03. 21. 2006
Uptown Bella multi-functional laptop bags
I haven't used a laptop bag for a couple of years. Generally, I find them to be either too bulky and uncomfortable to carry, or too limited in their use (not enough pockets for other stuff). I have a laptop sleeve that I stuff into any handbag I happen to be carrying. Sometimes, I have to fight a little to get it in, since my handbags aren't made to fit laptops, but this awkward method still works better than carrying two bags, one for the laptop and another one for things like my wallet, makeup bag and magazines to read on the plane or in the carpool line at my daughter's school.
The Ashley Satchel laptop bag by Uptown Bella is the first laptop bag I've seen that I'd also use as a handbag. There's an exterior pocket on the front of the bag which functions like any well-organized purse, with pockets for two cell phones (or a cell phone and a PDA), a mouse, multiple pens, and credit cards or business cards. The part I love is that on the inside of this exterior pocket, there's a wide, interior zip pocket for things I'd want to hide like my wallet and keys. A bottle of water and a small makeup bag will also fit in the main part of this pocket.
A second large, exterior pocket on the other side of satchel is as wide as the bag itself and zips open from both the top and the bottom -- at first, I thought this was just a cool design quirk, but it turns out that there's a clever function for this. Unzip both top and bottom, and you can slip it securely onto the retractable handle of a rolling suitcase. The roomy interior has a separate padded area for the laptop and a wide space for files or books or a change of clothes. The handles are long and comfortable on the shoulder. And somehow all of this great function has been housed in an extremely attractive bag that no one would know was designed for computers. Made of a material called Softouch Koskin, it looks and feels like supple leather. I'd use it as an alternative overnight bag even when I don't need my laptop.
Though it can be used on its own, the Ashley Satchel comes with a black laptop sleeve, called a "Sarah Sleeve," which can be slipped into any of Uptown Bella's bags. The sleeve was designed with airport security lines in mind. It has an extra long zipper opening so I can slip it out fast and not annoy the people in line behind me. I like the design of the Juicy Lemon sleeve. Because it has its own handle and mutliple outside pockets, the Sarah Sleeve can also be used on its own when I want to travel light.
The Ashley Satchel , which comes in red, black and cream, normally sells for $169.00, but is on sale now for $143.65. You can also buy a Sarah Sleeve by itself for $76.65 on sale (normally $89.00).