My New Bag: The Cambridge Satchel

Lately I’ve been feeling dumpy. I’ve been commuting to work via bicycle consistently since February now… and wearing a backpack every day (while practical) makes me feel less than stylish. Even though might I add the backpack in question is a limited edition North Face SUSHI backpack (hello there are Kikkoman labels and sushi zipper pulls and everything)… it’s still a backpack.

My first thought was that I should attach a basket to my bike so that I could carry whatever purse I wanted (more of a long term fix). So I got a rack and installed a rear folding  basket. It worked wonders, but still didn’t fill the need for a bag. I obsess over bags (I daydream about them, draw them…), so once I got started thinking about getting a new bag it was kind of unstoppable.

I knew that I wanted a cross body bag, because that’s just what I reach for most often. After quite a bit of internet trolling, I finally made the leap for The Cambridge Satchel 15″ in Green.

I’d seen these around online and in Urban Outfitters. They’re super popular in blogland, but I have yet to see one on somebody’s arm.

Pros: Really classic style, well made product, great leather smell (if you’re into that), comes in many different colors and sizes, also you can monogram a catchy saying or your initials for about 5 pounds a letter

Cons: Well, this bag doesn’t come cheap-$$$. Also, this leather is STIFF. No joke. When I got my bag at work I took off my shoes and jumped up and down on the damn thing- it popped back up. This is either good or bad- just depends on your bag style. For me it was a little infuriating. The break-in period will be substantial.

The way the stitching is done, each face of the bag caves in (see below) so that you really cannot carry as much as say, a messenger bag of the same dimensions.Yes, you are lugging around a huge bag that can’t carry that much. Let’s not think about it too much. No bueno.

Another con is that there is no lining on the bag, and it is probably not waterproof. I knew this going into my purchase, however.

Here is my satchel open. Inside I’ve got: wallet, keys, phone, MUNI bus pass, digital camera, camera cords, makeup compact, zip loc of tea and random stuff, rollerball perfume, planner, sunglasses, Tupperware, and a t-shirt. If I stuff things up top, I can also pack in a pair of shoes and a dress. I know, that sounds like a lot, but it is NOT by my standards. : )

The satchel in action at Critical Mass. I will forgive it for not carrying everything and the kitchen sink because it is so handsome and so “me.” Also it’s bright enough that it will probably prevent me from getting run over while I’m riding.

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