Review: The Considerable Embarrassment

A well-made messenger bag for your laptop. (February 11th, 2008)

MacNN Rating:


Product Manufacturer: Crumpler Bags

Price: $85.00 US

The Good

  • Spacious. Plenty of pockets. Good colors. Outstanding build quality.

The Bad

  • Corners may let in rain if not completely closed. Some may find it expensive. Does not protect your laptop from being dropped or crushed.

Crumpler, based in Australia, has a knack for creating bags that are stylish and functional. The company is known for its funky website and creative marketing. When I wanted to buy a bag to hold my 15-inch PowerBook that has since evolved into a MacBook Pro, I chose a gray Considerable Embarrassment because it is a messenger style bag and just doesn't look like a computer bag, which makes it inconspicuous when running about.

I think that if you choose a bag that looks like it contains a laptop, it is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. It turns you into a walking target for theft, plus the bag can disappear quickly if you turn your back for a minute when it is resting on the ground. I instantly fell in love with the design of The Considerable Embarrassment.

The Look

The Considerable Embarrassment has casual curves, and comes in professional looking black, gray, and brown, or whimsical red, green, or blue. The stitching that holds the 900D nylon shell and 420D ripstop nylon lining is excellent. I have not found a loose thread or separating seam since I started using it six months ago. Two clasps keep the bag lid shut, and are backed up by two large Velcro pads. This efficient design thwarts sneaky hands because the clasps make a clicking and sliding sound when released, and the Velcro produces a loud pseudo-tearing sound when opened. At the same time, the two mechanisms allow you easy access to the large inside pockets.

Crumpler bag

Inside Tag and Color

One of the things I like most about my gray Considerable Embarrassment is the bright orange shell inside. If you've ever tried to find a pen, key, or coin in the shadowed bottom of a black bag, you understand why I appreciate the bright inside color. The color palette is cleverly chosen, as the gray and orange compliment each other. The orange is a rather pleasing medium color, rather than a loud road-workers orange color.


There is no shortage of space in this bag. At the recent Macworld Expo, I had a chance to push The Considerable Embarrassment to the limits. At one point, I carried two laptops, an iPod, a phone, several folders of paper, business cards, cables, a camera flash, lenses, and a few other items. Even with over 15 pounds of equipment in the bag, the stitches held fast, and the shoulder pad was comfortable all day long. I don't recommend you try this at home or away though, because you can do some damage to your back before the bag will break.

Crumpler bag

Six Month Old Bag Shows No Wear

Most importantly, the laptop sleeve fits either 15" laptop perfectly. The built-in sleeve is 13.4 x 9.5 x 1.6-inches. There was no wiggle room for the machine to flop back and forth, and the Velcro lip held the chassis tightly. It fits comfortably on the small of your back, as well as at your side too.

Plenty of Compartments

For those that like a well-organized bag, The Considerable Embarrassment is sure to please. Including the laptop compartment, there are 12 separate areas to keep everything from cables and cell phones to iPods. The pockets keep everything separated, yet easily accessible.

This bag is very reliable, so far lasting through months of moderate to heavy usage. It survived my Macworld challenge well, with no undue signs of wear. Crumpler also sells the The Moderate Embarrassment for the MacBook or iBook and The Dreadful Embarrassment for 17-inch MacBook Pro laptops. The only challenge when it comes to buying a Crumpler is to decide on a bag color.

Related Crumpler Reviews:

The Part and Parcel

The King Single - Laptop Backpack

The Whickey and Cox - Laptop and Camera Backpack

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Galen Wood


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