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Ladies, Can Anyone Recommend A Good Purse?

Ladies, Can Anyone Recommend A Good Purse?

Old Jul 25th, 2007, 09:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 70
Ladies, Can Anyone Recommend A Good Purse?

I leave soon for a week each in London and Paris. I will be traveling with my husband and three older children.

I don't want to take my usual bag, as it is too small and I'd be bummed if it were stolen. The bag needs to be big enough for guidebooks and lunch, yet be thief-resistant. It needn't be leather or designer. Inexpensive is always nice, but I'll pay to get something that will work.

In past trips, I have used one of my kids' daypacks, which was functional but not too stylish. I felt rather stupid going to dinner in a Paris restaurant sporting a bright blue daypack.

Can anyone recommend something, like real quick?

Many thanks!!
cindysphinx is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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I purchased a Healthy Back Bag (the tear drop shaped shoulder bags) a few months ago for 2 upcoming European trips. A few friends I traveled with last year really liked them.

I have been using mine here at home the last couple months and also like it.

A couple things I like about it are:
I can use it as a shoulder bag over one shoulder or extend the strap and put it across my body and wear it either in front(keeping the zipper facing towards my body) or on my back.

They have a variety of sizes, I bought the medium size and can easily fit a guidebook or 2, camera, wallet, sunglasses, umbrella, even a bottle of water. I also looked at the large and extra large sizes, but they seemed to big for what I wanted.

I got mine from Amazon, but I have seen them in travel catalogues and also at a AAA travel agency. The brand name I purchased was AmeriBag, Healthy Back Bag. I am sure if you "google" that name you will come up with lots of websites where it's available.

Good luck in your search...I know how hard it is to find the "right" bag!
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 09:59 AM
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Forgot to mention...the bag I bought is microfiber, so it is water repellant, they come in a variety of materials, nylon, leather etc...and a wide variety of colors.

LowCountryIslander is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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A few years ago the ladies on this board were talking about LeSportSac, I found them on e-bag and have four hobo style and one I used on my last trip that is larger. I just looked at it to see what the style is. Nothing on it to tell me. It and the hobo's fit across your body and they are so light weight and can even be thrown in the laundry.

Good Luck, Joan
chatham is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 10:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Cindy -

Just recently returned from a trip that included Paris and London and I too needed one purse-type bag that would also allow me to fit a guide book if needed and even a mid-sized camera. Since I like to use purses that are fairly "in style", I just went out to Target (or Walmart - I forget) and bought an inexpensive bag that had sturdy straps, that hit where I could tuck it under my arm (to prevent snatching)and that had room to fit the extra items when needed. Since it was so inexpensive, I wouldn't care if something happened to it. Actually, nothing did happen to it, it worked great, and I have it put away for future travels (if its still "in style"
Momof3sons is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you still have KMarts in your area, they have purse-type bags made by American Tourister that are "trendy" and can carry almost anything--several pockets, etc. Macy's, at least in our area,carries the LeSportSac bags. I looked at some the other day--the price has gone WAY UP. Since they are very similar to KMart or Target bags,it seems silly to pay the high price of LSS. Our Fred Meyer--a Kroger-owned store, has a series of bags in their accessories dept. that I think are called Mondo, and they are great for travel, also. Happy Shopping. Ciao. mhm
mercy is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 12:13 PM
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I've used Sportsacs for years. They're perfect for what you want. Microfiber so they're light but indestrucible. Come in all sorts of sizes and colors and are expandable - so you can carry everything you need during the day (my 12" size holds, guidebook, unbrella, water, camera and sweater as well as all the usual purse stuff) but when empty fold in on themselves so they don;t look silly at dinner.

Some of the larger ones (I have weekend sizes too) come packed in a similar little pouch that can even be used if you go out to a nice restaurants in the evening (just big enough for credit card, lipstick, money and hotel keycard).

If I know I'll be going out to several nice restaurants or special events in the evening I take a black silk soft evening bag (nothing but fabric and zipper) that folds completely flat for packing.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 12:15 PM
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I have used an Ameribag for my last couple of trips, but I have to say, after a long of day of walking and sightseeng, that bag killed my shoulder and back. I tried it across my chest, but it looked too weird to me and was still uncomfortable. I bought a LeSportsac messenger type bag that weighs nothing. It seems big enough to hold what I need, but not big enough where I will be tempted to put too much into it. I think it is much more stylish than my Ameribag. I can shorten the strap to wear it under my arm, or lengthen it to wear across my chest or back. I'm hopeful - we'll see.
Barb is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 12:17 PM
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If you are carrying anything valuable, a small purse, just large enough, is best. Microfiber is much lighter than leather and you don't have to worry about it in the rain. One with double zipper pulls or a recessed zipper is more secure, especially with a shoulder strap long enough to go over one shoulder and under the other arm.

