31 July 2012

Product Review: Ally Capellino Tommo Bag...

Time for another cycling product review, and this time it's brought to you by Ian James! He's guest posting on Vélo-City-Girl after falling in love with the Ally Capellino Tommo Bag and insisting on reviewing* it. The Boy has put the bag through its paces on his bike, and brings us this review of the Tommo... 

So, ‘The Boy’ here doing a guest post on a rather lovely bag for Velo-City-Girl. This is entirely because from the moment I saw the Ally Capellino Tommo Despatch Bag I had to have it and have pretty much stole it from Lady Velo! It pretty much hasn’t left my side (on and off my Cannondale) relegating all my other 'Manbags' back into the closet.

The Tommo is a courier style bag with a shoulder strap and a second smaller strap that you can bring up from the hip to attach to main strap in front of the chest: this stops the bag from slipping off your back.  The straps are finished with old-fashioned metal D and O rings so you need to spend a few minutes getting the fit right for you, but once in place they remain tight, it just lends to the classic feel of this bag. There are no plastic clips or synthetic straps here; it feels like a bag you’re going to have for many years to come, both in terms of build quality and looks.

Aesthetically it couldn't be further from the modern courier bag. We are talking rugged canvas in natural tones, with leather straps to buckle it shut and a canvas shoulder strap. It’s very reminiscent of the old style photography kit bags back before nylon and other mod-cons were even invented. The nature of the canvas means the bag will only grow in character as you take it with you on your adventures... and trust me a bag this useful is going to see some action.

Another attribute this bag shares with its real-life courier counterparts is that it’s big; I mean it’s huge – easily big enough to get a laptop, digital camera, chargers and change of clothes for a weekend away. It wasn't until I picked it up that I realized how much space there is inside. This is because the bag is rather cleverly cut so the sides taper in towards the top, so when it’s not got a lot of stuff in, it folds flat and isn't at all cumbersome. Inside are a couple of pockets to put keys, cards and things you want easy to hand, there’s also a compartment suitable to store a laptop computer, while outside the main compartment is a zipped compartment which I use to put spare tubes, my micro-pump and other bike kit.

As big as it is, it doesn't feel at all cumbersome, the lovely canvas while tough and rugged is also soft and pliable. The upshot is the bag is really comfortable to carry, it feels more like a cosy sweater than a bag and probably a large reason why it has rarely left my shoulders.

If there was a couple of things I’d change then I’d say that the laptop compartment is a bit small. I have three laptops and only one of them fits in the slot and only without its protective sleeve. Also a pocket or compartment that could be accessed without having to undo the straps would be useful to gain quick access to a mobile phone. But these are minor gripes, I adore this bag, whether I’m just popping into town, commuting to work or doing my favourite weekend trip up to the Smoke to see the Missus – this is the bag for all occasions. I’ve even have it earmarked as my bag of choice for hand baggage on aeroplane flights.

The Ally Capellino 'Bags for Bikes' range also includes a rucksack and a pannier bag, both built to the same style and exacting standard as the Tommo. Visit the Ally Capellino website to see the full range.

*This bag was loaned to VCG for a review. 


Unknown said...

Oh goodness, why why why have you raised my awareness of such a gorgeous product?

Not a question of desire but one of sheer necessity.

Nice shots Ian!


Lady Vélo said...

@Louis: Haha! Sorry fella... :) It's a lovely bag. Sadly no longer in our possession though, which is a shame!

Nadine said...

Hi, I wonder whether this bag could be attached to a bike frame (or more specifically to a Brompton luggage frame). Thank you. ^^

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