I love this bag. It’s the sort of accoutrement you can be proud of. It’s goes well with a rugged style, but it’s handsome enough to carry into a board room.
I got Waterfield’s COZMO leather laptop bag as a gift for my brother who’s just starting his professional career. It’s a beauty, which I’ve tried to capture in the pictures. And while it’s an expensive item, it’s also a worthy investment. Because it’s sturdily built and has a classic look, I expect it to last for his entire career and beyond.
Why I Love Waterfield Designs
If you’ve read my backlog, you know I’ve reviewed a few products from Waterfield. They’re based out of San Francisco, CA, and their focus is on bags and carry tech. I keep coming back to them because they continually impress me. I’d feel pretty confident even endorsing items from them that I’ve never seen in person. That’s how reliable they’ve been.
If I had one critique, it’s that they have too many products, making it hard to sort through their offerings and decide. But that also means they probably have THE EXACT product you’re looking for. (As proof of this fact, with their sleevecases, they invite you to send your laptop dimensions so they can make a case that fits exactly! That’s impressive.) So whatever tech you want to carry, they’ve probably already designed a bag for it.
How It Looks
This is the perfect bag for a business exec. It’s beautiful but also super useful. I got the compact version, so that’s what you see featured in the pictures. It’s big enough for a 13″ MacBook, and it has a second spot for an 11″ iPad Pro. They make a bigger version too if you need it.
For most of their products, Waterfield uses waxed canvas or smooth nylon as textiles that supplement the leather. But this bag is uniquely (and beautifully) all leather. This makes it stand out in among its high-class peers.
I love the grizzly leather color. It’s subtly distressed and boasts a simple, rugged perfection, without being a showoff. Also, as with most quality leather products, I expect its texture to improve over time, developing that classic patina. That makes it a good investment. They also have a black version which is much more formal.
Also, the waterproof zipper hides the teeth of the zipper, making it look sleeker. It’s a nice touch aesthetically. It’ll also protect your gear if you’re ever in the rain.
What It’s Like Using It
I design software interfaces for work, which means paying attention to the smallest details of the user experience (UX). And I love a few specific features of the Cozmo’s UX that really stand out.
The first is the golden interior lining (Waterfield uses this on most of their products). It’s light and very reflective, which brightens the interior of your bag and makes it so easy to see things inside. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been grateful for this feature. It’s a small thing that makes a big difference in everyday use. It also has a padded compartment with a divider so it can hold both a laptop and a tablet.
The second way they nailed the UX is the travel strap. This extra strap across the back is designed to slip over the handle of your luggage, making it easy to tote through an airport. That makes the Cozmo the perfect carry-on, containing your electronics as you move through security. Now, to be perfectly candid, when I’m not traveling sometimes I wish I could ditch that extra flap of leather (obsessive minimalism), but it lays flat and I’ve learned to ignore it.
A third thoughtful feature is the piece of plastic in the bottom, which keeps the base firm and wide so that the bag stands up on its own.
The zipper extends even further than the breadth of the top of the bag, making the opening super wide and easy to access. It’s small things like this that make a big difference in the user experience, and it’s a big part of why I appreciate Waterfield Designs so much.
I’m also impressed by the tough construction. The handles are sturdy, thick, and feel great in your hand. I even tried carrying around my 50-lb kettlebell in it, and the bag barely seemed to notice. The walls aren’t reinforced, though, and I left it stuffed with junk for a few days. After that, the mouth of the bag hung open a lot more. So beware that your use will change the shape. If you’d like to keep it as tidy as a file cabinet, only store it with that sort of thing inside.
If you’re on the fence, go watch the video they have about creating a Cozmo bag. It’s impressive. They start with a single piece of leather, which is then measured, cut, and sewn by hand. It’s quality craftsmanship. And the leather is truly beautiful.
Waterfield’s COSMO Leather Laptop Bag is a well designed bag. It’s handmade from the highest quality leather. It’s designed to carry your laptop, your tablet, and the rest of your business necessities. If you’re looking to invest in a bag that will go alongside you throughout your career, this is it.