Versatile messenger-style bag is roomy but lacks uniqueness.
For many years now, I’ve teetered back and forth between backpacks and briefcases for carrying my laptop to and from work. I tend to take the ‘be prepared’ motto a little too much to heart and therefore, I have just about everything except the kitchen sink included in the bag. My bag is more or less a ‘go’ bag and I want to be able to grab it and go no matter where I’m headed. In other words, I need a lot of space. I’m constantly amazed at how a smaller profile bag, can have just as much space as a larger backpack – it’s like a mystical Mary Poppins carpet bag. That’s just what I found with the New Street Briefcase by Brooks England.
The New Street Briefcase is positioned as “an evolution of the classic briefcase” and it lives up to that. It’s designed for bicycle travel as well as professional meetings. The bag comes with a KLICKfix module rail rack attachment and features a hidden trolley sleeve for luggage. The shoulder strap is removable and because the New Street Briefcase is made from durable waterproof materials, you can take it with you anywhere. The bag fits up to 15L of volume and has reflective materials built in for those times you take it with you on night rides.
- Waterproof PU Coated Nylon 66 & Cordura
- YKK Aqua guard Zips
- Padded Compartments
- Clever Interior Details
- High-Grade Aluminum Hardware
- 100% Recycled Lining
- Reflective Details
- Dimensions: 44cm x 34cm x 12cm
The New Street Briefcase did not arrive in any special packaging. It was wrapped in a simple plastic wrap and all of its accessories were stowed away inside. It comes with a Modul Rail for attaching to a bicycle. It’s designed to fit on the back side of the bike beneath the seat. Sadly, I don’t live in an area that is known for commuting by bicycle. So, this attachment was fairly new to me. It seems like its in an awkward position, but the Modul Rail fits nicely in this place so I’m sure it’s just not something I’m familiar with.
As I mentioned above, I tend to switch back and forth between backpacks and shoulder bag for my daily carry-all. Before I started using the New Street bag, I was using a backpack from SOLO and loved its versatility. My first impression of the New Street Briefcase was that it was small. It has the appearance of being narrow and slim profiled, but it actually has a surprising amount of interior space. At 15L, it’s large enough for 15-inch laptops and a myriad of accessories. I was personally able to fit the following items inside the bag.
- 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro
- 12-inch iPad Pro with SmartKeyboard
- Twelve South BookBook CaddySack
- GridIt by Cocoon (Large)
- Pocket Notebook
- Accessory pouch
- tizi Kfferchen by equinux (a small storage pouch for accessories)
Even though I was able to fit all of that in the bag, it seemed like the New Street Briefcase was a bit loaded down. It just looked bloated and the pocket on the front was very difficult to use once the interior was filled. That said, you can comfortably fit a single laptop, a few accessories, and maybe some paperwork inside the main compartment. Since I believe that’s what the intention of this bag was I really can’t mark it down for that. I would like to see the exterior pouch on the front be a little more autonomous from the interior compartment though.
I like the classic style of the New Street Briefcase. The simple, straight black with silver hardware is very businesslike and professional looking. I like that with a briefcase. One thing I found odd those was the adjustable strap. It’s actually in two separate pieces and because of that, it seems as though you could accidentally slip it all the way out of its buckle. That said, when it was tightened, I never noticed the strap moving after that.
The New Street Briefcase is a sophisticated, classy option for a working bag. It is well-suited for business as well as personal use and even education. The laptop sleeve on the inside is very well padded and I never had any issues with my 13-inch MacBook Pro being secure inside it. I would like to see this particular bag have just a little more room to breathe especially with the exterior pocket. It’s a nice bag and when I’m in a minimalist mood, it’s perfect. For those who want to carry everything including the kitchen sink, you might want something a bit bigger.