Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review: Namaste Monroe Bag

The Monroe, in Peacock Blue
There are plenty of vegan bags on the market, but many are made of cheap materials and many others are focused more on fashion than function. Namaste first came on my radar when my sister started knitting, but few vegans realize that their awesome bags work just as well for everyday use. What follows is a review of their classic Monroe bag, a stylish tote that can double as a ladies' briefcase.

  • Made of vegan leather
  • Durable materials
  • Well-designed
  • Three main storage compartments
  • Pockets galore
  • Two of the main pockets have zip closures
Note the faux leather grain
  • May have to go to a knitting shop to find one (or order online)
I really love the design of this bag. Both the front and back compartments are large enough to hold documents, have one small inside zipper pocket, and one pocket split for a cell phone and keys/cards. The back pocket zips shut, and the middle compartment is sealed with a zipper as well. There is a lot of space in this bag. The hardware is sturdy, and the magnetic closures are as well. The straps are sturdy and sit well on your shoulders. The inner lining matches the outer leather beautifully.

Bag has three compartments: front, back, and zippered center
One of my favorite things about this bag is how many unexpected details are included. Whether it's the pocket along the back of the purse, for keeping something like a passport close at hand, or the "strap buddy," which snaps shut to keep the straps together, this bag is full of many "premium" features you don't even see on fancy designer handbags. This is a great bag that I would take to school, to work, or on an airplane. I love how it expands or folds flat based on your needs. And if you're a knitter, you're in luck too, because it was designed with you in mind, too.

If you're looking for a practical, stylish tote, Namaste offers a great choice with the versatile Monroe tote. It looks as nice as bags three times as expensive and boasts more pockets than many backpacks. You really can't go wrong with the Monroe.

Also available on

Product Ratings (out of 5)


Disclosure notice: This product was sent to me free of charge by the manufacturer for review. No additional compensation was accepted and the opinions are my own. Please verify any claims with the manufacturer, especially if you have any allergies or concerns.

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  1. Be careful not to put heave stuff in it. The handles of mine stretched out of shape.

  2. Kate, the same thing happened to me! I actually wrote to them to see if maybe I got a bum bag, but haven't heard back yet (just wrote them on Friday). I used the bag to carry my 15" MacbookPro for about 7 months, and at about 6 months, the straps were obviously longer. Now the material is clearly splitting.

    I'm super sad - as noted in the review, these bags are fab. Stylish (I get compliments all the time) and just the right size for my laptop + lunch and notebook. I might actually get another and get a laptop-only slim bag to carry the laptop in so I don't stretch the new one out. Still kinda hoping the newer bags are more resilient, though.


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