For lunch, maps, tour guides, the lightest microfiber bag you can find (again, just large enough - or you'll be inclined to fill it up) is best. Baggallini makes nice bags. Figure out ahead of time if you'd prefer handles or a shoulder strap. (Or, whatever your husband prefers - mine will carry anything with two short handles.)

As you probably know, what feels "light" as you leave the hotel gets heavier and heavier throughout the day.
djkbooks is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 12:32 PM
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A nylon LeSportsSac in a solid color works for what you want. Really any unstructured tote type bag that zips on top and had comfortable straps.
suze is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 12:33 PM
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For going out in the evenings, I would also have a small leather purse with a strap. You don't need to be toting a bunch of guidebooks when you go out to dinner. The small purse can tuck into the tote at other times serving as a wallet.
suze is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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I carry a small Tumi purse that fits across my chest and rides in front of me so I have very good sense of it at all times. I carry a "day bag" that I use for snacks, water, guide books, etc. I don't carry that every day so I want the option of having something smaller. Also, when we went to museums, the small purse was not considered a "bag" that required checking. I checked the larger day bag, but it had no valuables in it. It was nice to have the small bag for evenings or other times when I didn't need guide books, etc.
queener is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Another Le SportSac lover her!..They are expensive ...check out the styles on the LSS site then check EBay! I've found some at Ross and Marshalls too.
jody is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 01:09 PM
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I used this bag from Eddie Bauer on a recent trip to London (although it wasn't on sale when I bought it and mine is black). It has a place to carry a water bottle which I found convenient. The bag zips and it has pockets on the inside for cell phone and such. It is called a Large Ripstop Tote on sale on their website for $19.99. (I am not sure how to post a link to the product because the link is a mile long and I think it messes up the formatting)
jwb10 is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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I bought a large messenger-style microfiber bag from Travelon - http://www.travelonbags.com - for our recent trip to England and Wales. You can wear it across your body or as a shoulder bag.

It is lightweight and held pretty much everything I needed during the day. It has a good amount of zippered pockets, including one next to your body where you can keep your passport.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 02:34 PM
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I have a black Sportsac too and I really like it for travelling. Mine is rectangular, probably 10" wide and 5" tall, so it isn't huge, but it fits a guidebook, bottle of water, map, and a few snacks very easily. And since it isn't overly large and it is black, it does ok for going out at night too. Another thing I like about it is when we are travelling by plane, the bag folds into nothing, so I can stuff it in another bag and not have it counted as a carryon
J_Correa is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 02:40 PM
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I bought a pretty big purse from Target - it's big enough to throw in a book, a bottle of water, and it looks fashionable enough for anywhere you might end up. It's white "leather" and extremely durable! I've had such good luck with their purses and always travel with them.
nycgirl1 is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 02:41 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Hi cindysphinx, I use a great microfiber bag from www.daymakers.com --it's the 7 pocket, "ShoulderSafe" that can be worn on the shoulder or across your body. The shoulder strap is reinforced with a pair of small steel cables, making the strap slash proof. Also, there is a swivel clip on a "leash" inside the main compartment that can be used to secure as many of the outside zippers as you wish. It has a handy exterior side "pocket" just the right size for stashing a bottle of water gt; Do what I did and just Google travel purses and see what comes up.

Have fun in Europe!!
lovesroses is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 07:01 PM
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Thanks so much for all of the wonderful suggestions!!

As time is getting short, I went to Target and held my breath and bought something. It is black faux leather, with a zipper on top. Shorter straps, should work over the shoulder and pinned under the arm. Several interior pockets. Big enough for magazines, etc. $20.

Pretty big, which I figure will make me look confidently stylish. I consider it disposable. I would be surprised if something this cheesy could survive more than one trip!
cindysphinx is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2007, 07:20 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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I bought my first Hedgren bags for my trip to Europe last yar. I combine work and pleasure so needed a handbag that looked professional. I love Hedgren (made in Belgian). It is lightweight and has a European flair. I bought the Hedgren Inner City Patio Tote in sepia. http://tinyurl.com/32nrr8
I know they are more difficult to find in North America but my mother bought one in Canada. http://tinyurl.com/32nrr8
I've since bought the matching laptop bag in Singapore.
Sarvowinner is offline  

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