It seems like every time you turn around some website has a new bag they are "shilling" about. But the problem is most of those sites don't actually review a bag or even test one. everydaycommentary.com is not one of those sites. Indeed, everydaycommentary won't even keep anything sent for review.
His policy is that if he decides to keep a product, he'll pay the full price, just like the purchasing customer. So even though he didn't have a huge blog with a gazillion followers, that and a few other cool reasons, are why we sent him a Metro Laptop Briefcase to review. We don't just send gear to 'anybody' to review.
Everyday Commentary works by day as an Attorney, and Attorneys have to carry important papers. Papers that need protection. So how did he come to find Red Oxx and the Metro Briefcase?
One of my very favorite bag and pack sites is One Bag. Not only does it offer good advice on HOW to travel, it also offers wisdom on WHAT to take with you. Reading One Bag is where I was first introduced to Red Oxx... My aunt and uncle in law were true world travelers... They would pack very light and both were thrifty (which is how they afforded such awesome vacations), both had an Air Boss... I checked out their paired Air Bosses in silent reverence. I knew I was in the presence of great design.
Once the Metro arrived, everydaycommentarys first impression was:
The buckles and snaps look like they could be used to moor aircraft carriers and the zippers bear faint visual similarities to a chainsaw blade.
He rates his bags with this system, 0-2 points each. Here's how we scored:
- Design: 2 - "The black accents, the thick straps, the rugged zippers, and the buckles all tell you this is a bag built to take a beating. This not a fancy leather number. It will not be mistaken for a ritzy "attache" but it will be around long after ... those types have been sent to the junkyard."
- Fit and finish: 2 - "None of the horde of ... junk bags at Staples even comes close."
- Carry: 2 - "An arm full of folders and a fist of pens didn't even make the Metro's perch on my shoulder precarious. The Claw Shoulder strap is largely why. This may be the best strap on the market."
Materials: 2 - "Every piece of fabric seems built for the dirtiest trench warfare and the straps seem like mountain climbing cordage."
Accessibility: 1 - "Effusive praise abruptly ended. Sorry. Very, very few things are perfect. ... I really don't like the fact that the pen pocket is accessible ONLY from inside the main compartment ... In the end, everything is accessible, except for the pen and small object compartment, something I use everyday, hence the 1."
- Ease of Packing: 2 - "The compartments are large, the openings massive, and the layout, other than the pen organizer, is top notch."
- Pockets/Organization: 2 - "Everything is well laid out and just the right size. I even like the front pockets, despite the fact that they are as discrete as a traffic cone. One thing missing, which I am not quite ready to penalize briefcases for, is the lack of a dedicated cellphone pocket."
- Snaps/buckles/zippers: 2 - "This is where the Metro starts to pull away from the field. Everything here is insanely solid, overbuilt, and easy to use. ... something that comes to your attention only after prolonged use--all of this metal hardware can be loud and clangy as you walk around. As I said, I don't mind the rugged look, but I could do without the "walking around in chainmail" sound that accompanies your hurried arrival."
- Straps and belts: 2 - "The shoulder strap is called The Claw. It could also be called the Tongan Death Grip ... the Metro is the most secure briefcase I have ever carried on my shoulder."
- Modularity/expansion: 2 - "There are a few accessories available through Red Oxx, like the cellphone holster, but the (Nomad) packing cube idea is a good one and gives this bag some flexibility."
The Metro will probably outlast a dozen suits, but it may not look perfect being paired with one. I am more concerned with how it works rather than how it looks (and I like the looks), but again, keep this in mind.
A pretty thorough review if there ever was one on the Metro. 19 outta 20 is also a pretty impressive score, considering the massive competition out there. We love our Metro, and we're pretty sure you will to.