A Neat Holiday Backpack from The Cambridge Satchel Company


Just before I left for my summer break, the Cambridge Satchel Company got in touch to ask if we’d like to wear-test some of its new styles. Nice timing, as I was wondering what bag to take on my holidays.

I love to switch-up my bag for a holiday, changing bags means more than just swapping the contents from one to another, it’s about a different perspective, with different needs from usual. Changing bags can signal a new adventure, a break from your everyday routine and of course, if you are in a far away market viewing gorgeously colourful straw weaves/vintage embossed leather/ crazy woven stripes, it’s also an excuse for an exotic buy.

My trip this holiday was an action packed week in New York, then three weeks traveling and hiking around North Caroline and Tennessee, I felt the need for Girl Guide preparedness and wanted something easy, that left me hands free with room for essentials (sunglasses/reading glasses/sun cream/purse/passport/keys/phone/lippy/hand cream/note book….you?) and still looked stylish.

I opted for the neat and very robust Poppy Back Pack. It is also available as a classic bag style. Both are £135.


Regular readers will know that I have swapped (from and over-body) to a back pack for health reasons and it’s worked, I have no back issues now. The Poppy is delightful, it looks small, but is tough. I was a little skeptical at first when I saw it as I thought it might not cope with everything I wanted to force put into it. However, it has been an excellent  companion on my adventures.


It’s comfy to wear, the straps are neat and easy to adjust and it has a smart handle for when you need to carry it by hand. The Poppy has a slide clip fastening, which I thought would be swifter at closing than having to buckle-up, and it performed well.

Although it’s no-nonsense-simple – there’s no fancy internal pockets or flaps – it’s tough, being made from that ridged leather we know from school-satchel days. It’s also smart and cute. It held up to walking over Brooklyn Bridge (above), dropping in for coffee at a cool Williamsburg cold-drip coffee joint, trekking through the Great Smokey Mountains (top image) and visiting Third Man Records (below), Jack White’s fabulous music store in Nashville, all while looking and performing magnificently.


The smart initial embossing was something I’d have never have normally chosen, it’s not my style, but the company offered to add it for me -a service  offered for all of its bags – and I grew to love it. It makes it comfortingly personal and it felt more mine. Daft, I know, but there we go.

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I got loads of compliments on Poppy, both from the style obsessed in NYC and the more relaxed and arty crew in Greensboro. No one had ever heard of The Cambridge Satchel Company, and the style-snob in me always loves to be able to point people in a new direction.


Now its back, the Poppy still looks as smart as the day it arrived, despite being rained on, squashed into overhead airplane lockers, dragged around junk shops/ vintage markets/ fancy clothes stores, baked in the noon day sun and generally abused in the way travel luggage can be. It’s been a joy to use. So thanks Cambridge Satchel Company, Poppy was a terrific companion on my adventures!





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