Lo & Sons O.G. Bag review and sale

*Through the end of Mother’s Day, enter promo code MOMSRULE2013 at checkout for 15% off your order at Lo & Sons.*

I recently purchased the O.G. Bag (Overnight and Gym Bag) ($295) by Lo & Sons, a company started by a mother and her sons specializing in smartly designed and chicly styled travel bags and totes. I had been eyeing this bag to replace my current carry-on personal bag, a battered Lululemon gym bag, and so I jumped on the Mother’s Day promo for 15% off. (Lo & Sons promos are becoming less frequent and less generous as the company becomes more popular and has less inventory. But I wonder whether they will bring back 25%/30% off promos when they increase inventory.)

The version I bought has a black nylon body, black leather trim, gold hardware, and a light lavender interior. (I was thisclose to buying the plum exterior/lavender interior version, but ultimately reasoned that black would be best because I always store my personal bag on the floor under the seat in front of me. Plus I’m wearing something purple about 95% of the time and it would be too matchy-matchy, no?)

The hardware is weighty and shiny and I’m hoping it doesn’t scratch up easily. The zippers are engraved with “L&S” and a bird logo. There is also a heavy gold medallion on a removable thin leather strap.

I haven’t tried packing and traveling with it yet–though I’m psyched to test it on my trip to Austin–but the bag is supposed to fit underneath airplane seats. I took a couple of photos comparing it to my current personal bag.

Incidentally, Lululemon gym bags are a good option for a personal carry-on bag. They’re overpriced as gym bags but cheap as carry-on luggage. I bought mine, a black pleather style with many inside and outside pockets, for maybe $80-100 and it has lasted for three or four years on dozens of flights and even has a padded laptop compartment.

In the photos, you can see that the O.G. is quite a bit taller but is generally skinnier and shallower. On my petite frame, there is no mistaking the O.G. for anything but luggage. I would never use this as a work tote or even a gym tote. (There is a slightly smaller version called the O.M.G.)

Inside the main space are two sleeves (for a laptop and tablet) and zippered compartments on the opposite wall. The main space is quite spacey; although it’s narrower than many carry-ons, it’s quite a bit taller.

From the side exterior, you can zip open a sleeve intended to store shoes inside the bag but separately from your other (clean) belongings. In the photos, I pulled this sleeve inside out so you can see how big it is compared to the bag. It could probably hold a pair of low sneakers or flats, but I’d have to test whether it could hold high heels. I don’t usually pack a second pair of shoes in my personal bag, so an alternate use for this might be storing an umbrella or a water bottle and snacks (don’t you hate when a melting bottle of cold water starts dripping on everything?). If you’re not using it, you can roll it up within the main compartment and snap it into place and out of the way.

On the front wall is a zipped compartment that contains a keychain, pen holders, and smaller compartments. On the back wall is an interesting feature that I’ve seen on only a few bags before: essentially it’s a thick band of fabric with a zipper across the top and one across the bottom. If you keep the bottom zipper closed, the space serves as another zipper compartment. If you open the bottom and top zippers, you can slip the band over the telescoping handles of your rolling bag, securing the O.G. to the rolling bag.

The bottom has five gold metal “feet” for protection.

Overall, here are what I like about the bag and what I wish was different (not flaws, just my preferences):

– The light colored lining makes it easy to see what’s inside
– A shoulder strap (made of thick fabric, not padded) is included
– The hardware is real metal, so the zippers and strap attachments should last and withstand heavy loads
– The straps are long enough that I can easily pull this onto my shoulder, even with a coat
– The ability to slip the bag over the handles of my luggage is useful
– Having 2 sleeves for electronic devices more realistically reflects modern travel habits
– I wish the zippers for the main space came farther down the sides of the bag. I can see how items in the bag are more secure with the current design, but I foresee having to rifle through the top layers to get to the stuff at the bottom. You can see in the photos that it’s really hard to get good photos of the interiors because the compartments don’t open enough to allow light into the whole bag easily
– I also wish that the zippers for the front compartment zipped down on the sides. I can see how the current design makes it easy and secure to just drop items in, but again, less rifling if I could open the pocket down (or have the pocket accordion out)
– I wish there was a second keychain. One keychain to store my home keys, and a second keychain to store my rental car/hotel keys
– I wish there was an additional non-zip compartment on the front for easy access–something wide enough for a boarding pass (although I suppose I should switch to mobile passes) or frequently accessed items such as lip balm and eye drops but shallow enough so that I’m not fishing in a bottomless pit
– I wish it were slightly deeper, even by half an inch. I’d really like to take advantage of all that space under the seat
– I wish there were two cellphone holders in the same compartment. I have an iPhone (personal use) and a Blackberry (for work). There is one good pocket in the main space and one in the front compartment

In sum, I really like the O.G. bag and appreciate all of the thought that went into the design–for form and function. I hope it holds up well in my upcoming travels.

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