About a week ago I realized that I needed to get organized. My desk is a mess and my notebook bag… well let’s just say my cables have cables. It was so overstuffed and under-organized that I couldn’t find anything. I sent the following cry for help to the Gear Diary Team.
There are two different gear patterns for me these days when I leave the house. One has me only bringing my iPhone. Simple.
The other has me with way too much stuff- notebook, charger, iPhone, extra battery, pulsepen, bluetooth headset etc. So much little crap that throwing it loose into my bag is a mess. Any suggestions for keeping all my on-the-go semi organized?????
I got some excellent suggestions. Among them was this from Judie-
Can’t recommend the AcmeMade Courier bag enough…just sayin’!
Well, that was a pretty strong endorsement from someone for whom I have the greatest respect so I did the only reasonable thing- I looked at the AcmeMade site.
Long story short, although Judie reviewed the Courier just recently, ACME MADE was kind enough to send one to give a second opinion. What do I think?
Can’t recommend the AcmeMade Courier bag enough…just sayin’!
Let’s take a look…
The Courier is deeply rooted in the highly functional and very durable bags that have been used by postal carriers for ages. It is a clean and simple design that is traditionally attractive and incredibly practical. Designed to be used everyday and be as functional as it is attractive. As the motto goes, “neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night…” – so goes the Acme Made Courier.
When it comes to a gadget bag, Judie’s needs and mine differ significantly. Judie often travels light with MacBook Air and LaCie external drive, but at other times she packs a full kit that includes her Canon 5D. I travel somewhere between those two poles on a daily basis with a 13inch MacBook, a LightScribe pen and pad, and iPhone, a point and shoot camera, my Kindle, an iPod touch and a vast assortment of cables for them. I want a bag that is, first and foremost functional. Sure, it is nice if a bag looks nice too, but a functional bag is most important.
Fortunately, the ACME MADE Courier bag has all sides covered. It comes in materials that are both simple enough for the likes of me, and stylish enough for the likes of Judie. The 15″ wide x 10″ tall notebook compartment works well with a MacBook Air AND a 13″ MacBook and with room to spare, which means it is ideal for a MacBook Pro as well.
I have an additional, perhaps somewhat unusual, requirement in a bag. Suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis I should not carry anything heavy. I’m not very good at accomplishing that so I tend to shoot for “I don’t carry more than I need.” The more organized I am, the better I am able to keep to this. Thus a bag that is LARGE enough for my needs but not TOO LARGE, while offering great organization, is key for me. In addition, I don’t want a super light but super flimsy bag as that doesn’t help keep me organized but at the same time, the gorgeous leather bag I got years ago is not just too darn heavy. The ACME MADE Courier has me covered on all sides. It is sturdy yet light, offers excellent organization while looking simple and uncluttered. And to top it all off, it looks great.
Judie went through the details in the way only she can so I won’t repeat it all. I will, however, spend just a few minutes running down the things I like about this bag.
The Courier is available in a variety of colors and designs including, Chili Pepper red canvas, Italian Natural canvas, Telun Black canvas, Brown and Black Squares, and the Paul Smith Reverberating Stripes. Judie got the Reverberating Stripes and it looks quite feminine. I received the Telun Black canvas, and it looks more than masculine enough.
Elana saw the bag and said, “Wow, now THAT is a nice bag! Looks like a messenger bag but is so much more.” She went on to describe it using words like- “handsome”, “well-appointed”, “unisex” and “love the material”. When I asked if she would say anything else about it she replied, “Yeah, I love the look of it!”
The materials are top notch and the leather trim is used sparingly to add both interest and reinforcement.
The company logo (one of my pet peeves) is BENEATH the flap. That’s a nice act of respect for the consumer on the part of ACME MADE. Funny thing is, though, this is one instance where I wouldn’t mind having the logo on the outside and advertising their product. It is that good! Oh, and as Judie pointed out in her review, the leather tag is secured in such a way that you can hang or clip something to it.
The first thing you notice about the bag is the fact that the large flap that covers the front isn’t visibly secured yet it stays in place. Hidden magnets to their job well, holding the flap down but making it ridiculously simple to grab something from inside. That alone is the first indicator that ACME MADE hit the sweet spot in striking a balance between simplicity and functionality with the courier.
The bag offers enough large spaces to be truly flexible as a work bag, while also offering a nice variety of smaller pockets and compartments to help the like of me stay more organized. It Features:
-A large outer flap with zippered utility pocket
-A side gusset pocket
-A rear zippered pocket
-An under flap phone pocket (perfect for my iPod Touch)
-A zippered accessories pocket
-A spacious main compartment w/zippered divider
-A separate computer pocket w/security strap (perfect for protecting my MacBook while making access to it quick and simple)
-Three smaller open pockets (that hold my charger, camera and wallet)
Said simply- The Courier doesn’t overwhelm you with organization but it doesn’t skimp either. Without looking stuffy the Courier has already made me far more organized.
If there is one area of criticism I would have of the bag it is the design of the strap and the lack of a handle.
The 2″ shoulder strap is securely fixed to the bag itself. It is light, simple and secure but it doesn’t offer any padding. The result is that, over a long period of use, the bag can cause some shoulder fatigue.
The lack of a handle is a bit of a disappointment for me as that is my normal way of quickly grabbing a bag when I am running out. However, since I love every other aspect of the bag this small lack doesn’t come close to being a deal breaker for me.
The ACME MADE Courier is available directly from the manufacturer. It is worth noting that the MSRP for the Courier has dropped to $129 since Judie reviewed it.
My likes and dislikes are EXACTLY the same as Judie’s so I’ll simply plagiarize her here
What I We Like: Quality materials and excellent craftsmanship; very nicely organized pockets and sections; the leather trim makes everything look first class; nicely padded laptop compartment; gorgeous and stylish
What Needs Improvement: No handle in the middle of the back may be a dealbreaker for some; no shoulderpad on the strap will made overloaders think twice
To Sum It All Up-
1. ACME MADE makes amazing bags that are both stylish and functional. They are a sleeper company that deserves to have far wider recognition.
2. When Judie Lipsett raves about a product you KNOW it is “rave-worthy”!