found on Plum Party, you can also check out their passport wallets. Hey, think of it as your contribution to funky-ing up the border!
Hat-tip to Rob and company over at TravelerWire for the head's up!
The Portabile Grande from ZAUM!
handmade portable fashion
Zaum sells all their bags online (both laptop bags and some other funky, chic and cool ones) at the Zaum Store. They size for Apple laptops, so make sure you check your measurements. The bags range in price from $60 to $200.
Make sure you check out their main website - Zaum.com - where they announce new lines, talk about their design and construction process and offer other little design tidbits.
The Barcelona from Zegari
Ultra-stylish leather messenger bag
When Veronica over at Zegari emailed me to let me know a sample was on the way, I was giddy. When it arrived, I was practically apoplectic. First, it comes cosseted in its *own* bag. Second, when I peered in, the smell of leather wafted out. Almost brought this Texas-raised gal to tears.
Now, I have heard the phrase "buttery leather" before. I had not experienced it until I opened the flap of the Barcelona. So soft and smooth. Delightful!
The main pocket of the Barcelona contains a well-padded laptop compartment that fits my MacBook Pro 15" perfectly. There is a slot for files, a smaller zippered pocket which is fronted by slots for business cards, a cellphone and pens, and the general interior slot where I kept my power cord.
There are two outside pockets: the front one is protected by the flap where you can stash a folder of papers; the back one will accommodate file folders or a small book. There are also two side pockets, one for thin cell phones - my KRZR fit only under much protest - and one zippered one for your water bottle (personally, I find a water bottle pocket incongruous with the rest of the Barcelona's personality).
The craftsmanship on the Barcelona is incredible. It has an adjustable leather shoulder strap that is very generous. The bag's hardware is high-quality and impeccable, including small metal feet to keep it off the ground. One of my favourite things about the Barcelona is that its fasteners are all magnetic, including the clever hidden ones in the flap of the bag. It makes the physics of the bag *feel* right when you close the flap - quite impressive.
On a day to day basis, it's pretty comfortable to carry. It *is* leather (and therefore heavier than a synthetic bag) so I do fret a bit about scratching it and getting it caught in the rain. Veronica assures me that any light rainfall can be wiped off but I should avoid getting it soaked.
I love the Barcelona ... I feel ultra chic when I carry it, and some very classy women have stopped me to ask where I got it. Next up: testing its ability to shatter glass ceilings.
The Barcelona retails for $325 USD and can be purchased online at Zegari's site.
UPDATE: The Barcelona now comes in a 17" model! Yay!
The Leaf Laptop Bag by HER Design
Eco-friendly, cruelty-free, and sustainable laptop carriers
HER-design has taken eco-chic to a new level. Their respect for the planet is evident in both the designs of their bags as well as the materials they use to construct them. I was delighted when Christopher at HER Design sent over a Leaf Laptop Bag in one of their new spring colours for me to review.
Let me start by saying that the overall PRESENCE of the Leaf is extraordinary. Not just the appearance of it (which is beautiful) but the entire design aura of the bag. The organic form, inspired by its eponymous "leaf", seems to self-generate positive chi. The refreshing green colour calms my mind and lightens my spirit. The texture delights my fingertips and warms my heart. And the vertical orientation of the bag is super-chic.
When you open the languorous flap, the softly structured interior of the Leaf is revealed. The main compartment is relatively roomy with ample space for laptop accessories, a notebook and/or file folder. A separate compartment cossets the actual laptop - protected but not overly padded (road warriors take note). There is a stitched-in mini-pocket for business cards or a mobile gadget and a key fob on which to hang your keys. On the front of the bag, under the flap, there is also a small zippered pocket for a small wallet or other valuable.
For carrying, there are two options: a hand strap on the top of the bag as well as a shoulder strap. There are 5 little feet on the bottom for protection. The only other hardware is the elegant silver clasp at the base of the flap.
The Leaf is made of micro-suede that is from 100% recycled content and PVC-free synthetic leather trim, with recycled PET lining. But this isn't your father's recycled material. As I mentioned above, the Leaf is very touchable - the micro-suede is quite soft and luxurious to the touch.
