Before beginning this review, I have to confess that my views might not be completely unbiased. You see, I am a huge fan of Amy Butler and anything she designs. You could show me a piece of fabric from one of her collections, and I would swoon. Needless to say, I was thrilled beyond words when the opportunity to review the Meris Duffel from her Kalencom line was offered. I knew I would love it before it ever arrived. But, to be fair, I wanted to be sure to give it a thorough trying-out before professing my undying love based on looks alone. So after gazing lovingly at my new bag for a few days, I loaded it up for a weekend trip to see if it was as easy on travels and it is on the eyes.
Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed. The first thing I truly appreciated about this bag was its unique shape. It’s tall and thin (lucky bag!), which is a good thing for a number of reasons. Firstly, it packs up nicely, with everything sitting in neat little piles inside the bag. Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the shape at first, since the overnight bag I’m used to is much flatter and fatter than the Meris tote (more your traditional duffel bag shape). However, I was pleasantly surprised and now would be hard pressed to go back to my shabby old wide weekender. Secondly, the long, skinny shape allows me to squeeze easily in tight places—between my brother’s car and his garage wall, for instance, where I first came to appreciate this feature—without having to turn sideways or scrape up the sides. This bag tucks up nicely against you when you’re carrying it, rather than bulging awkwardly at your side.
I first took this bag for a weekend trip to visit some out-of-town family, and I was impressed with how much it held. Everything I needed fit nicely inside the bag, from my jeans to my hair dryer to my iPad. I used it again a few weekends later, for an overnight trip to Disney World—I loaded up clothes and essentials for both me and my two kids with a little room to spare. There are several interior pockets in varying sizes, as well as a nicely sized zipper pocket. I can say confidently that this bag would be perfect for a short hospital trip (say, to the Labor & Delivery ward, perhaps?).
The double handles are short, but they do fit over my shoulder; however, I tend to carry the bag at my side most often. It makes me feel like Mary Poppins (in a good way, of course). Both the handles and the bottom of the bag are made from sturdy leather, and the fabric itself is made from organic cotton. This bag is extremely well made, and if the Tropicali Tea Leaf print (shown) doesn’t do it for you, there are five other prints to choose from. Now that I’ve fallen hard for the Meris Duffel, I’m looking forward to adding a few bags from this line to my birthday and Mother’s Day wish lists. I’m a fan!