A few months ago we reviewed French company Be.ez's MacBook messenger bag, the LaBesace Lime Drop, and were generally quite pleased with it. If your laptop is a stylish machine, such as a MacBook, protecting it with equal style is a primary concern for a good number of people. When we heard about Be.ez's other design variation, the vertical messenger bag LeVertigo, we were eager to try it. Unfortunately, whatever magic the LaBesace Lime Drop has was not in effect this time around. For $69 ($59 for the 13-inch version), the LeVertigo is affordable, but simply not that usable as an everyday computer tote.
That's not to say the LeVertigo isn't stylish. Sleek and nylon-covered on the outside and shockingly bright orange on the inside, it replicates the silver/neon yellow concept of the Lime Drop (the LeVertigo is also available in gray/lime and black/black color schemes). But the LeVertigo feels even longer than it is, creating the impression when worn that's unusually proportioned. It's also less secure: where the Lime Drop had a zipper-up front compartment, the LeVertigo only has a Velcro patch to secure its large front flap, which left our laptop feeling very vulnerable.
MacBooks up to 15 inches (or any other 15-inch laptop, really) fit fine in the bag, but the materials inside didn't feel as reinforced as in the previous Be.ez bag we tried. The foam padding was nice and stiff, but a little thin for our tastes. In addition to the main sleeve, a mesh divider separates another equally long section. A series of open foam pockets and a strange zippered front compartment that had an exposed corner in our review unit didn't feel ideal for gadget or gear storage. Magazines, papers, and a loose cable or two could fit, but not much more. There's also no storage in the sizable front flap--a lost opportunity.
The outside of the bag also has no easy-access zippers at all for additional compartments, leaving you with only the awkward extra-large flap as your sole entry point for storing anything. Having to open and close that huge Velcro flap over and over rather than simply open a side pocket reeks of awkward design.
We hate to sound harsh, but the LeVertigo15 was a disappointment. For better bag value, consider the LaBesace Lime Drop, or simply look to more versatile alternatives. After all, looks aren't everything. The LeVertigo15 comes with a one-year warranty.