I’ve always been curious as to how other very similar totes matched up with Cuyana’s (click here my full review!). From my preliminary assessment online, the Madewell tote looked much more structured than the Cuyana tote. It seems that is not the case! I wanted to get a true lowdown from an actual owner.
BW: I’m very curious as to how you decided on this tote specifically – did it stand out against the other totes on the market?
Rachel: The price point was a big factor, I didn’t really want to spend more then $200 but still wanted a beautiful bag that would last. I was already familiar with Madewell since they’re known for their quality items and classic style. Obviously this tote is not the most unique, but that wasn’t important to me – I just wanted something simple that I could use every day from a brand I could trust.
BW: What do you like about this tote?
Rachel: I love that it has a classic style and can last for years (which it has, 2 as of this Christmas!). It’s also a great bag to use as a travel-on when traveling. I like the inner pocket, it’s just large enough for things I need easy access to – cell phone, several pens, any medication I need with me. But I primarily use this bag for work since I usually have my laptop and at least one or two notebooks in tow.
BW: Sounds like you can’t really go wrong with this bag – is there anything you dislike?
Rachel: The only dislike I have is that the bottom is unstructured, this just makes it easier to fall over when I’m setting it down or against something.
BW: You mentioned that you’ve had this for two years now – how’s the long-term wear and tear?
Rachel: It’s held up really well for the amount of use it gets (literally every day!) and I’m pretty hard on my bags. I bump into things, set it on the ground all the time, and have even had a few liquid spills in the bag. Aside from a few nicks and scratches and a little stain (from the spill), the leather has held up and maintains its original quality. Coloring has not changed since I purchased it 2 years ago and there’s no fading from wear. I was browsing online recently and it looks like the material may have changed since I purchased my bag! The reviews mention poor quality which is disappointing.
The Madewell Transport tote comes in two colors – Rachel’s is shown here in english saddle ($168).
At the time of my initial review, the Cuyana tote was $150 but has since increased to $175.