First of all… what happened to these things? J. Crew has been making these for years. And as soon as we order one for an in-person review they up and disappear into the ether?
They’ve gotta come back, right? I mean, at post time, their “bags” section is awfully light in terms of variety and stock.
Anyway, there’s a reason why it’s popular, and it’s gotten really good review on J. Crew’s site. It’s the perfect bag for someone who one day will invest in a Filson (currently $225 w/ SP18BC), but might not have the cash at present to do so.
Thick, waxed canvas means the bag stands up on its own.
It’s perfect for a smart casual office, and it’s constructed from quite solid materials considering the price. The exterior is waxed, and not in a cursory sense. No, this thing is really waxed. Stands-up-on-its-own waxed. It feels durable, looks good, and even feels good in your hands.
The interior is spacious enough for most 15″ laptops, and the divider/laptop compartment is padded. Not super squishy padded, so if you’re a bit of a klutz you might want to invest in an extra laptop sleeve, but it’s not just thin fabric in there. The other half of the interior is divided in half by un-padded canvas for keeping things like your phone/notebooks/etc. organized. A few pen slots are added to this interior divider.
Padded divider for a laptop. More dividers for other goods. Nothing crazy fancy.
The exterior features two more zippered pockets for quick access. A slimmer, wide pocket on the back, and a spacious bellows pocket up front. The leather top grab handles are appreciated for short trips (unlike true messenger bags, you don’t have to sling this over your shoulder each time) and the brass-tone hardware feels solid. The shoulder strap that it comes with is pretty basic. No padding or anything. Just basic cotton canvas.
Leather accents and pretty solid feeling brass-toned hardware.
It nails all the necessities for a 21st century, stylish, smart casual briefcase. Room for a laptop and more? Check. Top grab handles and not just a shoulder strap? Indeed. Rugged but not overly technical looking exterior? Yes, it’s got that going for it too.
Now if they could just make a few more of them, that’d be appreciated. But hey, sometimes J. Crew doesn’t make enough of their most popular items. See the Killshot as a prime example.