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Reviewed by 2 customers
Displaying reviews 1-2
Comments about The North Face Midtown Tote - 2012 Closeout:
The tote bag turned out to be bigger than I want for taking daily to work but I love it and can't wait to use it for weekend ski trips. The laptop pocket has ample space for whatever I want to take - netbook, kindle, or medium size laptop. The inside pockets fit my Motorola mini size phone or mp3 player totally fine. The outside lined pocket will fit and protect my sunglasses. Plus lots of room for snacks, gloves, wallet, and keys in the main compartment. I got the purple/black one thinking I might not like the webbing but mine came with dark webbing so I am happier with that than what I saw in the photo. Great bag and seems like it will be durable enough for my plans to take it in the car and then store it in the ski locker. I could even imagine my husband liking to use it - well, maybe the black one.
Comments about The North Face Midtown Tote - 2012 Closeout:
The laptop section is slightly padded and my 15" Macbook Pro fits snugly in there. If you want to get more specific, it is the MacBookPro6,2 model from mid 2010; the dimensions of the newer Retina display Mackbook Pro is a smidgen smaller than mine so that newer model should fit OK in the laptop section of this bag. In some photos of the bag, you will see a little fold-over flap with velcro at the top that secures the laptop in place. My laptop comes up too high for that flap to reach all the way around and make contact with the velcro. It's not a big deal to me, I just thought I should mention it so there aren't any surprises. It would not be a problem if your laptop is a little smaller. The main zipper still zips open/close OK. I tried putting my laptop with InCase neoprene sleeve into the Midtown Tote, it fits but is too snug in my opinion. The main zipper still zips open/close with the extra height the sleeve gave it, but you'd have to fiddle with it a bit more to open/close it.
Love the 2 HUGE water bottle pockets on the outside. The pocket is wide/deep enough for a 32 oz Nalgene bottle to fit comfortably in it. The top of the pocket comes up to the Nalgene bottle's shoulder, just below the bottom ring that keeps the lid attached to the bottle. This means that the water bottle loop sits nicely above/outside the top of the pocket (so you're not trying to squeeze it into the pocket along with the bottle). I don't really need to carry 2 water battles, so I use one pocket to carry my iPhone since I reach for it often and this pocket makes it convenient. The phone won't fall out of the pocket, but you can cinch up the pocket if you're concerned.
In the product photo, you will see a flap on the outside front. This flap is kept in place with 2 decent strength magnets. Under the flap you'll find a zippered compartment lined with fabric (fleece?). This pocket is not very deep and does not extend all the way down to the bottom of the bag. It's actually more like half the height. I can easily fit my iPhone in there horizontally. The pocket is not deep enough for my phone to sit vertically. I'd use this pocket for easy access to a smart phone or a small point & shoot camera.
There are 2 slip-in pockets in the main compartment. I don't know what you'd use them for because they are very flat & shallow. One has a phone icon on it … um yeah, maybe if you had a small flip-phone. The iPhone will not fit all the way into the pocket, it goes in part way. My phone will flop forward in this pocket, maybe due to the added weight with its Incase cover. It's kinda awkward trying to put the phone in the pocket or pull it out. I definitely don't use it for their suggested purpose. I might roll up my earbud headphones and put it in the pocket, that's about all that will fit.
The bag seems pretty sturdy. I think most North Face bags are well made. I still have their technical backpacks and casual shoulder bags from over a decade ago that are still holding up well. So I think they are a great bargain for their longevity despite the higher upfront cost. The strap is a good length for shoulder carry, and not too long that I can still carry it in my hand as a tote (the bag doesn't drag on the ground as I walk).
There are only 3 areas this bag is lacking in:
1. Organizational compartments. Those 2 slip-in pockets on the inside are a joke and I don't count them. So the bag has a slightly "messenger" bag feel to it, everything jumbled together in one compartment.
2. An option to attach a longer shoulder strap to wear crossbody style.
3 A little extra padding on the shoulder strap where it makes contact with your shoulder so it is more comfortable when you're carrying a lot of weight in your bag.
What can I fit into this bag? Well, I can slip my 15" Macbook Pro into the laptop pocket. I can add my iPad (with folio cover), wallet, and cosmetic bag to the main compartment. Keys can go into the outside front flap pocket. iPhone can go into one of the water bottle pockets. Ok, at this point I must mention that this bag is HEAVY with all this stuff and I haven't yet added a 32 oz bottle of water! The shoulder straps are medium wide so that'll help prevent it from digging into your shoulder like skinny straps would, but you will definitely feel the weight if you are out walking around for any great length of time. Oh I should mention that there's still room in the main compartment to add a few more items, like a few paperback books.
I wasn't sure I'd like this bag at first, however I've warmed up to it a bit and it makes a good travel/everyday bag. I was really eyeing the Timbuk2 Command TSA-friendly laptop bag to make going through a checkpoint a breeze, but I didn't like the open main compartment that is only covered by a flap. The North Face Midtown Tote seemed like a better choice for travel with its zippered main compartment to deter pickpocketers, and it looked better even when going out to dinner compared to the much more casual Timbuk2 messenger style bag. The Midtown Tote also does OK in a more professional setting. I bought the black one with black straps/trim.
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