Thursday, December 3, 2009

Review: GoLite TraveLite Tote

I was sent an awesome GoLite bag for review. The minute I received it in the mail, I transferred all my work stuff and purse contents over to give it a try. About GoLite: GoLite's long term objective is to mitigate 100% of their environmental footprint and to be a model corporation in how they treat their people, communities and environment. They can say this, and prove it, as they use a comprehensive, metrics-based path to sustainability. It can be, and is, measured. GoLite is not interested in launching just a few “green” products or a couple of eco-fiber collections. They are addressing 100% of their operations and 100% of their products. This means that all of their products are almost, if not made completely from 100% recycled and recyclable materials, but also the WAY that these products are made doesn't harm the environment. A lot of companies claim they have green products, and they might, but some of the practices of making these "green" products come with a huge toll on the environment. GoLite is actually improving product quality and technical performance, not sacrificing them, nor sacraficing the planet.

The bag I reviewed, TraveLite Tote is 8 oz of 100% recycled material. It might have been a tent in another life. Or, it might have been someone's backpack that went trekking through Nepal. The tote is part of the TraveLite™ Collection, which is made with Tier 1 recycled nylon – making it the first-ever eco-friendly carry gear of its kind.

My thoughts: At first glance I wasn’t crazy about the color, I’m not a huge green fan (but there are others online) but I’ve grown to really like it. It’s very fall. I really can’t say enough great things about this bag. There are TONS of pockets, both on the inside and outside.

Pockets on the outside! Umbrella a NW staple (though the weather has been GORGEOUS lately) and my waterbottle.Another pocket, on the backside.This doesn't even do it justice. It might look full but there is TONS of room and I have some work papers, a magazine, my laptop, a notebook, my wallet, sunglasses, etc.Oh yeah, there is a pocket on the INSIDE for a thermos! That's not a tiny thermos either. Here's me modeling and Zoey looking on saying "you're crazy mommy, can we play now?"

For me, it’s the perfect size to take to work. I can fit my laptop, paperwork and my lunch conveniently without things spilling over the top. I even use one of the outer pockets for a water bottle. With the zipper top and easy access pockets, it’d be a great commuter bag if you’re on a train or bus. On that note, this is my ideal traveling bag. It’s big enough for my laptop without being so unwieldy that it would be hard to carry on. The straps are comfy too, that’s always a pet peeve of mine. When my bag gets heavy I don’t want my straps digging into my shoulders.

The only use that I have found challenging is taking it to the gym. I am usually a morning gym go-er and that means I have a ton-o-crap in tow (i.e. hairdryer, makeup bag, towel, shower shoes, work clothes etc). This bag is a wee too small for me to take it to the gym in the morning. However, if I was going on a weekend or in the evening when I wouldn’t need to shower and change my clothes it’d be just fine.

Finally, I live in the NW and so far have resisted the hippy-granola ways of the grunge population (remember my post about the granola-ized bathroom at my work) however, there is something to be said for a company who prides itself on sustainability. The price tag for sustainability is usually higher and this bag is no different. However, when compared to other travel bags comparable in size, it’s price tag is about average.
If you’re not in the market for a travel tote, GoLite has several other products. Here are a couple I’m eyeing!

I’ve been considering trying a new waterbelt, instead of the small bottles, trying one bigger bottle:

How can I not like these pants, their “cali” pants:

Here’s a link to the main page, shop away!