Review: The Luncheon by Crumpler

A small lightweight laptop vertical messenger bag (November 22nd, 2006)

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Product Manufacturer: Crumpler Bags

Price: $95.00 US

The Good

  • Lightweight. Water-resistant. Trendy. Durable.

The Bad

  • Thin laptop padding. No padded carrying handle. No exterior pockets. Limited accessibility

The Crumpler Luncheon is a lightweight messenger bag with a vertical profile, as opposed to the wider messenger bags we typically see. It retails for $95.00 and fits the MacBook, iBook, and 15" MacBook Pro or PowerBook.

The design

The Luncheon has an adjustable shoulder strap with a removable wrap secured by Velcro. A large front flap with a Velcro closure secures your contents. On the inside of the front cover, Crumpler includes a zippered mesh pocket, perfect for storing any smaller items that would normally hide around the bottom of the bag. While this pocket is nice, there are no small individual slots inside of the bag to hold writing utensils.

Inside the Luncheon main interior compartment is a self-enclosed and sectioned-off laptop case that is sealed by more Velcro. I can barely fit a couple of sizeable textbooks into the bag along with my MacBook, so for my purposes the interior space feels a bit restrictive. Accessing my laptop by freeing the interior flap located on the lower inside of the bag is difficult when the bag is full. While the durable Velcro closures Crumpler uses secure the contents reliably and are more durable than normal zippers, I found them cumbersome. The only available exterior pocket on the Luncheon is placed on the front of the bag, but behind the large main flap.

The bag is made of high-quality fabrics, with a 900D Nylon fabric exterior shell, lined internally with 420D Ripstop Nylon. One thing is for certain; this bag will last through extended student abuse. The Luncheon also sports a fabric loop for hanging the bag up, but unfortunately, this is not comfortable for carrying by hand. A real padded handle would be a good addition.

The look

The Luncheon I tested has a grey and black exterior and looks nice on the outside. The Luncheon also comes in blue and olive. I do think the appeal of its mustard yellow interior is questionable. However, a brightly colored interior does help reveal any smaller items lost within the bag, exposing them like a sore thumb. It is a good substitute if you do not like backpacks, but not made to carry a lot. The small interior space limits it from becoming too heavy, but overall the Luncheon utility is too limited to justify its $95.00 price tag. There are similar cases with more comprehensive laptop padding and better functionality for about the same price.

Laptop protection

The interior laptop padding is minimal, providing a snug container for my MacBook that protects against scratches and minor dents, but not the robust padding I want in a bag in this price range. The Luncheon fabrics are strong and durable, and the bag is obviously built to last, I just would not trust it to save my machine from an especially rough spill. Crumpler has the right idea with this unique design, but it needs more pockets and thicker laptop case padding.

Editor's Note: A few women I know like this bag for its compact size, but I agree, it is too little for too much.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Alexander Munro


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