Everlane, a company known for helping its customer know where/how much its products cost, first got my attention in 2014. I first became interested in the brand when a good friend came to stay the weekend and brought her Everlane Weekender. For such a small bag, she just kept pulling things out of it! If it’s not a bag you own, and you travel – it should be trust me. I digress…anyway after being infatuated with all things Everlane, I decided to expand my handbag collection with some of the Petra bags.
The Petra bag collection is a mix of different sized totes, a cross body, and the backpack. All items are made in Venice, Italy and rumor has it that the bags come from the same leather makers of French luxury label Celine. While I don’t know if the latter is true – one thing I can say is this Petra backpack is made well. It’s an investment piece at $330 dollars but has held up in the almost 6 months I’ve owned it.
So let’s start with the good.
The leather is amazing. It comes really well packaged and the leather smells/feels exquisite. I have several luxury bags and I would say this leather comes pretty close to the same quality. One word to the wise though – MAKE SURE YOU WATER PROOF IT. You can easily find water-proofing sprays in any shoe department or on Amazon. Everlane actually can recommend some if you email them (I did and purchased them through links provided).
It holds a ton. I’ve traveled with this bag a few times and fit an iPad, sweater and all the goodies photographed below. One thing I will say is that unless you have a tiny laptop – it’s not fitting. This is definitely a purse-backpack not a school-backpack. That said, it does hold a good amount of weight thanks to the double re-enforced straps. Also when stuffed…it doesn’t look over stuffed.
This bag just has good simple details, for example: the long pocket with snap running down the back of the bag, the hooks to keep the drawstrings on track, and the little feet that are on the bottom. Details on this bag are ones that a person seeing you wearing the bag won’t know they are there but you will.
The price. If you look at the prices of other designer bags relative to Everlane you are really getting a bargain. If you are the type of person who wants to flash a label, this isn’t the purchase for you. That said, I’ve been through some name brand bags in my day such as Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, and others – to be honest I’ve noticed that as these brands have gotten bigger the quality has just gone way down (you don’t want to hear my Marc Jacobs rant #WHYDIDYOUDESERTYOURCUSTOMERS). This is a nice break for the wallet for the quality.
For me there are two huge cons to this bag. The first is that there is no secret back pocket on the back of the bag. This really doesn’t make sense when you see the type of person Everlane is trying to market to – a person who is on the go, lives in a city, has a sensibility for refined functionality, ironically drinks Macha lattes made in Brooklyn – you get my drift. If a person is using this bag in the city, even with it’s pull through “security” for the draw string it’s still way too easy to get into the bag. Most of the time when I’m on the subway with this bag I have it in front of me with a death grip. I’d really love to have it on my back, knowing that I have my wallet, phone, etc. stowed away in a secret compartment. I don’t think it’s asking a lot either. Baggu even offers this feature in its book bags that cost $40 at max. I really doubt that it was that much more to do on this bag – hell I WOULD PAY MORE TO HAVE IT!
Second is the ultrasuede lining. I’m going to preface this by saying this con is a true personal preference. For my bags with this type of lining, I just don’t feel like I have a good layer of protection between me and the smooth as a baby’s bottom leather. I actually don’t carry things like water bottles in this bag for fear of a spill. I know a lining would cost more and Everlane is trying to make affordable luxury so I can’t hate to much on this. That said, I have noticed the parts where I touch the suede the most are showing signs of wear.
Overall I’d say the Everlane Petra Backpack is a good buy. It offers a wonderfully modern silhouette to a style of bag that can make you look like you are 12 real quick. I’ve loved mine for some time and believe once you have yours you will too!
Petra Backpack: BUY IT