Even the smallest details are made as eco-friendly as possible. The Leaf is shipped in the smallest box possible without damaging the bag. And when packaged, it is wrapped in bio-degradable material for protection rather than a felt or plastic sub-bag.
I am delighted in every possible way by the Leaf (ok, except for the not-very-generous shoulder strap (plus size gals take note!) - but I can forgive it in this case). This bag makes my heart and my spirit sing.
The Leaf Laptop Bag fits 15" (including the MacBook Pro 15) and smaller laptops; the website says it will fit some 17" - you must measure very carefully. It retails for $90 USD and can be purchased online at her-design.com.
Leather Laptop Bags from KjB Bags
Stylish hand-tooled leather totes for your laptop.
OK, so it's been a while since my Dungeons and Dragons days. But I'm confident that my favourite character, Tabitha Bronwynn - a 25th level magic user, would have been delighted by a bag I just received. New to the design scene, KjB Bags specialize in hand-tooled and carved leather laptop bags. Julie, one of the owners of KjB Bags sent over an Ellie and a Lady Kathryn for me to review. When I pulled the bags out of the box, I immediately wanted to rush to put on my emerald cape and hit the nearest Renaissance faire. KjB Bags indicate that their designs are "Asian inspired" but I find them more Celtic in nature.
Both bags are made from hand-stiched leather. The Ellie has a lovely chrysanthemum medallion on the front; the Lady Kat has a carved leather criss-cross pattern. Both bags have carrying handles as well as include a detachable strap for carrying. The strap is very generous in length but it is fairly narrow and unpadded - so it may dig in a bit if you stuff the bag full. The hardware on the strap and on the attach points as well as on the feet of the bag is quite nice and sturdy.
There is a small external zippered pocket on the back of both bags. It would hold a cell phone, your glasses case or a small wallet. The interior of each bag is lined with a soft cotton material that sports an unusual "cats and bags" print (you can see a close up in the photo below). There is a separate pocket for your laptop. I was actually quite surprised. The Ellie looks quite small, but my MacBook Pro 15 did fit and I was able to snap the closures. If you have a thicker laptop, though, you will need to confirm measurements!
There is a main pocket in the interior where you can store cables, accessories, notebooks, etc. Both bags have a built-in business card holder, pen holder, large open pocket and a smaller, snap-closed cell phone pocket. There is also a small zippered pocket in the lining of the laptop compartment. And the bags zip closed entirely to keep your contents private and secure.
The interior sleeve is padded well-enough for a day to day commuter bag; road warriors won't really want to toss it around. And I have to say, the Ellie and the Lady Kathryn bags are some of the most non-laptop tote looking bags that I've seen. Plus, that leather smells really good.
KjB Bags is currently carrying two other styles in addition to these: a messenger bag and an unusual hunter-green bag called the Chantilly. Prices range from $229 to $289 depending on the bag, although they seem to be having a summer sale right now. You can check out these unusual leather laptop bags at KjB Bags online store.
lapToP bAg from aGainN
from junk to funk
The bag shown here seems to be mostly one of a kind. I *love* the look of it (and their other bags). This one retails for $165 USD. It's 14" wide, so maybe only good for smaller laptops. I wish their site had an inside pic. But they do say it's padded.
You can visit their site at www.againnyc.com. It's in Flash so you can't link directly (drives me CRAZY!) but you can browse their store to get a sense of their products.
Clark & Mayfield Stafford Rolling Laptop Case
Relief for Road Warriors, Especially Those with 17" Laptops!
As I've mentioned, I travel pretty often and spend a lot of time slogging through airports. When I emerge triumphant through security only to discover that my departure gate is in a whole other time zone, well - it's enough to make a road warrior fall on her own spear. But on my latest trip, the faraway gate posed no problem - I strolled towards it with ease, my Stafford Rolling Laptop Brief gliding smoothly and stylishly behind me.
Smooth is the operative word with the Stafford - this bag handles like a dream. The set-in wheels turn on a dime and I managed to make it all the way to the gate without taking anyone out (even when I wanted to). I haven't taken the bag off-roading, but on the sidewalk and in the airport, it's a sweet ride.
