I’ve reviewed bike bags, laptop bags, and laptop cases, but until now haven’t had the chance to review an all-purpose bag that will accommodate either a laptop or an iPad. This fall, KEEN’s introducing a new line of messenger bags made with recycled materials.
**UPDATE: The bag is available starting July 29 and will retail in Canada for $80.
When KEEN’s buyers visited their manufacturing facility in Southern China a while back, they noticed a lot of leftover scraps left behind from shoe production. This led KEEN back to the product development team with an idea for reuse: Bags!
KEEN provided me with a Taylor 13″ Messenger Bag to test drive and review. From the first glance, it looks like a roomy, well-constructed bag for on the go.
The adjustable shoulder strap has a padded lining that’s made of breathable material (with tiny holes in the pattern to guard against odor). I like the stylish, sturdy buckle, made of recycled brushed aluminum.
The bag also has a nicely designed closure, a type of hook that slips into various points along the webbing that allows it to expand height-wise when carrying taller items.
The Taylor opens with two velcro patches. The bag’s shape accommodates keeping the front flap folded back with all contents easily visible, while the bag’s propped on a chair or on the floor. I had no trouble fitting my everyday essentials into it.
Once open, the colourful yellow KEEN interior comes to life in the form of a large zippered pocket across its width, a padded laptop area, storage for small items, pens, and a fun key clip.
My 13″ Macbook Pro easily fit inside the laptop compartment, with or without its hard plastic case. I was told that KEEN’s new line will also include 10″ computer cases, perfect for a Kindle or iPad, but the Taylor will accommodate anything up to a 13″ laptop.
The bag’s interior is also made from recycled materials, and the shell is water-resistant with environmentally friendly TPU coating.
The bag measures 23 x 26 x 2 cm (9″ x 10.25″ x 0.75″) and will be available this fall when KEEN adds it to their online and retail collection. Not all of KEEN’s bags and shoes make it to Canada, however this bag is definitely in the lineup and I’ll update this post once pricing and a direct web link are available.
I’m already a KEEN fan through their shoes, so when I heard about the updated line, I was excited to see what was in store. I’ve carried the bag around for a week now, with (and without) my laptop, fully loaded, and it’s all comfortable and easy to manage. The bag can be worn either over the shoulder or messenger style – the strap is long enough and tucks neatly into one of the two side pockets.
I couldn’t find any negatives with the bag. KEEN have obviously given a lot of consideration to urban needs, and if you’re not a backpack person, this is a wonderful alternative. The bag will be available in Arabian Spice (a terra-cotta deep orange colour), Forest Night (olive green), Purplie/Granite (not my spelling, KEEN’s deep purple colour naming), and Black.
Disclosure note: I was sent the KEEN Taylor Messenger Bag for the purpose of writing this review: cmply.2