Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Product Review: Campo Messenger Bag

Campo Messenger Bag
Click here for product page
Item 17542
Regular: $350.00
Now $199.99

J.Crew must really like this name because they ended up using it twice for two different bags. So this review is not about the other Campo Messenger Bag (Item 20302; $268.00) that is now available. :)

I have been stalking this bag for sometime now, ever since I saw it in-person at the Collection Store in NYC over the summer. After J.Crew ran the promotion for 20% off final sale, I decided to go ahead and green light this purchase. I am glad I did as this little number keeps coming and going in the final sale section. As much as I love the thrill of snagging a pop-back, I hate even more the dread of the cancellation email. ;)

J.Crew describes this messenger bag as the following:
A bag to love now—and one you'll love even more later. Crafted in smooth oiled leather that, over time, wears to a unique, one-of-a-kind finish of color depth and patina (the more you use it, the more beautiful it will become). The oil finish also allows the leather to recover—meaning light surface scratches will work themselves out with wear or can be lightly buffed out with a soft cotton cloth. Adjustable leather shoulder strap. Hidden magnetic closure under foldover flap. Shiny gold-finish hardware. Exterior front-wall pocket underneath flap, interior front-wall split-patch cell pocket, center zip divider pocket, back-wall zip pocket. Cotton twill lining. Part of the J.Crew Collection. Import. Comes with a dust bag. Adjustable shoulder strap fully extends to 22". 12 1/2"H x 12"W x 4 3/8"D.
The leather of this bag is just lovely! It's not as buttery as the Jamie and Sean bags, but it is quite soft & smooth. Although it is prone to scratches, I am not worried about it (like I am with the Jamie and Sean bags).

There are lots of compartments in this bag, including the center zippered pocket. Even though the fold over flap is closed by a hidden magnetic closure, it is completely secure. (Which is a definite must for me.)

This messenger bag is big. Really big. This is something to consider if you are thinking about getting this bag. I think the size might be a deal breaker for some JCAs. (...slightly random thought but I can't help but think of Liz Lemon on NBC's 30 Rock saying, "That's a deal breaker, Ladies!")

If you usually carry a medium or small size purse and then transfer those contents to this bag, you might find yourself really reaching at the bottom to pull the stuff out. ;) You may find it too bulky for your everyday needs. Also, the strap on this bag is quite long, even when you shorten it. Especially if you choose to wear it on your shoulder, instead of crossed over on your body.

If you love the look of the messenger bag, but turned off by the size of this Campo Messenger Bag, you may want to look into getting the Large Andi Bag (Item 17201; $235.00) which is a manageable size. I checked this bag out at a brick & mortar (B&M) store and thought the size is just perfect. I also loved that it can be converted from a shoulder to messenger bag, without looking like a shoulder-only or messenger-only bag. (I hope that last part makes sense. Sometimes, me no write so good.) ;)

With all that said, I think the Campo Messenger Bag is a great office bag. A really scrumptious and feminine alternative to a briefcase.


  1. Thanks Alexis for the review, I have been looking at this bag as well.

  2. I saw the original Campo bag in my local store when it first came out- I loved the texture of the leather but the potentional for scratches bugged me. I know it's part of the look, but it wasn't for me.

  3. I have this bag and I love it - I had to get some new file folders though. As big as this bag is, a file folder won't fit the normal (landscape) way, so I got the plastic kind with the bottom and one side closed and slide it in the tall (portrait) way.

  4. I like this bag but as you pointed out the size could be a deal break for me. I'm looking into the Andie bag but I think JC's bag prices are a bit high...

  5. I've been on the lookout for a nice leather bag that could be used as a diaper bag now (or in March) and a real grown-up bag after that. Would ou say that this bag is a bit too officey for a diaper bag and for a woman who will never work in an actual office even when she goes back to work?