Ride aside, the Stafford is one good-looking bag. It's made of durable top grain leather and comes in three colours - I have the Sunset Orange model, though I feel it's more "pumpkin" than "sunset". It has clean, simple lines and solid, high-quality hardware, right down to the leather covered zipper pulls. There's a layer of rubber on the bottom to protect it from inclement floor situations, like the one I encountered near the Tim Hortons.
The Stafford is very sturdy yet surprisingly light for a leather bag with the wheels built in. The telescoping extension handle is just the right length - plus, it pulls out and folds up really nicely. When you're not using it, it zips up in its own little compartment. The bag's two leather hand-grips are sturdy and comfortable - they also snap together, so they stay upright for easy grasping.
The Stafford is also extremely roomy. Its interior is a funky striped fabric that makes it easy to see what you've got in there (and, as advertised, made me smile every time I opened it). The bag has three main storage compartments and a strap across the back of the bag that can function as a pass-through if you want to set the Stafford atop your other rolling luggage.
The back compartment has lots of space with built-in dividers for documents, files or magazines. The middle compartment has a removable, padded laptop sleeve which fastens with a velcro strap across the top. Like the bag, the sleeve is roomy and easily fits a 17" laptop. And if you're not bringing your computer with you, you can take out the sleeve and fill the space with other items like books or shoes.
As a side note, I was a little skeptical about putting my laptop in the middle compartment - most laptop bags put your laptop in the back compartment - but it turns out that having the laptop in the middle actually balances out the weight of the wheels at the back, making the bag even more stable.
The middle compartment also has three deep, padded pockets which are open at the top. I'm not really sure what the design intent was for these pockets - they're really deep and kind of an odd size. I used mine for a small toiletries pouch and my folded up travel documents.
The front compartment of the Stafford has a structured leather pouch for your PDA or iPod, three stretchy pen holders and a slot for business or other cards. It's also spacious enough to fit your inflight book or two. The front compartment also has a fashionable faux buckle closure, which conceals a functional magnetic snap - handy.
The Stafford's wheels and handle can't be removed, and the bag does not include a shoulder strap - so if you're looking for a rolling bag that can convert into a laptop messenger bag, this isn't the bag for you. But if you're in the market for an attractive, non-nerdacious wheeled laptop briefcase for your next business trip, definitely consider the Stafford. Especially for you gals who are wielding the 17" machines. Finally, some relief!
The Clark & Mayfield Stafford Leather Rolling Laptop Case comes in Sunset Orange, Red and Black. It easily fits a 17" laptop and currently retails for $239.00 over at CareerBags.com.
Timeless Tweed Laptop Tote by Coakley Business Cases
Timeless fashion meets elegant design in this women's laptop bag
California Dreamin' aside, the Coakley is an elegantly designed yet very practical laptop tote. First, let's talk looks. The Timeless Tweed is stunning. The fabric texture is high-end and luxurious; the leather handles and trim serve as an excellent accent to the fabric. This bag is classic in its visual style.
The Coakley Everyday Tote is classic in its function as well. The (adjustable!) leather handles fit nicely over my shoulder but aren't too long for me to carry the bag by hand. It's got a wide gusset and eight little brass feet, so it's up off the floor and doesn't tip over. There are four exterior pockets, which makes it easy to keep travel documents and other things handy. Three of them are stretch neoprene and one is a hidden zipper pocket - items are kept nice and snug. I liked the pockets at either end of the bag - they are water resistant and make for good storage for your water bottle or umbrella (a key item here in Vancouver). And the pocket at the back can be unzipped and used as a pass-through over the handle of your rolling luggage - always a great feature if you travel as much as I do.
The interior of the Everyday Tote has been arranged with the utmost of function as well - different compartments designed with different functions in mind. I was dazzled by the rose-coloured interior but once my eyes adjusted, I appreciated the interior stretch neoprene pockets (in a complementary tan colour - see picture) for bulkier electronic gadgets, structured leather holders for business cards, pens and PDA and zippered pouches for secure storage of my wallet and other valuables. There's also room for files or a book - and if you need more space, you can pop the posts on the the sides of the bag to expand it!
