Carry-on Keeper

29 Mar

I decided to return the brown tote bag I got from Target recently because I didn’t really love it. It was a little too distressed and casual than what I was looking for, and for vague reasons I had yet to identify, I thought I’d prefer to be able to detach the shoulder strap. I don’t know, I just like having options, even if I never exercise them.

Since then, I received a gift card to DSW, so I poked around the site, looking for larger tote bags with a detachable shoulder strap, handles that look like they would flop down, in a reasonably neutral color (brown not necessary) at a fairly low price point. The hunt became more urgent as I planned a long weekend trip to Miami and realized that my beloved camera bag was only large enough to hold, well, my camera. It was a great bag for walking about, but it wouldn’t do for my straight-up carry-on for the flight. At the very least, I needed to be able to hold my camera, a bottle of water, and a book. I found a few candidates, including the Jessica Simpson Kendra Tote.

Jessica Simpson Kendra Tote

(The bag is sold out at DSW, but the best price I can find now is $81 at Belk.)

The price at DSW was $70, but I could get almost half of it with the gift card. But then I noticed that it was only available online, so I couldn’t go look at it at a store, and it wouldn’t be delivered in time for my trip. Hm.

I decided to stop by TJ Maxx on the way home to find what could be found, and hey-o! The Jessica Simpson Kendra Tote Bag! For $47! I spent an inordinate amount of time in the store, trying it on and scrutinizing my reflection in the mirror. The bag didn’t look too big on me. The shoulder strap was adjustable. I liked the 3 outside pockets. It looked large enough to hold everything I needed. Sure, it wasn’t as good a deal as at DSW, with the gift card, but I had it now, in my hands. Okay, I decided. Let’s buy this thing.

At home, I tested the bag again with my flight essentials, and it stood up well to my trials. Like any rational person, I ran the purchase by Twitter, and upon receiving their blessing, I snipped off the tags with confidence.

Last weekend, I used the bag for my trip to Miami, and it worked out great! I was able to carry everything I needed easily:

  • Camera: I used this camera bag insert, and I still had plenty of room in the main cavity of the bag
  • Water
  • Book: I only carried 1 book at a time, but I read Where’d You Go, Bernadette (liked it okay) and Bomb (LOVED), and I started The Princess Bride on the flight back. All were bulky library copies.
  • Swedish fish: yes, a flight essential for me!
  • Phones: personal and work
  • Sunglasses
  • Scarf, shoved through one of the loopy things on the end
  • Various beauty items: lip gloss, hand sanitizer, etc.
  • Paperwork: boarding pass, itinerary, parking confirmation, etc.

Not bad!

I’d definitely recommend this bag. Depending on the situation, I used it as a crossbody and a tote, and it held up well to my abuses over the weekend. Plus, my sister kept staring at it and saying things like, “Man. I need to get a bag like that.” And that is basically the highest form of praise, people.

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One Response to “Carry-on Keeper”

  1. stephanie March 29, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Oooh, I have been looking for a larger tote-bag type purse and that one looks perfect! I’m going to have to see where I can scout it out on a deal. I love the coral version!

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