Love at first sight? That might be a little strong, but the first time I picked up my quilted Hedgren crossbody bag, I loved it. It’s one of the “bags of choice” for me — along with Travelon and Baggallini brands — when I travel on both international and domestic trips.
I took my Hedgren bag with me when my husband Dean and I traveled on a three-week trip from Minneapolis to Okinawa, Japan, to visit our son. It kept up through our many adventures there, including hiking to Ta-Taki Falls, in and out of restaurants trying new foods, and exploring Zamami Island.
It was the bag I grabbed when we took a two-and-a-half-week road trip from Minnesota to Maryland to visit our son. The bag went the distance through multiple-day stops in New Glarus, Wisconsin; Hocking Hills State Park and a covered bridge drive in Ohio; Shenandoah National Park in Virginia; of course, our time in Maryland with our son, and one more multi-day stop on the drive home, at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio.
I purchased my Hedgren bag at least four years ago, and while my exact purse is no longer available, it’s very similar to this one.
The Orva RFID Crossbody Bag possesses a slim profile and doesn’t feel heavy or bulky.
- Three front zippered pockets, one with a phone pocket and pen loops inside of it.
- Adjustable shoulder/crossbody strap
- Top zipper closure
- Interior zippered RFID-blocking pocket
- Dimensions — Height: 10.2 inches, Depth: 3.8 inches, Width: 9.2 inches
- Strap Drop Length — 25.2 inches
- Weight — 0.80 pounds
- Outer Body Material — 40 percent nylon / 60 percent polyester
- Lining Material — Nylon
Here are the many reasons I love this do-it-all bag.
1. Perfect Size
This bag is a great size (for travel or otherwise). It’s big enough to hold all the essentials I want to carry with me, but it’s not so big that it’s a hindrance or cumbersome on the go.
It easily holds the usual wallet, make-up, facial tissues, and other essentials of my day-to-day life. When I travel, I often keep extra items in my purse, and it can handle those things, too. For example, it can hold my sunglasses case, a compact umbrella, and even a standard, 16-ounce water bottle.
2. Great Color
Of course, this is my personal opinion, but I love the color of this bag. Mine is a rich, chocolate-brown color that is neutral enough to go with everything. It’s a basic color that is clean and classic.
Not a fan of brown? As of this writing, this bag is offered in more than a dozen colors and patterns, including standard colors like navy and gray. Otherwise, you might want to try the “Essence” color line in bark, birch, or natural, where the nylon takes on an almost tweed appearance. There’s even a bright “Orchid Flower” or “Shadow Floral Print” if you want to make a bolder statement.
3. Zips Securely Across The Top
Some bags have snaps or magnetized closures, but this bag has a full zipper. It might sound like a little detail, but I like to know that when I zip my purse closed, nothing is going to fall out or go missing. I especially feel this way when I’m traveling and in a new, unfamiliar environment. My focus will be on other things, and it gives me a sense of security knowing that I’ve zipped my bag up completely.
4. Smartly Designed Compartments
This bag has three zippered front pockets — no more fumbling through the entire contents of my purse to try to find something. I can organize everything I need and want at my fingertips into those outside pockets. One of them even has a pocket for my cell phone and pen-shaped loops for quick access to a pen.
Inside the bag, there’s a zippered, RFID compartment as well, which brings me to my next point.
5. RFID-Protected Inner Pocket
The inside, zippered pocket on this bag is RFID protected. According to the Department of Homeland Security, “Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology uses radio waves to identify people or objects. There is a device that reads the information contained in a wireless device or ‘tag’ from a distance without making any physical contact or requiring a line of sight.”
RFID seems like a good idea and extra assurance against credit card theft never hurts.
6. Straps Mean Options
I can wear it as a crossbody (and usually do) or I can wear it over one shoulder as a traditional purse. The crossbody gives me a lot of flexibility; I can wear the bag in front of me if we are touring in a crowd, but I can wear it behind me if we’re hiking and there aren’t many people around. Either way, it allows me to keep my hands free. If I want to wear it like a traditional purse, I can quickly adjust the straps to the length that’s comfortable for me.
7. Lightweight Yet Durable
Weighing in at less than a pound (when empty), this purse is lightweight and easy to take with me wherever I go. However, it’s not lightweight when it comes to durability; it can stand up to the rigors of life, and how much more so, the rigors of a life that loves to travel.
8. Hedgren Quality
The zippers are fluid and consistently smooth to use. The hardware is made of metal. This is a bag that says quality through and through.
Hedgren has been in business for almost 30 years (1993) and their philosophy is simple: “Make bags that serve the functional needs of everyday life and make them look good while doing it.”
They say they define functionality, not by the number of compartments, pockets, or zippers a bag has (not a bad way to define it, if you ask me), but they go above and beyond by caring about the experience someone has while using one of their bags. If that’s the measure, I think they’ve succeeded.
9. Easy Care
The fabric is easy to clean with water. Hedgren includes tips for cleaning and cautions that the nylon has a protective coating that can break down in a washing machine or with hot water. I just keep the cleaning simple with spot cleaning and let it air dry.
10. Two-Year Warranty
I like the fact that Hedgren stands behind its products. “Hedgren provides a two-year warranty (five years for hard-shell luggage) from the original date of purchase and to the original purchaser against material and manufacturing defects. This warranty does not cover damages that result from incorrect use, accident, misuse, or abuse (including damage caused by airlines or other carriers), normal wear, or product that has been previously modified.” See full details on the Hedgren website.
These are the reasons I consider my Hedgren bag to be a do-it-all crossbody purse. It even held up to being sandwiched in between a mother-son goodbye hug when it was time to leave our son in Japan and head home. It’s a great bag and one I’ll reach for again and again in our travels.
Bonus: The Kalpana Quilted Hobo Bag
If you want a quilted bag with similar dimensions but only half the weight — and sustainably sourced, the Kalpana Hobo Bag might be a good choice. Once again, it features functional compartments on the exterior and interior, and it comes in a beautiful Hedgren design. As of this writing, it’s available in three colors.
The eco-friendly RPET Polyester fabric on this bag is good for the planet. It’s lightweight, durable, and ironically, water-repellent. The irony is that the fabric is manufactured using 20 plastic bottles to create one square yard of fabric. Just think of it… plastic that once held water now is fashioned into a fabric that repels it. Amazing!