What to Look For in a Carry Bag

2020 Style |  5 min read 

Aside from serving as fashion accessories, carry bags are crucial for storing day-to-day essentials. They’ve been used as key tools for daily work and tasks, dating as far back as Ancient Egypt. Over the course of history, bag styles and variations have greatly changed, but one thing has always stayed consistent--people want a bag that is high-quality and reliable.  With hundreds of bags on today’s market, where do you even begin?

To start, it’s important to determine which styles suits you best. The most popular bag styles for 2020 are: 

Laptop Backpack 

The main purpose of a laptop backpack is to safely transport your laptop and other small electronics with ease. The quintessential feature that makes it a laptop backpack is the padded slot, specifically designed to secure electronics in transit. High-end laptop backpacks will unzip 180 degrees to expose the padded slot so that the bag lays flat. This removes some hassel during travel security-screening because the bag can be x-rayed without having to remove any of its contents. These travel-storage capabilities have propelled it to be one the most popular carry bags overall, and especially amongst those that travel or commute for work. The functionalities of a laptop backpack aren’t limited to carrying electronics; it can be used for work, school, running errands, and anything else that may be needed day-to-day. The straps that allow the bag to be strung across your back allow for “hands-free” mobility, and mitigate the issue of having to fuss with the bag while carrying it.

Tote Bag

This bag style typically has 1-2 handle straps attached to a large pouch-shaped bag, and worn on the shoulder, arm, or in-hand. It serves as an easy “carryall” that can stash away essentials and miscellaneous items. Since it is carried close to your body (normally at your side), it provides easy-access to items, while simultaneously deterring thieves from reaching. Most totes have at least one internal pocket that can be utilized for organizing small items like a wallet, keys and accessories. However, it’s becoming more common to see tote bags designed with multiple pockets that can be used to keep things tidier. Depending on the size of tote bag, it can even act as a “weekend bag”. This is perfect for light travelers or those that hate to check-in luggage.

Messenger Bag

This style of bag has 1 long strap and is usually worn across the chest. Originally used by couriers (or messengers), this style has slowly made its way into urban fashion. Most messenger bags have a fold-over top which deters thieves and serves as added protection from the weather elements. They are normally designed with plenty of pockets and internal slots which provides ample storage, easy-access to items, and plenty of organization for valuables. The messenger bag is especially popular amongst work professionals and students since it is great for transporting: laptops, books, supplies, paperwork, and more. Messenger bags are also recommended for those that frequently commute. The cross-body design allows the bag to be worn in front or behind the body, which enables the user to switch back and forth when maneuvering through public transport. 

Some important things to remember when finding a quality bag:

1) Comfort

A bag’s main purpose is to stow away items, but it’s not very useful if it’s painful to wear. It’s also important to know how repeated wear will affect your physical health. Daily use of a poorly made (or poorly designed) bag can cause chronic back, shoulder, and arm pain. Higher quality bags tend to have well thought-out designs that are more ergonomic.

2) Durability 

Most bags are made from cotton or canvas, and these are great for light use. However, these materials deteriorate quicker than other materials like: nylon, polyurethane (PU), and leather. These materials can bear more weight and tend to have a longer lifespan. 

3) Water-resistance

A bag should be somewhat waterproof so the items and valuables are protected from external elements. Whether it’s rain or coffee spills, you want to rest assured that the material can withstand those kinds of conditions. 

4) Contain some type of padding

This tip is more for bags that are used to carry electronics or valuables. Padding is crucial because these items are fragile and cannot bear getting mishandled in transit.

5) Size

Finding the perfect-size bag should be influenced by what’s proportional to your body, and if it can fit everything you intend to carry. It’s difficult to tote around a bag that is too big, and if appearance matters, a bag that is too large can look awkward. 

6) Type of Usage

Consider what the bag will be used for and if the style of bag is useful for those kinds of tasks/activities. Are you using it for school? Work? Errands? All of the above? 

7) Organization

Take a note of what kind of organization the bag provides. If you prefer more organization, then be sure to check whether or not there are enough pockets.

8) Affordability

Consider the price of the bag in conjunction to: what it’s made of, how often you’ll use it, and what you’ll use it for. This will help justify the price and help you determine the cost/benefit ratio of the item.