Of all the laptop bags that I have reviewed over the years, and I can’t even tell you how many dozens there have been (possibly hundreds?), I can only remember having a perfect stranger approach me to compliment my bag twice: once for the ACME Made Courier, and the other time for this bag – the Waterfield Muzetto.
Feast your eyes on the gorgeous chocolate leather, and marvel at the contrasting flame colored panel on its front. This is a bag that every woman will want, but no man will ever be ashamed to carry.
There are no clips, magnets or buckles holding down the Muzetto’s front flap; it relies solely on gravity, which is a huge plus in my opinion. The flap is easy to flick out of the way when I need to get into the bag, but long enough that it covers everything nicely, even when laying on its side under a plane seat. The Muzetto is available in three sizes – personal, 13″ and 15″. I wanted a bag to carry my MacBook Air in, so I opted for the 13″; it measures approximately 14″ long x 11″ wide x 2.5″ thick and according to Waterfield weighs 1.7 pounds.
Lifting the flap reveals the ballistic nylon trim, which is available in flame (brick red) as shown here, or in black, copper, green, pearl or pine. I honestly stressed about which color I should get, as it is generally my first instinct to go with something subdued and neutral – like the copper (almost brown) or one of the greens – but instead I went for the red. I’m glad I did, because I actually found it to be both attention catching and yet surprisingly neutral at the same time. Go figure.
There are two interior compartments, let’s take a look …
The front compartment measures approximately 11.5″ deep x 10″ wide, and its entire interior is lined in sumptuous back fuzzy fleece. There are two device pockets built into the back wall, one measures 3.5″ wide and the other 5.5″ wide; they are both 5.5″ deep. I carry two phones – the Vertu and the iPhone with a Mophie Air extended battery pack always installed – and these pockets fit my devices with room to spare. The large fleece-lined pouch is perfect for other loose items that need protecting but that don’t need to be held in accessible pockets.
The larger compartment of the bag measures approximately 14″ tall x 11″ wide x 2″ deep, and it is lined in bright yellow honeycomb rip-stop lining. Waterfield says they use this color so that items in the bag’s interior will be easy to spot; of this I have no doubt! If you are not carrying a laptop, this large open area makes a great compartment for all sorts of things – your camera, wallet, lunch, and other items you might want with you on a day jaunt.
On the forward wall, there is a zippered pocket measuring 9″ wide x 11″ tall. Inside this ripstop fabric lined pocket are two more open pockets, each measuring about 4.5″ wide x 6″ deep. This zippered area is a great place to stuff your iPod, and really anything that you don’t want to even chance loosing. It’s probably where I should carry my Vertu when I travel, but I like the fleece lined pocket in the front for that purpose even better. One of the open pockets works perfectly for carrying the MiFi however, and flat sync & charge cables store very well in the other pocket.
This is what you’ll need for protection from bumps and bruises when you carry your laptop – the vertical Sleevecase.
It’s not necessary to order the Sleevecase with a flap or rings for carrying it on its own. The Sleevecase has a velcro tab on the front to keep everything secure, and on the back there is another pocket which is great for holding syncing cables for your phone or other peripherals. One thing that I really liked about the Sleevecase when traveling is that it is checkpoint-friendly; since I didn’t have any items in its back pocket, I didn’t have to remove my laptop from the sleeve to send it through.
The Sleevecase with Air inserted only takes up about 0.75″, leaving plenty of room for the full power cable and other miscellaneous “stuff” in the main compartment. The beauty of the Muzetto it is that you can carry your necessities without bothering with a big bulky bag, and the Muzetto will hang nicely by your side – or across your body when worn bandoleer style.
On the back of the Muzetto there is one last pocket, measuring approximately 11″ wide x 12.5″ tall. This will no doubt be your “go to” pocket when traveling, where tickets and magazines will inevitably be stuffed. In a perfect world, I would like there to have been a handle on this back side – one that didn’t peek over the top of the bag, one that could almost tuck into this back pocket. Alas, there isn’t a handle, and this wasn’t a deal-breaker.
A leather shoulder pad is included which slides as needed on the 1.5″ wide nylon shoulder strap. I am being overly picky here, but I was a little bit disappointed in the shoulder strap; it seemed a tiny bit too thin, and I think I would have liked it better if it had been at least 2″ wide. This is hardly a deal-breaker, just a point of personal preference.
I did very much like that the shoulder pad has grippy dots on its underside to help keep the strap from slipping from my shoulder.
I have always been a fan of Vertical bags, in fact one of my favorite purses is the Louis Vuitton Musette, which this bag’s style greatly resembles. I really enjoyed carrying the Muzetto when I traveled to Seattle, and perhaps even more than that — I enjoyed all the comments I got from the other attendees who absolutely loved it, and that stranger at the airport. At least one of the Mobius attendees ordered his own after seeing mine, which is high praise when dealing with a bunch of jaded gadget reviewers.
If you want a bag that is big enough to carry the necessities when carrying your computer — but not too big and bulky, one that can be used as a day bag on its own when you aren’t carrying a laoptop, the Waterfield Muzetto is a wonderful option which should perform well and last for ages.
The Waterfield Muzetto is available directly from the manufacturer; there are three sizes — 13″, 15″, and Personal. The Muzetto is available in black, copper, flame, green, pearl and pine. If you plan on carrying a laptop in yours, you’ll want to get a vertical Sleevecase for it.
MSRP: Personal – $179, 13″ (size tested) – $239, 15″ – $259
What I Like: Gorgeous leather bag with contrasting ballistic nylon trim; big enough to carry your laptop and all the necessities, not so big that you look like you’ve packed the kitchen sink; works as a fabulous day bag on its own
What Needs Improvement: The shoulder strap was a little bit thinner than I would have liked, but that is a truly picky observation; a handle built into the back side would have been nice