  6. I got the large campo tote when it was on final sale and I LOVE it. The leather is fantastic, the hardware is subtle, and it holds my laptop and 1-2 large books, which is what I needed (law student). It is also very large, but it holds its shape well and it is very well constructed.

  7. I loved both the messenger bag and tote. But, several months ago, I saw the messenger bag at the B&M, and found it almost comically huge for me (I'm 5'1" and a buck).

    When the Campo tote went on sale, I jumped on it, but when I received it, it, too, was too big for me. Unfortunately, I had to return it.

    It's a pity, because I loved both bags.

  8. I would love this to use as a briefcase, but it doesn't seem like a laptop would fit in it. Too bad.

    Or am I wrong? Mine is 14". Obviously the bag measurements are 12 by 12 inches but it has the top flap.. so maybe I could swing it..

  9. I got it and like it a lot. It's too big for me to use as a purse, but I am going to use it for its original purpose, a messenger bag, and it is perfect for that. My laptop will not fit in it, but it's perfect to carry around books.

  10. I like the messenger bag. I just received one of my last boxes- and in it was the other campo bag. I have to say I was dissappointed. Not with the bag- but the color. I ordered the beechwood expecting it to be very pale/nude and IRL it is darker than I expected. Much more brown than the swatch so it is going back. Sadness since my shopping well has run dry! I just wondered what you thought about the color.

  11. Thanks for the great review! I love the look of this leather, and I missed the Sean and Jamie bags last year. I;m keeping tabs on the Campo collection, especially in this lighter color, it would really fill a hole in my bag wardrobe. I wonder if Woobie got her darker brown from a poorly dyed batch? Good old JC switcheroo. The color change has happened to me more than once, sorry, Woobie, that it happened to you on such a big ticket purchase.

  12. I fell in love with the original Campo bag - it is simply gorgeous. Alas I had to return it because it was just too big for me as well. I tried to convince myself I could use it, but at $298 that wasn't going to happen. J. Crew released a smaller version of the bag in patent leather, but I am just not a fan of that material. If anyone from J. Crew is reading, PLEASE MAKE THE CAMPO IN A SMALLER SIZE!! Pretty Please

  13. Twiga: It's a great bag. But I think the size is something that makes it an item to check out in person first.

    Molly Darling: Love the screenname! :) I hear you on the Campo bag and scratches. Made me nervous at first as well.

    Girlification of Jules: Congrats on the bag! I know what you mean about the file folders having to be vertical. I even thought about removing the ring on the side so I could put some landscaped items, but quickly changed my mind (it seemed like more work than just changing folders). ;)

    JCMama: I know what you mean about the prices. On a bright note, I find they eventually all go on sale. :)

    Marisa: I can see how this bag could be used as a diaper bag. Although, I am a big fan of messenger bags- so I think they work anywhere anytime. :)

    Mees: Congrats on the tote! The leather is beautiful. :)

    Sesq: It is a big bag! Surprisingly big. Sorry to hear that both Campo bags didn't work for you. :(

    EC: I don't think a laptop (unless its one of those small ones) would fit well in it. Especially if you add other items like a fat wallet, phone, etc. It is a pretty office bag though. :)

    The Argyle Martini: Congrats on getting the bag too! It is a good size to carry to papers and books. :)

    Woobie: I didn't even mention that I got the Beechwood in the post, but I did. I love the color. I think it looks like a great femine messenger bag in a rich hue. :)

    CheesyGoodness: That is a good point about maybe Woobie's bag being dyed a darker color. I have seen certain bags being darker or lighter than its counterparts before.

    Jenny: Sorry to hear the Campo bag didn't work out. The Campo Collection has some really large bags! I bet that is why the second round of Campo bags included smaller versions. :)

  14. I actually purchased the original Campo satchel and loved the size, shape, and slate color of the bag, but couldnt stand the leather. Its almost like a brushed suede and would be destroyed by my active lifestyle! :(

  15. Messenger Bags:https://mybosidu.com/collections/crossbody-bag


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