Years ago, I had a Madewell Transport Tote that I took everywhere. It made it through internships, two-river commuting from New Jersey to Brooklyn, and never looked worse for wear. The problem was that in inclement weather, I was worried everything inside would get ruined because it had no closure, so I decided to retire it. Then, when I saw that they launched a Zip-Top Transport Tote, I got myself a new one. And I think I’ve found the perfect work bag.
The Zip-Top Transport Tote is about the same size as the original Transport Tote, just slightly wider. It easily holds my 13” Macbook Air in a felt carrying case, my Status Audio headphones, and a small bag with makeup and other small necessities like hair ties and bandaids. I’ve fit a full umbrella and an extra pair of shoes in there with ease.
The leather is sturdy but not stiff and will look even better with everyday wear. The internal pocket is big enough to hold my wallet and keys, but that’s about it. It will take some adjustment for me not to chuck a thousand lipsticks and receipts into that pocket, but it’ll be good to force myself to stay organized. And because of the way the zipper is attached to the bag (as a separate flap secured to the inside of the tote), it can be fully opened wide without much effort.
Straps are also a huge thing for me. As much as I appreciate a long strap to throw over my shoulder, that means it will only be carried as a shoulder bag. Sometimes, I want to be able to carry my large work tote at my side, but being 5’1”, that proses a challenge. These straps are perfectly good to use on my shoulder but are short enough that I can carry it at my side without it dragging on the ground. It’s the small things!