When you’re a mobile road warrior who needs to carry a laptop around to get things done, having the right bag or case is one of the most important things that you should consider. While there are many options available out there, my personal favorite for a while now has been the Waterfield Designs Field Muzetto large laptop bag.
The Field Muzetto is a vertical bag, which means that it is longer than it is wide, and the opening is along the top. The bag is made from waxed, distressed leather and canvas materials and is individually hand sewn, so the build quality is definitely sturdy and solid. There’s also a leather badge on the front of the waxed canvas flap in the upper right corner that says “Waterfield Made in San Francisco,” which adds subtle and classy branding to the bag. Because of these unique materials, the Field Muzetto has that “Indiana Jones” kind of look and feel to it, and you can feel rather adventurous when you carry it on your commute.
The inside of the bag contains a lining of plush, scratch-free material and two pockets for holding smaller items, and there is a durable zipper compartment on the inside that is safe and secure for important items. While the outside of the bag itself is a dark brown color, the inside features a bright, gold rip-stop nylon, so it’s easy to see the contents of the bag without much fuss. There is also one large open-top pocket on the back exterior of the Field Muzetto, making it easy to access things that you can quickly slide in-and-out of the compartment.
The most unique thing about the Field Muzetto is the fact that the bag just closes shut with a heavy vertical flap that is not secured by anything other than gravity itself. Underneath the flap is a thickly padded leather pocket that has proven itself to be pretty resistant to wear and tear. The Field Muzetto also features a heavy-duty nylon shoulder strap that is fully adjustable and has an adjustable leather wrap that serves as padding to prevent the strap from digging in to your shoulder. The anchors for the shoulder strap are made from a thick plastic and is in a D-shape so that the strap, which is permanently affixed, can move freely and flexibly to go along with your movement, no matter how you’re carrying it (along your side or behind you).
While the drawback of the open flap and exterior pocket is less security, it does mean it’s faster to access your items than with other bags that require you to unfasten them or cause a ruckus in quiet settings, such as a school library.
I’ve been using the Field Muzetto daily since November, and it’s one of my favorite bags I’ve used so far. Despite the thinness of a vertical laptop bag, I’m able to fit all of my essentials, and then some, into the Field Muzetto. Every day, I carry my late 2013 15” Retina MacBook Pro in a booq Taipan Spacesuit Sleeve, MacBook Pro charging brick and power adapter, two Lightning cables, a micro USB cable, a pair of Rose Gold Beats urBeats, hand sanitizer, external battery packs, my Nintendo Switch, and even my Gamevice iPhone controller or Joy-Con Grip if there’s clearance for them. And if I really need it, I can squeeze in a small paper notebook for class, though it starts to become a tight squeeze at that point. Other small things I just slide into the exterior open-top pocket, because it fits nice and snug in there when the bag is packed with my other stuff, but still remains easy to access when I need it.
Even when I have my Field Muzetto stuffed with my gear, it still manages to be pretty reasonably sized along my side
Even when I have my Field Muzetto stuffed with my gear, it still manages to be pretty reasonably sized along my side or behind me, though the flap may not cover all of the distressed leather padding in the front, so a bit of that peeks through while I’m carrying it. Opening the flap is easy and can be done in about two seconds just by lifting it up from one of the sides. I also like to have my shoulder and cross-body bags to be a bit longer in length so my arm can still swing around freely, and the Field Muzetto’s shoulder strap is incredibly easy to adjust. I prefer having it by my side, but sometimes it moves behind me due to my walking movement, though it’s never uncomfortable because of the flexible D-ring anchor for the strap. The bag works with your movement, not against it.
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been carrying the Field Muzetto with me every day when I need to go out and do some work on-the-go or when I go to class, since I mostly just need my laptop for my programming classes. It travels very well, as I can toss it into my car’s trunk without having to worry about anything falling out or getting damaged. Plus, with the waxed canvas and distressed leather, the Field Muzetto actually looks better over time when there’s more wear-and-tear on it, because it adds character.
For those who are wondering what it is like to do air travel with the Field Muzetto, it’s not bad at all. I took it with me when I flew out to San Francisco earlier in the month for GDC, and getting through security checkpoints with it was simple enough. I just had to take my computer itself out of the bag and have it in a bin by itself, so it’s easy to do that with the bag’s heavy, non-secured flap. Having it on the airplane as a carry-on is also effortless, because the bag fits comfortably underneath the seat in front of me, and it’s relatively easy to recover it when you’re about to get off the plane as well. It’s a great option for a travel laptop bag if you’re in the market for one.
Overall, I’ve been incredibly impressed and satisfied with the Field Muzetto from Waterfield Designs. The waxed canvas and distressed leather feel excellent to the touch and just look better with both wear-and-tear and time. I wasn’t a fan of the flap at first, but it’s proven that it’s just as secure as other bags (thanks to gravity) without the hassle. I wish the bag wasn’t so slim so I can bring more stuff for my mobile office, but this does help me cut everything down to just the necessary essentials, so it’s perfect for minimalists. And while it doesn’t have too much space for everything, there are pockets and one zippered compartment to help you keep all of your gear neat and organized. Plus the shoulder strap is strong and durable, the flexible anchors make the bag work with you and not against, and the leather shoulder pad on the strap is comfortable, but you can take it off if you desire. The only improvement that I wish it had was a handle to carry it in your hands, rather than having to fling it on your shoulders all the time.
If you are looking for a vertical-style laptop messenger bag that looks classy regardless if you’re wearing casual jeans or business clothing and will last you a long time, then the Field Muzetto is the one to get. The Field Muzetto I tested in this review is the large one that can fit up to 15” laptops. If that is too large, there is also small (tablets) and medium (up to 13” laptops) sizes for $169 and $189, respectively. The large one costs $199 and all sizes are available on the Waterfield Designs website.
- Made from high quality materials and is hand-made when you order
- Contains enough pockets and compartments to keep all of your gear organized
- Weighted flap proves to be just as secure as other bags without the hassle
- Shoulder strap is durable, the leather shoulder pad is comfortable, and the strap anchors are flexible and move with you
- Looks better with age