As someone who travels at least once a month — and often much more — and who rarely checks luggage, I have tried every weekender bag out there.
I’ve used old diaper bags, various backpacks, totes, duffles, messenger bags, you name it.
When a friend told me that the Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM was her absolute favourite carry-on bag, I bit the bullet and splurged on one. It did hold much more than any other bag I’d owned, but it’s not comfortable on my shoulder when it’s at capacity. Plus, after that woman’s story about a kid barfing on her LV during a plane ride, it’s all I think about when I’m in transit. (Because I can’t afford to replace it.)
Ultimately, it’s become a rather expensive bag for work.
Then a couple of months ago, when I was pondering how to pack ski boots into carry-on baggage only for a weekend ski trip to Panorama Mountain Resort, I turned to Facebook and asked my friends if there existed such a bag. You know, because ski boots are big and bulky and awkward and I wasn’t about to toss them into my LV for fear of streaking its precious ballerina-pink liner.
Someone mentioned Stella & Dot. Huh? The jewelry company?
So she posted a picture and told me to look up the Getaway Bag, noting that she’d fit a pair of ski boots in hers once.
I got my hands on one in the Multi-Ikat pattern because I just couldn’t imagine a bag being bigger than my Neverfull, even if it appeared to be online. (Thanks, Stella & Dot!)
OK, OK. The Stella & Dot Getaway Bag is bigger than my Neverfull GM. Confirmed. And this is because it has a zipper in the lower quarter of the bag that allows you to zip out an extra four or five inches or so all the way around. It adds a LOT of extra space!
I love that it zips closed at the top, too. Very handy for travel, especially when you have to go through security or squeeze a bag into an overhead compartment.
The handles are big and rest pretty comfortably over-the-shoulder, even when the Getaway bag is packed to the brim. See my update below about the handles, though.
And if the weight becomes too much, there’s even an optional crossbody strap.
There’s a big zippered pocket inside, plus a small pocket on the outside — perfect for a smartphone.
Even fully expanded, Stella & Dot’s Getaway Bag is still approved for carry-on. (Just don’t expect it to sit under the seat in front of you on a plane like this; it won’t. You’ll have to find a spot for it up top.)
US$138 seems like a pretty reasonable price for such a versatile bag.
The Getaway Bag’s exterior fabric is woven and very durable. Any spills so far have beaded right off of it. (Great news for travelling with kids or, like the LV-puke-purse-lady, near kids.) I think it would take a lot to scratch or otherwise ruin the fabric.
Similarly, I don’t fret if I get caught in rain or wet snow when I’m carrying my Getaway Bag.
There are some really fun prints available, allowing you to express yourself and your personal style.
Oh. And, yes…it fits a pair of ski boots. And I never worry about soiling the lining because I can give it a wipe with a damp cloth if need be. So easy.
The Stella & Dot Getaway Bag was my No. 1 travel bag until the handles started splitting. It’s made it on several road trips and trips by air and its size remains unsurpassed. (It has now been relegated to beach bag status.) I normally try to pack with the bottom section zipped in, leaving room for me to unzip it when coming home with the inevitable purchase or three from my trip.
It’s a little thing, but I love that it matches my fave sneaks:
— Andrea (@MommyGearest) December 24, 2016
The handles and accents are pleather — not leather. Honestly, I would pay an extra $100 to have leather. I just like the way it looks and feels better, not to mention its longevity. But obviously for vegans or those concerned about animal welfare, you’ll love it just the way it is. EDITING on Aug. 7/17 to note that after a couple more months of use, the handles are cracking in several places. This made me really sad, but ’tis what it is. It’s no longer comfortable enough to hold for long periods when I’m travelling, even though I love it in so many ways. I would ADORE this bag if the handles were leather.
I’d love to have one more interior pocket. Maybe something that could hold something like a S’well bottle, for example. I find that one inside pocket tends to get pretty loaded up and becomes as much of a bottomless pit as a big purse. Even a couple of pockets within the zippered pocket to keep things a bit more organized would be super handy.