A while ago (it was back in February actually) I was very lucky to win two bags from Keen on their facebook page. I won a laptop bag (the Alameda) and a messenger bag (the Oswego), and they have both been very well used in the last six months. I thought it was about time I did a review!
Rugged would be a perfect word for these bags. The Oswego is the one I have used the most – my other half pretty much claimed the Alameda for himself and his laptop!
http://www.keenfootwear.com/gb/en/product/fw10/bags/unisex/lifestyle/alameda%2015/black!dark%20gull%20grey!golden%20glow# (mine is this one but in a different colourway – must have last seasons)
“Convey an organized sense of style with the Alameda 15 computer bag. The recycled rubber bottom and interior liners give your eco-conscience a boost. Designed with a magnetic flap closure and zippered top opening for reliable convenience, the Alameda 15 houses your laptop with the right amount of room for excess stuff.”
This really is a spacious laptop bag. We can happily fit in the laptop (a 15 inch wide screen Dell), plus the charger and mouse, a folder, A4 notepad, phone, charger, pencil case, and everything else you might needed for a day working away from the office. It’s not a lightweight bag to start with which means the bag can get heavy with all that stuff in it, but the wide strap makes carrying it over your shoulder easy. There are pockets for everything, keeping you organised – and all the external pockets zip up making it more secure than a standard messenger bag. The second for your laptop has a soft finish so it doesn’t scratch, and it has a little tab that keeps the laptop in place – if for whatever reason your bag tips over, your laptop is safe inside, it’s not going to fall out onto the floor.
The styling of this bag is all about the rugged nature of the bag. It’s got rubber strips in the bottom making it strong and also helping it sit up properly when you put it on the floor. The seams are very hard wearing, and the material is thick and durable. Actually the styling means it works as a male or female bag, and can happily be used on a day you’re in jeans or in your suit. This is such a practical bag, if you’re after a “take anywhere” laptop bag in a messenger style, then you should really consider this one.
“The classic messenger bag takes a vertical approach to style with the Oswego shoulder bag from KEEN. The adjustable shoulder strap adapts to your fast-paced lifestyle. Abundant pockets let you organize to your heart’s content.”
This is the bag that I’ve used most myself – it’s black with a check-type texture, rubber base, plenty of space and pockets, and an adjustable strap. It has loads of space for everything I carry round with me on a daily basis – and more – including my iPad, normal handbag contents, magazine, lunch and whatever else I need. I can happily use this for a day at a conference with work, or a day blogging, without worrying about space. The wide adjustable strap means I can have it wherever is most comfortable, and even when fully loaded it sits on my shoulder nicely. I love all the pockets – I can put things in a place and know exactly where they are – and my keys attach to the tethered carabina-type-clip, meaning I’m never stood at my front door desperately trying to fish them out of the bottom! Oh and the solid rubber base to this bag means it can sit on the ground inside or out without the contents getting damp, scratched or anything else.
As far as looks goes, this bag isn’t a stylish handbag by any stretch of the imagination. But you know me… I’m a practical girl, I use a messenger bag every day for work, swapping only to more “girly” bags when I’m at something that requires one. This is a bag that does everything it claims and more – I am more than happy to sling this across my body for work or leisure, and don’t need to give the contents a second thought as I know they’re all safe (and organised) inside it. The styling is as the bag is designed to function – rugged.
I rate these bags highly. They both fit into my lifestyle perfectly and despite being used a lot in all sorts of circumstances neither has a mark on it. I admit, of course, that I did not spend my own money on these bags, and they are not cheap – they are way off cheap, in fact (prices above) – but they are very durable and will last a very long time. The price rules them out as school bags, but if you want something to cart your laptop or other bits and bobs around town in, which needs to protect and go wherever you want to take them, then these are great.
You should check out the full range on the Keen website, definitely worth considering.