Baggin’ It

Happy Wednesday! Between cowering indoors because of the cold, working on some grout painting, and light traveling for work, time is just flying. I’m glad that February is almost here because February means…birthday month!

I was on Long Island recently for a work event that also afforded me the opportunity to squeeze in some family time which was lovely. Combining the two is always great but I like to travel on the lighter side. I don’t have an extensive wardrobe and I have many pieces that are interchangeable. So, this time, instead of bringing a small rolling piece of luggage I brought my new Apera Sling Tote.

20140128_194916

Dimensions: 21″ x13″ x 7″

From their website:

Apera officially launched in June 2012 by industry veterans Andrew Youngs and Frank Steed, who together possess over three decades of experience in the retail, bags and luggage business. With their deep industry expertise, Youngs and Steed saw a void in the sports bag market. Despite the multitude of sports bags available, today’s bags are unorganized, targeted to a younger consumer and made with inferior quality materials.

Most importantly, today’s sport bags are unhealthy – not protecting athletes from odor and bacteria. Additionally, health and fitness habits have continued to evolve while bags have remained the same. There was not a sports bag on the market that truly matched the requirements of today’s athletes until Apera entered the picture.

You’ve probably seen a few reviews of Apera’s bag line up already. In a nutshell, they are antimicrobial gym bags which is their main selling point. Now, I am a self-proclaimed bad lady which probably stems from an overwhelming need to organize and compartmentalize, but, I do not go to the gym (paying for a gym membership is not in my monthly budget). So, I figured my new Sling Tote would be perfect for travel, especially since I could tuck away my new tablet and keyboard safely in one of the bag’s zipped and padded compartments.

In the interest of full disclosure, Apera contacted me to test drive a bag of my choosing for free. This never sways my opinion and I like to share what works, what doesn’t work, and what can be improved with any product I review. So without further ado…

PROS:

  • Sturdy — Upon unpacking the bag it was immediately evident that it is well-made.
  • Two dedicated zippered shoe pockets — I packed a pair of wedge heels in them and it was a bit of a snug and awkward fit but I would imagine that running shoes would be fine. I would love to have my uploaded photo work, but unfortunately it’s being fussy.
  • Roomy (fairly) — I packed 2 work outfits and a weekend outfit in addition to my medium LL Bean travel organizer, small cosmetics case, and hair straightener. It was a tight fit, but probably wouldn’t be so tight if I didn’t pack dress shoes. I would say that for the gym or to bring to a race, even one overnight, it would be sufficient.
Roomy inside

Roomy inside

  • Number of compartments — There are 2 large outside zippered compartments, with one padded side for a tablet (mine is 10.1″ + thin keyboard); two smaller outside pockets for small items you don’t want to fish around for; 2 shoe pouches (as mentioned above); 3 inside pockets, plus a zippered pouch for dirty laundry that is washable (the pouch, not the laundry which I hope you’re washing regardless).
20140128_195029 (563x800)

Padded outer pocket for your tablet

 

Stinky clothes pouch

Stinky clothes pouch

  • Speaking of washable…washable — The bottom is made of a plastic-like material so you could easily wipe it down. I appreciate this because I don’t appreciate germs! And, there have been times I have had to change quickly in a bathroom stall and knowing that I can de-germ my bag is peace of mind.
20140128_195100

Washable bottom

CONS:

  • Non-adjustable shoulder strap  –  This isn’t much of a deal breaker and the strap was rather comfortable as is, but depending on how much stuff you are lugging around, you might prefer a little slack in the strap.
  • Expensive — This particular bag is $109 and I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never even spent that much on a piece of luggage, let alone a gym bag to throw stinky sneakers and sports bras in. Seeing as though I never pay full price for anything, I doubt I would buy this for myself.
  • Limited colors — I chose the pearl (a very light gray) with the red zippers. The only other colors available are pink, black, and blue. I guess you don’t need anything fancier but don’t look for any “wow” colors to match your neon running shoes.

OVERALL RATING:

B+. Solid construction and well-made. The shoulder strap is comfortable, the bag is a decent size, and it’s easy to clean. The biggest drawback is the price. Yes, you get what you pay for but I imagine there are other bags on the market that are just as well-made for a fraction of the cost. Needless to say, this would make a great gift for your favorite fitness enthusiast.

Note: Apera will donate one of their Sprint Packs (a $19 value) to the Special Olympics for every 3 bags it sells. I admire this because the Special Olympics is a wonderful organization which has changed the lives of millions of people with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to participate in sporting events around the globe.

What kind of bag do you use for the gym or to travel with? What do you bring to races?

Signature 2.png

Comments

  1. happierheather@gmail.com' says

    Having a good friend who was a Thirty-One rep, I almost exclusively use those bags at the moment. They’re fairly prices and good construction, though they do not offer the anti-microbial aspects. Prior to getting all of my Thirty-One products, I just used cheap duffel bags and luggage from Target. I guess I don’t travel enough to be picky!

Leave a Reply