Recommendations for work tote

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  1. #1 Jun 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
    Sorry if this topic has been discussed before but my work travel has recently increased and I would like a tote for my laptop and work papers/binders. This past week, I used my large convertible but it's not ideal for this purpose. It became quite heavy and difficult to to get things in and out and didn't seem quite large enough (laptop, binder, wallet, makeup case and glasses).

    I've been looking at the totes for some time but haven't seen on IRL. Are they big enough and sturdy enough?

    I've also been looking at cabats (pre loved) and if the price is in same range as a tote, should I consider this? Are they sturdy? What size for this purpose? Again, I've not really looked at these in the store as typically out of my range.

    I've also considered a backpack.

    And, am open to other brands.

    Welcome any insight and opinions!
  2. I gave up myself and got a Kipling messenger, laptop and A4 files fit in it perfectly well, the bag is weightless and if not needed, can be easily folded and stuck at the back of the closet. I carry it cross-body and a handbag over my shoulder, and bag (whichever i choose for my outfit and shoes) doesn't suffer overloading. If i NEED JUST ONE bag, i borrow my husband's Brynmore by Mulberry. Good luck in your search!
  3. BV-wise, I used the large Rete tote for work travel. It held my laptop, files and purse items. At night, I could clip in the sides and feel comfortable just wearing it as a purse. It doesn't have exterior pockets which is nice for a work bag but it worked well for me.

    Until, DH got me this Tumi back pack. It waswondrful! It could convert to a hobo and had plenty of room. I ended up using a Pillow and the pack and the Pillow would fit in the pack. I imagine this might be a good option as you could take one of your Olimpias as the purse.
  4. I was going to suggest the rete too. The cabat starts out as heavy and when you load it up it's going to be a back breaker.....but some here are young, strong and up to the challenge.
  5. Agree with LL that the Cabat isn't the best choice even though capacity wise it hold a lot. For me it's the straps. They're not adjustable and there's no ability to cinch the bag.
  6. #6 Jun 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
    I know you asked for tote recommendations, but if you consider other options, I find the Gardena very comfortable, and everything you carry should fit in the medium size.

    The rete tote is also a good option, imo.

    The lido bag has a hard base, which I prefer when I'm carrying something heavier like a laptop and feels more organized..
  7. Great topic and looking forward to hear more. I travel quite a lot too --- I think I bought most of my purses abroad (certainly three of my four BVs)

    I also use Tumi backpack as my laptop bag and I love it very much -- functional, still stylish, and the black color is neutral -- see below:

    Then I use my other purse as I wish --- if it is a short trip where I use my cabin luggage, I use small purse (my pillow bag), if it is long trip I use my larger purse (my campana has gone everywhere with me, and can see me even using my Bella as she is so easy to carry). For long trip, sometimes I also carry a large Longchamp and store my small purse in there together with sweater, change of clothes, etc, because I checked in my luggage.
  8. I've been using medium calf or vachette Cabats as work totes (a train commuter bag, actually). They're very sturdy, much more so than my nappa Cabat, which is just too soft in the base to subject to the weight that I carry. I don't carry a laptop, but I put a lot in my bag. My medium Cabat holds my paperwork, plus a small handbag, a water bottle, cardigan or scarf, folding umbrella, a book or magazine, or a knitting project, and more. Capacity-wise, it's great, and I find it very easy to use because of the open design--easy-in, easy-out. I find it comfortable to carry on my shoulder, even while wearing a winter coat, and I walk with it for about a quarter-mile at a time, 4 times a day. I'm not that strong, either--It just works for me, I guess.
  9. I usually carry Herve Chapelier totes. I have two sizes and a range of colors in each size. When I'm flying for work biz I usually take a large HC. I protect my computer with a small padded case.
  10. Blueiris, you must be strong!!!!! Lol. Glad to know you're still too.

  11. You know, I think I adjusted over time to carrying the weight on my shoulder. I did think it was heavy at first, and my arms themselves are weak, but now I find the bag to be very comfortable. The calf has softened with use, even the handles. I do have walking/running stamina, and that probably helps keep me from getting tired while carrying it.

    Glad that you're still knitting, too! I should say that along with what I carry for the workday, the medium Cabat only has enough room for a smallish knitting project, like a shawl or smaller. I could fit a sweater project only if it were fingering or laceweight yarn.
  12. I am using the BV Memory Tote for work and I highly recommend it. It's not as big as the Rete tote but I can still get a 17 inch laptop in there, with room left over for a few files and notebooks. The leather is also really durable. Have been using it for two years straight and not a scratch!
  13. Thank you everyone for your responses. Keep them coming! I have been checking out each of the recommendations.

    I'm really struggling with the basic question of tote or backpack. Pros and cons to each. I like the ability to be hands free and have the weight on my back, but like the openness of a tote for ease of use and getting things in and out. Plus the looks and options in a tote appeal to me more.
  14. For a tote that would be indestructible would be from the Marco Polo line. The navy blue is very stylish and it is washable.
  15. I didn't know it was still available