iPhone Life magazine

The Jill-e Bennett Messenger Bag is a Class Act

There is nothing like a classy leather bag when traveling. The Bennett Messenger-Style Bag (£269.95) by Jill-e designs (a member of the company's men's or "Jack" line), is just such a product.

With all the nylon, pleather, and cheap leather on the market now, it's easy to forget that good leather displays an entirely unique suppleness, sheen, and aroma. Jack abounds in richness of feel and appearance.

The bag's full cloth interiors hold a 15-inch or smaller notebook computer, an iPad, or other tablet and also has room for a pen, papers, notepads, cleaning cloths, extra batteries or business cards in its two interior pockets. On the outside is a large, full-length pocket ideal for large business papers, books, or other what-not.

The bag is finely stitched inside and out including its little leather feet that protrude from the bottom to keep it from encountering too much of a sketchy surface.

The hardware is heavy and beautifully plated in gun metal. The top flap employs reverse tongues that flip back to seal the flap with magnets. The flap includes a zippered pocket ready to protect a passport, wallet, or other important item that needs to stay safe but accessible.

The shoulder strap offers great length even for its tallest owners. A well-padded, matching, removable leather pad adds to its comfort while leather and metal accents keep the style consistent. The strap itself is made of nylon for durability and flexibility.

Overall, I really enjoy bringing this bag to business meetings where it stands out among the generic black-nylon backpacks and messenger bags. A nicely padded handle at the top of the bag rounds out the carrying options.

Is it the perfect bag? Not yet. I would like to see the pen pockets deeper so pen clips fit snuggly over the pocket edges for better security, especially for expensive pens. A zipper along the bottom of the back pocket would make it a better traveling companion so the owner could choose between storage or the ability to easily fit the Bennett over the handles of a roller-bag. I would also like to see the front flap pocket made long enough to accommodate not just a passport but a printed airplane ticket (at least 11-inches long).

Suggestions aside, the Bennett is a beautiful and functional bag. If a leather messenger isn't your thing, you may want to look at the other bags in the line to see if something suits your fancy. Regardless of the model, considering my experience with this bag, you won't be disappointed by the quality or the style of this first-class manufacturer.

The Jill-e Bennett is available in the UK, Europe, and the Middle East with limited availability in North America. Contact jill-e at info@jill-e.com for North American availability and pricing.

Dimensions

  • Height: 31 cm / 12.2 in.
  • Length: 40.6 cm / 15.9 in.
  • Width: 10.4 cm / 4.1 in.
  • Weight: 1.59 kg / 3.5 lbs.
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Daniel Rasmus's picture

Daniel W. Rasmus, the author of Listening to the Future and Management by Design, is a strategist, industry analyst, and business correspondent for iPhone Life magazine. Prior to starting his own consulting practice, Rasmus was the Director of Business Insights at Microsoft Corporation, where he helped the company envision how people will work in the future.

Before joining Microsoft, Rasmus was Research Vice President at the Giga Information Group and Forrester Research Inc. Rasmus also is an internationally recognized speaker. He blogs regularly for Fast Company and on his own blog, Your Future in Context. His education-related work can be found at Learning Reimagined.