WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch Review: A Stylish and Practical Everyday Carry Bag

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The Lowdown

The WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch has been great when I’ve been out riding one of my electric bicycles. Rather than having to keep my keys, phone, and wallet in my pockets while riding, I simply stash them in the pouch, throw it over my shoulder, and use the cam lock to get a tight, crossbody fit; the bag doesn’t move while I ride!

Overall
5

Pros

  • Small
  • Thoughtfully designed and incredibly well-made
  • Just the right size for essentials
  • Shoulder strap can be removed so the pouch can serve as an organization within another bag

Cons

WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch Review: A Stylish and Practical Everyday Carry Bag Listen to this article

I carry a WaterField bag, backpack, or pouch every day; that’s no exaggeration. Lately, I’ve been using the Sutter Slim Backpack I recently reviewed or, when traveling, the Air Porter Carry-On Bag. The company recently sent me their new WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch to check out; it’s a nice addition to my WaterField kit and fills a fairly specific need.

For everyday work, I use the Sutter Slim Backpack. It holds my iPad, my MacBook Pro when needed, and enough papers, chargers, and other assorted items for a day at the office.

The WaterField Sutter Slim Backpack

I use the Air Porter Carry-On Bag when I have a lifecycle event, such as a wedding, or I’m traveling professionally. Its large capacity and excellent organization make it a fantastic travel companion.

WaterField Air Porter Carry On

However, when traveling for personal reasons, I use the WaterField Indy Bag Judie reviewed a decade ago. It has been to the Galápagos Islands, Greece, Hawaii, Israel (multiple times), our national parks, and more.

The Indy Bag is a fantastic way for me to keep my iPad and other essentials with me without feeling weighed down. Raina always jokes that it is my travel murse. I’m fine with that because I love how it looks and how practical it is for my needs.

And, as one might expect from a WaterField bag, it has only gotten better as the leather has softened and gained a rich patina.

WaterField Indy Bag

There are times, however, when even the Indy is a bit larger than I need. For those situations, I now have the WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch.

WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch in black

Yes, if I’m being honest, it is even more of a murse than my Indy Bag, but I don’t care since it is great when I want to travel light but still need to bring a few items without weighing down my pockets.

The WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch is made from 1680 Denier Black ballistic nylon and Forza nylon and is available in four different accent colors. These include Blue, Black, Green, and Red.

I’m eternally boring, so I requested a review sample with black accents. I like the fact that it doesn’t draw a ton of attention to itself.

And, as is the case with all of WaterField’s products, it is made domestically in the company workshop in San Francisco.

WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch measurements

The bag measures a petite 8.25″ tall by 6.25″ wide by 2.5″ deep. And while it weighs in at a mere 6.4 ounces, it has a volume of 2.1 liters. That means it is large enough for an iPad Mini with a Smart Folio cover, a phone, a wallet, keys, earbuds, and a few additional items.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch has three storage and organizational areas. The first is an open pocket on the front. This is great for items you need to grab quickly. Obviously, they aren’t secured behind a zipper or snap, but they fit it tight enough that most things will stay put quite nicely.

Open front pocket on the WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch

For me, this is the ideal place for a small notepad and a pen or two. (Hey, old-school note-taking is still pretty darn convenient.)

The second storage area is just above the open pocket. A slightly larger, zippered pocket, it has a YKK zipper and is sealed, so items placed inside are protected from rain and snow.

Zippered front pocket on WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

The interior of the pocket is lined with WaterField’s classic gold lining. It looks great, but, more importantly, the bright color makes it easy to find items placed inside. The pocket is large enough for a phone, a medium-sized wallet, and a few other small things; there’s even a key loop for an added bit of organization.

Inside the front pocket on the WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch

Finally, there is the main compartment. It is protected by two YKK zippers and is also sealed to protect items placed inside.

Min compartment of the WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch

It, too, has a bright lining.

Bright yellow lining inside the main compartment of the WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch

One side has an open interior pocket perfectly sized for an iPad mini. That makes this the ideal pouch for me when using my iPad mini rather than my larger iPad Pro.

And while it may be a particularly specific use scenario, I was pleased to find that this pocket is also the right size for my Rabbi’s Manual containing the liturgy for various lifecycle events.

A packed WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch

The rest of the interior is wide open, and, despite the pouch’s small size, it holds a good bit more than I would have expected.

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In short, the pouch is, as WaterField puts it,

…the perfect size for carrying what your pockets cannot. Designed for quick accessibility, the crossbody has three areas to organize your essentials: a main compartment that fits an iPad Mini, a front zippered pocket, and an open front pocket to store frequently-accessed items.

The other side of the WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch offers no storage, but it does have a breathable mesh. WaterField has used a similar material on the straps and backs of their backpacks, and it does an excellent job of allowing air to flow, so you don’t sweat too much while wearing the bag on warm days.

WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch Review: A Stylish and Practical Everyday Carry Bag

On either side of the pouch is a small attachment point for the included shoulder strap. Small and unobtrusive, they all but disappear when the strap is not attached. That means you can also use the WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch as an organization pouch WITHIN another bag.

WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch Review: A Stylish and Practical Everyday Carry Bag

The detachable strap is fairly thin and has no padding. That’s absolutely fine since padding on the strap of a bag like this would be overkill. What WaterField did include, however, is a cam lock that lets you quickly adjust the pouch for a secure and comfortable fit.

WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch Review: A Stylish and Practical Everyday Carry Bag

WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch Features Include:

  • Made from abrasion and water-resistant, durable ballistic nylon.
  • Three easy-access points: main compartment, front zippered pocket, and front open pocket.
  • The Interior pocket can fit the iPad mini and includes a key tether.
  • Gold liner illuminates the bag’s interior.
  • Spacer mesh on the back for sweat-wicking.
  • Removable shoulder strap.
  • YKK waterproof zippers.

All available colors of the WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch

The WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch has been great when I’ve been out riding one of my electric bicycles. Rather than having to keep my keys, phone, and wallet in my pockets while riding, I simply stash them in the pouch, throw it over my shoulder, and use the cam lock to get a tight, crossbody fit; the bag doesn’t move while I ride!

It is worth noting that the WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch is part of the new WaterField Essentials Collection, which includes a Duffel, Messenger Bag, a Backpack, and, of course, the Crossbody Pouch.

WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch Review: A Stylish and Practical Everyday Carry Bag

The WaterField Essential Crossbody Pouch sells for $89; it is available directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Small; Thoughtfully designed and incredibly well-made; Just the right size for essentials; Shoulder strap can be removed so the pouch can serve as an organization within another bag

What Needs Improvement: Nothing

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.