As a seasoned commuter and someone who works between two offices in the big, bad city of London, lugging around everything I need can be a bit of a pain. Actually, it’s a massive one. My work bag – a leather satchel picked up from somewhere down the High Street – can barely fit my iPad in, let alone a laptop.
If I have to move it between offices, I generally tend to haul everything around in a relatively unsexy-yet-functional black backpack I picked up at a conference some years ago. It does the job, but there’s something totally shabby about arriving to a management meeting with a rucksack covered in badges. ‘Hello my name’s David. I’m here for the 10am management meeting. Oh, and by the way, can I leave this bag here?’ It doesn’t scream professional, does it.
As a relative lover of fashion, both my leather bag and the studenty backpack do the trick. The only problem is they doesn’t always match my outfit. If I’m in an all black suit, my dark brown bag doesn’t quite cut it. I’ll never forget the day I committed what fashionistas would tell me is the cardinal sin; brown shoes with a black suit. I – quite rightly – was hammered for it from pillar to post. After that experience, carrying a brown bag with my black suit probably offends the gods.
I’ve shopped (believe me I’ve shopped. Ask Laura) long and hard to find something that meets my commuting needs and fashion rules. It’s either too small, uncomfortable, the wrong colour, the wrong material or doesn’t have enough compartments to meet my needs. Yes. I am fussy, but you have to look the part.
Ideally, with a kitten to boot, but if not, then with something just as stylish
This here bag is the Princeton, part of Knomo’s Holborn collection. It’s a mix of black and grey herringbone twill, so it’s suited to, well, my suits. It’s finished in sleek leather with a steely zip, which means it ticks the ‘does David look sharp today?’ box. Each bag contains a code sewn within the bag’s main compartment which means if I ever lose it, it can be tracked and returned without fuss.
It’s nice and lightweight, so even if I have my laptop in it, it’s not too heavy to carry.
It’s sleek, so it fits nicely behind my legs on the train and tube.
It has a removable strap, so if I’m sans laptop I don’t have it draped across my shoulders.
It’s roomy and full of pockets and compartments, so I can squirrel away everything – including a 15.6 inch laptop – for my day.
Sounds great. At this point you might be thinking ‘HAHA! Business!’ And you would be right. Absolutely right. It’s not quite Mary Poppins’ bag, but it’s the business equivalent. I can easily grab my smartcard when hopping around the tube. If I need to pull out a business card when I’m networking all over the UK, I can without too much fuss (and pulling out my precious Nandos loyalty card).
It’s yet to be tested when the heavens open, and that’s where a full-on leather bag would provide more peace of mind. The padded compartments should protect my electronics well enough, but as we’ve enjoyed an unseasonably warm summer, thankfully it’s something I’ve not tested as yet.
The Knomo Princeton (which retails at £99 – we were offered a sample to review) and the rest of the men’s Holborn collection can be purchased from their website.