I wish I could carry my favorite leather tote bag to work, but, frankly put, it's impractical. Though the style is classic, the thin straps are too weak to carry the weight of my day's worth of supplies and the wide-open interior leaves much to be desired in terms of organization. It's a dilemma commuters and professionals alike know all too well — struggling to find a bag that strikes the balance between comfort and practicality, with a look that still exudes an air of professionalism.
While I'm not planning on giving up my favorite leather tote anytime soon, I will be retiring it to weekend duty in favor of something a little more practical.
My team has already sung the praises of Dagne Dover, a brand that makes intelligently designed bags like a carry-all gym duffle, a professional leather tote, and a work-appropriate backpack, among others.
Together, we tested the neoprene Ryan and Weston Laptop Bags to see how they held up on our commutes.
While most features are the same between the models, the most noticeable difference is that the Ryan has an exterior zipper pocket, while the Weston has a slimmer, flat exterior. The medium's laptop sleeve is 13.25 inches wide, while the large's is 14.5 inches wide, so they can accommodate a range of laptop sizes.
Three of our team members got to test Dagne Dover's new laptop bags. While some of us were already fans of the brand, some of us (like myself) had never tried anything from Dagne Dover before. It's safe to say that regardless of our prior experience, we were all impressed.
Both the Ryan and Weston are made with neoprene (the same material used to make wet suits for scuba diving), come in a range of rich, neutral colors, and each come in medium and large sizes. The combination of the distinct-looking fabric with a style that resembles a briefcase creates an aesthetic that passes in both formal and casual environments, truly embodying the purpose of the entire neoprene 365 Collection. While the unique style is what might draw customers to these laptop bags at first, it is the superior organization that will keep them coming back to Dagne Dover.
Both the Ryan and the Weston boast an interior laptop sleeve — the medium sizes can accommodate a 13-inch laptop and the large sizes can fit most 15-inch laptops. Each bag has a small exterior pocket that's perfect for keeping your phone or wallet almost concealed, but at arm's reach when you need it on the subway. Both have convenient features like interior card slots, a key leash, and mesh pockets that provide a spot for just about every little thing you'll need throughout the day. Plus, each bag is water-resistant so you know your precious tech will be safe (remember, scuba gear!). Both bags have a regular handle, as well as a crossbody strap, so you can carry it whatever way you find most comfortable.
I wish the Dagne Dover Ryan Laptop Bag had existed while I was in college, because it would've actually held up to all the heavy study materials and the laptop I carried around campus. I liked that I could carry it multiple ways — in one hand, over the shoulder, cross-body, or over my luggage handle — and it felt sturdy and comfortable all the while. Since it features so many well-organized compartments for notebooks, smaller tech, and even my keys, it's the only bag I need to carry if I want to bring some work home or to a cafe.
Dagne Dover's laptop bag, like much of its offerings, is smarter, leaner, and better looking than most other options. It's spacious enough for my laptop, planner, headphones, keys, and other essentials, but compact enough to be forgettable even in a crowded subway car.
The neoprene is lightweight but sturdy, and being able to carry it like a crossbody or purse is essential. My favorite features are the key leash, lean build, and almost hidden exterior pocket for easy access to my phone or wallet. My only complaint is that I found the medium size's laptop sleeve to be a little snug for the MacBook I use for work, but that's ultimately not a big deal.
I was super excited to test the large Weston Laptop Bag after hearing such great things about Dagne Dover from my coworkers. While I'm more partial to the style of backpacks and totes, this bag won me over. I was worried that I might look silly carrying what looks like a briefcase, but in all honesty, carrying this on the subway and into the office gave me an air of confidence that only such a professional-looking bag could provide. Still, I was able to bring it to the gym without worrying that a wet locker room floor would ruin it (thanks, neoprene!).
Most importantly, this bag feels like it was designed with every one of my commuter frustrations in mind. The key leash, smartphone-sized back pocket, and multiple organizational slots keep my bag organized, making it easy to find everything and eliminating all that wasted time rummaging through a stuffed, messy bag.
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