Earlier this year, in anticipation of attending a couple industry tradeshows, I was searching for a vertical laptop bag, and coming up painfully short on the mainstream sites.
My desire to go vertical was thinking it would be lower profile and less likely to bump into things and people as I jostled through hectic airports and convention centers. I thought this was a pretty original idea, and a cool way to make lugging my laptop a little easier and more fun.
The Build-Up I'd liked a Lodis bad I'd seen years ago, and had something in a fine leather in mind, but work in a very casual environment at a tech start-up so I didn't want anything too fancy. After doing a Google search for vertical laptop bags, I stumbled upon some really compelling and stellar reviews of the Muzetto. I was compelled, and then further engaged when their site had so many great photos and info on the bag. Finding out it was made in America, let alone in California (my state), put me over the edge to spend the extra $. That, and a compelling argument from a colleague about the "cost per use" analysis, pushed me over the edge to make the pricey purchase.
The Bummer Going in with very high expectations, I was really disappointed to discover that the bag didn't fit my body well at all.
This was no fault of the manufacturer - it's a very high quality product. But the photos I was referencing online were on men (the primary target customer for this line), and gave me a false perception of the size. I should have known better, based on the size of my computer (15" MacBook Pro), that there's no way it could fit down my side without being quite long.
I think I'd seen the smallest size in most of the photos online, and got it into my head that cute little rectangle would fit me like a purse. Then when I placed the order and selected the size that would actually fit my 15" computer.. well, the best laid plans, right?
The length and heft of the vertical style in the particular size I got threw off my gait and was very awkward to manage while walking, as it hindered my leg and hip movement. It also just looked odd and not in proportion with my body. Rather than being low profile and understated, I wound up feeling like it stood out even more. Sad face for me : ( All my justification for spending so much on this bag was quickly going down the tubes, as I realized it wouldn't become a staple in my daily use. The kicker is I already have a great worn-in leather bag that I love and get constant compliments on. It's 12 years old, and I feel like a fool for nearly shunning it for the next hot bag that flashed it's hip green interior at me.
The Great Product Itself
Customizable colors make it fun and easy to put your own personality on the bag and make it more original.
Quality leather is really nice to the touch and balances a worn-in look with sophisticated luxury.
Great design with thoughtful attention to pockets
No-zip / open top, which is debatable, but I personally had no issue with my computer sliding out because the laptop itself was within a sleeve that made it fit snugly inside the back without shifting or sliding. Overall, the easy-entry benefit outweighed any problem I had with not having a closure.
Made in the U.S.A.
Great customer service, very easy to work with and nice follow up after my order was shipped and on its way.
So if you're in the market for a great quality designer bag - check out Waterfield for sure. Just consider that if you go for an alternative style, like this vertical one, there are some unexpected factors. Turns out, there's a reason that 90% of laptop bags are horizontal ; )
Meantime, I'll be selling mine on Craig's List since a few hundred dollars is WAY too much value to be sitting, collecting dust. Which is what mine's up to these days... in fact I haven't touched it since I walked in the door from my first and last business trip with it, which was almost 9 months ago.
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