Southern Mom Loves: Sasha: A Fierce and Versatile Laptop Bag from Jill-e Designs

Sasha: A Fierce and Versatile Laptop Bag from Jill-e Designs

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I received a free bag from Jill-e in order to facilitate an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Jill-e Designs Sasha 15" Laptop Bag logo

Hi. My name is Holly, and I'm a bag addict. There, I said it. I am addicted to gorgeous bags of all kinds! Surprised? Probably not, but what may surprise you is that didn't carry over to more utilitarian bags like laptop and camera bags. Why not? Because I didn't know there was a choice.

I, like many people, have a ton of electronics laying around the house. We have different gadgets for different purposes: I have my desktop for graphics work, my laptop for blog work, my compact digital for everyday photos, my old SLR when I'm feeling artsy, a tablet for the family to facebook and play games on, each of us have our own reader, a kids tablet for my Little, phones, charger sticks, iPods, and holy-moly did that list get longer than I thought it would! I never realized just how much electronic stuff we use daily...until I had to pack most of it for vacation this Summer.

I ended up packing my laptop and various gadgets in a laptop backpack. It wasn't cute. It was either that or a nylon messenger, I thought. I've never seen anything for gadgets that didn't look like it was made for a High School boy.

After our trip, my son loved the backpack so much (surprise -_-) that he claimed it for his very own. Now, it's not that often that I have to travel with my laptop, but it's happening more and more, so I got online to try to find something that I actually liked. Was it even possible?

Since you're reading this review, you know the answer is YES! A quick Google search led me to Jill-e Designs, where they carry the most gorgeous, grown-up laptop, tablet, and camera bags!

Jill-e Designs bags

Founded in 2007, Jill-e Designs creates bags and carriers in smart and stylish designs for daily use, tailored specifically for digital and mobile devices. Today everyone has a mobile device, typically a device they can’t live without. They need a way to carry them, protect them, easily access them, and keep them organized with all of their other everyday items. We satisfy these needs. How do we do it? 
> We protect your digital and mobile devices with a relevant, high-performance product that keeps its contents secure
> We organize your devices, making them easily accessible
> We deliver a timeless, classic, yet on-trend look … we call it “future classic”
> We insist on quality – in materials, workmanship and customer service 
Originally a pro camera bag company, we combine what we learned satisfying demanding, creative photo professionals with an understanding of new trends and needs. The result is evident in every bag we make today – for mobile devices, for photo equipment, for travel, for the office, for a night on the town, for outdoors, for college, for everyday use. We offer the perfect blend of style, function, protection and classic appeal.

I contacted Jill-e and they were so kind! They sent me the Sasha 15" Laptop Bag to review. Not only that, they included a surprise in my shipment: a Camera Insert! Take a look at this bag:

Jill-e Designs Sasha 15" Laptop Bag graphic

I'm absolutely smitten. The Sasha is edgy but classic, functional meets fashionable. It's stylish without being trendy, and I can see myself carrying this bag for a long time to come. It's incredibly me, which is a weird thing to say, but if there ever was a bag that embodies my own personal style, it's this one. Minimal. Edgy. Classic. I love it.

Jill-e Designs Sasha 15" Laptop Bag logo

The Subtle Logo
The logo is so subtle and tiny, I didn't even see it at first. That is a major Plus for me. 

Confession: I don't wear brands. Clarification: I wear brand names, but not gaudy logos. I'm a Graphic Designer, and I have spent most of my professional life in Branding and Marketing. I know how this works, but I'm not your cattle; Don't brand me. I have fallen in love with products that featured a logo, but then it was just me and my seam-ripper on our way to freedom. The days of plastering your name across people's butts are gone; Roll with it. Jill-e did, and I am grateful. Their logo is somewhere in the below picture...can you spot it? I'm not going to help you then. ;)

Jill-e Designs Sasha 15" Laptop Bag front zip

The Design
The Sasha is a classic messenger with a twist. The front flap and sides are done in leather, and the seaming and front zippered pocket really make it stand out. New. Different. Both stylish and functional. You would expect the pocket to be pretty tiny, but it doesn't stop with the outer decorative seaming; It continues across the bag. 

Jill-e Designs Sasha 15" Laptop Bag hardware

The Hardware
All of the hardware throughout the bag is a soft, brushed gold, and it's not tacky or bling-y in the least. The zipper-pulls are done in a nice teardrop design that is more bulbous at the end; That translates to easy to grab and pull in a hurry without slipping. Thoughtful design.

Jill-e Designs Sasha 15" Laptop Bag flap open

Jill-e Designs Sasha 15" Laptop Bag back pocket

Jill-e Designs Sasha 15" Laptop Bag inner laptop pocket

Jill-e Designs Sasha 15" Laptop Bag small inner pockets

The Organization
Wowza. There are so many pockets and features, it's really hard to count, but here goes:
  1. Outer-flap zippered compartment
  2. Under-flap zippered compartment
  3. Back pocket with magnetic closure
  4. Side zippered compartment
  5. Large zippered inner-compartment
  6. Laptop sleeve with velcro tab closure
  7. Tablet sleeve
  8. Sunglasses pocket
  9. Phone pocket
  10. 2 Pen sleeves
  11. Inner zippered pocket

Was that everything? I'm not even sure. There is a place for, literally, everything you need to carry with you, and it's all so versatile: If you carry just a tablet, you can use the laptop space for your files and papers, and if you just use a laptop, you can use the tablet pocket for so many other things, and all of the interior pockets are padded! That is rare; It's usually just the laptop section that's padded, and everything else is just lined, but even the phone and sunglass pockets are padded. Again, thoughtful design. And can I say "plush"? The inner lining is so soft, you might take it for suede, but it is actually a very high-quality cotton twill.

