Most helpful critical review
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Good big bag with some serious limitations
on 21 July 2013
I admit to being a bit of a Kipling addict, owning a few of the bags and coveting many more. I love the unfussy style, the functionality and quality and generally find that no other bags come close. I bought the Delana in Warm Grey because 1) I needed a large bag in a neutral shade and 2) it was reduced to an unmissable price at the time. On unwrapping it, I loved the colour immediately (nothing like a grey, but a great neutral which really does go with everything without being too pale) but was very disappointed by the bag itself. At first I even considered returning it.
On first sight the Delana appears to be a very odd shape - far too wide for its height. It's not comfortable as a shoulder bag when there's not much stuff in it, nor is it a bag to be carried as a tote in one hand - it doesn't scrape the floor but it does fold or sag in the middle. However, extend the strap and put it on as a cross-body bag and the beauty of the Delana becomes apparent. Its shape and the two pairs of front pockets encourage it to fold slightly around the hip and it lies very comfortably and discreetly - probably the best shape for a large cross-body bag that I've found. And, of course, it holds lots and lots... I walk to work every day and sometimes need to carry spare shoes or a cardigan with me - and often do a bit of shopping on the way home. Using the Delana, I will no longer need to lug an extra shopper or carrier bag with me - the Delana will take it all with ease. It even makes more sense as a one shoulder bag once it's got a few large items in it.
There are still some major flaws to the bag. The main zip is not stitched in at the end, which does allow the bag to expand but is a bit irritating. The interior zip pocket is ridiculously small and will not take a long wallet, let alone a Kindle. In fact, there is nowhere in this bag to stash a Kindle or 7" tablet safely. The front pockets and interior pocket are too small, while the velcro pocket on the back is too long and insecurely fastened - in fact I'm struggling to think of a good use for it.
All in all, at under £30 this is a great bag for some, limited uses. For me it's perfect for work as it holds loads, is very comfortable for walking and goes with everything. Phone and (square type) wallet go in the front zip pockets while the inside swallows up clothes, shoes, books, shopping and so on. However, I wouldn't use it as a travel bag as I prefer better internal organisation, with spaces for the Kindle, tablet and travel wallet.