I have loved the small backpack and have carried one as a purse for years. I must say that I am extremely disappointed with the "Ultimate Backpack". I don't understand why you felt you had to change something that was already great...this new design is terrible. Why are there NO pockets inside? It's just a big hole. The pockets under the flap are okay, but why would you even think to design a bag that you know a lot of women use as a purse and not put inside pockets in it?? Also, the taller design is not great either. I really wanted a backpack in the Flower Shower and Pink Swirls colors, but after looking at one at my local retailer, I did not make a purchase. I walked away wondering why you would ruin my favorite bag. Please bring back the "old" backpack with inside pockets and stylish good looks. This new one really missed the mark. Sadly, the backpack was the last Vera bag I liked as you did away with the Bowler and Maggie....I understand change, but I feel as if I will have to find a different brand of bag now....there's no Vera bag out there for me now.
February 23, 2015
cute, but not quite ultimate
I just got this backpack today. While it is roomier on the base of the bag, it tapers up pretty slender at the top. This makes the side pockets to small to carry a water bottle in.I don't know why the designers at Vera Bradley didn't take this into consideration. The old backpack will fit a regular size water bottle, and the style before that didn't. 'It would be perfect if I could carry my water bottle on the outside instead of on the inside of my bag (makes sense). I think many reviewers will feel the same way. Otherwise, it has lots of pockets on the outside and a zipper pocket inside. Maybe by the next backpack revision they will get it right.
June 27, 2014
Would be perfect with a few tweaks
When I first saw this backpack in the store I instantly fell in love! Instantly I had to run out to the car to grab my iPad to check that it would fit in the front padded tablet pocket. Unfortunately, my iPad would not fit into the front padded pocket (under the flap) because it is in a case. It would have fit perfectly had VB added (stronger) magnets a little higher up to allow for different closure heights (like on the Saddle Up). If I take my iPad air out of the case it fits perfectly, but who carries their iPad w/o case protection? No one I know. I just wish that VB would give a few extra inches on their tech compartments to allow room for tech devices that may be in protective cases, which I'm sure most people do. However, my iPad does fit in the slip pocket just behind the iPad pocket (which is meant for magazines), but it is not protected from the elements. I use the tablet pocket for my book.
The interior is roomy, and is great to allow me to carry my wallet, glasses, cosmetics bag, and even a diaper & wipes case so I can leave my diaper bag in the car when running in stores with my daughter. The only thing I would change for this pocket would be to place the zipper pocket either lower in the bag so it doesn't conflict with the back zip pocket, or lower the back zip pocket so they stagger one another. If you place items in the back zip pocket as well as the interior pocket, the bag becomes top heavy, and it's hard to get items in/out of the main compartment for the top bulk of the bag. Still, the bag does have room to get your essentials inside, which is nice for a working mom who doesn't want to carry another large bag with her (in lieu of my VB laptop carryall).
Still, I find that my biggest pet-peeve about this bag is the fact that you cannot use the side exterior (water bottle) pockets for water bottles. I have tried all sorts of bottles, and I have yet to find one that fit. VB should have given a little more room, and maybe even an elastic rim around this pocket to allow water bottles to fit inside, and to keep items from falling out. Like another person mentioned, it would have been nice to also see a key ring attached to one of the exterior pockets as well. Instead, I have to still find a water bottle that is not too large, and is 100% leak proof so I can carry it inside the bag w/o risking it leaking onto my iPad. (Maybe they should line the table pocket in plastic for extra protection from leaks...?)
Overall, this bag is a great bag, and it would be perfect should some of the flaws be fixed in the next edition. I certainly think that VB is on the right track with this addition. I look forward to see the improvements on the next update! :)
August 7, 2014