Thursday, July 2, 2009

Product Review: Campo Bag

Campo Bag
Click here for product page
Item 16996
Regular: $298.00

This bag looks a-m-a-z-i-n-g! A big "thanks!" goes to jessie b. & audball (both from this post) who shared with us their take on this lovely bag.

The following is jessie b.'s take on this bag:
Oooh - just received my Campo bag. This was major lust at first sight on the web and is now love at first sight in person. The leather is that wonderful stuff that gets better with age, like your father's briefcase or classic Coach bags. I can't wait for this bag to get a few scratches and worn parts so it looks "lived in". I bought the burnt sienna color and could not be more pleased.

The shape is very balanced. Best of all, because of the conservative strap length, I can wear this on my shoulder, as a tote (will not hang down too far) or over my elbow. Size-wise, this bag is the right size for me. I know there has been some discussion on that matter, but personally do not find it huge. However, because of the shape and the stiffer leather, it might be overwhelming to others. It is almost exactly the same size as my Uptown tote, but with the stiffer leather, has more presence.

J.Crew went compartment crazy on this bag! There is a big pocket on the front with a pleat and another without the pleat on the back. Both have magnetic closures. There are smaller pockets on the outside ends of the bag too. All of these are visible on the web picture. Inside, there are two large pockets on either side of the bag. Built into those are places for your cell phone and PDA. The other side has a small zipper pouch. There are four little metal feet on the bottom.

The only thing I do not like about this bag is that leather smell. You know, the one that hits you over the head when you walk past Wilson's Leather in the mall. However, from past experiences, I know that will lessen with time. This bag is beautifully styled but not at all trendy. It is quite a classic shape and size actually and I can see myself using it for many years.

I do have one long-term concern. The possibility of the gold-tone from the hardware rubbing off does worry me somewhat. I think the metal from the Jamie or Owen Hobo might have been better. However, this bag was less expensive than either of those. Very pleased with this purchase. Not quite good as a summer bag though, so will be packed away until September. Hope this mini-review helps anyone who was on the fence.

...I did pull out my tape measure to get some real-life measurements. From the outside tip of one end pocket to the other is 15". From the top of the handle to the bottom of the bag is 17". Fully stuffed with tissue(from J. Crew), the bag is 7.5" deep. The only measurement that changed with unstuffing is the depth. When you take the stuffing out, the bag does not collapse much. Lastly, I find the end to end measurement somewhat misleading, because of how the end pockets are situated on the bag. Hope this helps.

The following is audball's take on this bag:
Incidentally, OT, I received my Campo Bag and mini-review: Got the bag today and it's going right bag to my local b&'s far larger than I imagined. Corry was right on the money. While the dimensions are 11"H x 11.4"W, they took the 11" width measurement right at the base of the bag. The side pockets and stiffer vachetta leather make the actual dimensions of the bag, when laying flat, more like 11"H x 17" wide. The bag is lined. The handle drop is nice (about 8") and while the bag stiffness isn't so great for the bag portion, it's great for the handles, as it makes the drop (length) very roomy and comfortable...

The leather came with quite a few marks on it already, just from banging around in the box. I'm sure that the intention is that the bag look well- worn and vintage-y over time, but I'm not sure I'm a vachetta leather gal. It's silky and smooth in that vachetta-leather way. It's stiffness makes the interior very spacious - there's tons of room for stuff and I picture this as the perfect "bucket"-type bag for summer (to take to the beach, vacations, etc.). However, I have small kids, so I can't have a bag that's too clunky on my shoulder, and unfortunately, with the boxy shape, this is what would happen. Nice pockets...ample room on the side pockets (though I would be afraid of a phone falling out), great exterior front and rear pockets and two interior pockets that run the length of the bag.

It's a shame that the bag is so large, because something even just a little smaller would be so ideal for summer for me.

"Thanks!" again to jessie b. & audball for their great reviews!

What are your thoughts on the Campo Bag? Are you considering or already have purchased this bag? Have you seen this bag in person? If so, please share with us your reviews too! :)


  1. I am so glad to see this review as I was excited to learn of this bag... Personally I love the fact that this bag is bigger than the dimensions noted..... I have the Owen so if I decide to purchase, I will definitely opt for the lighter color.... Thank you ladies for the wonderful, honest reviews.

  2. I don't especially like this bag- the shape reminds me of the feed bags hooked to a horse's bridle. I'm glad it makes others so happy though! Congrats to anyone who treats themselves to what is surely an excellent quality purse.

  3. In case anyone was wishing for a slightly different color ... a sales associate told me this bag will also be offered in a slate grey color in mid-July in stores and late-July online.

  4. hillary,
    Glad I am not the only one who doesn't like this bag! But if we all liked the same thing that would not be good either!

  5. I think this has become my latest J.Crew obsession.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I prefer bags that large to be made out of fabric like Boden makes or Vera B. When I load up a leather bag that large it is just TOO HEAVY!

    Cute style. Wish it came in a mini version.

    This version as it stands is a definite pass for me.

  8. I would really like to see in person, but I love all the compartments. Since I am tall, I can usually pull off a larger bag, but I think Genny has an excellent point about this large a leather bag being heavy. So back to "need to see IRL." Thanks so much for posting the fantastic reviews - great information in both!!

