Fossil Lizette Messenger
At a Glance
Durable yet fashionable, Fossil's $118 Lizette Messenger bag is a canvas-leather hybrid designed to carry everything you’d need for the average school or work day. While it doesn't have a padded laptop section, it easily fits a 15-inch laptop in the sleeve of your choice, along with a phone, a notebook, some pens, a couple books, and even an iPad or two.
Available on the company’s Website in grey and purple, and in Macy’s stores in black and green, the bag features a large main storage area complimented by an iPad-sized pocket on the front, both covered by a snap-to-close leather flap. The interior of the main compartment contains a cloth zippered pocket and two small open pouches. Along each side of the bag’s exterior is a pocket sized perfectly for a mobile phone or a pair of sunglasses, while a small, rectangular-shaped pocket (along with a small, leather Fossil emblem) adorns the back of the bag. An adjustable, canvas strap—covered in leather in the middle—connects to each side of the bag.
Although primarily marketed as a fashion bag, the Lizette Messenger actually holds up quite well in everyday usage. I used it regularly over the course of two weeks to commute with a 15-inch Macbook Pro, an iPad, two (paper) notebooks, a set of Bose headphones, and a random array of the kinds of things you find yourself collecting when traveling with a larger bag.
My laptop (in a neoprene sleeve) fit snugly into the bag’s main pocket; if you have anything larger than a 15-inch laptop, you might want to look elsewhere for your carrying needs. There’s some space on either side in the main pocket for miscellany—I found myself alternating my iPad between the smaller envelope pocket on the bag’s front and inside the main part of the bag, depending on the iPad case I happened to be using at the time. The front pocket snugly fits a bare iPad or one in a slim sleeve, but when carrying the device in anything bulkier, you’ll want to put it in the main section.
You can wear the bag on one shoulder or across your chest, though I found myself often preferring the latter when carrying a full load. The strap, sadly, leaves a lot to be desired—once you add a laptop, the weight distribution becomes less than pleasant (and after, say, trekking up San Francisco's Russian Hill—actually painful). After some custom modifications (read: gaff tape and padding), I was able to fix most of this, so just know that if you want to use the bag, packed full, for any kind of serious commute, you’ll probably want to do something similar or aim for a bag that’s a little more ergonomically-friendly.
Fossil’s Lizette Messenger is a nice hybrid between something fashion-forward and real-world-useful, offering a surprising amount of space for your gadgets without awkwardly bulking up your bag. Unfortunately, the Lizette's strap leaves something to be desired for long commutes.