The Coakley also has separate, structured compartment for your laptop. It's quite a large compartment - my 15" MacBook Pro fit nicely but was also easy to remove, which is good - you don't want to break a sweat or lose your cool wrestling your laptop out of your bag while going through security!
The closure of the Coakley Timeless Tweed Laptop Tote is unusual. There is a stretch neoprene flap that can be zipped either over JUST the laptop pocket or over the entire bag. I found connecting the zipper on the flap to the zipper on the bag was a little bit fiddly and it took me a few tries to get it lined up correctly. Even with the flap zipped up, the bag is still open at the edges, so if you have loose items in there, I'd be careful tossing it around - and be sure not to spill your mimosa on it.
The Coakley Timeless Tweed Everyday Tote is one of the most elegant bags I have seen. The hardware and appointments are truly impeccable. And the design of the bag is exceptional. A lot of thought and care to meet the needs of the modern business woman has gone into this bag. Little details like the small leather snap-loop for your keys as well as the small detachable matching compact mirror along with the materials and construction truly make this bag stand head and shoulders above many others.
You can find the Timeless Tweed and other bags on Coakley's website.
Zegari: Laptop Bags - Redefined
Well "The Minimalist" from Zegari can help make that fantasy come true, at least for your laptop.
Texas-based company Zegari has created a sleek, stylish, yet cleverly pocket-ful bag that will hold not only your laptop, but your phone, PDA, MP3 player and some files from the office (or that issue of Vogue Italia you've been hiding from your assistant).
After spending the $285.00 for The Minimalist, you might be eating more spaghetti dinners at home, but it will be worth it, especially if you look as good as the model does in this photo! Now *that's* amore!
Tell me: Which bags are your favourites?
And let me know what I should be reviewing more of.
Thank you for stopping by! Please leave a note if there are certain bags you would like to see more of. Or, if you just like the lens, I'm happy to hear that too! And if you *really* like the lens, it would be great of you ranked it, dugg it, or favourited me. Thanks again for checking it out!
Also, you can check out my Laptop Bag Lens FAQ where I answer some standard questions people ask me about traffic, income, how to get to #1, etc.!
Also, I've had to switch the guestbook to "ask me first" to approve comments. So yours won't appear right away. Sorry about that - but I'm trying to discourage spammers. Many thanks to all of you wonderful folks who leave a legitimate, encouraging comment!!
Today's Featured Laptop Bags and Sleeves
Shared from across the Funchico family
Full Laptop Bag Index
Laptop Sleeve: the Altego Clear Laptop Sleeve from Samsill
Full Laptop Sleeve Index
Netbook Sleeve: Lady Damask Netbook Sleeve from Slappa
Full Netbook Sleeve Index
Laptop Backpack: the Pink Fabric Laptop from Gnana (via CareerBags.com)
Full Laptop Backpack Index
Laptop Bag for Men: the Expand-It Messenger from BBP
Full Men's Bag Index
Knitting Bag: the Coco Needle Carrier from Lexie Barnes
Full Knitting Bag Index
List of Laptop Bag Reviews
- The Plaforma is THE Hottest New Bag for iPads
- New Lens Alert - Funky, Chic and Cool iPad Cases
- Ice Red delivers urban chic with the AVA
- The Jen Powered Crossbody: A Rechargeable Bag for All Your Gadgets
- Joyheel Laptop Bag - Click for Details!
- The Cool Laptop Backpack from Hadaki (Paradise Aqua Collection)
- The Sumo Combo Laptop/Tablet Backpack
- FYI - Missing Photos
- The Tuscany Leather Laptop Bag
RETIREDUnfortunately, some of our favourites have been taken off the market. The bags in the these reviews are no longer carried, but there may be new models from their designers. Always worth checking.
The Luca Bella Laptop Bag by Gina B
A fabulous, flirty and fashionable laptop bag!
Well, folks, I have been wrong. I was sent one of Gina B's Luca Bella laptop totes in Winter White to review. I had only seen the picture that was emailed to me and I thought, "Oh, no! This bag is WAY too L.A. for me. How can I even try it out?!"
