August 31, 2011

my new favorite Kipling bag—Kipling Fairfax

Regular readers know that I’m always in search of the perfect little easy tote…I stumbled on this the other day when I was browsing eBags…

Since there was a sale for 20% off with Free Shipping and you can get 12% back through ebates bringing the price down from $88.00 to $62.00 or so, I decided to get it. I’ve had it for a few weeks now and I love it.  I use it as my go- to daily handbag.  I love that it’s light and the handles are VERY comfortable (I’ve always found Kipling’s handles much more comfortable than say Baggallini’s or eBags totes—my chief complaint about Baggallini’s bags).  I also love that it’s so organized.  It easily holds a notebook (Moleskin), makeup, wallet, smartphone, etc. in a very compact and attractive package.

It measures 11"L x 10"H x 5"D—whether you think these measurements are too large or too small, I found that the purse didn’t look too big or too small.  Just the opposite, it’s super cute over the shoulder or in hand.  Although the above picture makes the handles look superlong, when I first opened the box, I was actually worried that they were too short, but not at all, they go perfectly over the shoulder (there’s not a lot of give, but it works).  The drop is about 9” which makes it perfect for me (to give you an idea, I’m about 5’ and 102lbs—pretty petite, so most bags seem to overwhelm me—this one does not).

In terms of pockets and organization, there’s 1 compartment in the back, 3 compartments in the middle, one compartment with a cover in the front, and two side zipper pockets—a total of 7 compartments not counting interior zipped pockets!  The back compartment closes with Velcro and is perfect for my Large Moleskin.  As you can see from the picture below, the middle pocket is the largest and the only large compartment with a zipper.  I usually keep my most valuable stuff in here because of the zipper!  There’s also a zipper pocket inside this section.  The two pockets that flank this pocket are closed with Velcro also and is large enough for me to keep my makeup kit and sunglasses in one (the other is empty at the moment).  I actually like the Velcro as it makes it easier to grab my sunglasses.

The front pocket also closes with Velcro and it’s ideal for stuff I use often like my metro card and ids.  There’s a key latch here and I usually attach my keys to it.  Finally, I put my smartphone in the side zipped pockets which theoretically makes it easy to get to—unfortunately (here’s my only real complaint about this bag), the zipper doesn’t open and close as easily as I would like and makes getting to my smartphone  a little bit of a pain.

It’s important to note that this bag is probably NOT large enough to use as your main work bag—in other words, it’s large enough to carry your iPad but not your laptop or a binder or a bunch of papers.  For the moment, I’ve decided to go back to using 2 bags—this as my handbag and a slim, light tote to carry my work papers and binders.  Using too bags 1) keeps me from having to switch things and search for things and 2) makes it easy to grab my purse and run downstairs for lunch…in some ways I actually feel more organized, but I’ll see how it works out as the semester progresses.

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