Whether you’re a student, self-employed, or a full-time office worker, chances are, in 2015, you bring your laptop with you everywhere. And when you usually carry a purse as well, it’s nice to be able to combine them so you don’t have bags hanging all over you like a pack mule.
Today I’ll be looking at the HIDES Canada Leather Tech Tote as an everyday laptop tote bag.
ABOUT HIDES CANADA
HIDES Canada is a new brand out of Toronto, Canada. Their product line includes messenger bags, totes, duffels, wallets, and a dopp kit. From their website:
HIDES was inspired by the age old leather making tradition in the subcontinent region of Punjab and Northern Kashmir. We are committed to bridge the gap between man and nature during these complex processes. The way the leather is being crafted – these methods have been used since the past 35 years and only the best had crafted skins are used for our products. This ensures that our products are not only, eco-friendly, but also handcrafted to perfection; which only get better with age!
HIDES Canada uses a full-grain leather with a distressed look. The leather used at HIDES is unique, as it comes from the region of Punjab in the subcontinent and Northern Kashmir. The animals in these parts of the world are free to roam and are exposed to harsh climates and temperatures. Extreme conditions like these make the animals’ skins thick and extremely adaptable to their surroundings, which produced a very tough and unique leather. The leather they use is full-grain, and is often referred to as Crazy Horse leather. Crazy Horse leather is a thick pullup leather that is finished with natural oils and waxes, which gives the leather a distressed, rugged look and finish. The leather on the Tech Tote is very unique looking. It darkens up in certain areas, while maintaining the lighter areas, giving it great texture.
CONSTRUCTION & FUNCTION
The Tech Tote features a large main pouch with a padded sleeve that fits up to a 15″ laptop and is secured with a velcro strap. The opposite side has a large zippered pouch, a phone sleeve, two pen loops, and a small multipurpose pouch. There are just enough pouches to keep you organized but not overwhelmed.
The middle of the bag is nice and roomy, and is made even larger with the zippered gussets on each side. Just unzip the sides and the tote expands significantly. This also adds a bit of stability to the bag if you’d like it to stand up on its own. This is an awesome feature that works especially great if you are carrying around papers or files. The expansion feature on the Tech Tote works flawlessly. Some bags have this feature but the gussets are not solid leather like Tech Tote, and items fall out the sides or get caught in the zipper. It’s clear that a lot of thought was put into the functionality of this tote.
The outside of the bag features zippered pockets on the front and back. The front of the bag displays two stitched pieces of leather, in slightly contrasting colors, giving some visual appeal and texture to the bag. The inside is lined with olive and khaki fabric, which contrasts nicely while remaining in the same color palette.
The handles are the perfect length for over-the-shoulder carry if you prefer. The tote comes with a 46″ shoulder strap that attaches to D-rings on the inside of the gusset with lobster claw clasps. It is adjustable via a heel bar and has a small pad for comfort. The shoulder strap is really the only part of this bag that I am not a fan of. The strap feels cheap, brittle, and flimsy. This is an issue I’ve noticed with a lot of bags on the market, where detachable shoulder straps seem like an afterthought. Thankfully the attached handles are very sturdy and comfortable.
At 15″x12.5″x5″, the Tech Tote is nice and compact when it comes to laptop bags. In fact, it’s not really that much larger than many purses. I’ve found that it doesn’t stand out as a laptop bag and can easily double as a purse. It’s usable in tons of different settings, and its tan color makes it quite versatile. It’s not too crazy or modern, and functions perfectly for everyday use. I have been told that this bag will soon be available in black, as well, so keep an eye out for that! I think black leather will look great.
I’ve been quite pleased with the HIDES Canada Leather Tech Tote. It’s the perfect color, shape, and size for everyday carry. It’s well-constructed and the Crazy Horse Leather will only look better and more interesting with age. $266 USD is a reasonable price for a very useful bag that will last you for years.