Stephanie Sacco, Customer Stoke Manager and Super Mum, reviews the Seventy Eight Percent Jurgen…
I am a bag addict. I love bags; lust after them. A bag can make your day or ruin it, make your event awesome or destroy it. I have long been on the search for the perfect bag, so when I was asked what kind of bag I’d like to review I was picky but not overly specific. “It has to be stylish”…. “It needs to go from work to play”…. “It can’t be too small”…. “It needs to be tough”….
Then up popped the Jurgen backpack from Seventy Eight Percent. With beautiful, minimalistic design complemented by stunning woven Japanese cotton canvas, vegetable-tanned Italian leather trimmings and a polycotton lining, Jurgen ticked all the boxes. Visually, I was in love. I usually don’t gravitate towards backpacks but the clean lines and quality materials and construction made me overlook my preference.
Who It Suits
Anyone wanting a bag that looks equally chic in the office and about town at the weekend. The beautiful aesthetics will turn heads, the durable construction will serve you well for years to come, and the minimalist design is just right if you’re looking for a bag that will help you declutter your carry while still offering some organization for bits and pieces.
Who It Doesn’t
If you need to carry a lot of stuff or awkwardly-shaped items, there are better bags out there to suit your needs. If you’re a minimalist packer the pocket setup will be fine, but again there are more suitable bags if you appreciate numerous organization options. In addition, if you want a bag that can glide between city and outdoor environments, this isn’t it. The Jurgen is designed for urban environments rather than outdoor exploration.
I eagerly started loading my gear into this gorgeous bag and took stock of its features. Its internal document pocket accepted my 13″ MacBook Air with ease, though the height of the pocket fell slightly short and I wasn’t able to secure the button. Mildly annoying but not enough to dull my excitement. The larger internal pocket housed my organizer (yes, I know. I’m old school, let it go.), a small toiletries bag, my Bellroy Carry Out and a novel. It was cozy, but not crowded.
The external pocket held my smartphone snugly so I wasn’t worried about it sliding out of the pocket and getting lost, and last but not least, my favorite pen slipped into the handy pen pocket.
Now here’s the part that I really love, the fold-over flap that secures with the leather strap and a metal closure provides an extra layer of security against any who might try to get their hands on my precious cargo.
“Visually, I was in love. I usually don’t gravitate towards backpacks but the clean lines and quality materials and construction made me overlook my preference.”
So far, I’m thrilled.
During the first week, and for the majority of the trial period, this bag slipped into my day-to-day existence seamlessly. Having only a handful of pockets limited the amount of “stuff” I tried to jam into my bag every day. Receipts, information booklets handed to me on every Melbourne street corner and extra pens just to touch on a few. The Jurgen actually made me stop and think about what I needed and what was erroneous, and I soon found myself carrying less and less and spending much less time searching through my bag for what I needed.
The Not So Good
The second week told a slightly different story. I took my beautiful Jurgen on a day trip with my two kids. I was in and out of my bag every 5-10 minutes, and the kids were asking me to stash their gear as well as my own. I needed my wallet about 50 times that day over the space of around four hours and that’s when the bag’s features stopped working for me. I started to simply leave the strap unfastened to make getting in and out of the bag faster, having all the extra ‘stuff’ to jam into the large inner pocket made it difficult to find anything that I wanted in a hurry, and with extra weight the woven straps were not so comfortable on my shoulders. I found myself getting more and more frustrated as the day wore on.
Fast-forward to another quiet day, without the tiny humans, and my love for Jurgen returned. Without the extra demands on the space of the bag, it reclaimed itself as the organization tool it was.
“…the fold-over flap that secures with the leather strap and a metal closure provides an extra layer of security against any who might try to get their hands on my precious cargo.”
When I sat down to write this review, I started thinking about that day (shudder) and my growing frustration at the Jurgen’s limitations and it became abundantly clear to me that no one bag is going to adapt to every situation, event or lifestyle. Yes, there are bags that will take you from work to play but if you work in an office and play for you is hanging from a cliff by your fingertips then you might find that one bag for both situations will greatly disappoint you.
“The Jurgen actually made me stop and think about what I needed and what was erroneous, and I soon found myself carrying less and less and spending much less time searching through my bag for what I needed.”
In my pursuit of the perfect bag, I tried to force the Jurgen to be awesome in a situation that it simply wasn’t designed to excel in. This is a bag that is clearly designed for the urban crawler. Keeping your gear neat and organized while you trek from one end of Melbourne to the other, and adding a sophistication to your look with clean asymmetrical lines and craftsmanship that screams quality and passion. It is a welcome addition to my collection and has definitely become a favorite; though I can’t say I’m disappointed that my foray into the world of Carryology has reinforced my need to collect more carry goodies.