Wednesday, March 28, 2007

review: belstaff colonial canvas spring/summer 07 collection UPDATED

(UPDATE1 - You can read about the changes to the Belstaff Colonial Canvas line for spring/summer 08 here.)

(UPDATE2 - I'm in the process of working with Belstaff to get my bag repaired. Read about this here)

Readers of ack/nak know of my devotion to my Belstaff bag.

So it is with great enthusiasm that I learned of Belstaff's new line of Colonial Canvas bags for Spring/Summer 2007. Enthusiasm, I say!

Full disclosure: I've not managed to get my hands on any of these bags. What I know about them is what I've seen from the pictures I'm sharing with you here. Of course, if the nice people from Belstaff were to send a few of them to me, I could do a better job of putting them through their paces. Hint. Hint. My email address is down there on the right hand side. . . yes, over there. . . under "contact me".

Note on Colors: Belstaff changed the list of available colors for the Colonial collection from last year's line. The Fall06/Winter07 colors were: Colonial, India, Panama, Mountain Brown, Kaki and Black. The Spring/Summer07 Colors are divided into two groups: "Northern Colors" - Black, and "Southern Colors" - Ice, Kaki, Sand, Mountain Brown. Of all of these, Kaki and Mountain Brown look the best. I think the majority of the photos here feature bags in that color.

Image source: Belstaff

"Where can I buy one?" - I know of one store in New York (L'Uomo) that stocked the Shoulder Bag - but I don't know if they stock the rest of the line. When I visited the Belstaff store in London last fall, they recommended that anyone who wanted one of these bags should just give them a call.

Belstaff London Flagship Store
12-13 Conduit Street
tel +442074955897

Body Bag

No, you can't fit a body in this bag. This bag is designed to sling over your shoulder and fit snugly against your chest, potentially under a coat. Note the various and sundry external zippers, a Colonial line first AFAIK. For the serious traveler in unfriendly cities, this is probably a wise choice.

Large Man Bag

This is an excellent compromise for someone who needs the capacity of the shoulder bag but doesn't like it's "landscape" format. Compare this to the Man Bag and Medium Man Bag to see what I mean. Of all of the new Colonial bags, this is the one I covet most. Note the two front pockets.

Large Shoulder Bag

Bigger than the classic shoulder bag, but smaller than the travel bag, this baby seems a bit on the big size for an everyday briefcase, but perhaps just right as an overnight bag.

Man Bag

The man bag is unique in the Colonial line in its use of top-mounted strap rings - all of the other bags use side-mounted strap rings. It also lacks a front pocket, which seriously limits its flexibility. But for a small bag, what do you want.


I like the mix of zippered pocket and button pocket in addition to a main zippered pouch. Another winner for travelling types, this looks like it would ride equally well on your hip as elsewhere. The marsupium is #2 on my most-coveted list.

Medium Man Bag

The ultimate man bag compromise: one external pocket, side-mounted strap rings. Don't expect to be able to put a magazine in this without folding it, but it seems to bring more capacity (and flexibility) to the table than the basic man bag. This looks like it would be a very serviceable camera bag.

Shoulder Bag

The shoulder bag is my every-day briefcase, carry-on bag and general partner in crime. Two front pockets, two side pockets and an internal zippered enclosure give it tremendous flexibility. It even has a back-mounted "handle" so you don't always have to lift it by the strap. It wears wonderfully slung across the body, in part due to the clever leather padding on the strap. Buy one.

Travel Bag

A multi-compartmented, zippered and handled monster of a bag, this addition to the Colonial collection screams "throw me in the back of the single-prop plane and let's fly over the jungle." Since my plans for flying in single-prop planes and flying over jungles are as yet unformed, I don't see one of these in my future.

So there you have it. Of course, if you're not a fan of canvas-cloth bags, Belstaff has a lot of other stuff you might like. But for me, I find the durability, charming shabbiness and comfort of my shoulder bag to be just right.


You Mon Tsang said...

I have been looking for an acceptable man bag for quite a long time. One of these may do the trick...

Anonymous said...

Colonial Belstaff bag is in Luomo 383 Bleecker st Nyc Ny 10014 tel 212 206 1844

VintageCollector said...

Will the Belstaff Man Bag be able to hold a 15" MacBook Pro?