Review: Lands' End Canvas Ragtop Newspaper Bag

Before L.L. Bean and Alex Carleton absolutely tear the roof of the style/heritage/price dynamic with their "Signature" line, Lands' End has been doing their best, albeit quietly, to introduce their own heritage line, called "Canvas" for the past 2 seasons.

The Men's Canvas line has been a small collection to start- mainly BDs, chinos, some shoe choices and an accesory or two. See Sartorially Inclined for hands-on reviews of several of the staples like the Oxford BD, the Chambray shirt, shawl collar sweater and cotton peacoat. Spring has seen the crop up of some new belts, a couple new pieces of light outerwear for Spring layering, but nothing that says this line is a new Lands' End focus- and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

But lost in all this for the Men's Canvas collection, is that the Women's selection online features a bunch of bags not found amongst the Men's wares.  Many of them are easily found on the Lands' End parent site, but the Canvas line does feature this Ragtop Newspaper Bag. Read my review after the jump:

Read on!

Despite not being found amongst the "guy stuff", it's pretty much a carryall for use by both genders. I found it simply because they sent me one with another order as a promotion. And it's a pretty decent bag. A little bit about the Ragtop Newspaper Bag:

  • 100% cotton canvas
  • Magnetic snap closure
  • Clean-finished inside seams
  • Large shoulder strap

Not too much to the bag really, but that's part of its charm. Functional, no B.S. Put stuff in it and go.  The interior space is pretty substantial and the strap is hefty without feeling like it is dragging your shoulder 6 inches lower than the other.  Being a promotional piece, it has "Lands' End Canvas 1963" screen printed across one side. The interior has a number stamp, as this was a promotional piece for the first 1,963 to shop (and buy) the Canvas collection a few weeks back. (Lucky for me, I was buying something anyway, so I took advantage.) That aside, the canvas is a nice weight and the khaki color (called "Walnut Tan") is great for a variety of wardrobe choices when you're headed out for a casual weekend.While I like the Khaki, color, I'm drawn to the "True Navy" color choice. The deep blue gives the cotton canvas a rich, denim look and I think it would go well with a healthy does of jeans (different hue of course) or chinos and a denim jacket (again of differing hue) or even an "Ike" or Harrington jacket in natural colors like khaki or olive.

I'm not a fan of the 2 magnetic snaps that serve as the closures. While I think snaps were a better choice than a zipper, these feel a bit out of place- not to mention poorly spaced- and I think the bag would have been better served with military snaps for a sturdier hold. The opening is a bit sloppy as a result of the snap placement. But again, this is an informal accessory. For an inexpensive bag, it's not a deal breaker. The stitching of the panels and the strap are nice details, as are the rivets that help attach the strap to the bag.

The Newspaper Bag is definitely not a formal bag by any means, but for shopping, a weekend getaway or just errands, it's a simple choice to just throw in the car (or boat or plane) and go. The choice of colors is great and its simplicity is its strong point. While I might not go out of my way to buy one for myself, I could see it fitting into a rotation of simple bag options for anyone who is often on the go and in need of a carryall. It's great for people who need something in addition to a laptop or messenger bag that typically doesn't fit much, but is a necessity- I'm talking to you bloggers, Web techs and cafe regulars (wait, isn't that all the same person?!!!!). The price is easy enough on the wallet ($29.50) you won't feel like you were taken either. All in all, a good, decent quality choice that can be found here.

Now, when there is availability on the Steven Alan X VAustralia Perfect Project bag that I volunteered some input on, we'll be talking some serious baggage review.

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