Review: Waterfield Cargo bag

I’ve been on the lookout for a new laptop bag for a while. I was recently given a new MacBook Air for work and as my old bag was starting to fall apart and I quite often cycle to work, I needed something a bit more rugged than most typical commuter bags.

Waterfield bags are designed to be very tough (not surprising as the company was founded by a former bicycle messenger), so I was keen to take a closer look at the Waterfield Cargo bag.

Features

The Waterfield Cargo looks like fairly typical messenger-style bag at first. It has a shoulder strap, front flap and a buckle. But there are ton of nifty design touches that make the bag very practical in everyday use:

  • The top zip makes it easy to get stuff from the main compartment without lifting up the main flap
  • The interior fabric is a bright colour, that makes it easy to find things inside
  • The back pocket is great for your iPad or a folder with papers

Design

This bag looks pretty good, but the design isn’t the main reason you’d buy this bag. It’s a very functional design and it’s“tidy” enough to take into any office, without looking too corporate.

You can also customise the look quite a bit by choosing various trim and colour options.

Quality and Durability

Waterfield state that the bag was inspired by ruggedized bike messenger accessories and it certainly feels every bit as durable as its heritage. The nylon fabric is extremely tough and feels considerably more durable than the fabrics used on similar products from other well-known manufacturer’s bags I’ve owned.

This is how much I can easily fit in the Waterfield Cargo:

Contents of my bag

As I mentioned at the outset, I plan on commuting by bike quite a bit with this bag, so I want something that can be strapped to the back of a bike rack and withstand a bit of wear and tear. So far, the Waterfield Cargo has been more than up to the challenge: Despite being bumped around on the back of a bike for several weeks, kicked around on the floor of the subway and dragged halfway across Malaysia on my honeymoon, it still looks like new. Any dirt or muck you get on the bag easily brushes off, and all the seams and zips are rock solid.

Bonus Round

There’s a lot to like about this bag, but here are a few extra tidbits I particularly like:

  • The strap can easily being adjusted just by lifting an adjustment flap at the side, but it doesn’t accidently lift or slip
  • Underneath the front flap are two slim pockets that are almost hidden – perfect for storing your passport or other valuables somewhere hard to access while travelling.
  • The interior pockets don’t get in your way, so you can utilise the space inside the bag to the fullest.
  • If you do need extra compartments, the Sleevecase accessory is perfect for documents and laptops (it has two compartments, perfect for a MacBook and iPad), while the Cablepouch is great for all your accessories and cables:

 

Conclusion

At $189, the Waterfield Cargo is certainly one of the more expensive laptop bags out there. But this Waterfield bag, which was handmade in San Francisco, is extremely well made with high-quality materials used throughout, so I’d argue that the price is more than justified. If you’ve got a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air you’re carrying around, it’s worth investing in a good bag to protect it.

Unlike other messenger bags that I’ve owned, that have all started to fall apart at the seams after a few months of owning them, this bag feels as though it will give me a good few years of use.

The attention to detail and everyday practicality is very obvious — someone really thought about every aspect of this bag while designing it – and it is very versatile, equally useful as a travel bag for longer journeys or as a daily bag for the office.

Overall, highly recommended.

3 Comments: 

  1. Dysfunction's Avatar
    Looks like a nice bag, it'd be interesting to compare it to my Timbuk2 messenger bag (first hand). Just a bit of feedback, your link's broken

    Review: Waterfield Cargo bag | Mac-Forums Blog
  2. Deckyon's Avatar
    I don't have their cargo bag, but I have the sleeve case with all the trimmings and absolutely love it. I also love the fact they are made here in the US and in most, if not all, cases, they are custom made to order.

    I carry it everywhere.
  3. rocrow29's Avatar
    I have the Cargo bag and a sleeve case and it (they) are the best products I've ever owned. Hats off to the WaterField gang!
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