Overland Equipment Isabella Review
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Overland Equipment’s Isabella is a new offering for Spring 2013. The Isabella is modeled after Overland Equipment’s well known Auburn, and is a scaled down version of this well loved bag. The Isabella measures 9” x 8” x 3.5” (H x W x D), while the Auburn is a tad larger and measures 10” x 12” x 4” (H x W x D). Don’t let the scaled down size fool you, the Isabella offers plenty of organization in a compact, well thought out design.
The Isabella features a zippered main compartment with a fun tree or flower pattern that contrasts the color of the bag. The main compartment features two long pockets that run the length of internal compartment. These pockets are wide enough to fit my iPhone, checkbook, or hard sunglass case. Along the back of the purse there is a another large compartment that is sans zipper, yet offers a place to stash items that you may need to get to quickly, such as a pair of gloves in winter. The majority of the organizational features are in the front of the bag and are enclosed with a velcro front closure. Simply flip up the flap and you will find not only a zippered mesh compartment for loose change, but also an internal key clip, fleece lined pocket, three small pockets, and a vertical pocket to store a few pens. The fleece lined pocket is a great idea, however I feel that the pocket is not deep enough for the new iPhone 5’s added length as 1/3rd of the phone peeks out of the pocket and does not feel overly secure in this pocket. To help open and close the front of the bag, there is a small tab sewn into the flap. Unlike some of Overland Equipments other purses, there is no room for to stash a water bottle with this pack.
The Isabella features an adjustable 1″ strap that allows you to carry the bag over one shoulder when shortened or across your body when lengthened, like a messenger bag. When worn over the shoulder, the Isabella hugs your hip and stays put while on the go. There is also a buckle on the left side of the bag which I used to clip the bag to my backpack or other luggage when traveling, for added security. Overland Equipment features a video for each of their products and within the video they show the Isabella around the waist, an option that I am not a big fan of but one that may appeal to others.
Overland Equipment incorporated ballistic nylon into the outer of the Isabella and ripstop nylon into the inner lining. I have been testing the Isabella for about a month now and it has not suffered any major wears or tears. If it is anything like the Cambridge and Donner bags, also from Overland Equipment, I expect the materials to last for years to come, as these bags feature quality craftsmanship. The Isabella is available in 7 different colors and features patterned linings to offer a bit of fun to each bag. I tested the Poppy color and loved the vibrant and fun red hue. The other colors range from earthy to bold. The Isabella retails for $50 and I believe this is a fair price for a bag that will be great for travel and everyday adventures.
For more info on the Overland Equipment Isabella visit www.rei.com/overland.