Iâ€™m gonna just go ahead and put this out there. This bag makes me feel a lot cooler than I am.
Do I still buy clothes at Costco and occasionally wear white socks with jeans? Sure. But this Flanders backpack from North St. Bags makes me feel like I have some serious street cred and ups my cool factor easily by ten points.
That aside, this bag has become my go-to nearly anytime I leave the house. I carry it almost daily into work, use it for travel and play and I shove a ton of extra clothes and diapers into it for a last minute diaper bag. In fact, I used it to bring the very laptop Iâ€™m using now to the hip coffee shop where Iâ€™m writing this.
But being hip isnâ€™t why I love this bag. Itâ€™s just a nice side effect for a father of two whoâ€™s aging faster than Iâ€™d like. There are actually lots of well-thought out design functions that not only make this bag worthwhile but a good investment. From the padded backs and shoulder straps, to a compression buckle system that helps you secure smaller loads or expand with bigger ones, to the shear space available. Itâ€™s a bag that can easily handle all that dads can throw at it (and toddlers too.)
Let me share just a few of the reasons why Iâ€™ve come to love the Flanders Bag:
- Spacious - lots of room to store just about anything you need
- Easy access - with a large opening at the top its easy to get large items in and out
- Front pockets - the front pockets are deceptively big, with tight closing zippers to keep water out for all my travel accessories
- Waterproof - in the Pacific Northwest thatâ€™s vital and helps keep peace of mind for electronics
- Accessories - the customizable laptop sleeve is AMAZING, it hugs my device perfectly and keeps it safe during all the miles it travels. This is one accessory I wouldnâ€™t leave the house without. Plus, North St. offers many more options to choose from!
Just a few of the challenges Iâ€™ve experienced:
- Wide open spaces - with only top access, smaller items can fall to the bottom and need to fish them out
- Roll top - the fun roll top buckle is awesome for easy access but can sometimes come lose and needs a little tightening to stay secure but itâ€™s never impacted anything inside and a quick tighten fixes it right away.
- Price - at $189 itâ€™s a hefty investment but the quality, durability and craftsmanship will no doubt last you (even with kids pulling and tugging on it every day)
As a Portland native, North St. Bags also speaks to me on a personal level. Supporting small businesses and seeing what local craftsman can produce is a passion of mine. I have a collection of backpacks that Iâ€™ve been accumulating over the years. This one has immediately risen to the top and has become a daily companion of mine. Not a single stitch has come undone nor has it seen any affects from the rain. Thatâ€™s what Made in the USA can do.
The Flanders has been the perfect bag to get through the fall and now winter with. If youâ€™re looking for a holiday gift thatâ€™s perfect for the professional who needs a daily work bag that can easily convert into a weekend getaway, the Flanders is the real deal.
Now, if only it could make me as cool as a I feel.