Product Review - Overnight Travel Bag

Carry-on/Overnight Travel Bag

I don't normally review my own products. It's a little tacky, I suppose, to get on here and boast about the merits of something I made myself. However, I also don't normally make things for myself. Seeing as how my shop is mostly custom cash envelope systems these days with the occasional special order, I tend to make and ship most of what I produce. 

But I had a vacation coming up and a desire to make a large, functional carry-on bag that zipped shut and had tons of pockets for all my little bits and pieces. Combine that with a trip to Stitch N Sew, a mecca for all things fabric, and here's what upholstery-weight, fully interfaced and lined bag that is cram full with pockets of all shapes and sizes and has a vinyl bottom to protect against stains and scuffing. I was smitten!

It became a part of a larger collection of DLD items that we brought with us on the trip. (Clockwise from left: my son's backpack, the travel bag, an oilcloth bag, cosmetic case, travel cord wrap and dog breed clutch)

Here is a peek of her on the inside, the night before our flight. The oilcloth bag and my wallet (also DLD) sit nestled in open interior pockets while the wristlet bag and cord wrap lay comfortably upon a bed of magazines, a sweatshirt, my iPad and other this and that.

This vinyl bottom made it! The bag was a full 8" deep, and the vinyl creeped up all 4 sides, about 2.5" high. This made for a very sturdy bottom that kept its shape regardless of how full the bag was and kept all the yuck from the plane floor off the fabric of my bag. The vinyl also provides water resistance and wipes clean with a damp cloth if needed.

While on vacation, I thought I'd mostly use my dog silhouette clutch, but there were some days when the larger bag was required! You can see my clutch tucked in there, as well as the oilcloth pouch, 3 sack lunches and 2 juice bottles. And there was room to spare to store sweatshirts for the three of us as the day warmed up.

So what would I change?
There were a few things I would do differently going forward. The most significant change would be to the straps. I used strips of fabric on the front panel to secure the center pocket and then a separate strap for the handles. I think I would change this to one continuous strap. Without the joint at the front/top seam, there isn't as much stress on the strap and more of the weight of the bag is more evenly distributed. Think I would also use a grommet there for extra strength. It would dress it up as well, with a little hardware. 

Secondly, I would make a removable shoulder strap. These grab handles were great when the bag was sitting on the floor or tucked under the chair in front of me or stacked on top of my rolling luggage. They were admittedly a little cumbersome when trying to carry the bag when it was super full - on the trip home we had some souvenirs! So I think a shoulder strap that had the option to detach is a smart and useful move.

Lastly, I'd leave off the exterior side pockets (the solid green you see on the side above the vinyl) they weren't very usable. The bag would benefit more from another center pocket like the one seen on the front panel here, just on the other side. This pocket was perfect for tucking my phone and wallet when I needed to pull them out a bunch in the airport, and before I stored them more securely inside. 

The response to this bag was so overwhelming, I was really blown away! I truly intended to just share it as a "hey...look what I'm making for myself" kind of thing, but the feedback I got was so positive I may just start offering them in the shop as a custom order option.  Thank you so much for your support!

:) allison


Karen La Du said…
As a gal constantly searching for 'the perfect bag"
I am writing to tell you that I believe this is it!
Totally agree with you about the changes to be made and would love to know your price and work with you on a custom one for me.
Personally I'd like the bottom vinyl to come up further on the sides and have the front and back pockets vinyl as well as the straps.
Hope to talk to you soon about this.
I am also complimenting you on this exquisite post.
You have covered all the bases describing your product, shown fantastic pictures of the bag in action and made the sometimes arduous parts of travel actually sound easy.
Talk soon,
Thank you Karen!
we can certainly look at some fabric combos - I think more of the vinyl showing is a great idea - don't know if I'd be able to go so far to use it for the handles - i don't have an industrial machine...but i'll see what I can do. Sure we'll catch up at Paige's soon!

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