My pros and cons for the Bostanten Leather Laptop Backpack (tested and reviewed)
As a female freelancer and travel blogger, I’m constantly on the move, usually with my heavy 15” laptop (a MacBook Pro) in tow. Over the years, I’ve been consistently disappointed with the selection of women’s laptop bags and backpacks capable of comfortably stowing anything larger than a small 13” laptop or tablet and doing so in a fashionable way. In fact, in years past, I’ve frequently had to turn to the men’s department to get the job done. Why bag manufacturers think that only men carry laptops larger than 13” is beyond me.
However, my interest was recently piqued when I heard of a line of luxury leather bags and backpacks from Bostanten. Especially when I saw the vast selection of bags claiming they could carry large laptops. So, I decided to take the brand for a test drive with the popular “Vrba Laptop Backpack Purse Simplicity”.
Overall, I found the Bostanten leather backpack to be surprisingly spacious, durable, and stylish. I found the leather to be soft while maintaining the desired lightness for portability. However, I wish there was an available loop to hide the extra straps. Larger side pockets would have also been nice.
IN THIS ARTICLE
I have to admit, that even though my expectations were low (I’ve just been let down too many times before), my initial impressions were, to my delight, extremely positive. The exterior features soft, supple leather, and the inside is lined with polyester fabric. The leather portion, which includes the bag’s exterior and outer lining of the straps is shockingly soft and supple. I would dare say, and I rarely say this, that the leather rivals that of some of my finer bags and totes – and I’m talking the likes of Gucci and Hermes. A true rarity in this category. I found the structure of the bag – despite its smaller profile and feminine style, to be well constructed and sturdy with even stitching and custom hardware.
I even received a completely unsolicited compliment within an hour of taking it out for the first time. And who doesn’t love a “wow, I LOVE your bag!” from a stranger?
Features and specs
This particular bag is available in a variety of colors but I opted for the most popular option – beige. Features and specifications for this backpack are as follows:
- Dimensions: 11” x 15.5” x 5.9”
- Leather exterior, polyester fabric interior
- 3 exterior compartments (2 zippered one flap)
- 2 side pockets (capable of holding a small water bottle or phone)
- 4 interior pockets
While the product image on the Bostaten website depicts a smaller 13” laptop alongside the bag, I was pleased to find that this particular backpack easily fits my 15” Macbook Pro with room to spare. The side pockets, which I assumed were merely vanity pockets (as is so often the case with other bags in this category), fit a small water bottle or a smartphone comfortably. I also liked the anti-pick-pocket zippered compartment located along the backside.
Bostanten pros and cons
Despite those positive early impressions, I knew I needed to really take this bag for a test drive and put it through its paces before rendering my final verdict. And so, brought it along on my recent week-long trip to Tennessee for the travel blog. Here are my findings after a week of testing.
PROS – The leather is soft but lightweight – which is crucial for a laptop bag. And the padded interior compartment fits my 15” laptop with room to spare. I also appreciate the way Bostanten constructed the straps. The exterior of the adjustable strap is leather while the interior resembles that of a soft seatbelt. The kind you might find in a luxury vehicle. This gives the straps a high-end look befitting of the rest of the bag without sacrificing comfort and durability. Look, I love leather, but leather straps are rarely comfortable – especially on a hot day. I found this hybrid approach to be quite clever. I barely felt this backpack on my back even when full and it didn’t leave marks on my shoulders. Additionally, I am also impressed by the fact the side pockets can actually fit a smaller water bottle.
CONS – I will admittedly have to stretch a bit here to come up with things I didn’t like about this bag. But I try to make every review as fair as possible. So, with that in mind, here are a few very nit-picky cons. While the adjustable straps are handy, I’m a fairly petite woman, which means I have lots of straps to spare. Many of my other backpacks include loops where you can roll up and stash the unused straps rather than letting them hang on the sides. This backpack lacked those loops. And I wish side pockets, while functional, were a tad larger. For instance, it would be nice if they could stash my Yeti screw-top Rambler or even a Dasani.
Closing thoughts, prices and where to buy
Overall, I highly recommend this bag and am excited to try out more from the Bostanten brand. This capable bag has succeeded in proving to the women’s tech industry that you don’t have to sacrifice style for function, comfort and durability.
At the time of this writing, women’s Bostanten laptop bags range between $129-$199. Mine retails for $169 but you can occasionally catch it on sale for $129-139. The Bostanten brand is available on Amazon, but a better selection (and often better sales (like 10-15% off) can be found by shopping directly from the Bostanten website.
Do you own a Bostanten leather bag? Let me know what YOU think in the comments below.