In the famous words of the Norweigan strummers: A-ha, I’ve been ‘hunting high and low’ for the perfect bag to carry and protect my laptop, as well as to hold my everyday essentials too. I’ve been looking for something with style, functionality, intelligent design and a quality finish – obviously, I don’t ask for a lot!? And I’m delighted to tell you I think I’ve found a winner: WaterField Designs Rough Rider Messenger Bag (RRP USD$379), and what’s more it can be personalised to your exact needs like laptop or tablet size and so on.
The Rough Rider is made for today’s urban wrangler, ideal to transport digital devices and documents in sturdy, long-lasting, soft-matte leather that truly gives this bag character. The bag comes with a unique shoulder strap system, with a trendy curl of leather at the edges, which ensures the bag and its contents are snug and ride close to your body. The bag closes with a leather flap which snaps securely shut with two popper options to adjust the fit of the bag based on its contents. Externally, the clean, professional look of this bag exudes an “already been around the world a couple of times” kind-of confidence, which makes it all the more appealing to me. The interior is un-lined and features four deep and sturdy pockets to keep all your gear in place: there are two waxed canvas ones inside the main compartment and another two lined with soft, scratch-free material under the flap that are perfect for stowing an iPad mini, smartphone, notebook, pens, snack, make-up or whatever else you might choose. I must point out that I’m also using their PC Laptop Sleeve Case (which can be customised to fit your exact laptop/ipad model) which fits snugly into the Rough Rider and provides added protection with its high-grade neoprene interior which helps absorb shock, plus it has an additional pocket at the bag for a note book and pen. One of the things I love most about the Rough Rider Messenger Bag is its rugged and yet smooth chocolate leather finish which improves with age (like a good fine wine!), giving it a real lived-in, stylish look. I’ve used the bag and sleeve case for a few weeks now and I can’t fault them for the protection they offer my laptop and the spacious and well-thought-out additional space they offer for all my other bits and pieces. It’s incredibly comfy to wear with its very padded shoulder strap and I’ve already had lots of compliments on it and people asking me where I got it from.
Although not that well-known this side of the pond, WaterField Designs is a San Francisco based company and brain child of Gary Waterfield. Gary started the company in 1998 with a few simple principles that the company still abides by today: make products you can be proud of, treat people with respect and exercise kindness – we’re all human after all. WaterField Designs has been designing and manufacturing bags and cases in their own backyard from the start, allowing them to turn prototypes into production very quickly, ensuring they are, and you are, very happy with the product every time. There is no mass production in the workshop as they personalise the designs to your needs and produce in small batches to reduce waste and help them to focus on delivering quality. All their bags are created with top grade materials including sturdy ballistic nylon, durable waxed canvas, and premium full grain leather as well as the more expensive self-locking zippers that don’t break easily, strong D-rings, and oversized magnets to keep things where they should be.
If the Rough Rider isn’t for you there are dozens of other designs to choose from back packs, totes and duffels, to sleeves for everything from your phone, magic keyboard and Apple TV, right through to their gaming gear, wallets and grooming and vanity pouches – there truly is something for everyone. Another personal favourite of mine is the Slim Staad Back Pack which is a really streamlined laptop or tablet travel case – ideal for city commuting. It comes with a lovely contrasting and plushly-cushioned interior to protect your device as well as four internal pockets to keep you organised, plus if you swing the Staad to one side, you can quickly grab your keys or phone from its two angled and zippered external side pockets – very handy and it looks great to boot!
With their uncluttered, ergonomic designs and great customer service, which keeps customers coming back time-after-time, WaterField Designs seem to have everything covered. Whether you’re heading off on some well-deserved, luxury leisure travel; a business trip or simply need a stylish bag to hold all your day-to-day essentials, WaterField Designs is sure to have a solution that meets your needs.
Disclosure: Unless otherwise stated reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.