I’m coming toward the end of a two-week trip. I spent the first week in Israel with side trips into the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Rawabi. This week saw me in Greece with Raina. Through it all some key items have come in rather handy. Chief among them the Waterfield Indy Bag Judie reviewed some time ago.
The Indy Bag is a leather bag that might easily be called a murse. And while I might usually avoid something that looks as metrosexual as it does, there was no way I was not going to carry it on our trip. It is simply too comfortable and convenient not to use as a travel bag.
“Indy-spensable for tablet or laptop. This dime-thin, over-the-shoulder bag is ideal for your tablet, your 13-inch laptop, or just about anything else. You’ll be drawn to the leather, which is soft to the touch and develops a beautiful patina over time. The Indy is ideal for those looking for a streamlined and fashionable way to carry their daily gear.”
“An angled front pocket and a zippered back pocket lets you wear it either way without looking like it’s backwards. A secret pocket-within-a-pocket in the front is lined with soft, scratch-free Ultrasuede® for an iPhone to easily slip in and access. The top is closed with an almost-invisible zipper to keep prying hands away. The extra deep pockets in the main compartment keeps the Indy organized and looking trim even when fully packed.”
I had a plan for the bag and it worked quite well. I brought the Indy Bag but also brought a Timbuk 2 backpack I reviewed a few years ago. I headed out on my two and a half week journey with the Indy Bag packed in my suitcase and the backpack carrying all the items I wanted on the plane with me to Israel. Once there, however, I no longer needed to carry as much during the day. That’s where the Indy Bag came in. It is large enough to carry my iPad, my wallet and passport, my sunglasses, and an assortment of other key items I needed each day.
The bag has just enough pockets for a day out and, thanks to the thoughtful design Waterfield put into it, the pockets are “just right.” There’s a main zippered pocket. This is where my iPad went. Inside this large space there are also two smaller, open pockets. These worked well for small items I wanted protected inside an interior space but kept separate from the main crush of the large, somewhat cavernous interior. And while the bag itself isn’t all that big I did find that this main space held far more than I would have expected. That meant I was also able to put a large can of suntan lotion and other key items inside.
One side is dominated by a zippered compartment that runs the full depth and breadth of the bag. It is, as one might expect, shallow but it was perfect for key items I wanted to have but needed to keep safe and secure. Into this pocket went my wallet, my passport- when I took it with me as I needed to do when we crossed into the West Bank and Ramallah- my sunglasses and my small, in-ear headphones. (Yes, the headphones weren’t nearly as important as the wallet and passport but still, I needed to make sure I was able to listen to my music throughout the trip.)
On the other side is an open pocket. This pocket is a bit smaller than the zippered one on the other side but is nicely lined with a soft material. A smaller, soft-lined pocket sits inside this pocket. Obviously it is designed for to keep your smartphone both safe and accessible. Unfortunately, this bag predates the rise of the phablet and my iPhone 6 Plus is a bit too large for it. Still, with a bit of work the phone can make it inside where the soft material helps prevent scratches.
The webbing of the shoulder strap is wide enough to be comfortable on your shoulders without adding significant weight to the bag. And the adjustments lets you cinch the bag up so it sits tightly on the small of your back or loosen the bag so it sits closer to your hip. (Think Indiana Jones running from the cave in the opening scene of the first movie…)
Where this bag really earned its worth was in the durability I found as I used and abused it. I beat up on the bag. I tossed it around. I crushed it into a small space in my main suitcase. And I all-but-soaked it when the icepack keeping some medication cold melted all over it. The bag dried out and the leather was a slight bit darker in a well-worn, richer color than ever. As the trip comes to an end the bag is as good as ever- better actually since it now has a unique, broken-in look and feel, but doesn’t show a bit of actual wear. In other words, the Waterfield Indy Bag served me well in Israel, the West Bank, Athens, Santorini, Naxos, and on the ferry between the islands and it is ready for my next adventure.
In my reviews of Waterfield products I’ve long noted that the company’s offerings can be a bit pricey but that quality costs. The Indy Bag is a good example of this. The bag isn’t a fortune but is anything but a discount murse. For the price, however, you get a bag that looks great, is incredibly functional, will serve your needs well and, perhaps best of all, will be the last bag of this type you will ever need to buy.