  9. These are excellent reviews. Thanks so much for posting them! I have been on the fence about the Campo, and I think I'd need to see it IRL before making a final decision. The slouchy shape of the Campo might not work for me, as I do prefer a bit more "structure" to a bag. I recently picked up the Leather Gallery Satchel in black, and I am completely in love. I know I'll enjoy that bag for years and years.

  10. Great reviews! Thank you so much! jessie b's review made me run to the Fifth Avenue store to take a look IRL and now I'm determined to buy it.

    I'm a book editor, so I always carry around manuscripts, proposals, and half a dozen magazines on any given day and need a bag that can handle all of that. I used to carry a smaller purse for my wallet, keys, cellphone, etc. and a tote bag for all my works stuff, but have found that to be too cumbersome. I feel like I have a hard time finding a stylish bag that's big enough so I can carry only one and this one fits all my needs.

  11. Bluenana, that was exactly my thoughts when I got the bag - it would make an excellent tote if I had been an editor or something! The bag is shallow enough where everything would be within easy reach, but stylish enough for work. My concern is that it would be kind of hard to wear as a shoulder bag when loaded up - it may be cumbersome in a crowd.

    And hillary and summer, the bag is a very simple design, I agree. Reminded me of the Hermes Picotin in some ways, which I believe really was based on a feed bag!

    Wow, I made JCA...I feel kind of honored LOL! Thanks Alexis, for making buying decisions easier for so many...I love mini-reviews and was happy to be little part of one! :)

  12. HeidiG, I own a fair number of bags and this was by far, one of the lighter ones...I think it was the lack of hardware on the bag. It certainly was lighter than the Anya from a couple of years ago (the BG one which was the collection item), which I had a chance to carry in store.

    This is a great bag for pockets...plenty of them with ample room. The exterior front and back pockets aren't that shallow, but I would be cautious with the side ones...

  13. Thank you for the reviews. Campo looks like a beautiful bag, but wow, it is huge. Even though I'm fairly tall, I would never be able to carry this bag around with a straight face. I would feel like I should be traveling somewhere, it is big enough to be an overnighter.

    Could it be that J.Crew will offer more in the same line into fall? I like the leather, lining and pockets. Would love to see other versions with similar features and design, only smaller. I can leave the kitchen sink at home - thank you very much.

  14. I'm with Christina. It's haunting my dreams at night. And sadly my birthday was two months ago.

  15. I think this bag it's beautiful! I plan to buy it.

  16. audball--you're JCA famous now! :)

    I totally hear you with the overpacking-and-therefore-not comfortable-on-shoulder situation. On the bright side--and several folks have already noted this--the bag itself is fairly lightweight since it's not covered in weighty hardware.

    I can't wait to buy this!

  17. Like many, I was DREAMING about this bag and I bought it in the Sienna color. It is gorgeous, the leather is beautiful and the interior pockets are really nice. Sadly, it's not for me. It is HUGE on my 5'3" frame and fairly structured/stiff i.e. NOT slouchy. The size to me is in between purse and tote and I dont know when I would actually use it vs. stare at it on my table :) But so glad others are enjoying it. Maybe they will do it in a smaller version!

  18. It's absolutely gorgeous IRL! They have this bag at Tysons Corner. The leather is very thick but supple and the color is rich looking. The size is perfect for lugging tons of stuff but not looking like you're carrying a huge bag.

    However, with the leather being as thick as it is, the bag is a little heavy for me. Granted, I have a small frame, but I think even a taller frame may find it a bit hefty.

  19. I cannot wait to check this bag out. Hopefully my B&M will have it when I swing by tommorrow.

  20. After reading the wonderful reviews, I pulled the trigger and bought the bag. My PS overnighted it to me (for free) and I got it today. It is a nice bag. Let me say that I purchased 2 Mulberry Bayswater bags recently (one in Darwin leather, another one in flat calfskin - they ate $900 each). Having said this, while JCrew's leather is not as refined as Mulberry's and the design is not as nice, I think for under $300 it is a VERY nice bag. The leather is thick, I like to oiled rugged look; it does look like this leather will improve with scratches and use. It is not stiff. The bad has many different pockets, which is unusual for a Jcrew bag, and very nice. It is also lined. Overall, it is a GREAT everyday bag.

  21. It should read "are $900 each" (not ate $900)...Also, the bag is not too large, I think it's a perfect size to carry a couple of magazines or sweaters if out at night - they are always needed in cooler Southern Cal nights...

  22. Thanks for the terrific reviews - they're very helpful. I have the Campo bag on my wish list too but wondered about it's 'real' size and especially weight. Does anyone know if it weighs more or less than the Jamie bag from last year? TIA.

  23. I ordered this bag on Sunday and am anxiously awaiting it's arrival. I'm hoping to use it as an everyday purse/diaper bag for my three children and the reviews noting the pockets and size IRL really helped make my decision to order it. Thanks everyone!

  24. I just got the Campo in burnt sienna. It is really huge on me - I'm 5'2", but I do carry a lot of stuff with me and the leather is so lovely (and I like the leather smell!). I'm also a little concerned about stuff flying out of it since there aren't any zippers . . . Not sure if I'm keeping it, but I'm enjoying it while it lasts!

  25. Our eco duffle bag will keep your stuff safe and mother nature as well!


Dear J.Crew Aficionadas & Aficionados: Please feel free (and encouraged) to share your thoughts and opinions. :) However, please note that this is still a personal blog. So comments that are considered inappropriate (e.g. obscene, racist, homophobic, personal attacks, rude, and just plain mean) will be removed.

And now back to J.Crew! :)