I Need a Tote

I’m in the market for a tote bag. The main purpose will be to carry around my personal laptop, appropriate cords, some books, pens, etc. This won’t need to be heavy duty – mainly for “local” travel – coffee shop, to the in-laws, or on vacation. I don’t want to break the bank – each of these are around $100:

1. J. Crew Bowery Drafting ToteTrip talked about this one.
2. Filson Tin Cloth ToteSid talked about this one.
3. Ralph Lauren Rugby Tote – it can be personalized. One letter short, though.
Any opinions? Any that I should consider?


  1. The Enthusiast
    01/26/2010 / 1:08 AM

    LL Bean? The Filson is dope. I would go for that over anything.

  2. trip
    01/26/2010 / 3:28 AM

    Wow, those are all good looking options. The advantage I would give the J. Crew bag is the fact that it can be zipped up, though the fact that the Rugby bag has the buckle is pretty solid.

  3. Jason Norwood
    01/26/2010 / 4:45 AM

    Filson. I have a Filson laptop briefcase (among other things) that does daily duty alongside my LL Bean hunting tote. The LL Bean is the choice for transporting whiskey, wine, and food to various par-tees.

  4. Bunny Elder
    01/26/2010 / 9:50 AM

    You really can't go wrong with one of the LL Bean canvas totes. They come in a huge array of sizes, all available open-topped or with a zip. There's a wide variety of colours, and even a 'customize it' feature if you prefer your own colour combination. They can be monogrammed, or you can have a word stitched on it. I have one with my initials which I use for general purposes (grocery, etc). As I'm in my last yaer of graduate school now I'm thinking of getting a second, stitched with "Library" or "Ph.D." for a bit of a boost to get my stuff out the door and to the stacks.

  5. RHW
    01/26/2010 / 2:53 PM

    Filson. Period.

  6. DAM
    01/26/2010 / 3:02 PM

    I'm with Bunny. Bean tote, zipper top. It's classic, cheap as shit, can be used around town, groceries and weekend.

    Trip rock's the jcrew tote, but other than that I'd be afraid of the rest looking like man bags.

  7. Anonymous
    01/26/2010 / 4:33 PM

    Get something more briefcase like – those open tote bags seem a bit effete. Men don't "tote" – they carry.

  8. Joseph
    01/27/2010 / 2:06 AM

    Not sure if your a fly fisherman or not, but you have posted plenty of stuff from the Orvis catalog and definitely seems to be in your style range, check this website out http://www.recycledwaders.com

    Messenger Creel – $66

    The Recycled Waders version of the traditional messenger bag. Not all of us can fish for a living, but those of us that aspire too can certainly enjoy the versatility of the Messenger Creel. Three zippered pockets to keep your smaller items separated and secure. The large main pocket has enough room to carry your laptop and documents for that important business meeting, your favorite school books or your largest box of flies, rain coat, water bottle and a snack – you decide.

    Approximate dimensions:

    Main Compartment: 16"W x 11"H x 5"D
    Front Panel Pocket: 16"W x 10"H
    Flap Pocket: 16"W x 4"H
    Internal Pocket: 8"W x 8"H

  9. Jessica@thelovelist.net
    01/27/2010 / 6:50 PM

    Saw on Southern Gent that you liked his re-vamp – thanks so much for your kind words. If you are in fact interested in giving Red Clay Soul a new look, please email me at Front Porch Studio, studio@thelovelist.net

    As for totes, I love that Rugby tote so much I may need one for myself…

  10. JRS
    01/27/2010 / 10:02 PM

    Enthusiast – The LL Bean is nice…it's on the list. MAY, DAM, and Bunny piled on as well.

    Trip – I do like the idea of the zipper. A little extra security.

    Jessica – great work over at SouthernGent…

    Jason & RHW – I know, I know…the Filson is top shelf.

    I'm still deciding…

  11. JRS
    02/05/2010 / 12:50 AM

    Those Mills bags are nice… I'm leaning hard towards the Filson. Maybe the Valentine's Day fairy will bring me one…

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