Review : Urbana Mini Bag by Moshi

Tiny tech bag allows you to bring essentials without overloading

MacNN Rating:


Product Manufacturer: Moshi

Price: $100

The Good

  • Stylish bag can work as both a casual and business minded piece
  • Padded compartments keep tech safe
  • Surprising storage for small size

The Bad

  • Shoulder strap is not "one size fits all"
  • Finicky cleaning instructions may not be best for everyone
Tech bags are great, but often tend to err on the large side. Sometimes, if you're just looking to make it through your day with an iPad and your iPhone, you want a bag that isn't going to weigh you down or require special seating accommodations when you stop at your favorite cafe for lunch. Sometimes, you just want a small bag. Moshi reached out to us and asked if we'd check out a bag that fits that bill, a pint-sized, portable bag called the Urbana Mini.

Making a strong case for small sizes:

Chances are, you probably have a couple different bags in your collection. If you're a student, you probably have a backpack and a messenger bag, two bags that can be changed depending on the sheer bulk that you might need to carry. If you're a person who needs to take their work with them, you may have a couple bags, a professional looking one and a "catch all." However, if you're like us, you might be lacking a bag that is smaller, more compact, and more geared toward the essentials. There are times when you certainly want to be able to bring some of your tech collection along with you, but maybe you don't want to bring a gargantuan bag. That's why Moshi designed the Urbana Mini. Big enough to fit a 12-inch MacBook, but small enough to be comfortably tucked under your arm, it's a bag that's designed to get you through your day with the essentials, and room for a bit more. If you're not tempted to haul along tons more, then the load won't get any heavier, will it?

On style:

We'll be honest: we were expecting the color to be a bit more punchy than what we ended up with, but it's still an attractive, pale slate gray. Based on the images on Moshi's website, we were expecting a bluer shade of material. In the two weeks that we've been using it, we've been stopped a handful of times by people who have wanted to know more about it. Our only complaint is that if you happen to be plus size, the included shoulder strap doesn't extend enough to use it as a cross-body bag that hits in a comfortable or flattering area. We've taken to leaving the strap off and instead carrying it by the handles, rather than having it rest on an awkward place.

On storage:

One of the coolest things about the Urbana Mini is that there's actually a pretty decent amount of storage in a bag that is only a little bit bigger than an iPad. As long as you're not trying to fill it full of bottles of water or bulky on-ear headphones, this is the perfect day bag. Inside there are four compartments. Two identical larger iPad-size compartments separated by two identical, side-by side compartments that are heavily padded, which can be used to store phones and other quick access items. Moshi deliberately chose to make the Urbana Mini's liner a lighter color so you can easily find whatever you put in it. We have several bags that use darker color liners and find that we often have a tough time finding dark colored cables, pens, or pencils in our bags. On the front and back of the bag, there's two additional compartments, though they're rather small and flat. These could be used for holding things like checkbooks or important papers, but aren't big enough for much of anything else.

On utility:

The Urbana Mini is a great bag for someone who doesn't have to tote around a full-sized MacBook Pro or laptop, but still wants the ability to carry around an iPad or an up to 12-inch MacBook, and a book, phone, wallet, and keys. It's great if you're running out for errands or just looking for something that can transport your every day objects to the office or campus with you. If you're looking for something to carry books, computers, or even your packed lunch, we think that you'd probably be better off looking elsewhere.

On durability:

The Urbana Mini feels solidly made. We've only been using it for two weeks at this point, but there's been no signs of wear or tear from being tossed in and out of cars, buses, or carried around the city. The seams, zippers, and fasteners all appear to be designed to take a a bit of a beating, and the outside of the bag is weather-resistant, helping to protect the electronics inside from snow, sleet, or rain. It is worth noting that this bag is spot-clean only and should not be washed, either by hand, or in the washing machine. This means that whenever possible, you should avoid placing the Urbana Mini on the ground or other surfaces where it may pick up dirt, and you should regularly check for and remove any stains before you run the risk of ruining your bag.

Final thoughts:

Honestly, the Urbana Mini is hands down one of the best looking bags we've tested, and we're loving the fact that it's designed for small devices, rather than large. We have gotten used to packing it with our essentials and grabbing it in the morning before we have to leave and find that it's the perfect size for every day simple things. Sure, it's not going to be the bag you need when you're going on a weekend trip, and it's not even what we'd consider airport carry-on size, but it's still a great edition to anyone's tech bag collection. If you're looking to score your own, the Urbana Mini comes in metro black and sky blue (pictured), with sakura pink and Tuscan yellow to be released at a later time, and can be purchased from the Moshi website for $100.

-Amber Neely (@SurferAmber)

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