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After having this bag for several months now, and using it about 3-5 days per week, I must say that while I will continue to use the bag, especially after the cost and monogramming, I have noticed how annoying some of the bag features are and wish I had made a different choice. Though I don't think I would have noticed any of these issues without actually using the bag. I did read previous reviews - and they were all good. Also, what prompted me to get this bag in the first place is that a co-worker has the same one, has had it for quite some time, and he likes it real well - I guess it works for him - as he didn't have anything negative to say about the bag. I hope this review provides some more thought on the bags functionality, in case any one else finds these features I touch on important.
The outer straps that come over the front zippered opening really serve no purpose other than to add to the appearance and be in the way, since the zipper holds the contents securely. They have magnet connectors that frequently become unsnapped when toting the backpack on my shoulder. Additionally, every time you have to get into the backpack you have to move those straps out of the way before gaining entry. When flipping the straps back to gain entry - then preparing to close the bag again, the straps get 'stuck' on the loop that holds them on the top of the bag - meaning, some of the slack slips back, and when attempting to snap the straps back, they have become shortened and do not slide through the loops easily to have enough room. Again, I have to use two hands to free up some slack - where I should only have to use one hand to do this...annoying.
The SHOULDER straps - upon first getting the bag, are HUGE. There is only so much that the straps allow to be tightened up - this meant I had to have the bag altered (straps shortened) to be able to use it. Most times I hang it around one shoulder, but when I travel with it, I will pull it on both to maneuver through airports. Even after altering, the straps are too big, because the BUCKLES that tighten the straps 'slip' after a while - causing the straps to become loose again. Subsequently, I am frequently re-tightening the buckles, very annoying!
The "key holder" in the bag also attaches with a magnet - I previously used this feature to hold my Network Security Token/Fob - But found that the snap is constructed deep in the large back pocket and difficult to get to (or find if you don't have a bright light shining in the bag) if you have contents in that pocket. Annoying to have to reach around to find it - and forget about putting it back in by feel - you have to look and find the magnet first. So now I just place the fob in one of the outer pockets that zip shut.
The side holders for water are small - they will hold a 500 ml bottle if its tall and narrow. I frequently take two with me, and there are two pockets...great...except that one is sewn smaller than the other so I really have to use two hands, one to hold the pocket open, the other to twist the bottle around until I can manipulate and slip it into the pocket. It's fine getting the bottle out - just takes an extra minute to get out the door.
Finally, the leather - it's beautiful and the dark brown color is rich and deep - however, bear in mind this leather is SOFT, and after having traveled with it on planes and storing it under the seat in front of me, it has sustained visible scratches.
Pros: Love the look and the room inside this backpack
Cons: Yes...the straps come down in front to button over the zipper, so in order to open the zipper to slip your wallet in or out you must unbutton the front flap and move it out of the way before accessing the zipper and the front pouch.
Pros: This bag is perfect for work--looks great, has a spot for everything, easy to carry. And even though the site said it was on backorder I got it in only 2 days. Very happy with this purchase.
Pros: I love this product because it looks so sharp and professional. I needed a laptop case for work (where I travel a lot) and have tried everything like the rolling case, messenger bag, and folio pouch. Why I love this product is that I can stuff my laptop and binders/paperwork into the bag and be hands-free to handle phone calls or carry my coffee around. It usually looks uncool to wear a backbag once you graduate high school/college. But this bag is totally stylish. So even if the bag is almost $200, it is totally worth it because leather bags never go out of style (if they are made with good quality...just like this bag). Hey even my husband who thought it was ridiculous to purchase a leather backbag was impressed when he saw it in the mail. You could definitely tell he was jealous he didn't have one of his own. Maybe I will let him borrow it on occasion.
Cons: The strapes only adjust to a certain length. So when you are actually wearing the bag, it might fall down lower depending on how short you are.
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