North St. Bags is a Portland Oregon based bag maker founded in 2009. They use US made materials and hand build their bags in their Portland warehouse. If you want to take a slightly deeper dive, I have reviewed their Weekender bag here . Now, it’s time to talk about the Meeting bag, which can be used on it’s own, or attached to the Weekender as a travel system.
|Height||15 in||38 cm|
|Length||12.5 in||32 cm|
|Depth||3 in||7 cm|
|Weight||1 lbs 6 oz||0.68 kg|
|Capacity||540 cu. in.||9.5L|
|Primary Materials||X10 Cotton Duck Canvas, YKK Aquaguard Zippers|
Quality and Comfort
My blue Meeting bag is made from X10 Cotton Duck Canvas. North St uses different types of X-Pac materials depending on availability. This particular material is a nice blend of a more heritage canvas look, with the subtle signature cross pattern of X-Pac. The construction of the bag is flawless, as expected from a made to order, small US manufacturer.
The meeting bag is a small bag. You are not going to carry a lot of weight in its 9.5L. The top handles are made from a smooth seat belt material, folded over at the top for a bit more thickness, as well as reducing one raw edge. The bag is comfortably carried as a tote. The main zipper as well as the front pocket zippers are water resistant. The compression strap is used more for attaching the Meeting bag to the Weekender than for any real compression.
Since the bag is of a convertible design — the backpack straps can be tucked into the back panel if not in use. The straps are clipped at the bottom end to a D-ring when deployed. The strap isn’t padded, except for a bit of natural padding from the mesh material used on the inside of the strap.
Some might say the strap is not comfortable because of the thin padding or the non-adjustable nature of the attachment points at the top. I am not particularly bothered by it because I carry at most a few pounds of stuff inside. The straps are also comfortable when I (gasp) single strap carry it. As mentioned above, you’re not going to want to carry a ton of weight in here anyway.
You can carry the Meeting bag as a small backpack or a tote. The bag opens full clamshell style echoing the design of it’s larger brother, the Weekender. Initially I thought it was a strange design for such a small bag, but it’s grown on me. Most of the time I unzip the top 1/4 of the bag to reach in and grab whatever I have in there.
The Meeting bag has velcro strips inside designed to accept Division Pockets. The Meeting bag is a full clam-shell design – being able to open the bag completely does make it easier to attach those pouches and pockets. If you have enough desk space, you can also open the bag fully and make that your portable office.
The main organization in the bag is a padded back pocket designed for a small laptop or tablet. The pocket is suspended from the bottom. The padding is slight. My 13 inch MBP fits nicely as well as my 11 inch iPad Pro.
I also attached the Division internal organizer on the other side, which gives me an easily accessible zipper pocket for my small headphones and wallet.
Throw in two of my EDC pouches, and this becomes my light weight mobile office setup. I used this setup at a conference for several days. I managed to stuff my hoodie in there as well. But the bag is small enough that it will not carry too much more.
The vertical format means I have to consciously stack my items in order of needs. When traveling for example, this is my personal item bag. I have my catch all pouch at the bottom, my ANC headphones at the top, and my water bottle on the side. The bag does not have a lot of depth (3 inches). My 16L water bottle, as well as my Sony ANC headphones with case, just fits.
There is a front zipper pocket without it’s own volume. Again I find the lack of volume on a thin bag makes this front pocket not very useful except for things like a small notebook, or your plane tickets.
- Like it’s big brother the Weekender, the aesthetic and the proportions of the bag are great.
- Just enough protection for a laptop/tablet making this a great small but functional EDC bag.
- Great mobile office when traveling away from home.
- Part of a travel system that works really well.
- The thinness of the bag limits what can be carried, albeit by design.
- You need to attach some sort of internal admin organizer to make the best of the bag.
- Just a tiny bit more padding on the shoulder straps would make them perfect
This bag surprised me – the thinness of the bag initially put me off, but you have to use it for what it was designed for. Now, I only use it as a personal carry on bag on the plane when I fly with the Weekender. Personally, the bag is a bit too small as my main office work bag once I get to my destination, but it can definitely work if you travel light.
However, I had the opportunity to use it while attending a recent conference. All I needed was my iPad and some smaller items, and for that the bag worked perfectly. Then I took it with me for a quick stroll around the city on the weekend. That also worked well. Now I find myself reaching for it when I just need to run to a quick meeting with my iPad or laptop. It’s a smaller, stylish bag that fits into a business environment well. Particularly if you like the vertical format. This bag would be a great entry in to trying out the North St product family even without the Weekender.
Editor’s Note: The Weekender travel system was provided by North St. Bags as a sample for review purposes. The content of this review was not shared with North St. Bags before publishing. Our reviews are unbiased and never modified to keep a brand happy.