Back a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away I wrote a review of the Namaste Train Case and Buddy Case. Overall, they are holding up well and were good purchases but with some and travel a small update is warranted.
The Train Case is a great idea in theory and does work well for car travel, and knitting sessions outside of the home, but after flying with it twice there’s a downside, unless you fly first class and have enough leg room to move that case in and out from under the seat in front of you it may not be the best choice as your small carry on. I would still call it a great purchase but limited on air travel. The designers certainly put a lot of thought into making it flight friendly but in actual use it misses the mark. That Buddy Case though…worth every single penny, and maybe a bit more. That little box is within reach every time I knit, I just have to toss my scary looking scissors out of there before I get to the security checkpoint at the airport. They look more like a hand wrought tool of torture than a snips.
After the train case missed the mark on its airplane suitability I went back to looking for something a little easier to work with. I fly several times a year and have the attention span of a gnat unless I’m making something with my hands or working, so this is one of those oddly important things to me. I saw the Namaste Maker’s Foldover Bag and thought, hey this could work. Not going to lie, the numbers on that price tag burned a little bit, but I’ve been looking for not only airplane friendly but everyday carry bags that could accommodate my daily stuff and a project on the go.
I’m not a tiny purse type. I either have a good amount of stuff I like to have access to when I need it, or I just put my wallet and keys in my pocket. It’s always one extreme or the other.
The requirements are:
- Can it comfortably fit a tablet and my beast of a planner – yep, I’m still running on an old school paper one.
- Organization pockets – Bags that are just giant open caverns on the inside make my skin crawl.
- Heavy material – My stuff needs to take a beating. Things that easily rip, or scuff do not stand a chance.
- Can it squish under a seat if I need it to.
So the Maker’s Foldover Bag met all of those requirements on paper. I’ve had it for a two months now, and it’s survived a few flights and regular abuse at home, it’s withstanding the beating. It holds all the daily stuff – keys, wallet, planner, small notebook, sunscreen (don’t leave home without it) and all the other stuff you would likely find in a woman’s handbag. On a trip to California I had two projects crammed in, a not so tiny shawl, and socks. A third project probably could have been comfortably stuffed in but project overkill does exist. It will also hold my beast of a tablet.
I’ve finally found a single knitting/daily gear bag that travels well and looks professional if I happen to have a situation where I’m going to be meeting with someone related to my job. Considering the abuse it’s taken as a travel bag I expected a scuff or two by now and I have two small marks on the sewn corners of the strap at the high points. No one would notice unless it was pointed out so I declare it has passed the heavy material requirement. I could see after a few years of service the high points in other places being scuffed and the backing material underneath the “vegan leather” showing through, unfortunately that’s white in color, but I would be surprised if I saw wear or scuffing though the body of the bag itself. Your mileage will probably be better, I’m hard on bags. (Let’s not discuss what my luggage looks like these days or the fact I just had to replace my carry on roller-board because it was cracking in bad, bad, places.) The interior of the bag has a built in project bag dead center in the main compartment, making three large areas in the bottom of the bag and then there are multiple smaller pockets throughout the center, leaving enough space for the top to fold over if it’s not packed to the brim.
There are few negatives to this bag and anything I would call out as a negative would be pure knit-picking, but there are things worth noting. It’s a physically heavy bag. When I pulled it out of the shipping box I was surprised by the weight. It’s also a beast as far as size! The measurements are accurate in the description at Jimmy Beans, but until you see it in person it doesn’t sink in. For me these aren’t issues, but for others that have handled the bag those two things are almost always mentioned as potential downsides.
Is it worth the investment, yes, if you’re an oddball like me that really wants both access to crafting and daily gear all in one place. If you’re just a casual knitter that doesn’t have the compulsive need to keep an active project with you at all times, I would lean towards no, and that opinion is centered from the idea that unless you plan on using it often, that amount of money is better spent on yarn or other crafting tools.
Got any questions about things I may not have mentioned, just toss them into the comments and I’ll answer as quickly as I can.
Disclaimer: The products referenced in this review have been purchased with my own funds and have not been biased in anyway by the maker or seller. However, if you are interested in a product review, I’ll happily try your product if you’ll send it my way, and review it fairly.