WaterField Designs Zoom crossbody laptop bag review

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REVIEW – Even though I’m not traveling or even commuting to work, that doesn’t mean that my love of gear bags has gone away. Heck no! I’m always up for reviewing new bags and today I have a new one from WaterField Designs. It’s the Zoom crossbody laptop bag. I guess I can use it while I’m attending a Zoom meeting from home? 😉 Let’s take a look.

What is it?

The Zoom crossbody laptop bag from WaterField Designs is a vertical shoulder bag that is made here in the US in their shop located in San Francisco, CA.

Design and features

The Zoom bag is available in four color combinations of 1050 Denier ballistic nylon, brown waxed canvas, full-grain black leather, and Italian Forza textile material. It’s also available in two sizes.

8.5” (l)x 2.5” (w) x 10.5” (h); 1.1 lbs.
21.59 (l) x 6.35 (w) x 26.67 (h) cm; 0.49 kg
Volume: 3.6 Liters

Tall (shown):
10” (l) x 2.5” (w) x 12.75” (h); 1.3 lbs.
25.4 (l) x 6.35 (w) x 32.38 (h) cm; 0.58 kg
Volume: 5.2 Liters

I was sent the tall version of the Zoom bag in blue Forza with a black leather front pocket.

The bag has splashproof zippers that feature cool metal zipper pulls. The covered zipper is designed to keep out the weather.

The exterior of the Zoom bag has a large zippered pocket that features WaterField’s iconic water resistant gold lining. This lining is great because it prevents smaller items from becoming invisible at the bottom of a pocket compared to other bags that have a black lining.

Inside the front pocket are two additional pockets. One of the pockets can hold even the largest phone or wallet, and the other pocket next to it is sized for a pen or two.

The main compartment of the Zoom bag is very roomy, with a padded back pocket that is roomy enough for a 13 inch MacBook Pro.

There are 3 other separate pockets that can hold smaller items like notebooks, pens, your phone, etc.

There’s even a small clip attached to a strap that you can clip your keys or other items that you need quick access to.

Speaking of straps, there’s the padded shoulder strap, I’ve always liked WaterField’s straps because they are comfortable and help distribute the weight of the bag on my shoulder. Note that the strap is adjustable and removable. The one they sent me was an early version of that bag with a non-removable strap. The straps used now have a spring loaded clip if you want to remove the strap.

The back of the WaterField Designs Zoom bag has two great features that are convenient for travelers.

There’s a large open-topped pocket for quick access to your boarding pass…

and magazines or other papers.

There’s also a pass-through strap that you can use to attach the bag to a rolling luggage handle when you don’t want to carry it on your shoulder through the airport.

In the image above, I show a 12 inch MacBook in the soft padded laptop pocket along with a notebook, several pens, a wallet, and more items that you can’t see. The extra pockets make it easy to organize your gear so that everything isn’t just floating around at the bottom of the main compartment.

If you’re wondering about the two sizes of the Zoom bag and what size devices it can hold…

Compact: built-in sleeve fits devices up to 11” x 8”
iPad Pro 11″ with NEW Magic Keyboard, reMarkable (paper tablet), Surface Go with Type Cover

Tall: built-in sleeve fits devices up to 12.75″ x 8.75”
13″ MacBook Pro, 13″ Macbook Air, iPad Pro 11″ & 12.9” with NEW Magic Keyboard, Surface Pro X, Surface Pro 7 with Type Cover

To give you an idea of how the Tall version of the Zoom bag looks while you’re carrying it, here I am (don’t judge me by my lack of fashion sense – sweats are the new work from home fashion trend!) with the WaterField Designs Zoom bag on my shoulder. I am 5ft 6in tall and currently weigh in at 125lbs.

What I like

  • Well made like all of the products from WaterField Designs
  • Lots of pockets
  • Comfortable strap

What I’d change

  • Add a grab handle/loop at the top

Final thoughts

WaterField Designs is one of my favorite bag makers. I’ve been reviewing and using their bags for over a decade. Some of those bags and pouches look as good today as they did the day I unboxed them. WaterField knows how to make a great gear bag and I can’t find anything to complain about with their new Zoom bag. Everything is perfectly constructed. I like the style of this bag and the way it holds my gear in an organized and easy to access way. If you like vertical shoulder bags and have the budget for it, take a look at the WaterField Designs Zoom bag. It will probably last longer than you will.

Price: $209 – $229
Where to buy: WaterField Designs
Source: The sample for this review was provided by WaterField Designs.

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5 thoughts on “WaterField Designs Zoom crossbody laptop bag review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Waterfield has been my go-to carry everything bag since I first read a review here, oh so long ago. The designs are different than the usual “Bug Out” or pseudo-military or hiking bags that flood the market.
    My daily bag is a Mezzo Backpack or a Muzetto Messenger bag both in waxed canvas, which looks better with age.

    If Gary (Hey Gary) is reading this, one cross line design change I would like to see is the addition of several “D” rings positioned to allow clipping of pouches, tools, etc inside the bags.

    1. Robert, that’s a great idea about D rings or even a couple well placed molle straps would be nice. Although molle straps might cause the bag to look a little more tactical than some people would like.

    2. That’s one reason I mix in Tom Bihn bags in my collection – they have those “O” rings sewn into various seams, and varying lengths of tethers as well. I still prefer the look of Waterfield’s designs, but the functionality of Tom Bihn’s interior organization is mighty handy!

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