I have been a fan of Oughton since I first started blogging about equestrian style in 2013. I fell in love with the OG barn tote at my local tack store, and always regretted not getting it. The style was discontinued and redesigned (and featured on my blog in 2018 here), but it didn’t strike me as much as the original. I scoured second-hand sites and even reached out in a last-ditch effort in 2019 to see if there was a chance that there might be one laying around, but no cigar.
Fast forward to 2022 and what do I see on my Instagram feed? This beautiful sight:
Oughton had released their new Derby Work Tote, with the same halter hardware style that drew me to the original. Had they listened to my comment that they should bring this style back? Probably not, but I like to tell myself I had an impact.
After connecting with Oughton at their AETA booth earlier this year, I finally became the proud owner of a bag that I have coveted for almost a decade as an Oughton Brand Champion. I put this bag to the test for the past couple of months, paying attention to the following:
- Ease of use & organization
Keep reading for the full review, or scroll to the bottom of the page for the tl:dr.
Durability – 10/10
I have not babied this bag—I’ve loaded it up with heavy items, tossed it in my car, put it on the ground, etc, and it still looks brand new. It doesn’t even attract dog & cat hair, which is baffling and nothing short of a miracle. The materials and construction are very high-quality; the leather is soft and supple, the cotton canvas is smooth, the stitching is tight and even, and the hardware and zippers are sturdy. I think this bag will last me years and years to come.
Comfort – 10/10
I sold my last work tote as it was way too heavy with a laptop in it, and I was being driven nuts by my work backpack that was cumbersome to sling into the passenger seat and would snag on the armrest when getting out. I have back problems so comfort is one of the most important things for a bag that’s going to have some weight in it. I am happy to report that this bag is very comfortable to carry—the padded, soft straps contour to your shoulder, and the handle drop length is perfect. The bag itself is very lightweight, which is another very important aspect when considering a work bag that will be carrying at least one laptop (two in my case) along with all the other daily necessities.
Design (Functional and Aesthetic) – 9/10
Work bags are really only as good as their interiors, and thankfully this bag was thoughtfully designed both inside and out. It features a padded laptop sleeve on one side and a zippered compartment with more interior pockets on the other, along with a very convenient outside pocket on the side that keeps my phone and keys easily accessible. My one change would be to add more structure or a velcro strap to the laptop sleeve, as laptops can sag into the main compartment a bit too much (hence the one point docked here). I might end up adding a little DIY strap.
Size-wise, this bag can pretty much hold it all. Here’s what I carry on a daily basis:
- 2 laptops for work, a 16″ MacBook and a 13″ PC
- Chargers for both laptops
- A mobile hotspot
- Lululemon sling bag that has my wallet and inhaler, so I can grab essentials and go to lunch or take a walk to the Studio Lot
- Lip oil
- Hair claw
- Pen and notebook
- Dry shampoo
Occasionally I will pack a change of clothes for the gym or barn, and those fit too…yet this bag does not feel like an oversized tote, which is a good thing. There’s nothing more annoying than an oversized bag where the moment you put something in it, it’s lost to space and time and you’re frantically searching what feels like the depths of your soul.
Aesthetically, this bag is stunning. It’s classic yet modern, and has beautiful lines without being rigid. The halter hardware adds a stylish equestrian touch. It’s a timeless staple that I will be using for years to come. This bag has been worth the wait.
PS – Use my code KARINA15 FOR 15% off at Oughton!
Disclaimer: I was gifted this bag for the purposes of this review. Being gifted products allows me to try a wider variety of items to put to the test and review for you. Receiving an item for free does not influence my opinions, which are always 100% truthful and my own. My discount code is NOT an affiliate code.