Once the Luca Bella arrived, I regarded it with some suspicion, but then pulled up my socks and did my duty. I carried it with me to a client meeting. Then to book club. And then on a business trip. And then to martini night. And now, well, it's nestled beside me here as I write this.
My first surprise: carrying a white bag is refreshing. And carrying a white bag with a bright pink interior is not only refreshing, but joyful.
My second surprise: this bag has a lot of smart, intuitive functionality built in. The Luca Bella is, first and foremost, quite roomy. There are two large interior compartments. The first has a built in zippered pocket, pen holders, a key holder and a small slip-pocket for a cell phone or other gadget. The compartment has plenty of space for either computer accessories (power cord, mouse, etc.) or personal items (wallet, thermos, toy poodle).
The second main compartment has one of the things I like the most about the Luca Bella - a removable laptop sleeve. But its not just a sleeve! Clever Gina has included an outside compartment on the sleeve that also has a couple of pen holders, a gadget pocket AND a business card pocket.
The Luca Bella is made of 100% genuine leather with a cotton canvas interior. There is a small pocket on the outside which also doubles as a pass-through if you want to slip it over your rolling luggage. You can carry the Luca Bella laptop tote by the braided handles or the generous leather strap. You can also remove the strap from the larger bag and use it on the sleeve for when you want to travel light. Handy! The Luca Bella has four metal feet to reduce wear and tear on the bottom panel.
The only potential drawback to Luca Bella is that it is a relatively open-top style. The closure is a clever magnetic strap, but it does not fully seal the bag. If you carry a lot of small pieces loosely joined, you'll want to be careful that you don't just dump it in the back seat or in the overhead bin. Also, not great in torrential rain.
UPDATE: It seems like Gina B bags are no longer in production.
The Carrie by JoJo Designs
A casual bag for the gal on the go ...
Even if you're staying behind at the lodge, you need to look the safari part. And I have found the perfect bag to complement my pith helmet and full-body mosquito netting. It's the Jo Jo - Carrie by JoJo Designs. JoJo Designs is a new Vancouver-based shop on the scene, headed by bag designer Jonathan Chan. I had the opportunity to sit down with Chan recently, and he gave me a Carrie to try out.
I adore the look of this bag. It really does remind me of warmer climates and vacations - this is not a boardroom bag, but a bag for the gadget gal on the go who doesn't want to LOOK like a gadget gal. The bag is constructed from sturdy canvas with PVC trim and brass hardware. The Carrie has 2 magnetic snaps, just below each of the handle connection points, that close the top of the bag. One of the really cool features is a drawstring, just below the magnets, that lets you cinch the top closed. Note - this does not make it waterproof; however, it does create a really nice shape for the bag, looking even more like your "vacation" bag and way less like your "biznass" bag. The handles themselves are quite comfortable and are adjustable, so you can make them a bit bigger to sling them over your shoulder. There are no external pockets.
The interior of the Carrie is lined with a mocha-coloured nylon. Soft and shiny. There is one large, padded sleeve for your laptop (fits my MacBook Pro 15 with ample room - it should fit most 17" laptops) that is held closed with a velcro-ed strip of faux leather. Opposite the laptop sleeve are smaller pockets for cellphone, pda, business cards and pens. There is also a small zippered pouch for change or other incidentals. The main pouch of the Carrie is quite roomy and can hold guidebooks, suntan lotion, spyglasses, lion-repellent and even your extra mosquito netting.
The Carrie is very comfortable to carry (it also comes with a removable shoulder strap so you could wear it like a messenger if you like) and certainly roomy enough to hold your laptop and all it and your vacation accoutrement. I would definitely tote the Carrie if I were headed to the coffee shop or to the cottage.
I do have two cautions, however. The first ... for airplane travelers. The padding in the built-in sleeve will not stand up to a lot of rough and tumble. If you're a gal who tosses her bag in the overhead compartment and doesn't worry about it - this bag may not be for you. Or, pack it in your suitcase to carry onto the beach after you've arrived at your destination. Secondly, although the bottom of the bag is defined (meaning you can turn it over and the bottom is stitched in and reinforced with an insert), the Carrie doesn't always like to stand upright. If I placed just my laptop in the bag, often it would flop over; I had to make sure I was carrying other items to balance the weight.
