Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: Namaste Bags

Disclaimer: I've received no compensation for this review, and actually purchased all of these bags myself. However, should anyone ever want to send me stuff for free to review, have at it.

To celebrate fall, I purchased (well, ok, CP purchased, with my nagging encouragement) the newest bag available from Namaste, Harlow, in the falliest of fall colors, pumpkin spice. It arrived a few weeks ago, and I waited patiently for fallish weather to put it into action. When the time finally came to switch bags, I decided to inventory all of my Namaste Bags, so I could offer you a review. So let's get started!

Namaste bags are all non-leather (yay!), and the particular ones I'm going to review range in price from $69 - $85.

First up, Harlow.


I would first note that the photo does not do the color of this bag justice. In fact, no photo I've seen does. Orange is hard to photograph, it comes out looking brighter than it really is. In fact, this bag is the perfect, slightly muted, ever-so-slightly pinkish shade of pumpkin.

This one retails for $85 (or at least, Jimmy Beans Wool sells it for $85). It has detachable handles (with a clasp to hold them together, if you so desire) as well as a detachable shoulder strap. There are pockets galore, both inside and out, which I love, and metal feet on the bottom, which I can't say enough good things about. The hardware seems sturdy and the construction solid. It's a zip top, handy to keep out all that autumn rain. The inside is lined with microsuede:


And you can see all the pockets are accented in pumpkin spice.

This one is roomy enough to double as your purse and knitting bag, particularly with all the pockets, you can keep your stuff well-organized.

Did I mention it's pumpkin colored?

It's not easy to find sturdy, non-leather bags, so I find the price tag quite reasonable.

However, no bag is going to last forever.

Which brings us to the next Namaste bag, which I'm about to retire.


This is the Zuma bag, which retails for $69. Though out of stock at many stores, Namaste tweeted just yesterday that this bag is being re-released, and in a slew of new colors!

This is, in my opinion, the most fun of the bags. Look how cute:


Also, this front pocket:


Rather strong magnets on all sides hold this one closed--more than once I've gotten a strand of hair caught between, and they really hold tight!

It's not as roomy as the Harlow, obviously, and the interior is a plain fabric rather than microsuede, so it's not as soft. I've used this one more as a purse than a knitting bag, as it's just not spacious enough for larger projects, and doesn't feature enough pockets to keep things quite as organized.

This is also my oldest bag, probably around 3 years old. I've used it often, particularly in the spring and summer because of the color. I've gotten many compliments on it, from knitters and non-knitters alike. And while I would still call it a good investment, all good things must come to an end:


The handles have broken, and the inside has started to pill and look worn out. Most importantly, the finish has peeled in various spots, which just looks ratty. This bag has lived out its life, and it's time to say goodbye.


The last Namaste bag I have is the Hermosa.

And I LOVE it.

CP bought this one for me about 1.5 years ago. I suspect this is one of the Namaste bags promoted more as a diaper bag, because look:


Hedgehogs, owls, birdies, it's all too cute. And in some kind of waterproof-type plastic-y  . . . material.

Although, while not a mom yet, I don't think I would use this as a diaper bag because it doesn't have nearly the number of pockets I would probably want.

I like pockets.

But as a combo purse/knitting bag, it's a winner:



You'll find this bag for about $85. It features front, back and side pockets (the back pocket is large enough to hold patterns documents!), a few internal pockets, metal feet on the bottom, and most importantly, it's a monster.

This is not a tiny, slouchy bag. It's BIG, structured and sturdy. It's practically an overnight bag. It's a bag to whack people with when they start invading your personal space on the subway.

My only complaint is that I think a bag this hefty needs a more secure closure. Instead it has a simple magnetic snap. Which perhaps is sufficient if you're using it as a diaper bag and need to get inside quickly, I simply personally prefer several strong snaps or a zipper.

It is starting to show some initial signs of wear at the points that rub most frequently against your clothes, but I think it still has plenty of life in it.


I also wanted to comment on 2 Namaste knitting accessories.

First, the circular needle organizer.

Big fan. Before buying this, I was always on the lookout for a case for my fixed circulars, and never happy with anything I found. This keeps the needles organized in a reasonable amount of space. Lots of pockets for various needle sizes, easy to label. The only thing it could do better is wander around the house while I'm not home collecting empty needles.

And second, the Buddy case:

The buddy case, sadly, did not work out for me. I really wanted to like it, but the magnet inside that was supposed to keep my metal notions in place wasn't strong enough, and everything basically just fell out the instant I opened it. And despite being quite large on the outside, the inside really didn't have much space, particularly for larger items like stitch holders and yarn cutters. I retired it, and cannot recommend it.

The good news is, Namaste has a new buddy, the Better Buddy. I have not tried it, so I'm not aware of exactly what new features it has, but I understand the magnets are stronger, which is a good start. If you decide to give it a try, I hope you have better luck than I did with the original!

And just for fun, take a look at all the crap hiding in my purse when I did the Seasonal Bag Exchange:


Yes, apparently I carry computer games in my purse.

1 comment :

Minding My Own Stitches said...

A seasonal bag exchange, LOL. Sometimes I think I must be missing some girly-girl genes.

I have this little knitting bag ... and I love it. Perfect sized clutch for all my knitting notions and a pair of socks on needles.