The Everything Bag
I am currently using this bag on vacation. It worked great as a carry on and fit under the seat on the flight down. The 6 pockets on the inside are organized differently than in the miller bag--there are two on each side of the bag, plus one on each end of the bag. The ones on the end are wide enough to hold my iPad with its case and cover, which I keep inside the VB Neoprene case! You can also fit two regular shaped bottles of water in the end pocket, although just be careful since they aren't lined. There is also a zipper pocket inside, which has been great for keeping my phone away from the sand at the beach.
So in addition to the carry on use, this has also functioned as the family beach bag. I've fit in 3 bottles of water, two cans of soda, 4 ziplock containers with snacks, a beach blanket (thin nylon one), 2 books, 3 baseball hats, assorted pairs of sunglasses,reading glasses, and shirts--basically everything the kids and hubby being down that they don't want to leave in the sand! And there's nothing like that good sea air to break in the bag and loosen it up a bit!
I've notices some very small tabs one other end of the zipper, and figure if you wanted to, you could put some "D" rings on there and attach a cross body strap.
A couple things I'd like to see: padded straps like on the Vera and the Duffel bags, and a sleeve on the back so you could secure the bag over the telescoping handle of a rolling luggage piece
Overall, a great bag with lots of great functions. I have it in a second color also for use as my teaching bag--2 schools, 5 different classrooms, I have a lot of stuff to carry every day!
August 15, 2014
Good carry on; comparison with Miller and GCAT
I bought this in the store the day it came out last week directly before heading to the airport for a trip to the opposite coast for a 5 day family event. I have been using my Get Carried Away Tote (GCAT) for long trips, but wanted something a touch smaller. My Miller bag, which I love, does not have a wide enough bottom to stack clothes in, and the GCAT would have been overkill for this trip. This new Travel Tote seems a lot like the Miller, which I suspect is being retired (note to VB staffers: do NOT retire the Miller bag-- it serves a different purpose than this travel tote!), but the big difference for me is the fabulous 10" wide bottom on the Travel Tote. Here's what went on the plane in this new bag: 3 party dresses, 1 pair of party shoes, my ipad in its VB tablet case, a medium cosmetic bag with all my chargers and cables; my crucial cosmetics in the medium hanging organizer and a clear ziploc, magazines, a brush and pencil case with my jewelery, snacks, extra undies. With that approach, if my checked bag hadn't arrived I still would have been celebration ready. But I'm not done: once we arrived to the (only slightly) warmer West Coast, my lightweight North Face went into it as well and it still zipped closed. No problem fitting into the overhead or underneath my seat on either flight, which were different aircraft models. Granted, you couldn't get the equivalent amount of cold weather clothing in there, but for spring/summer/fall this bag will be wonderful. To me, the Miller has a much more graceful shape and can be packed flat inside a suitcase and then pulled out for extras on the trip back home; I use it as well when hauling grandkids' stuff because I don't want to feel like I am using a travel piece. I am not sure I will use this Travel Tote in that way, because it does feel more like a travel bag than an everyday tote, but that is fine and that's why I got it-- getting a stack of folded adult clothes into as I just did was a huge advantage, and just what I was looking for. As for the GCAT, it does not completely close on top, making it less secure than both the Miller and the Travel Tote, but I have been using it on planes for longer trips for years now, which is why I say each bag has its place. The only downside to this new Travel Tote is that it does not have a trolley sleeve, which would make it perfect, and I hope VB will quickly add one to the design, because frankly every travel bag should have one. I got this in Flower Shower, which looked great with all my travel clothes. BTW, the background color reads more like a warm grey in person, not brown, so the whole color combo of this print feels fun and slightly retro.
March 25, 2014
Needs better description of inside
I was quite surprised (in some good ways and some bad ways) when I saw the pockets on the inside of this bag. I think VB needs to do a much better job of describing the inside of the bag, or instead of having a second (and fairly useless) picture of the outside, have a second picture of the inside, viewed from the OTHER side. Lacking a better description, that would help people to understand the (very useful) pockets that this bag has.
Second, a bag this large holds a great deal, which means it can be very heavy. That said, it needs better handles. The padded handles that VB uses on its larger bags would be great, but I'm not sure how they'd do it.
Third, as other people have mentioned, this needs a trolley sleeve. This bag is a great size to go under an aircraft seat in front of you, but that type of bag (especially when very full and heavy) needs a trolley sleeve to carry it on top of your rolling luggage.
This bag has good potential, but I think VB needs to make some serious improvements first.
July 19, 2014