Product Review – Solo – Urban Convertible Laptop Briefcase Backpack

Recently, I have been all about organization and simplicity. And, as some already know, I am obsessed with bags. I primarily work out of two bags, two Kate Spade purses. One is a basic, everyday purse and one is a yoga bag that I use for work that allows me to basically carry my life in one bigger bag than carrying multiple bags (previously reviewed here).

Often, I have used the yoga bag for multiple purposes outside of work such as some of my fire department administrative things. Well, I decided that some things were getting too crowded, and I really didn’t want my 13 inch MacBook Air  just in the bag floating around in there so I set out looking for a sleeve to use in my bag instead. I keep a lot of random odds and ends in that yoga bag, including makeup, Kindle, books, planner, pens, medication, snacks, and basically any aspect of life that I can. Really nothing off-the-wall, just a lot of everything.

Ideally, I decided, I would find a sleeve with a strap so I could keep it in the sleeve and use it as its own carrying piece. I didn’t need nothing fancy, all I needed was a sleeve with some type of strap. I thought it was simple and a great idea.

I couldn’t find ANYTHING that fit this. Now that I made a different purchase, I’ve been seeing them pop up. Naturally.

I didn’t want to spend a fortune, the most I would maybe go is $50 but I was really looking to go before that. Of course, the one’s Apple sells and many of the ones are Etsy were past that price point. But while browsing on Best Buy’s website, I found this: the Solo: Urban Convertible Laptop Briefcase Backpack. Not only was it on sale for $32.99 as opposed to its usual $50, but it was definitely intriguing to me. It was more complex than a sleeve with a strap, but I was really intrigued as to what it was. It was both a backpack and a briefcase. It had more than what I needed or wanted, because I really didn’t need another fully-functional bag but this seemed too good to pass up.

It had a simple design, classic with a business style but not too uptight. There were three pockets on the outside, and one large zipper. But what caught my attention was the fact that it was briefcase, backpack, and messenger bag all in one. If I needed to bring my laptop into town with me for some reason for work, I could easily use this as a backpack while still using my primary Kate Spade bag. And I figured with just my MacBook, the bookbag portion couldn’t be much to handle. But, considering that I am hoping to start freelance writing, the briefcase portion allowed for professionalism on meetings with potential clients. Naturally, I got to my local Best Buy as soon as possible. It didn’t take me long to decide, and I purchased the bag.

This bag is amazing and a great buy for a young professional. One of the first things I noticed was how slim it was. There is nothing bulky about it. A college student isn’t going to be able to fit all their textbooks in it, but a couple binders and notebooks fit pretty well. I currently have a notepad, a one-inch binder, and a folio in the main zipper pocket and it doesn’t add bulk at all. With that, I feel as if I can also add my medium sized planner. I fit a three-inch binder in there with my MacBook in the laptop pocket and even then, it still didn’t seem like it was bulging or anything overwhelming. My iPad mini also fits in the main zipper pocket with the laptop and other additionals.

The laptop pocket is a little roomy for my MacBook, but with the velcro strap it stays pretty secure. I also have a 12 inch Surface Laptop 2, and the two of them would fit fine in the laptop pocket with room to spare. I’m not sure how often that’ll be the case, but, ironically, the Surface will be in a sleeve when it goes in the bag regardless just to be safe considering it is brand-new and for peace of mind (I’m keeping it in sleeve when it is not in use anyways). On Best Buy, the website says that the bag can keep most laptops with up to a 15.6 inch display secure and I don’t doubt that at all. The only issue I would potentially see is if your laptop happened to be bulkier than normal, but even that is a maybe.

The outside pockets were an add-on for me, but they are still pretty nice. My wallet fits in the largest pocket which is helpful for when I go to Starbucks or whatever to work. My iPad mini can actually fit in this pocket too, it’s fairly deep, but again, it doesn’t add bulk. The largest pocket also features little pen holders and such, including a pocket where I could keep my business card case. There is plenty of variety to be had with this bag.

Let’s go back to the variety portion for a second. Like I said earlier, this bag can be used in three different ways, and it’s really neat. You have a briefcase handle, backpack straps, and a messenger bag strap. Only the briefcase strap cannot be hidden when not in use. When you don’t want to use it as a backpack or messenger bag, On the back portion of the bag, beneath the backpack straps, there is a pocket where you can slide the unnecessary straps into. One of my only complaints about this bag is that there is a zipper for this pocket, but because of how the backpack straps are placed. Maybe I am doing something wrong, and that is a definite possibility, but the zipper seems unnecessary. The messenger strap is completely removable to be placed in the pocket, and only the bottom part of the backpack straps are but then you just slide it into the pocket that’s right there. My other complaint about the bag is that the clips to remove the straps can be a little finicky, They definitely could be easier to remove.

Otherwise, this bag is pretty much perfect. I’m a little annoyed that now I am finding the type of sleeve/bag that I was looking for previously, but with the addition of my Surface Laptop, I’m glad to have this type of secure bag. And honestly, even without the Surface, I was glad to have this bag. It is really nice that I can throw my wallet and keys in there if I want to go out with my laptop and work and that I can also have other materials with me like binders and notepads without having to carry something extra. The fact that it is convertible is awesome; if I’m walking around with it I like to keep it on my back and keep my hands free; it is also fairly lightweight. It can appear as just any ordinary messenger bag though, which I like. It’s versatile. And I like the style. Yes, it’s pretty basic but it is professional and sharp. It is professional enough to have for business but it also doesn’t seem stuffy either. I like the simplicity of it. I like the gray as opposed to the typical black briefcase you see, and I am also glad it is not a leather type of material. It fits my needs and then some. I think for the amount of running around and multitasking I do at times, this will be perfect to help me stay organized and keep my computers safe. Highly recommend!

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