At a certain point in ones' career, there comes the realization
that a dog-earred, scruffy nylon notebook bag given out by some long forgotten
trade conference has outlived itself and it's time to
find a proper replacement. That replacement carry-all doesn't have to be
the leather Muzetto bag from Waterfield Designs , it's just that a swag
bag with non-ironic vintage company logos and super squeaky
plastic straps will only take you
so far in life.
Waterfield Designs' leather Muzetto satchel is the ideal
conveyance for the essentials of business - a notebook and/or iPad,
some papers, pens, a smart phone, business cards, c'est tout. If
you need sheer haulage, there are other bags in the Waterfield stables like the
ubiquitous 'Cargo' for that. The Muzetto is substantial, but
it is a compact.
Behind the large oiled leather flap of
the Waterfield Designs Muzetto bag we find one main pocket flanked by
three large but slim secondary pockets. The main pouch will comfortably
11" notebook in a sleeve while an outer padded pocket can
accommodate an iPad. A manilla envelope full of papers or a magazine easily slips into the rear pouch.
Pens and other small items can be tucked safely away in the inner, zippered pocket.
If the outer padded pocket isn't pulling iPad
duty, there's a small pocket in there just the right size to hold a smart
The essential take away is
that there's a finite amount of space within the Muzetto vertical notebook bag. For example, it can carry a notebook
and small power brick, OR an iPad, small stack of folders, paper note pad, keys, pens,
business cards and phone. To borrow a page from the "Designing 007" exhibition currently happening in the
City of London's Barbican Center
, the Waterfield Designs' Muzetto
bag is like the Aston Martin DB5
of vertical messenger bags -
it'll do quite a bit, but it won't swim under water like Bond's Lotus
Waterfield Design Muzetto
The Nitty Gritty
The leather Muzetto notebook bag is made by Waterfield
Designs in San Francisco. Waterfield has been around about 12 years and was
founded by ex-bike courier, Gary Waterfield. Over the decade or so that PCSTATS
has used Waterfields' bags, the company has steadily gained acclaim for
designing IT friendly gear that's aesthetically good looking, sublimely
functional and damn well made.
Part of the success of Waterfield Designs is the
companies intuitive design approach and ingenuitive use of materials. Durable
synthetic fabrics like ballistic Nylon, Neoprene and industrial coverings like
Indium wear well and stand up to the rigors of a mobile work life. In this
instance, it's tough oiled leather on
the outside surfaces of the Muzetto and a smoother
leather on the part of the bag that rides against
the wearers' hip and inside the bag. Behind the flap is a
synthetic material with give and lining the inside bright yellow rip-stop nylon for contrast.
Gravity holds the outer oiled leather flap closed. D-rings are sewn into the
side of the case so the shoulder strap can angle across the
Waterfield Designs' Muzetto notebook bag is available in brown or black leather, in five sizes
ranging from 10" to 15". Cost varies from $179 to
$259 USD respectively. In this
review PCSTATS is looking at the 11" Muzetto bag in brown leather with copper
accent colour which retails for retails for $219 USD via www.sfbags.com.
The Muzetto notebook bag comfortably
holds an 11" notebook and iPad in the
two main pockets. The main compartment is not padded, so there's more space
for other items when not carrying a notebook. Waterfield recommend using a
Empty, the 11" Muzetto bag weighs 2lbs and has overall
outside dimensions of roughly 13.5" x 10.5" x 2.75" (HxWxD). According to the
maker it fits a MacBook Air, in our tests we had no problems dropping in an 11"
wide notebook and iPad in the outside padded pocket. The Muzetto also comes in a
more economical waxed canvas version.
The Muzetto's main pocket is flanked by
yellow rip stop nylon which provides better contrast when searching for items in
the dark depths of a bag. The leather strip along the side continues
around the entire pouch, effectively giving two thicknesses of leather padding to
Since the inside pocket is not padded, a notebook sleeve
is best used when carrying around a laptop. At its simplest a notebook
sleeve need be nothing more than a soft cloth covering. This
is enough to prevent most errant paper
clips, staples, grit, and metal pen clips in a bag from
scratching the outer surface of a laptop to death. On that note, the
zipper of the inside pocket could be heard running along the edge of the notebook we
tested the Muzetto bag with.
Next up, a closer look at the Waterfield Muzetto
bag from all sides.