This month, I decided to finally graduate from the backpack I’ve been using since starting college. As I was considering what my needs really are now that college is mostly out of the way, I decided to look for something that would accommodate a laptop as its primary purpose. But I really didn’t need much more than that. One of a few options I landed on was the Muzetto Leather from Waterfield…

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Like I said, I didn’t need a big backpack for carrying around books anymore. Mostly, I wanted something that would be great for a laptop (I use a 13-inch MacBook Pro as my primary portable computer nowadays), a few writing utensils, a couple of medium-sized notebooks, and the usual knick knacks like gum, headphones, and a phone or three. After considering many options, I narrowed it down to over-the-shoulder bags and messenger bags.

As I’ve come to find out, the Muzetto Leather from Waterfield Designs is a great option in that category, and just generally a great over-the-shoulder bag. It’s incredibly spacious, it’s a great fit for just about any laptop up to a 15-incher, and it has just the right number of pockets for my situation.

In particular, I love that the laptop sleeve inside is padded. As Waterfield notes, you don’t have to carry any kind of additional case or sleeve for your laptop to keep it safe — the safety is built in. And that’s great for me, because I don’t coddle my MacBook. It has battle scars and normal wear and tear that I’m not ashamed of, and all I really wanted was enough protection in the bag itself to protect its display from shattering in the case of a drop. This bag accomplishes that.

Beyond that primary laptop sleeve inside, there’s one other primary section. That section serves as home to my 2 notebooks, whatever random papers and documents I’m carrying around on a given day, and sometimes my camera (but warning here on smaller items, as I’ll mention below). There’s also a zipped section which is thankfully sewed to be not as deep for things like a watch, coins, and other things. And there’s an unzipped pouch in the front which is padded and has a few writing utensil pockets. The soft padding of this pouch is especially handy in my line of work, because I can slip phones in there without worrying about leaving nasty scratches — it’s that soft.

When considering this new bag, I wasn’t entirely sure exactly what I wanted. I knew I wanted something slim that would be great for those quick trips to the coffee shop during work hours, and I knew I didn’t want a typical backpack. But now that I’ve used the Muzetto for a few weeks I’m happy to say it’s been great for my situation. The actual mechanics of wearing an over-the-shoulder bag can be a bit weird at first if you’re used to typical backpacks, but it’s definitely growing on me.

Some people might want something that’s less stylish and more practical for lengthy excursions of trips with their gear, but in my case, I’m rarely toting this thing for longer than 15 minutes at a time. So the fact that it’s over-the-shoulder, and therefore putting weight on only one side of my body, isn’t a problem. But I can see how it could be for some people. Interestingly, the Waterfield Muzetto started as an iPad bag and grew to accommodate those looking for something for their laptops. I’m glad it did.

The huge benefit about coming from a typical dual-strap backpack to this as my daily laptop vessel is that I love the large flap that provides easy and quick access to anything in the bag at a moment’s notice. This means that I can keep things in there, like a phone or keys, that I don’t want to carry on my person. If I need them, I can just flip open the flap and grab them from one of the front pouch.

One reservation I have for those considering this bag for toting around a laptop is this: since it’s a “portrait” design, a lot of space inside might go unused if you’re not intentional about it. The design is probably best, as I mentioned, as primarily a laptop carrying bag. The other main pocket might be good for a few laptop-sized notebooks, but putting any smaller books or other objects in the main compartment of this bag can be frustrating. Things tend to get lost in the deep abyss.

The actual material of the bag is sturdy and I absolutely love the real leather that the entirety of exterior is made of. It’s soft to the touch and, just like any real leather, only looks better over time. The shoulder pad, too, is genuine leather and it’s constructed in a way that makes wearing the Muzetto — even as heavy as it can get if you pack it with all your belongings — comfortable to carry for longer periods of time.

All things considered, I’d recommend this Leather Muzetto to just about anyone looking to pick up a new laptop bag. I got the large size to fit my MacBook Pro 13-inch and the other things that I carry, but you could probably go with the medium or small size if you’re carrying anything less than a 15-inch laptop. As I said, the bag started as an iPad tote. And a great one it makes! You can find it starting at $269 at Waterfield’s website, and it’s clearly popular — it’s backordered to mid-April.

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