All in all, I really love the look of the Carrie and use it for casual, kick-back situations where I don't need hardcore padding. Perfect for a writing jaunt on the veranda or a sleep-over with the girls. The Carrie comes in both light and dark brown. It retails for around $90 USD. You can see both the Carrie and JoJo Designs other, more traditional bag, the Amy, at CareerBags.com.
UPDATE: It looks like the Carrie has been retired, but you can check out other great JoJo Bags at Overstock.com.
The Echo Laptop Tote from Lexie Barnes
Sleek and Stylish
The main fuctional design upgrade that I'm excited about is that the Echo now has two compartments. The back compartment is for your laptop - well-padded and cozy - perfect for my MacBook Pro 15. The front compartment comes with the usual built-in pockets for pens, business cards and gadgets, and it is roomy enough for a few magazines, a notebook, files or a book.
The back of the Echo has an unzipped pocket - perfect for traveling when you need a place to stash your boarding pass for ease of access. There is also a cute, super-secret zippered pocket, just below the back handle for keys, phone, love notes, etc. Shhh.
This version of the Echo retains my favourite features: incredibly comfortable handles and a padded removable strap.
UPDATE: The Echo has been retired but Lexie has other great bags you can check out.
The Parkside Laptop Case by Clark & Mayfield
Retro glam with modern stylings
When the lovely Lauri from Clark & Mayfield sent the Parkside Laptop Bag for review, it evoked many of the same nostalgic feelings. The white leather and silver-studs! The buckles! The leather zipper pulls! The cheerful striped lining! The little fringe detail on the front pocket! If Olivia Newton John had carried a laptop bag in Xanadu, it would have been the Parkside.
Crafted of white Napa leather with silver stud detailing, the Parkside is a nicely structured and beautifully made bag. The Parkside also boasts unusual hardware and fun details; the handles and shoulder strap are both attached with big silver hoops and the zipper pulls are covered in the same white leather as the bag. The Parkside has four little silver feet on the bottom under the front compartment, to keep the bag balanced when your laptop's inside. All it's missing is a disco ball keychain! Fortunately, I have one. Xanadu!
Of course, the Parkside isn't just about turning heads at the roller rink; it's also practical and versatile.
The Parkside has two main compartments and a front pocket which fastens lightly with a magnet. A word to the wise - don't overstuff this front pocket, as the closure only works properly when there's not much in it.
The front interior compartment of the Parkside is lined with interior pockets of all shapes and sizes to organize your gadgets, business cards, pens, bubblegum lipgloss and "Love's Baby Soft" mini-spritzer. The colourful striped lining adds a nice burst of colour to the bag and also makes it easier to see what you're carrying around with you. The front compartment also contains a removable laptop sleeve in the same striped twill. The sleeve is nicely padded to both keep your laptop protected and protect the other contents of the bag from getting mashed by your laptop. Removing the laptop sleeve leaves a nice space for books, shoes, toiletries, etc. Although not quite enough space for roller skates.
The rear interior compartment has two accordian-style dividers with plenty of room for files, papers, magazines, etc. There's quite of bit of space in the back compartment and because the bag is so structured, you can fit a lot in there without destroying the shape of the bag.
The Parkside has a large zippered pocket in the back of the bag, perfect for travel documents you want to keep handy and for keeping receipts when you're on a business trip. Unlike some of the other bags I've seen, where the back pocket converts to a pass-through, the Parkside has a rear strap that you can use to attach to upright rolling luggage instead, so that the back pocket remains intact. When you're not using the strap, it stays flat to the bag, attached with velcro. Nice.
The Parkside's leather handles are wide and padded for a comfortable grip; it also comes with a generous shoulder strap, also padded to keep it from slipping around. As with all leather bags, I was worried the Parkside might be heavy to carry and that it would scuff easily - both fears were unfounded. The Parkside is actually quite light and after a week of business trip fun, it remains pristine. That said, the white leather makes me a little paranoid - I've been very careful to keep uncapped pens away from my Parkside.
The Parkside comes in white only, but you wouldn't want it any other way. The bag's laptop sleeve fits laptops up to 15" (as always, measure twice!). You can find the Parkside laptop case over at CareerBags.com for $199 USD (disco ball not included).
