- Buyer's Guide
Drive By :: ro bags Indigo G Surplus
Ro Bags is a New York/Hong Kong outfit that balances East Village vibes with clean, modern silhouettes. We dig the stuff, and I was excited to check out the G Surplus – their take on a classic tote.
- Made of 14.5 oz selvedge denim and Italian vegetable-tanned Dakota leather
- Fits a 13″ MacBook
- Zippered main compartment, top-set internal pockets, external pen holder
- Detachable leather shoulder strap and leather handle
- Dimensions: 38 cm (L) x 9 cm (W) x 40.5 cm (H)
- Price: $290 USD
Who It Suits
Young adult urbanites looking for a unique, well-featured tote. Also denim enthusiasts.
Who It Doesn’t
Well it’s more expensive than $200 jeans, so if you wouldn’t buy $200 jeans you probably won’t like this bag.
I’ve been playing with the ro bags Indigo G Surplus for a while now, and it gets a good amount of use. The quality of the materials is apparent and the construction is clean and professional – it doesn’t stray into the “craft” feel like some similar bags. It looks good, and is something different from the Filson-style work bag that every snappily dressed 25-to-32-year-old is carrying these days.
“The quality of the materials is apparent and the construction is clean and professional…”
The tote’s unstructured design itself is great – big enough for your around-town stuff, small enough to keep you from bringing useless crap. I like the security of a fully zipped up bag, and I’m also a huge fan of the top-set pockets. They let you quickly and easily access your phone, keys, or headphones while leaving space at the bottom of your bag for bulkier items like files, magazines, etc.
The Not So Good
Being Canadian I love denim, but I’m not sure selvedge denim is the ultimate bag material. A Canadian Tuxedo is one thing, but denim-on-denim-on-denim? Now that’s going too far. Seriously though, I don’t wear this bag if I’m wearing jeans, it’s just too much. It also has a little bit of a wet-jeans smell when it rains (I live in Vancouver after all).
“I don’t wear this bag if I’m wearing jeans, it’s just too much.”
The pen holder on the outside looks neat, but probably isn’t too useful. If you can afford this bag you can afford a nice pen, and you shouldn’t leave your Vanishing Point just hanging out there. And finally, it’s a shame that their Reverse Portfolio computer carrying case doesn’t fit inside the G Surplus. It feels like a missed opportunity to build a system that integrates cleanly.
“I like the security of a fully zipped up bag, and I’m also a huge fan of the top-set pockets.”
Despite my snarky comments on the denim, don’t pass this bag over. If denim isn’t your jam they make it out of lots of other materials, and the design itself is great. It looks good, and the features are useful and understated. It might not be my favourite bag ever, but it’s definitely got me interested in seeing what Ro Bags does in the future.