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Posts Tagged ‘totes’

Really digging this tote from Omaha, Nebraska’s Artifact Bag Co. (AKA Chris Hughes, the designer and craftsman behind the line). It’s made from 14 oz. American-made waxed canvas, reinforced with American-made cotton webbing, fitted with Horween leather straps, and finished with hand hammered copper rivets and American-made poly thread (seams are double stitched, for strength). It’s also backed by a lifetime guarantee.

So, to put it briefly: this bag is made to last, by hand, using components from the good ol’ US of A. It also looks pretty damn good, and comes in four different colorways: Khaki/Brown, Olive/Black, Olive/Brown, and Olive/Charcoal/Black.

Top everything off with two external side pockets, a multi-section internal pocket, and an internal key fob (always immensely handy), and you’ve got one solid everyday bag on your hands.

What’s that you say? You’d like to see a collection of detail shots, running the gamut of all the colorways? But of course:

It’ll run you $125, direct from the source. Everything is handmade to order, so give it 4-6 weeks for production.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Artifact Bag Co.)

Ed’s Note: If you’re not looking for a carryall, there’s always the Waxed Canvas Lunch Tote.

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These hit the MAKR online store recently. The Utility Bag is shown in the first shot, and the Flap Rucksack in the second. Both models look fantastic. Made with heavy cotton duck and Horween leather (brown Latigo on the natural versions, black Manitoba on the black), and topped off with YKK Excella zippers. Everything is designed and produced in the USA.

I think the Utility Bag would be my personal choice for the day-to-day. I’m especially fond of the fact that you can carry it three different ways: by hand (tote handles), shoulder/cross-body (large strap), and as a backpack. The final method requires only a simple reconfiguration of the strap, as shown here:

It’s not a method I’d use regularly, in all likelihood. But on those days where the bag is just too damn heavy for comfort, something like this would come in very handy.

The really tough question, then, is whether to go for black or natural canvas? Both are great, so that one isn’t getting answered immediately. Though right off the bat, I’ll admit I’m leaning towards the natural version…

A few more detail shots of both models are below, plus prices. Click the text for each model to hop over to MAKR and grab one for yourself.

Utility Bag – Natural – $320:

Utility Bag – Black – $275:

Flap Rucksack – Natural -$410:

Flap Rucksack – Black – $410:

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if each and every one of these sells out. If you’re into any of the models, I’d start thinking about pulling that trigger soon. I know I am.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of MAKR Carry Goods)

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Forestbound is the nom de guerre of Alice Saunders, a Boston local who crafts some damn good looking bags and totes from salvaged vintage textiles. Think canvas from 1930′s laundry bags and WWII era military tents, or an envelope-style carry pocket repurposed from a 1950′s hiking pack. Some are reinforced with individually sourced leather pieces, and everything comes complete with heavy-duty hardware that Alice herself hunts down throughout New England. So basically, you don’t have to worry about a lack of authenticity here.

And as you can see from this collection of images, you don’t have to worry about aesthetics, either. From the expertly executed staging to the self-evident appeal of the bags themselves, it’s a win all over.

Her Etsy shop is currently well stocked with a selection of everyday bags and weekenders with an impressive mix of old school inspiration and modern execution (like pockets for your phone/iPod/assorted gadgetry), and in a couple of weeks she’ll be presenting a new line of offerings at The Shiny Squirrel‘s pop-up event at the Ace Hotel in NYC. I’m looking forward to seeing them in person, and I’ve got to admit that I won’t be shocked if I walk away with one in hand.

And a heads up to the NY folk out there: LAYERxlayer and Symmetry Goods (two labels that recently hit my radar and piqued my interest) will be showing at the same event, along with a bunch of other solid brands. Seems like it’s gonna be well worth a visit, so give me a shout if you’re looking for something to do Feb 21-23.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Forestbound and The Shiny Squirrel)

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Based out of New York’s Hudson Valley, Utility Canvas was launched in 1990 by Hal Grano and Jillian Kaufman-Grano. The brand specializes in exactly what you’d guess: Canvas goods with a keen eye for function. It all started with a canvas portofolio carryall for the Jillian’s personal use. Since then, it’s expanded out to a full line of home goods, men’s and women’s clothing, and bags.

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One of my favorite offerings from the Grano/Kaufman-Grano team is their take on the shoulder-strapped tote: the Bucket Tote. The lines are simple, the canvas looks to be very heavy duty, and the simple snap closure at the top provides for a bit more security than an open-topped model.

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Beyond that, there’s the pockets: 3 on the outside and 3 on the inside. Seeing as one of the biggest issues I have with simple totes is the lack of organizational capabilities presented by a single huge compartment, this is a massive plus in my book. When my phone and headphones can be found without furtively rooting through the bottom of my bag, I tend to be much happier in general. I’d venture to guess this is true for most folks.

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Throw in made-in-the-USA construction, the natural water resistance of a tightly woven canvas, and a pretty reasonable $98 price tag, and you’ve got a pretty solid contender in the day-to-day bag category.

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It’s available in Olive (my favorite), Navy, and Natural from C’H’C’M or Utility Canvas.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of C’H’C’M)

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Steve Mono‘s bags and accessories just hit my radar recently thanks to this post from Nico over at The Bengal Stripe. Made in Spain from vegetable tanned leather and some textiles as well, the line is comprised of clean and modern takes on classic shapes.

Totes, briefcases, and postal bags feature pretty heavily, with other small accessories like glasses cases and belts also making a showing. Leather options are available in a number of colors including black, chocolate, whiskey, blue, and mustard. When it comes to textiles, there are even a few waterproof fabrics on offer.

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Pricing hits around $75-$100 for the smaller accessories, and climbs to $500-$600 for the leather bags. Textile bags and other pieces like wallets and dop kits fall somewhere in the middle. Not cheap, but considering the more expensive pieces are clearly the sort of thing to be approached with an “investment piece” mentality, not out of line.

Available direct from Steve Mono via email (stevemono@stevemono.com), or you can get some of the collection from Opening Ceremony.

—Jonathan Evans

(Images courtesy of Steve Mono)

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