UPDATE: The Parkside has been retired, but Clark & Mayfield has other great bags on their site.
Supreme Love Story by Plastic People Designs
Make you and your technology happy ...
But, enough of me, onto the bag!
First and foremost, I am completely charmed by the look of this bag. Shannon, the designer, is interested in the effect that happy accessories have on other people. The bag makes me smile every time I see it. I was sent the pink version and I adore it. The bright colour with the pristine white trim ... it makes the world (and my technology) seem happier. Just for the sake of experimentation, I put the SLS bag next to a plain black laptop bag. Completely different emotional vibe. My MacBook even seems to have more potential when it is snug inside the SLS.
The SLS is made from an animal-friendly imitation leather. The feel of the material is quite nice; the handles, in particular, are very soft and comfortable to carry. The bottom of the bag has four metal feet to protect it if you set it down on the wet ground. There is an external front pocket across the width of the bag that closes with a clever magnetic strip. There is also a pocket on one end of the bag, suitable for a mobile device or iPod.
The interior of the Supreme Love Story is a light grey. On one wall of the interior are two zippered mesh pockets. They are big enough for a thin wallet or small gadgets/accessories. There are no additional cubbies for pens, business cards, etc. Depending on your personal taste, that is a plus or a minus. Personally, I find that my pens never fit anyway.
There is a removable sleeve for your actual laptop. This is quite a clever design feature really. The sleeve is held to the back wall of the bag by a velcro strip. Once you've zippered your laptop into the sleeve, another fold-over strip offers an additional mechanism to keep your laptop from flopping around.
The material for the sleeve seems water-resistant and it is lightly padded. But it would not stand on its own as protection for your laptop. Inside the SLS, it will keep your computer from getting scratched and nicked and the SLS affords additional padding, but I would not recommend flinging this bag down the aisle of a plane and into the overhead storage compartment willy-nilly.
All of Shannon's bags come with a matching zippered clutch/makeup case and a lovely heart-shaped mirror (see above pic). This is a very thoughtful extra detail and really embodies Shannon's design philosophy.
The SLS comes in three colour versions ... it will fit your style if you're pretty in pink or looking for a more subdued tan or brown. My main concern about the SLS is for road warriors who are tough with their laptops. And my only complaint is that as a creampuff (plus-size woman), I would prefer it if the handles had about another 1.5 inches of give. They fit over my shoulder right now, but only just and would not be comfortable for long walks.
That all being said, I am absolutely delighted by the Supreme Love Story bag. I've gotten nothing but smiles from people who have seen it and it makes me happy to carry it.
The Supreme Love Story bag retails starting at $165 USD for the "Standard Sally" (15") size and $175 for the "Large Lucy" (17") size. You can get more info and place an order at plasticpeople.com.
UPDATE: The Supreme Love Story has been retired.
The Hip Tech Laptop Bag by Chelsey Henry
Light, sporty and stylish laptop bag for women on the go
After carefully considering my latest crop of review bags, I settled on the Hip Tech from Chelsey Henry's Sport Collection in the very en vogue Apple/Coco colourway. The delightful and helpful Fae from Chelsey Henry sent it over a few weeks ago. and this was a perfect occasion to use it.
Of course, at a blogging conference, you'll see a lot of laptop bags. And I have to say that in a sea of other funky, chic and cool laptop bags at BlogHer08, the stylish Hip Tech totally held its own. But looks aren't the only reason I chose the Hip Tech as my conference bag.
The first thing I noticed when I picked up the Hip Tech was how light it is. Made of nylon with an apple-green cotton twill lining, it's one of the lightest laptop bags I've ever used. This is key when you're toting your laptop around from breakout room to ballroom to hotel room to lounge to parties while meeting, greeting and making merry with 999 other people. At the end of the day, you want to be exhausted by the greatness of it all - not by your heavy bag.
The Hip Tech is also quite roomy - it fit my MacBook Pro nicely and had plenty of space for my notebook, pens, camera, wallet and conference swag. Because I was keeping things light, I didn't fully explore the volume of the Hip Tech, but I could easily have fit much more stuff in there - files, textbooks, a sweater, you name it.
