A simple, stylish, functional bag is a hard thing to find, I tell you. It is incredible how hard it is to find one that will meet your criterion, which by the way is the following for me:
- Crossbody functionality (you can find plenty of shoulder purses)
- Nothing glitzy or ostentatious (no logos, no weird colours, something rather unisex)
- Strap for the crossbody can’t be leather (it stains all your light / white shirts with a stripe)
- Pockets galore (back and front, are ideal!)
- Lightweight but still water-resistant (waxed cotton or waxed canvas fits the bill)
- Easy to open and close (I rather dislike buckle-closures, I like faux buckles with a snap closure)
- Not made in China (Is this so hard to ask for? Apparently yes. )
I came up with a few options, most of them are made in China but I thought I’d show the styles to you anyway because you may not be as concerned as I am.
(No I am not getting sponsored or paid by any of these companies, I am just frustrated I can’t find what I want, and figured I might as well include you all in my search.)
- Made in the U.S. (OH THANK GOODNESS!)
- Rather expensive (think in the $200 – $400 range)
- A bit hard to find their whole range in Canada
I don’t enjoy their real-buckle enclosures, and I would prefer a fake-buckle with a snap enclosure so I can just pull it open without fiddling too much with it.
That said, some people like this fiddly buckle bit, and it may appeal to them. What appeals to me, is just how well-made they are, and how practical it is.
Rugged Twill Messenger
Alas! If only they weren’t so fiddly!
There is of course, this option with the clasps instead of buckles, but I don’t like it.
Oil Finish Field Bag
It’s too camera-bag-y. I like the buckled look, I just hate the hassle of it.
After searching through all the other brands and testing them in store, I had to turn to Etsy to find things not made in China.
This has a good look to it, and the buckles look easier to deal with. It has a cool hook style, and 10 pockets!? Beautiful.
I am not loving this buckle in the front (wish it was a snap closure), but I do like the simplicity of it in general.
It looks like the perfect size on the model, but I am not totally sold on this strap going through a metal loop, rather than just being a snap closure.
I really like the style though.
I don’t like it as much as the other styles above, but it has a nice simple look to it. I’m just more of a satchel kind of girl.
PERFECT. I wish it wasn’t buckled however, that’s the only downside.
It is just a tad too slouchy for me, but I like that it’s simple.
Good size and everything, not loving the buckle clasp.
STUFF MADE IN CHINA BEGINS NOW…
- Made mainly for men (is the brother to Kate Spade’s brand)
- Made in China (this eliminates this brand for me)
- Moderately priced ($150 – $200 range)
Waxwear Port Case also available in a Nylon version.
I really liked the style of this bag and was about to buy it in-store until I asked: Where is it manufactured?
Alas, made in China rules out this particular brand for me, but it had a very practical look to it, and would have been a great bag.
- Made for women (it’s like a sexy camera bag for women)
- Made in China (this eliminates this brand for me as well)
- Only seems to be made in leather (*sigh* I wanted waxed cotton or waxed canvas)
- Is rather large as it is meant for huge cameras / lenses
- Has lots of great pockets in all the styles
The Boy Bag
HERSCHEL SUPPLY CO.
- Seems to really enjoy making backpacks, so no messenger bags per se
- Has a wonderful faux-buckle but with a SNAP ENCLOSURE! (Oh! Ease meets beauty!)
- Made in China (…another eliminated brand for me)
Little America Backpack
That’s all I found so far. 🙂