Computer Bags

Has anyone done biz with this here operation? I’ve been looking for a nice-looking bag that will hold my laptop without breaking the straps and am realizing that I’m going to have to purchase a special computer tote, ’cause they just don’t stitch like they used to.

Clark and Mayfield is the first designer I’ve seen that is in my price range and looks kind of cute. I am trying to stay away from brown and black since everyone in the world carries a brown or black bag and I don’t want mine to get confused with anyone else’s on campus, at collegial gatherings or at airport security.

What do you think of this? computer-bag.jpg It’s a wee bit pukey in the photo but experience tells me that it will be a darker moss/sage color in person.

What do you use for a computer tote? Do ya love it? Would you recommend it? I mean, not right now, because you’re in church, but I mean, in general?

I am so tired from staying up watching the World Series that it’s going to take a double dose of caffeine and the Holy Spirit to get me through the service this morning. Holy Mary, pray for us now and in the hour of our baseball.

17 Replies to “Computer Bags”

  1. I would recommend getting a protective sleeve just for the computer (this one is fun, for example; I use this one, which is less expensive, provides more protection, and has clips I can use to anchor it in a larger bag), and then placing the computer sleeve in a larger bag. This means both that you can get whatever kind of larger bag you want (and therefore can buy a brand and style the quality of which you know to be high) and that you won’t advertise to others on the street that you’re carrying an expensive piece of equipment.

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  3. Oh, I forgot to add some other advantages using a laptop sleeve and whatever kind of bag you want:

    I’ve found the quality of ‘computer bags’ like this to be pretty poor on things like the grade of leather, the construction, and so on. You’ve got a lot more to choose from in the bigger bag if you’re supplying your own laptop protection within.

    You also have a lot more to choose from in a laptop sleeve if you’re buying just the sleeve for your specific computer. Tom Bihn, for example, sells sleeves to fit precisely just about any computer out there, and a sleeve provides maximal protection for your laptop only if it fits very well.

    Also, it’s not all that surprising that ‘computer bags’ with sleeves built in aren’t built to last, considering that with this arrangement, you have to buy a whole new bag every time you replace your computer, since the dimensions of the computer will be slightly different. Quality leather bags built to last tend to look classier from the start than a bag built with the assumption that it will be discarded in a couple of years.

  4. Franklin Covey (the “seven steps” people) have some very nice computer bags and other professional-type stuff for women. I got a lovely red leather one for my daughter that I think was in the same price range as what you showed. (And if your church is an recipient, you can earn some bucks for them; I think Franklin Covey gives a pretty big percentage).

  5. With my laptop in its hard cover sleeve, I use a beautiful big Kooba handbag that I found at my local “Second Time Around” store (conveniently located across the street from my church). So, no, I didn’t pay Kooba money for it. And it’s beautifully constructed, super stylish, and made with a fabulous leather that looks better and better as it wears.

    It’s a bag that’s so cute that I can take the laptop out and use it for a night on the town, too.

    I highly recommend this strategy!

  6. I like the Franklin Covey bags. I’ve never been able to afford them, but they are snazzy and solidly built.

    I know you don’t like backpack-shaped bags, but I will kick myself forever for not buying a gorgeous leather flat backpack that I saw in a store in Berkeley. It was over $100 but not that far over, and it was beautifully structured, not shleppy, and could have doubled as a large purse backpack. I have been trying to trace it ever since the year after I didn’t get it…

    I agree with BITB. I worry about carrying a laptop on my shoulder (and aobut your carrying one on yours); large shoulder purses already get one’s spine out of wack.

    I’ve had good luck with eBags. But do have a look at the Franklin Covey collection; it periodically goes on sale. And if anyone seems a fabulous, structured leather backpack that doesn’t look like a backpack, let me know, because I am still regretting that one I didn’t get. Yes, I went back to the store the last time I was in town. The merchandise moves too fast for anyone even to remember it and this bag sighting was at least five or six years ago.

    I’m with you on color. My next bag is going to be bright red.

  7. As someone who walks and busses to work, I found I had to have a backpack style computer bag. I found one that has a hidey-hole for the straps, so it can be made presentable when the occasion calls for it. The bag is otherwise discrete black fabric with a minimum of sporty details. (I took off the zipper pulls and will replace with beautiful Italian glass someday.) It also has a pocket for the good shoes one must carry when one is commuting on foot in gym shoes. Can’t live without it. Eddie Bauer.

  8. Another thumbs up for Franklin Covey. Go with the sale items – I have two Franklin bags – one of them a shoulder-brief similar to the one you’ve posted a photo of in size and construction (but it’s suede, and totally different color (dark red).

    Scott is right to be concerned about ergonomics, but if you’re just looking for a bag to carry the laptop in when you’re going to church or a cafe or someplace that you’ll be driving to, it might not be a big deal. What size laptop do you have? Mine is a 12 inch and very light so it wasn’t a problem for me to wear it on my shoulder for an hour during the day. I was also able to grip it at the bottom to keep it from pulling my shoulder down.


  9. my mother-in-law bought me a really nice leather piel computer tote from ebags not too long ago, and from a little research it seems to have cost about half the price of the yellow-y one.
    i also have a sleeve for when i want to put the laptop into a backpack or other large bag.
    i don’t carry the tote very often, since most of the time when i’m taking my computer somewhere i have other notebooks and accouterments that don’t fit into the tote. it does get pretty heavy pretty fast, too.

  10. F-C does have some items (new) on ebay, so keep watching ebay’s sales. You might get lucky.

    I bought a Franklin Covey computer bag – the wheeled Donna case, in a gorgeous dark red, a couple, three years ago, and it has held up beautifully. So yes, FC is expensive, but the quality is good, and after years of fairly hard use, the bag still looks new. I’m happy with it.

    Happy hunting!


  11. Sorry; I made an XHTML error in my post, above. Here’s where to find the best computer bag on the planet, and perhaps beyond:

    Will you take orange, green, aqua, pink, or sand? So hard to choose! [Sorry, Dawn, I just can’t love the shiny pastels — too Crayola for me, somehow, and I don’t like the shape. But I’m glad YOU love yours! – PB]

  12. I would like to suggest I’ve been carrying the premium tote in “boring” black for several years. Some of the prices are reasonable. They have an Ultra Tote in a fun chocolate, not to mention the Komen pink. They also have some laptop sleeves and back packs.

  13. I recently bought a great black leather laptop bag at T.J. Maxx, made by Latico. (Gotta luv the Maxx!) It’s trim and neat and VERY professional looking. A friend asked if it was a Coach when he first saw it. It’s big enough to hold a few additional files and a book so it’s very practical.

    For when I actually have to haul my laptop (like thru airports and such) I recently purchased an Eddie Bauer sling backpack. Not as professional, to be sure, but hip in it’s own way. It’s got special pockets for my mobile, my ipod and other goodies as well. Very useful.

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