Part of the reason the Hip Tech is so light and roomy is that it's more flexible than structured. It has a lightly padded compartment with a Velcro closure to give your laptop some protection, but I wouldn't recommend casually tossing the bag around with your laptop inside. Definitely more a commuter bag than a road warrior/devil-may-care bag.
There are four external zippered pockets (two in front, two in back) on the Hip Tech. The pockets on both front and back include one large document pocket with three additional pockets inside and one small zippered pocket for keys or cell. The zipper pulls are attached with a double ring, which is a cute touch - sometimes, though, the double rings catch on each other a little, making it unexpectedly fiddly to open and close some of the zips.
The Hip Tech has two hand-grip handles for easy lifting. It also comes with a long adjustable and removable strap made of sturdy, seat-belt-like nylon. Note: the strap isn't padded, so depending on what's in the bag, you may experience some shoulder stress. It also has little silver feet on the bottom, which is another nice touch. I did, however, observe that because the bag is floppy, the feet only come in handy when you've got enough in the bag to balance the weight of your laptop - otherwise, you have to lean the bag up against something (or someone).
All in all, I couldn't have picked a better conference bag for BlogHer. I think this bag would also be great for commuters (plenty of room for files or office shoes) and for students (plenty of room for books) . Back-to-school shoppers take note!
UPDATE: It looks like the HipTech Laptop Bag has been retired, but check out the other great Chelsey Henry bags.
The Brief Bag from Flicka Bags
Cute Clothes for Your Computer
If I had gone to a certain music festival in the 60's, the conversation would likely have gone something like this:
Sunshine, get in the van!
Wait, I have to pack my laptop!
You know we're picking up the Peace, Love and Rainbows commune on the way to Woodstock. There's no room for bulky, downer, black bags, man.
No, no .. it's a Brief Bag from Flicka Bags ... it takes up no room at all. And look at these trippy colours!
Whoa, Sunshine. That is PSYCHEDELIC! I might have to get one too.
OK, so maybe that's not *exactly* how it went down ... but when I opened the Brief Bag that Alice from Flicka Bags sent over, I definitely had a flashback. Me in tie die and hemp; my MBP spacing out inside the Brief Bag's bright pink "Posy" pattern. Totally cool.
The Brief Bag really lives up to its name. Think minimalist - like one step up from a sleeve. Designed for gals who want to keep it simple and easy-going, the Brief Bag holds a laptop and a thin file folder or magazine in the main pocket. There is an external zipped pocket across the front where you can stow your power cord, thin wallet or other essentials. But remember .. it's a "brief" bag, so you're not carrying a lot with you.
The Brief Bag has water-resistant laminate coating on the external fabric and comes in three eye-popping fabrics! The interior is lined in black nylon and has an inner foam core. It provides reasonable protection for your laptop, but I would exercise caution before tossing it in an overhead bin in a plane.
Two things I'm really impressed with are the hardware for the detachable strap as well as the shoulder pad on the strap. The hardware is quite high quality and lends a stylish air to the bag. And the shoulder pad is thicker than most (even on bags that weigh another pound or two more) which makes it very comfortable to carry.
The Brief Bag does have top handles for carrying the bag. I found them a little too "hidden" (Alice makes them small deliberately to keep the lines of the bag sleek) for my meaty paws. But if your hands are smaller or delicate, you won't have any problems. The one disappointment in the bag were the zipper pulls (I know .. they're zipper pulls). They are small rubber disks rather than a more substantial piece of hardware (like the attachments for the strap) and I found them a) incongruous with the other hardware and b) a little difficult to grab onto. Again, that could be my meaty hands.
I really like the look and design of the Brief Bag and it definitely fills a niche - something a little bigger than a sleeve, but still sleek and stylish. If you need a bag that carries just the essentials, check out a Flicka Brief Bag.
Flicka Brief Bags retail for $80 USD (Alice also has sleeves in similar fabrics for $60). You can see the different styles and purchase at www.flickabags.com.
UPDATE - Dec 2008: Flicka Bags is currently on hiatus and are not taking new orders. We hope they start up again soon!