It’s strong, it’s sleek, it’s comfortable to carry, and it comes with so many customizable options, you just might think you’re specing out a dream car, building a home, or surfing the Dell website. I’m talking about the Cozmo bag made by SFBags by WaterField Designs. And, for those of you who want a one-line summary: overall, these bags are well-designed, well-constructed, and very well-suited for business as well as leisure commutes; I give it thumbs up.
Medium ballistic on left, large leather on right [larger]
Now, for readers who want a little more out of their reviews: I hauled around both the medium and the large Cozmo bags with the following Mambo Combo configurations:
- Horizontal laptop sleeve
- Vertical laptop sleeve with flap and carrying strap
- Piggy back pack
- Medium cableguy pouch
I’ve been a road warrior for many years, and I’ve carried a lot of bags that, when packed with all the necessities for a day trip or just a day at the office, were so heavy that I could barely hoist them onto my shoulder. However, even the large Cozmo when loaded to capacity was quite well balanced and comfortable to carry.
Construction and Styling
First things first, with regard to construction, both Cozmo bags were quite sturdy. Starting with ballistic nylon, each bag had reinforced corners, tight stitching, and strong zippers. The only negative I found in the construction is that the leather bag contained surprisingly little leather. Only the four corners and a strip at the top of the bag are covered by leather patches, and while the leather itself comes in a bevy of fissionable colors, if you’re looking for a true “leather bag,” this is not it. The upside is that you can have the richness of some leather while keeping the overall weight of the bag down, which is a plus in my book any day.
Design-wise, the bags provide maximum space and flexibility while keeping things light and comfortable to carry. Probably the most surprising feature of the bag is that, in spite of its thin base, it will stand upright whether empty or full. It never once tipped over no matter how I loaded it. I was impressed.
The primary reason that the Cozmo is such a comfortable bag to carry is because of the padding and placement of the strap. The D-rings for the shoulder strap are located very close to the sides of the carrying handle (as opposed to the far ends of the bag where most rings are attached) which keeps the bag close to your body and balanced securely on your shoulder. The strap itself is, of course, adjustable and has a wide, non-skid pad that is comfortable to carry without being bulky. It can be clipped onto the Cozmo bag or attached directly to the laptop sleeve with flap if you don’t need/want to take the entire bag with you into a meeting (laptop sleeve with strap shown below).
The bag interior is an orangey-gold printed nylon fabric, adding yet more style and making it easy to find small items that tend to pool at the bottom of every laptop bag. However, you can combat entropy in the first place by using the many storage pockets conveniently located both inside (pictured) and outside the bag (under the handle, both front and back) for pens, thumb drives, removable memory cards, PDAs, and the like.
The medium Cozmo is very roomy for such a thin bag. It easily carried my Inspiron 8600 (in the padded horizontal laptop sleeve, see below), 6 file folders, 2 magazines, and a 1.5 inch hardcover fiction classic in addition to my power supply, mouse, mouse pad and various office supplies I never leave home without. (It also carried my laptop, all of its accessories, my portable office, and two large coding books, pictured below.)
I should note that the fit in the medium bag was a bit tighter when I used the vertical laptop sleeve with flap. While I was able to close the zipper, I had to tuck the sides of the sleeve in while I zipped to get past the corners of my laptop. I had no trouble with the horizontal sleeve in the medium bag or with the vertical sleeve with flap in the large bag.
Take home message: pay attention to the recommendations that SFBags makes with regard to laptop size, sleeve size, sleeve configuration, and bag size. The recommendations are presented with the product specs, so just take a look before you order.
On to the Mambo Combos . . . the name just makes me want to dance. The combos are optional add-ons that provide more padding, storage, and flexibility, depending on your needs. Three components make up the mambo combos: the bag itself, a laptop sleeve, and a gear pouch. For additional storage, you can get an optional piggyback.
The features of your sleeve and the makeup of your combo are entirely up to you. You can choose the orientation of your sleeve, whether or not to have a closing flap, a strap to carry it, a piggyback for accessories and supplies, and a gear pouch for all those little extras. This combo offers as many customizing options as a small car.
The laptop sleeves are of the same quality construction as the Cozmo bag itself. They, too, are made out of ballistic nylon with a reinforced base for long-wear. The padding is thin, lightweight, and very effective. The sleeve with flap works very nicely as a small bag to take to a meeting, and it still has room for a few file folders. On the road, when I’m in and out of meetings, I love this feature.
Piggyback and Gear Pouch
The piggyback and gear pouch can each be used to carry a power supply, mouse, thumb drives, cables, external drives, pens, highlighters, and small pads of paper, depending on what you need it for. Made out of ballistic nylon with reinforced zippers (I’m seeing a theme here), the piggyback has soft dividers inside to protect external drives or whatever else you are carrying, while the gear pouch is perfectly symmetrical with zippers on both sides of the pouch and divided interiors. Waterfield has done a good job catering to my love of organization, and these add-on bags do what they are designed to do, and they do it well.
The Cozmo bag is a very high quality, well-designed laptop bag. It’s built to last with both style and function that will be equally at home in a casual office or a formal boardroom setting. Customization options make it extremely flexible and easy to use. It’s definitely worth the money.
- Made with quality construction
- Stands solidly on its own
- Sports a comfortable suspension shoulder strap that keeps the bag well-balanced and lighter than it is
- Can be customized with coordinating accessories to meet your needs
- The “leather” bag has very little leather
- The inside is orange (this is only a con if you don’t like orange)
Link to SFBags Waterfield Designs Cozmo Bag Configuration and Purchase Site: