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Backpacks

Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack

Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack Review

by , January 14, 2022
7.6
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Ally Capellino is a UK-based brand that brings a touch of luxury to commuter and city carry. As founder and creative director Alison Lloyd puts it, “The inspiration for the brand is always initially the materials and letting the materials almost create the design.” With this detail-oriented approach, Ally Capellino has not only made bags that look stylish but also rock high-quality materials. I had the pleasure of checking out the Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack, and I was pleasantly surprised by the details and thoughtfulness put into it.

Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack

Specifications

  • Name: Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack
  • Brand: Ally Capellino
  • Format: Backpack
  • Measurement: 42cm wide, 44cm tall, 13cm deep
  • Capacity: 24L
  • Weight:
  • Zippers:
  • Material: British waxed cotton shell, nylon lining, Italian bridle leather strap and base
  • PriceUS$455

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Who It Suits

Fashion-forward individuals will appreciate this pack for its timeless design. It’s understated, but in the best ways. This pack doesn’t scream, “Hey, look at me!” Rather, it has a subtle but powerful presence. If your environment requires formal attire, look no further. That’s not to say this can’t be dressed down though. This will easily blend right in with casual attire. For the style-conscious, the bag will complement your carefully considered outfit. Students, office workers, and urban explorers may appreciate this bag.

Who It Doesn’t

I think it’s safe to say that this bag isn’t meant for rugged outdoor activity. Moreover, if you need features like complete weather resistance, rock scraping abrasion resistance, or water-resistant zippers, this bag is likely not for you. I’d even venture to say that you may want to avoid this for travel; not that it won’t work, but there are likely better options for that use case.

Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack


Design

Carefully crafted, with attention paid to the details, the Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack completely outclasses other fashion-forward bags that have no substance. Let’s first talk about the thing that I thought would bother me the most: the straps. This pack has these webbing straps that, I must say, are way more comfortable than I thought they’d be. This is also with me carrying a 16″ laptop, a tablet, books for university, and other daily essentials, so I don’t have a particularly light load. The straps are reinforced with stitching and rivets, so I have peace of mind that they will last.

Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack

Moving to the back panel, it has the perfect amount of padding so that I don’t feel my laptop on my back. Speaking of, I think the laptop compartment leaves a little to be desired. Sure, my laptop feels protected from my back, but the sleeve is just a mesh that, although feeling durable, doesn’t make me feel comfortable about scratches and overall drop protection. That being said, my 16″ MacBook Pro fits comfortably.

Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack

The straps on the top allow you to carry the bag tote-style, which may be great if you don’t want to mess up your outfit or in my case when I need to move short distances.

Due to the nature of the materials, the bag has worn in beautifully, and will only get better with time. This is the type of bag that develops character the more you use it.

The details are on point. The stitching is phenomenal with the exception of a loose thread on the zipper pull if I had to really nitpick. There are leather tabs you can hold so you can easily zip and unzip the main compartment.

Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack

There is no shortage of pockets on the Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack either. This bag has two pockets in the main compartment as well as the laptop section. The front flap has a zippered pocket, two mesh pockets, and a place for your keys. There are also two exterior pockets that I use for a water bottle and umbrella.

I’m a huge fan of the pockets on the side. They fit my Hydro Flask and my umbrella with a tad bit of room to spare. On the topic of pockets, I’ve got to say that this has one of my favorite pocket layouts on a more stylish bag. The two interior pockets in the main compartment, the exterior side pockets, the zippered section in the front pocket, all of it works together perfectly for someone like me who organizes with pouches. If you have a lot of small items or tech, consider investing in an organizer if you’re eyeing this pack.

Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack

I love the nylon lining. On the pack that I got, it’s this light brown/beige color which is easy to see inside of. The lining feels durable too. As a snob when it comes to the lining in bags, I can say I really like this.

The 24L capacity feels well utilized and spacious. I would think that this is in part due to the more square shape of the bag. It carries a lot while looking good. I was able to fit a lot of stuff in here comfortably. Also because of the shape, the bag is easier to access than some narrower packs in my opinion.

Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack


Features

The two internal pockets on the main compartment fit my two pouches nicely. That’s going to be the only organization inside the main capacity aside from the laptop compartment. I feel the external side pockets are perfect for a bag like this, and they don’t protrude too much when not in use. The flap in the front has two slip pockets and a zippered one in the back with a burly metal key hook.


Performance

The waxed cotton has already broken in nicely. I do want to mention though that the black color that I got attracts a lot of lint, so a lint roller would be good to have. The leather of course is going to only get better with age as well, and the metal buckle is extremely durable.

Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack


The Good

  • Fashionable
  • Excellent materials
  • Timeless design
  • Exceptional craftsmanship
  • Simple organization

Not So Good

  • Lint magnet
  • Laptop compartment doesn’t feel protected
  • Buckle takes some time to undo
  • Straps take a little longer to adjust

Alternatives to Consider

If you’re in the market for a fashionable, office-friendly bag, maybe consider the QWSTION Daypack. Anything from Bellroy will also look great in most situations, and the Day Owl Backpack will definitely look good in the office – I personally love that one.


Verdict

Ally Capellino delivers on its goal of letting the materials shine. That, coupled with excellent, considered design elevates this bag to another level. When other brands ask style or substance, Ally Capellino asks, “Why not both?” This bag will stay in style and have the longevity to do so because of the great craftsmanship and choice of materials. I want to leave you with a quote from Alison Lloyd. When I reached out and asked her what impact she hopes to have on customers and fans of the brand, here’s what she had to say:

“I think I am looking for the reverse, I love it when someone with style puts on a bag and wears it in a way I didn’t expect. I want them to feel comfortable expressing themselves, they are people who know their own minds and the bags should not be used as a status symbol.”

Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Backpack

Many thanks to Jeff McDuffie for this review.

The Breakdown

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Geek (Performance)

Space & Access
9
Organization
7
Comfort
7

Style (Design)

Look & Feel
10
Build, Materials & Hardware
9
Features
6

Stoke (Experience)

Warranty & Support
6
Brand experience
7
Value
7
X Factor
8

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