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Gear We Love: Rough Rider bag takes you through even the toughest commutes

Serenity Caldwell | June 3, 2014
There's a lot of gear out there for your Apple devices, but how do you know which are worth your time and what's not worth your money? In our Gear We Love column, Macworld's editors tell you about the products we're personally using--and loving.

The lack of a plethora of pockets and zippers may irritate some, but I actually enjoyed being able to dump most everything into one giant holding area — most of my bigger items had their own cases, and the smaller items either went in the few pockets that were available, or laid atop the rest. Without excess material for pockets and hidey-holes, you have more room to puff out the satchel to its full potential — and fewer extra layers of leather and other material means that the bag is lighter than you'd expect.

I really have only two quibbles about the Rough Rider. First, once you close the bag's flap, there are no outside-accessible compartments. I often found myself wanting to stick a piece of paper or a set of keys in the bag, but I didn't want to go through the hassle of unclasping the flap to get to the main compartment. A small outer pocket on the rear of the bag would have been welcome — though it also would have probably added to the cost of materials.

Which leads me to my second quibble: The bag is pricey. Note that I didn't say overpriced: The materials are some of the best WaterField has put in a bag, and the thick leather, perfectly textured interior accents, and excellent craftsmanship all exude quality. But the price — $335 for the version for 13-inch laptops, $355 for the 15-inch model — may be hard to swallow for some. You'll have to ask yourself if you need a bag as sturdy and cavernous as this one, when WaterField's own Muzetto and CitySlicker are less expensive and expansive (and, of course, there are plenty of large bags from other manufacturers that cost quite a bit less).

But if you want the biggest and best, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more impressive leather bag. It looks both professional and wickedly hip — even on women, despite its relatively large size — and it can truck around just about anything you think to throw into it. If you have the cash and need a good bag for trips, long commutes, or even roller derby tournaments, it might be just the thing you're looking for.


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