Ally Capellino AO Wide Despatch Satchel review

An elegant satchel for a cafe visit, but less useful for the daily commute

It's hard to think you're not just paying for the label – which comes off, incidentally, dashing the reasons you had for buying it

TechRadar Verdict

We liked the natural materials but need more protection for our beloved laptops


  • +

    Elegant design

  • +

    Natural materials and colours

  • +

    Sensible use of internal space


  • -

    Needs better padding

  • -

    Stitching needs to be tougher

  • -

    Price may put some people off

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Ally Capellino's AO Bags for Apple follow on from her work for the Tate Gallery and Cowshed.

True to form, Capellino has used natural materials and colours to make this one, which is also available in a sand colour.

The design is the classic satchel format, with canvas sides, leather straps and corners. Inside is a soft-lined pouch big enough to take a 15-inch MacBook Pro, a mobile phone pouch and space for cables and accessories.

You get further zip-lined pouches on the front of the bag and another inside area separate from the laptop pouch.

Poorly made

Although we don't profess to know much about the fashion world, we do know what makes a good laptop
bag. The essential ingredients for us are strong padding, enough pockets for a sensible amount of accessories and a strong build quality to stand the test of time.

The level of padding worked into this bag is low, especially compared to your average Brenthaven or Knomo bag. You get a floppy enclosure with no stiff protection and perhaps 2cm of fabric padding at its thickest point. If you need a bag for a stroll to a nearby cafe then fine, but forget daily barging on the Underground.

The stitching could be stronger, especially at this price. The Ally Capellino logo on the front of the bag is stuck on, not stitched, which is convenient if you want to remove it, but the stitchwork holding the straps in place is frail and we worry how much abuse these could take.

Satchel bags for laptops are rare. We liked the size and look for this one, but balked at the price, questioned its sturdiness and would not recommend it for daily use unless you have some additional protection around your laptop.
James Ellerbeck