Teachers are talking about us!
Why a backpack?
Since my early days, I have been a fan of the teachers "tote bag". I've had several in 12 years. A bag (or a basket), it's practical : you can put a lot of things in it! But that's also the problem: : you can put too many things in it.
As a result, I ended up with a bag that was always full, and always very heavy... and mostly carried on one shoulder (always the same one - my doctor knows what I'm talking about 😞).
When my last tote bag gave up the ghost, I thought it would be time for a change. I thought about rolling bags, to limit the weight I have to carry. I know that many of my colleagues are fans of them. But I must admit that it's not really my thing...
And then I saw ads for Cabaïa backpacks for a while on the Internet. They were catching my eye. And by some miracle (or by dint of talking about it, I'm not sure 😇), I found it under the Christmas tree. So it's been 6 months since my schoolbag became a backpack.
I was also seduced by other things specific to Cabaïa:
The look of the bag: it's very personal and a matter of taste, I agree, but I love it! Even inside, it's pretty.
The handles: I carry it on my back as well as in my hand (when I carry a handbag).
The wide choice of colors: mine is khaki. I'm a fan of green, so I fell for this khaki shade. But when you look around the store, it's hard to make a choice because they are all gorgeous!
The customizable side: you can change the outside pockets, so you can change the look of your bag in 2 minutes.
The fact that everything is well-thought-out inside:
1 soft pocket for the PC/Mac: I was afraid that it was not enough to protect my laptop, but the seam does not go "to the bottom" of the bag, so no risk that the computer hit the ground when you put the bag on the floor. The pocket closes with a scratch that prevents the computer from moving around if the bag turns over.
1 pocket with a net, hyper extensible.
2 small pockets for small objects and/or phone.
1 elastic band to hold a bottle
Storage on the outside :
1 flat zipped pocket in the back: I don't find it particularly interesting in my daily life as a teacher, but on the other hand I used it a lot to store my passport when I was travelling (non-accessible pocket, so very secure).
1 large outside pocket on the front. As I said, you can change it: each bag is delivered with 2 pockets (1 of the same color as the bag + 1 with patterns); but you can change as many as you want by buying other pockets individually.
2 small pockets on the sides: they are not provided with the bag. I'm not using it at the moment, because I don't need them every day. But I plan to buy 2 for my future trips (you can never have too much storage in these cases ^^).
The quality of the fabric: I've been carrying my bag everywhere for the last 6 months and I haven't had a single snag (although it has travelled, even on planes and at the beach). Moreover, the fabric is water-repellent. So, even if it doesn't allow you to spend 2 hours in a storm, it allows you to keep your stuff dry in case of rain. When you put a computer and paper in it, it's not bad ^^ !
The 2 in 1 use: I find this bag great for school, but also perfect for school outings, weekend trips and travel. I took it with me when I went to Thailand in February, great!
The fact that the brand is French. Oh yeah!
Since I bought my backpack, Cabaïa has continued to innovate and added 2 elements to all their backpacks: 1 carabiner inside the bag to store your keys + 1 strap on the back of the bag to slide it over the suitcase handles.
Which size to choose?
The choice was very simple for me : when my darling offered it to me, there was only one size. 😆 So I had no choice! My Cabaïa is a size medium.
Since then, Cabaïa expanded the collection and released 2 other sizes: small and large. The brand proposed me to test another size. I chose the black model in a large size. So I'm able to tell you about these 2 sizes.
Inside, the layout is exactly the same (see above).
The empty weight is almost identical (900g vs. 1kg).
The only thing that really changes is the dimensions.
And that makes a big difference!
You can put more things in the maxi, which is very practical.
The height to be exploited being bigger, you can slip a jacket or your lunch basket in it; whereas it is too little in the medium. Indeed, the "wide angle" opening implies to "fold" the 2 edges against each other, so it should not be overloaded in the width: if it is too thick, it will be logically difficult to close it. The problem is less with the maxi model.
For those who want to carry a large rigid file: it fits in the medium, but you won't be able to put much else in it (at least not large formats) if you want to be able to close it; the maxi format will be more comfortable for this use.
The size of your computer will also play into your choice: you'll be able to fit a 13-inch into both. But if you have a 15", you'll need the maxi.
Finally, the general look changes: the maxi being bigger, I find it more adapted to a male body. You can see the 2 sizes in the picture, on me: the maxi size is imposing. The medium size is suitable for all sizes.
You can compare the 3 sizes of backpacks directly on Cabaïa's website to have all the details (pictures, dimensions, examples of contents, worn pictures...) : here !
As for me, the more space I have, the more I tend to fill my backpack with things - often useless (a bit like my purse)🙈 - and the more it weighs on my shoulders. So better to limit myself!
So I vote for the medium that is enough for my daily use at school (but not only).
My darling prefers the maxi because it corresponds more to his expectations: he wants to be able to store a lot of things in it (including thick files) and doesn't mind carrying a heavier load. Let me tell you that when he saw the large size, he immediately, wanted it.
Don't hesitate to visit the Cabaïa website if you need more information. Everything is very well explained. You'll find everything (especially the dimensions) on the product page, but also a tutorial on how to use and maintain the backpacks and the system of attaching the pockets.
What are the negative points?
As you can see, I am a fan of Cabaïa backpacks, so it is hard for me to find any flaws in them...
However, I would like to point out two of them:
The strap adjustment system has been improved so that the straps don't dangle. It is much more aesthetic, certainly. But I find that we lose in freedom of adjustment.
On my Seoul bag (which is part of the old generation), I can adjust the straps to the centimeter as I want them. On my new Berlin, it's impossible, even when tightened to the maximum, it's still a bit too loose for me (I like to have my bag tight on my back). (UPDATE FROM CABAIA: we changed the strap system in 2021, now you can tighten it to the maximum, and we added a small piece of fabric to maintain the strap, so it doesn't dangle).
The new front pockets seem to have more rounded corners than the old ones.
I noticed this on my Berlin bag, but also on a set of pockets I bought to customize my Seoul. Is this the case on all the new pouches in the range? I don't know... But one thing is sure: I prefer the more angular side of the first models. Again, it's a matter of taste.
I love my bag!!! 💚
I'm fond of the the 2-in-1 backpack/carrying bag, but also on the Cabaïa quality and style. We'll see with time, but I'm sure it will follow me for a few years in my daily life as a teacher!
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