capsule review

Matt & Nat's Fujiya is stylish, practical, and eco-friendly

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At a Glance
  • Matt & Nat Fujiya

It’s hard enough to find a good-looking, functional laptop bag that you’re willing to carry around every day, but if you're not a fan of leather, the task is even more difficult. For all you veg- and eco-friendly folks out there, Matt & Nat aims to solve your bag woes with a collection of bags designed for Apple devices.

I tested the company’s $185 cognac Fujiya, a messenger bag for the 11-inch MacBook Air. What’s unique about the Fujiya bag is that it’s leather-free, but it looks and feels chic, high-end, and—yes—worth the price. (The Fujiya is also available in a $245 black version.)

The Fujiya is made of cotton, PVC, and recycled bottles. Those materials are magically crafted to give the bag a leather look—the main bag, front pocket, trim, and shoulder strap pad all look and feel like leather. The rest of the bag sports a checkered design that looks fashionable and appropriate for men and women alike.

But the Fujiya’s best qualities aren’t its sharp looks. The bag is well constructed, with perfectly sized pockets and sleeves for your MacBook Air and i-devices—all of them. Inside you’ll find a sleeve for your 11-inch MacBook Air, another sleeve for your iPad, and then space to fit all of your larger peripherals and necessities. Your laptop and tablet are well-protected in their padded compartments, and you can store all of your smaller Apple devices in the front zippered pocket, which features three smaller pouches for iPhones and iPods. Each pouch is cleverly labeled: Listen for your iPod, Talk for your iPhone, and Dance for your iPod nano.

If you want quicker access to your iPhone, you can instead stick it in an iPhone slot on the back of the bag. Either way, it has the perfect little home in the Fujiya—you won’t be endlessly digging through the bag looking for your ringing phone.

In addition to Apple devices, the bag holds a good amount of stuff. I was able to fit my clutch wallet, DSLR camera (equipped with a 35mm lens), notebooks, and cardigan—along with my MacBook Air and iPad 2—without a problem. The bag is comfortable to carry around, though if you’re stuffing it with a lot of gear, as I did, extended use naturally gets tiring. The shoulder strap pad helps, but this is a messenger bag, so weight distribution is certainly not good compared to a backpack.

One complaint about the Fujiya is that the zipper for the main compartment is metal, and when you’re putting in and pulling out your devices, they can brush against that metal zipper. That contact didn’t do any physical damage during my testing, but I still felt paranoid that the metal would scratch my MacBook’s casing.

The Fujiya is an excellent bag that’s good enough to recommend even to those who aren't vegetarian, vegan, or eco-conscious. It’s a well-built and handsome option for both women and men. Most important, thanks to the bag's special pockets and sleeves, it will keep your Apple devices protected and organized.

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At a Glance
  • Matt & Nat Fujiya

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