Monday, June 23, 2014

LeSportsac Medium Travel Tote

LeSportsac Medium Travel Tote
The winning choice for my school bag is the LeSportsac Medium Travel Tote in Black. I’m on the fourth week of using my LeSportsac and so far I’m happy with my choice. It serves my need for a utilitarian and durable yet neat looking bag. I actually had casually looked at the LeSportsac Travel Totes several years ago, but I didn’t feel need for one until recently. I ended up buying mine through Zappos, largely because I had a gift card to burn through.

Zappos actually had the most helpful website in terms of reviews and pictures/videos. All this was especially helpful in determining whether to choose the Medium or Large size. Also, Zappos has very friendly customer service and they ship fast. And no-one pays me to endorse Zappos or LeSportsac, this is just what worked for me.


**Extended Review**
The Lesportsac Medium Travel Tote has a nice yet non-descript look, without being too dressy or precious. I bought mine specifically for a school bag, but I use it throughout the week as well. That said the Travel Tote is sporty enough for gym-goers yet sophisticated enough for business casual. I actually considered the navy (Mirage), but reminded myself that black is the most versatile for my wardrobe and coordinates with my luggage, should I travel with it. Also, I wanted something with longevity, another reason I was so adverse to backpacks. A backpack I would use for a year or so, and then never want to look at again.

The overall design is very practical and feels durable. The thick double straps are made of a sturdy seatbelt material. They also sit comfortably on my shoulder. The bag is washable, and has faired well in the rain. I’ve read about LeSportsac using “rip-stop” nylon and the material does have a grid design to it. I take that with a grain of salt; there are mixed reviews about this on tpf. Either way it doesn’t strain with the weight like my Lollipops or canvas totes did.

The pockets are well thought out too. The three outer zippered pockets are narrow, but perfect for those smaller items (Cliff bar, slim camera, slim sunglass case, car keys, cellphone, etc…) I don’t want floating around in the main compartment. The pockets are easy to access when the bag is on my shoulder too.

The main compartment has a top zipper, with room to pull it upwards should I need the space. Usually I don’t care about having a top zipper, but the extra security and discretion is nice. The main compartment comfortably fits my folders, books, binders, tablet, water bottle, and umbrella. Also it’s easy to take things in and out, and shove them all back in at the end of the night. The inside lining is black and many of my things (tablet case, little pouches, wallets, umbrella, etc..) are black too, but I’m used to the abyss effect of black on black. There’s a zippered pocket inside as well, which perfectly fits a small pouch, pocket planner, and my new “checkbook” wallet. This is especially helpful because two of my wallets are black and they don’t need to be floating around the main compartment. Also, one thing I noticed about the black tote versus the other colors (and mentioned in the reviews) the black doesn’t come with the removable zippered pouch for some reason. But as mentioned, I have plenty of zippered pouches of my own, so that’s not a big deal to me.

Also I happened to see a woman carrying a smaller version of my bag in black. Hers was 10 years old, and still was in good shape—with no noticeable fraying on the handles. She hand washes hers in gentle detergent and then lays it flat to dry on towel. I’ll leave you with this last tidbit from her as we were talking about how weird our area has been getting, “All my Louis, to hell with them! I put them on the shelf. Now I use this and nobody looks at me!”

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What is your practical bag of choice? Anyone else with experience using Le Sportsacs?

8 comments:

  1. Hello! I must confess I was following your bag post from a few weeks ago and wondered what you'd settle on--I was going to suggest Kipling too, but I didn't know if you wanted luxe or practicality. I own both LeSportsac and Kipling and I'm rough on my stuff--drag it around, drop it on floors, etc. As you well know now, they have awesome storage/pocket options, and it's such a relief to have a dedicated place for everything (cellphone, notebooks, pens, and most of the LeSportsac bags even come with mini-pouches inside.)

    The one thing I did notice is the handles/straps do hold up well, but I did have some stitching come apart at the bottom seams of the bag, where I get the most stress because of weight and because I should probably treat my stuff better, hehe. If you're patient/handy with a needle, you can reinforce it with some basic stitches should that ever happen to you. I did that to my bag last year and it's going strong on its 5th year.

    Kristina

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    1. Good to hear someone else is happy with their Le Sportsac. I looked at Kipling too, but they only had the bright neons and nothing stood out to me when I was at their outlet.

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  2. I had Kipling as a student and it was indestructible - no experience with LeSportsac, though. I have been happy with Longchamp les planetes when needing a really durable bag, and also Herve Chapelier (in their pebbled texture, it's really tough). But my happiest rough-and-tumble bag all spring and summer has been the LL Bean Boat and Tote bag - two seasons old now, and I have a hard time switching to any other bag once my stuff is in there. We use larger ones for groceries and dry cleaning, but I use a medium one as a (large-sh) carry all when I have to schlep more than a wallet and phone. It fits papers and catalogs I cart around (we're in the middle of a home renovation), and I don't mind if I have to plop it down on the ground. I spot clean but have heard some folks machine wash inside out as well... anyway, glad to hear your choice has worked out, it looks like a smart design!

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    1. I forgot about Herve Chapelier. The LL Bean Totes look like hard wearing bags too.
      Also good luck with the home renovations, my home has been under some form of never-ending construction for the last decade...

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  3. All of my travel bags are LeSportsac (all in the shiny black =); I have the backpack, the medium weekender for weekend trips, and the large weekender for longer trips. They are super-lightweight even when empty, can fold into other luggage, machine washable and are fine for airline carry-ons (I never check in luggage). Love them, good choice!

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    1. good to know le sportsac travels well. I remember being so tempted to buy one of their trolleys.

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  4. I have a black Longchamps Le Pliage that's a few years old, and seems to be waterproof and indestructible. That said, I switched to a Mansur Gavriel tote last August and have put it through the wringer over the past 10 months-- carried it every day, always with a laptop and heavy work files. It looks practically new-- some minor fraying on the handles visible over the past few weeks. I just pre-ordered another one for the fall. A little pricey, but totally worth it in my opinion.

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  5. my mom has a similar bag by le sportsac...she uses it all the time, am thinking I need one of these bags for work. p.s. great photo of you with your bag! :)

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