The Pantalones - Product Review: The Navali Stowaway Canvas Weekender
November 6, 2012
Product Review: The Navali Stowaway Canvas Weekender

I was recently contacted by a marketing representative from Navali, who asked me to review one of their bags. Now I had a messenger bag that I love, a workhorse duffle bag that I used for long trips, but I didn’t have a smaller travel bag. Taking those factors into account, I decided to accept the offer and review Navali’s Stowaway Canvas Weekender.

First things first, this is an attractive bag, both visually stimulating and pleasant to touch. It’s a classic design, with a definite naval inspiration. The canvas is a darker tan that feels beautiful, soft to the touch without being flimsy. The 22 oz. canvas is fitted with a dark brown leather trim and details, providing a classic and versatile look.

Size and Space: 

This bag came in the mail the afternoon before I went on a weekend trip to New York City, so I got to put it to the test right away. The bag is a pretty decent size, measuring 18” x 24” x 12”, and I was able to pack all my stuff for the weekend in with a very small amount of breathing room to spare. I packed:

  • A tweed blazer
  • Pair of jeans
  • Two shirts
  • T-shirt
  • Soccer shorts
  • Hat and scarf
  • 15” Macbook and charger
  • Toiletries case
  • One pair of socks and underwear
  • Canon DSLR
  • Many snacks

The bag is attractive and has a fair amount of room, so let’s get to the details:

Exterior Pockets:

The first thing you’ll notice is the two exterior pockets on the front of the bag. The pockets close with a flap sealed by a magnetic leather strap. I personally prefer the magnetic strap over a functional strap, because it provides a more convenient way of getting into the pocket. The pocket is big enough to fit a Macbook and an iPhone charger, with room to spare. Once the flap is opened, a smaller, tighter pocket is revealed to be resting on the outside of the larger pocket. This a great addition, the perfect size to hold a passport, iPhone, wallet, etc. that needs to be grabbed quickly. 

On the back side of the bag, you’ll find a long zippered pocket running the length of the bag. This is probably my favorite pocket on the bag, seeing as a small piece of fabric hangs over the zipper. The fabric provides a nice clean line that hides and protects the zipper. I used this pocket to store my scarf and hat while I was going in and out of buildings in New York City this past weekend.

Leather:

The Stowaway Weekender features leather trim, handles, zipper pulls, logo, and shoulder pad. Although the leather isn’t the most buttery thing I’ve ever put my hands on, it is surprisingly soft on the hands. I carried it around for a weekend, by the strap and handles, and the leather pad and handles were more than comfortable. I can tell that they’ll age well and increase in comfort once fully broken in.

Zippers and Strap:

The zippers on this bag are the only real aspect with which I have any real reservation. I love the leather pull tabs, and the subtle color is spot on. However, the ring that holds the tab to the metal part of the zipper is relatively thin and unclosed. I’d be scared that the tab could come off easily, seeing that the zipper does not have the smoothest pull.

Like I said previously, the strap is comfortable. Upon inspection, it appeared to have a very sturdy attachment, and it is definitely adjustable. The only potential drawback is that the strap is not removable, a possible hang up for some people.

Interior Storage and Pockets: 

The inside of the bag, like almost every basic travel bag, is essentially bare. There are, however, two pockets on the interior of the bag, one on each side. Below the Navali tag, there is an open pocket running along the center of the side, stitched near the end to form two compartments. This pocket is ideal for magazines or what have you. On the opposite side, a zippered pocket runs the length of the bag. I always like to have a closed pocket on the inside of my bag, to protect valuables and items that I don’t feel comfortable storing on the exterior of my bag.

The Bottom Line:

If you are looking for a solid, plain and simple bag for a weekend away, this absolutely a worthy choice. The materials are all comfortable and sturdy, and the construction is definitely there. This is a bag that I believe I’ll have fun beating up and taking across the country. The small potential drawbacks are there (zippers and strap), but I haven’t talked about the price point yet. This bag retails for $124.99. That’s absolutely perfect. If you’re looking for a smaller travel bag under $150, this would be on my list of recommendations.

(Source: mypantalones)

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