toby was nosing around my room yesterday afternoon and brought to my attention that i hadn’t yet shared my wonderfully green, L.J. Kaelms bag with you.
this bag was sent to me a couple of weeks ago from jordana paige and i’ve been saving it to put through its paces during my april travel, so i could speak knowledgeably about it here.
the bag is a good-sized tote with straps that are the right length for me to carry on my shoulder—not too long, so i can comfortably grip it against my torso with my elbow. it’s constructed of soft, “vegan pebbled leather” which is super-lightweight; i’m astonished at how little it weighs for its size and sturdiness.i would say that size, shape, and weight count for about 25 percent of a bag’s grade, in my book
as you know, i’m a sucker for green, too; the bag is also offered in teal and red. i like the bag’s looks a lot—not too much going on with a minimum of hardware. love the magnetic snap closure, hidden in the tab. the buckle on the tab has some sharp edges, so i’ve learned to be careful about sudden movements with it.
this bag has a square-ish bottom, which helps it sit on its own very well and to double as a portable knitting basket of sorts. this feature does not seem to make it feel more bulky on the shoulder, which is good.
of course, for any knitter, the bag’s innards count for at least half the points, right?
and this one is really well thought out. the very first thing i zoned in on was that center pocket, which extends the depth of the bag. had they really tailored a pocket to fit an iPad?
i don’t know if it is intentional or not, but my iPad does fit perfectly, smartcover and all. i LOVE the bag for this feature alone—once i’ve added project bags on either side, it is so well protected and concealed that i don’t even need to remember to be careful with it.
the center slot pocket divides the bag entirely in half, top to bottom into a pair of generous wells, big enough to hold projects, laptop, clothing, etc.
on one side, there are multiple needle/pen pockets around the outer inside walls of the bag, with a zipper pockets up near the top and a couple of snap tethers for keys or wallet. the flat credit card packets would be terrific, but they are awfully shallow and don’t seem to hold the cards securely, so i wouldn’t put anything too important there—maybe a train or commuter card for city-dwellers. i’m a little bummed that my business cards don’t fit; it would be awesome to have those at my fingertips.
the other well has a detachable change purse, zipper pocket, and elastic bottle holders, plus lots of storage space.
i can easily fit multiple project bags, plus essentials in each side of the saddle. and it does hold a ton of stuff without getting overly heavy; when i left home i filled it with project bags, camera, snacks, shawlette, mitts, and my airbook (i didn’t fly with my iPad this time).
i can fit all this into the bag—however, i can’t buckle the flap if i do. so i took out one of the bigger project bags and subbed in a smaller one.
and then i was able to close it. still, that’s a lotta stuff!
toby heard me say something about snacks and wants to know why he can’t find any treats inside—what the heck kind of review is he supposed to give if no bribes are involved??
and how does it do on the plane you might ask? can i get it under the seat in front of me?
i can, if i lay it down on its side. with the airbook inside, it’s a little too tall, but that’s ok.
all in all, i like this bag quite a lot. will it replace my favorite baggalini tote? not sure about that—i’m a creature of habit and i’m pretty comfortable with the long, low lines of my old green tote for heavy duty travel.
however, i do find this one a little more stylish, so i’ll definitely grab it to tote along when i feel the look is important—and certainly i love how it babies my iPad. i also really like that it could easily work as my only bag for overnight trips—i may even try that sometime soon.
many thanks to rebecca at jordana paige for sending me the bag and allowing me the opportunity to share it with you; it’s just the thing for spring travel. and if a tot isn’t on your list at the moment, check out the great accessory bags and toolkits they have. i’m loving the look of their messenger bag too, with that cozy tweed flap—looks like another good traveler.
BTW, toby says you’re making him blush with all of your comments and that he’ll be signing autographs after lunch for an hour or so before his nap.