Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, and the item(s) featured are also received at no cost for reviewing purposes, but the opinions are mine and, as always, honest. Read the full disclosure here.
Ever since I was introduced to Beside-U bags, they became something I reach for all the time. They are durable, water-resistant and versatile. I’ve been using them when grocery shopping, for walks and hiking, and lately as a diaper bag for quick outings. And now I have another one to review. I have decided to gift this one to my mum, who is very stylish, but goes on school trips quite often, so she needs something sturdy, practical and looking nice. Of course, first I had to give it a go, and after using this bag a few times, I am sad to see it go – it’s my favourite Beside-U bag so far.
Beside-U is a company that specializes in offering quality bags with additional security features, that make their bags very different from other brands on the market. The bags they offer are stylish, functional and provide security, so that every woman would want to keep one of them beside her – hence the company name Beside-U. Their selection of styles and colors is enormous, and it was really hard for me to pick just one bag for testing. As already mentioned, I decided this bag is going to my mum, so I chose one that she would like – the Nutopia Star Chica bag!
This stylish bag has following features:
- Detachable security whistle
- Locking main compartment
- Lightweight and water resistant
- Adjustable strap for shoulder carry or crossbody wear
- handles for hand carrying
- Front and back zippered pockets
- RFID pocket
- interior pockets for cellphone and accessories
- Fully lined in fabric with printed graphic
The Nutopia Star Chica bag comes in 2 colors,the Star Black and the Star Red, and I chose the always versatile black. The polka dot pattern on the outside gives it a timeless, stylish look that can pair with pretty much any outfit. Like the other Beside-U bags I own now, this one is very lightweight but durable, so it’s easy to carry around no matter how much stuff I cram inside.
Nutopia Star Chica bag is a new design, but made from the same lightweight, water resistant and nylon fabric like their other bags I own. These bags are ridiculously easy to maintain. This is not a cheap nylon bag, the materials and the craftsmanship are fantastic. This particular bag has a handy zippered front pocket that ends right about where my finger is, so a lot can fit in it. I like to keep things that I access most often in front pockets like this one, so I store my lip balm, wipes, and as of recently, a rattle for my baby in here.
There is a slightly larger zippered pocket in the bag, with my finger again showing where it ends. I always keep my phone in the back, with any documents or paperwork I need to access easily, but don’t want to get stolen. It’s large enough for those bigger, newer phones.
This bag has a surprise I didn’t expect – in front of the large zippered compartment there is a smaller one (no zipper), that even has it’s own zippered pocket. This is so handy, and can keep a bag more organized. Of course, I wouldn’t keep my wallet or anything of value in here, but I can see it being great for snacks, or even to separate baby things from mine, if used that way. For those without a baby, this pocket could be used for glasses, sunscreen, facial spray… it can fit quite a lot.
The pocket inside this small compartment is quite small, but could be used for change or keys, since it has a zipper.
Now we come to the main big compartment. It has a large zippered RFID pocket, which is the best place to store a wallet, and it is large enough to fit quite a sizable one. RFID stands for Radio Frequency IDentification. This technology is used in almost every debit and credit card with a chip, and enables us to use that convenient “tap” for paying. However, this also makes stealing personal information from the cards and duplicating them easier (this is called RFID skimming).
I have to note though, there are articles around the internet saying that RFID skimming doesn’t happen in real life (although it is 100% possible to do it). As a cautious person, I like having this additional layer of protection. Yes, the bank will cover you if it happens. But once somebody bought a Yamaha scooter with my credit card, and I had to go through the whole hustle of replacing the card. The worst thing is, I will never know how or when my credit card info was stolen, and it doesn’t feel good. I will let you decide do you need this security feature, but personally, I would like to have it in all my bags, even if it’s just for the peace of mind.
The interior is lined in light graphic material that makes it easier to find items inside (compared to dark lining). The stitching is even and very well done, and I feel like the lining will not fall apart easily.
The other side of this large compartment has two open pockets for a phone and some smaller items.
The handles are just long enough to carry the bag in hand or over the shoulder, while the shoulder strap can be shortened/ extended for over-the-shoulder or crossbody carry. I love this versatility, as I usually like my hands free. The shoulder strap is removable.
Lastly, the bag has two security features as well. The red whistle is added to all the bags as an additional layer of security in case of an attack. It’s one of those things you hope never to need, but it’s good to have. I like that the whistle doesn’t really look like one, and at first glance it just looks like a bag charm.
The other security feature is the locking main compartment. Basically, this is just a small tab that attaches to the main top zipper on the bag, so if someone tries to open it without you noticing it will stop them. It’s not a real lock, but I can definitely see this working as a quick deterrent (pickpockets have to work quickly, and this would slow them down).
Nutopia Star Chica bag retails for $133 CAD and qualifies for free shipping. You can purchase this bag from beside-u.ca and I highly recommend you to browse their whole range – it will be hard to choose one, and I am sure you can find a bag that fits your style!
Want to win this bag for yourself? Head over to my Instagram page for the giveaway!
What do you look for in a bag? How do you like this one? Do you think you need all these additional features, especially the security ones?