Jill-e Designs Sasha 15" Laptop Bag water bottle pocket

Jill-e Designs Sasha 15" Laptop Bag luggage sleeve

Jill-e Designs Sasha 15" Laptop Bag luggage sleeve working

The Innovation
Let's talk about smart design. The side pocket opens to reveal netting. This pocket was designed to hold a water bottle, but with a difference: It can be zipped away to hide that bulky netted pocket you see on so many travel bags and backpacks. It's not attractive, and what if you don't want to use it as such? Not much of a choice since they're always an open-top pocket, and there's no way to close it short of a safety pin. This pocket would also be great for your cords; The netting would help keep them in place!

Also guys: There is a zipper at the bottom of the back pocket. What is this for? Super-fast unpacking? Nope. It facilitates easier traveling. I have to say, I flipped out a little over this. I can't tell you how many airports I've run through, bags a-bumping. I'm usually not a heavy packer, but long, International trips require the max number of bags for me; That includes a suitcase for checking, a rolling carry-on, a camera bag, and a large purse. Now, my large suitcase has a strap to attach other bags, but once it's checked, you're out of luck. The Sasha's back pocket can be unzipped at the bottom to slip over the handle of a rolling bag. I...have no words. Why is this not on every travel bag ever?

Sasha as a Laptop Bag:

Jill-e Designs Sasha 15" Laptop Bag filled

It fits everything I need while still remaining so slimline that it doesn't look like a chunky, utilitarian bag. And that dinosaur? 15" inches of bulky laptop, and it fits. If you had a laptop that was made sometime after the dawn of digital man, you would have much more space to play with. ;) 

They also offer a 13" Sasha Laptop Bag: Same amazing design in a smaller package. If you've got a small laptop, you really don't want it sliding around in your bag, so I love that there's an option. And if you use something like a Surface tablet, the 13" Sasha would be perfect. The Surface is made to be used as a tablet and a laptop, but is an odd size and shape, so doesn't fit in anything made for a tablet. Be warned.

I was also sent a little something else. Let me show you the awesome that is the Camera Insert.

Jill-e Designs Camera Insert Bag front

Jill-e Designs Camera Insert Bag back

Unassuming, utilitarian, and small, the Camera Insert is designed to fit into your Jill-e bag. It comes with a removable and padded shoulder strap, so you could use this completely on it's own if you wanted, but it includes a handle on the top when you use it as an insert. There is also a zippered compartment in the back. But what can it hold?

Jill-e Designs Camera Insert Bag filled

A lot, it turns out. The insert features two net pockets with velcro closures in the lid, and 3 padded dividers that can be moved into any configuration that suits you. It will hold a camera body, a couple of lenses, lens cloth and cleaner, camera strap, a remote, an extra compact camera...pretty much everything you need minus the tripod.

Jill-e Designs Camera Insert Bag in Sasha Bag

And it fits beautifully into the Sasha bag with room to spare. Is it any wonder I'm smitten? You don't want to see my old man-camera bag; It was a Samsonite Worldproof, and while it's served me well over the years, it was in no way, shape, or form, cute. 

Here are some specs for your perusing pleasure:

  • Slim leather laptop bag accentuated with brushed gold zippers, buttons, and hardware
  • Messenger-styled flap with zippered quick-access pocket
  • Hidden under flap zippered storage pocket
  • Zippered main compartment entry for added security
  • Cotton twill lined interior provides a soft hand feel
  • Padded interior laptop pouch includes strap to securely protect 15” laptops
  • Secondary interior tablet pouch protects tablet devices
  • Auxiliary zippered interior pocket to small miscellaneous items
  • Ample interior space for files, folders, and work-related items
  • Interior pockets provide organization with dedicated pockets for smartphones, pens, sunglasses, cards, etc.
  • Rear exterior pocket for additional storage
  • Exterior rear pocket converts to a trolley sleeve for easy travel
  • Discreet zippered side water bottle pocket
  • Sturdy, adjustable cloth shoulder strap
  • Durable leather exterior wipes clean with a damp cloth
  • Dimensions: 16.25” L x 4.5” W x 11.25” H
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs.
  • Color: Black
What Fits Inside:
  • Padded laptop pocket accommodates laptops sized 14.0” L x 3.0” x W x 10.5” H, including the 15” MacBook pro or similarly sized laptops
  • Padded tablet pocket accommodates laptops sized 11.0” L x 2.0” x W x 10.0” H, including the iPad and similarly sized tablet devices
  • Smartphone pocket fits Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S models, or similarly sized smartphones
  • Mobile accessories, files, folders, business cards, work-related items, and personal belongings

  • Compact size travels easily in your favorite carry bag
  • Durable, weather-resistant microfiber exterior
  • Padded interior for total protection with adjustable dividers
  • Convenient net pockets on inside top flap for cards and batteries
  • Accessible outer zip pocket for daily essentials
  • Detachable shoulder strap to carry with confidence
  • Dimensions: 10.5” L x 3.5” W x 6.25” H
  • Weight: 0.5 lbs.
  • Color: Black
What Fits Inside:
  • 1 DSLR camera body and 1- 2 moderately sized lenses
  • Batteries, memory cards, and accessories

All of the bags I've shown you today are available for purchase on the Jill-e Designs website. You can also find them on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest. Stop by and say "Hello!"

As for Sasha and I, we were made for each other:

Holly + Sasha: BFFs
My inanimate BFF

Check out Southern Mom Loves' 2014 Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for this and other hot holiday gifts! Find something for everyone on your list from the Fashionista to the Tech-Lover and beyond!

Update: Get 20% off your order with the EXCLUSIVE discount code for Southern Mom Loves' awesome readers! Use code SMLHOL2014 until 12/19/14! 

Have a Happy and Fabulous Holiday, Fashionistas!

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