Troubadour Goods Featherweight Tote bag review

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REVIEW – I’ve come to realize that I may never find my perfect backpack, but that search pales in comparison to the search for a work worthy tote that can carry a laptop. I think we’ve been looking for one for my wife for her entire career. Troubadour Goods recently offered up their Featherweight Tote for review that looked like it ticked all the boxes. Could it be the one? Verdict ahead.

What is it?

The Featherweight Tote from Troubadour Goods is an expertly crafted, large volume tote made from high quality waterproof materials. Vegan leather handles and a computer compartment round out the package.

What’s in the box?


  • Troubadour Goods Featherweight Tote bag
  • Assorted labels
  • Instruction card for snap use

Hardware specs

  • Premium lightweight, waterproof fabric
  • Constructed from just two pieces of fabric in a minimalist design
  • Vegan leather handles
  • Padded laptop compartment
  • Internal organization pockets
  • Side snaps reduce volume when used
  • Hidden D-rings for shoulder strap (sold separately)

Design and features

The star of the show here is the main material. Without knowing the actual details, I can best describe it as a tight, woven polyester with a ‘peached’ surface that has a really soft feel. That material is laminated to the polyester lining with a non-woven, flexible but rigid structure layer that provides the stiffness that keeps the bag from collapsing when set on its flat base. Both the outer and lining fabrics are made from recycled content. The branding is slightly inset and tastefully color adjacent to the main fabric.


Inside the Troubadour Goods Featherweight Tote bag, you can see the careful stitching and clean organization along with the support for the outside mounted leather handles.


This shot shows the capacity of the bag when the two sides are clasped to taper the top and provide some extra stand. You can also see a bit of the unique 2-piece structure. Basically the left, front and right side are all one piece. The back and the bottom are the second. They’re sewn together along with the computer divider/organizer creating a large, but simple structure that looks very clean externally.


This is a close-up of one of the side clasps. It looks like a snap but works like the chain lock on a hotel door with an entry hole into a slot.


You can see that receiver shape in the below photo, where this snap connects to the far side of the Troubadour Goods Featherweight Tote bag to hold it closed. It’s also the best view I have of the interior lining which again has a great hand feel.



The Troubadour Goods Featherweight Tote bag is not inexpensive, but the build quality, material choices and thoughtful details are on par for the price. We have no doubt that it will survive years of use and still look crisp and professional. I definitely encourage you to look at the product images on Troubadour’s site as the color is clearly not well represented in my photos. Here’s a screenshot that better represents the Khaki color we received. I think we’d probably call it Olive ourselves. Troubadour also offers it in Black or Navy.


As I mentioned in the opener, one of the key features we were looking for was the ability to carry a laptop in a dedicated pocket. It’s not a hard feature to find in totes, but as soon as you want to fit a 15″ or 17″ laptop, those options dwindle quickly. Below is a 15″ MacBook Pro easily sliding into position.


In the upright position, however, the pocket isn’t quite deep enough for the MacBook Pro to clear the snap used to connect the two sides of the bag. That’s a bummer. Inside the pocket is a separate snap and receiver on a downward facing leather tab that is meant to retain a laptop. That one barely closes over a 13″ MacBook Pro and most likely won’t get used. All of these face the MacBook so you’ll want to use a separate sleeve on your MacBook to protect its finish from metal to metal contact.


The biggest trouble of the Troubadour Goods Featherweight Tote bag is the 6.5″ handle length. It’s fine for carrying with your hand, but it makes carrying over the shoulder a very tight affair. We weren’t expecting to be able to grab the handles and swing the elbow through, but you are absolutely going to feel the top edge of the bag in your armpit in addition to a two-handed process for getting it there in the first place.


Troubadour does have a solution in these expertly hidden shoulder strap mounts that are just inside the right side of each handle. Their strap is sold separately should that be an option that would work for you. It’s something my wife was hoping to avoid as the beauty of a tote is two handles and a big open pocket, something Troubadour got right (other than the handle length for her).


The snap/slide closures are pretty cool in that they absolutely work. The side closures never once popped open. The only comment I’d add is that they are center mounted which allows them to spin as they see some wear and tear. As a result, the direction of the ‘slide’ can change which makes closing them without looking challenging.

What I like

  • Durable, quality materials
  • Great feel on all surfaces, handles
  • Flat bottom stands well

What I’d change

  • Lengthen the handles for easier on-shoulder use
  • Deepen the computer compartment so larger laptops don’t block the bag closure

Final thoughts

Overall, the quality of the Troubadour Goods Featherweight Tote bag is incredible and the materials are top-notch. If you’re running a small laptop and like the addition of a strap for shoulder carry, this is worth checking out. For my wife, the handles just aren’t long enough for shoulder use, and her 15″ laptop blocks some of the thoughtful functionality that’s built-in. We’ll be watching for future updates to the line as this is the closest we’ve found to an ideal tote from a construction point of view.

Price: $275.00
Where to buy: Troubadour Goods and Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Troubadour Goods.

1 thought on “Troubadour Goods Featherweight Tote bag review”

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  2. Thank you for your review. I love the look of this bag. I too would prefer longer handles, and a luggage strap to place over rolling luggage bag handles

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