capsule review

T.Shipley European Travel Bag

At a Glance
  • T.Shipley European Travel Bag

We occasionally receive requests for recommendations for iPod-friendly bags, and we intend to review more such bags in the future. However, we also get suggestions for such bags, and the T.Shipley European Travel Bag (previously called the Ultimate CarryOn) is one of these products. A Playlist reader gushed over this shoulder bag, so we asked TShipley to let us take a look at one. We came away impressed, as the bag makes just the right compromises between stylish luxury and gadget practicality.

At first glance (and feel), the T.Shipley bag is just another higher-end leather bag made of supple, black nappa leather. It's got the usual large zippered compartment and rear open pocket, both of which fit file folders and magazines. (The inner compartment also has a zippered middle pocket and smaller zippered side pocket for a total of four separate spaces.)

However, upon closer inspection, you realize the bag was clearly designed for the bag- and gadget-geek crowds. (We belong to both, we admit.) The sides of the bag provide accessible, padded pockets for your mobile phone or other small items. Under the front flap are two 8" x 6.5" padded compartments, one of which also includes an inner padded pouch that fits a full-size iPod perfectly; a metal grommeted hole provides an outlet for your headphone cable, and a second zipper -- smaller and side-facing -- provides quick access to your iPod even when the bag and front flap are closed. Even the flap has zippered pockets: a small, clear one for ID or business cards, and a larger, mesh one for storing other items you might need to access quickly (such as pens or earbuds).

The T.Shipley bag also impressed us with its construction. For example, the shoulder strap is made of seatbelt-grade nylon and includes a leather strap pad with rubber grip. And we liked the fact that the back of the back is tough nylon instead of leather -- this helps prevent the bag from getting worn out over time as it rubs and bumps against your body, and it keeps you cooler in warm weather. The only thing missing from the bag is a handle -- an all-too-common ommission from shoulder bags.

If you're a techie type who's been looking for a luxurious but practical bag, or if you're shopping for a gift for the gadget lover who has everything, the T.Shipley European Travel Bag will surely please.
--Dan Frakes

At a Glance
  • Luxurious travel bag for iPod and gadget fans.

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