Top positive review
198 people found this helpful
Has some flaws, but it's pretty great.
on December 16, 2012
I got this with the intent to use it as a combined laptop bag and purse (to avoid carrying two bags everywhere), and so far it has worked pretty well.
There is one roomy interior compartment that easily fits my 15" laptop and a variety of other items (charging cable, travel mouse, tablet, my checkbook wallet). It probably won't fit a laptop much (if any) larger than that, because the zip closure at the top is just a little smaller than the interior pocket, so you have to angle the laptop just a little to get it in (if you have one of those tiny USB extensions for a travel mouse that are flush to the laptop -- the kind that are meant to stay in the USB port at all times -- beware that it can hang on the zipper and get yanked out if you aren't careful about sliding your laptop in). I could pack a lot more items into this compartment than I have been, as it is quite decently sized. There is no included liner for a laptop or tablet.
There is also a zippered pocket on the back interior of the bag that is deep enough to hold a small makeup bag with the barest of female essentials (pads and tampons, lipstick, powder, a travel hairbrush), but not much else. I feel like this pocket would be more useful if it was a lot larger. It strikes me as a place you're meant to toss extra keys or change, but there is a lot of wasted interior space (if you're like me, anyway, and don't like everything rattling around loose in your bag).
There are two very roomy, zippered bubble pockets on the front, that are revealed when the purse flap is pulled up (as if you are accessing the main compartment). These are fantastic and massively proportioned (I typically keep my smartphone, glasses case, a pistol, a full-size multitool, and a variety of other items in the pockets, with room to spare).
On each end is a pocket that is probably meant for a water bottle, but they are built so flush with the bag that, when a laptop is inside the main compartment, it doesn't allow for anything rounded to fit. I feel like this is a poorly designed part of this bag -- these pockets really should have bubbled out like the front two, so you could stick a water bottle in it when there is something wide on the inside. As it is, I use one side to store a knife and taser, and the other side to store clipped pens. The pockets are deep, but they are so flat that they are really not good for much else.
Curiously, inside each of these pockets (maybe 1/3 the way down, on the wall connected to the main interior compartment of the bag) is a canvas loop with the male part of a snap button stitched onto the outside of the loop. The female part of the snap is on the opposite wall. They are so far down that I can't imagine they are meant to close these pockets, and I really have no idea what they are useful for. Because the bag lacks any decent place you can clip keys to (if you use a carabiner or eye bolt snap key hook), I just attached a large split ring to one of these loops and am using it for my key snap place instead. Keeps the keys from falling down into the depths of the pocket, but hides them from view.
On the back, accessible when the flap is closed, is a long, flat pocket that runs flush with the length of the back of the purse. Because I carry my laptop in the main interior compartment, this keeps this pocket pretty flat, so it is only useful to me for a legal pad, or as an occasional place to quickly stuff my tablet.
The outside flap is very large, and has velcro hooks on the underside. One large velcro loop pad is on the middle of each exterior bubble pocket, to catch the flap at a variety of bag widths (so if it's very full, you can still close it).
The strap is wide and heavy, sewn to the bag at one end and attached via a brass buckle at the other end. It is a long enough strap that it is adjustable to suit any torso size, to lay along the body at whatever height is preferred (thigh, hip, waist, right up under your arm, whatever).
The outside is heavy olive green cotton canvas, the inside lining is polyester in the same color. Both are very durably made. Heavy stitching, heavy fabric, heavy zippers. I've been tossing this thing around for over a month with nary even the slightest signs of wear. There are a couple places that had flyaway threads, but that's just from not cutting them off closely enough during the sewing process, and a pair of scissors fixed that right up.
I really wish there was some kind of key ring stitched into the main interior compartment. There is enough room at the top edge for it. Alternately, it could go under the large main flap somewhere, or on one side above the water bottle pockets. I'm considering adding this myself.
The outside side pockets aren't quite wide enough for a 20 oz water bottle to be inserted into if a 15" laptop is on the inside (this, in my opinion, is the only major failure of the bag). The loops and snap buttons inside them are a little odd, but useful if you improvise.
The zippered pocket inside the main interior compartment is too small to be useful to me. It could be improved either by making it larger, or by including two side-by-side interior pockets of the same size, rather than the one in the middle. There is plenty of room for it.
Large, durable bag. It isn't really designed to carry a laptop, but it'll tide me over until I find something that's perfect. For people who don't carry a lot of stuff, or who have a smaller laptop (like a netbook, or combined tablet/keyboard), this is probably as close to the ideal as you can get in this price range.