no more bag lady: the Lo & Sons OMG

When I started teaching, I used to lug around a Precalculus teacher’s edition, a calculator, a pencil case, cell phone, wallet, keys, and folders full of grading in a North Face backpack. I often added a lunch bag and a gym bag. No wonder I was cranky…I was hauling way too much! I also looked like a high school kid with that backpack, so I upgraded to a more professional look with a black Lo & Sons OMG back in December 2011. That bag lasted through numerous work commutes, domestic travel, and international travel. This purchase helped put me on a bag diet: cutting down to one work bag + one lunch bag (a pink Whole Foods Medford soft-sided insulated bag).

Over the course of the past two+ years, wear and tear took a toll on my poor bag. First the shoulder strap gave out, followed by the zipper to the passport/wallet compartment. Those two things I could deal with since the bag has two straps and the compartment is covered by another zipper. However, when the shoe compartment zipper broke, that interfered with my gym-going. Luckily, the kind folk at Lo & Sons sent me a replacement bag after I explained what had gone wrong with my old one. I really appreciated that level of customer service!

What I Love About the Bag
– The classic look. It’s sleek and simple. It looks at home on a business trip, on vacation, and at the gym.
– The durability. Boston weather does not play. Unexpected rain or snow can wreck all of one’s papers and books in a bag that is leather, canvas, or open-top (not to mention that it can wreck the bag). This bag can also stand up to being used as a gym bag.
– The sleeve for placing the bag on top of one’s rolly cart when traveling. It makes running through the airport much easier.
– The key holder. I like not having to dig around for my keys, especially when I’m hauling groceries or other things.
– The shoe compartment. This is a godsend for keeping gym shoes or sweaty gym clothes separate from everything else in your bag.
– The pockets. There’s a place for your phone, your pens, your wallet, your laptop, and your papers.

The Laptop Caveat
I have never understood how people can carry laptops in thin-strapped shoulder bags or totes such as the Longchamp Le Pliage or Louis Vuitton Neverfull. I thought that the Lo & Sons OMG might finally make the “easy breezy shoulder bag for laptop” functionality happen for me, but no such luck. I’ve carried my 13″ MacBook Pro or my 13″ work MacBook in my Lo & Sons OMG, and it’s so uncomfortable if I have to carry it on a T commute rather than driving somewhere. If using the OMG, I prefer to carry no electronics heavier than my iPad (sticking to my Wheelmen & Company Babylon backpack for laptops).


What’s in My Bag
This is what it looks like for a work day followed by a spin class.
Truffle case with iPhone charger, pens, headphones, tic tacs, hand sanitizer, extra contact lenses, and lip balm. I adore these cases now. Though the OMG has many pockets, I like being able to see through the clear plastic of the Truffle cases and move my stuff from OMG to backpack if needed.
– wallet (with cell phone pocket)
– keys on a KeySmart and UVA lanyard. I keep just the KeySmart in my pants pocket (on lanyard if wearing a dress) so that I can keep my bag, wallet, and phone locked up in a cabinet when at school.
– card case with all my membership, loyalty, and punch cards
– *one* folder with school work (not pictured)
– iPad (if doing any lesson planning via Evernote after school)
– Moleskine (Squared Notebook) Bullet Journal + a Uni-ball Signo 207 gel pen (influence of Louis from Suits + my fiance) + a pink pen for grading
bkr water bottle
– gym clothes (tank, sports bra, crops, socks) + extra change of clothes
spin shoes
Truffle case with shower stuff + makeup

Other Things for Non-Spin Days
Those spin shoes take up a lot of precious bag space. If I’m going to Btone, I only need a gym outfit and if going to Exhale or Pure Barre, I only need a pair of barre socks. That makes more room for my lunch bag, my various knitting projects, or books.

I would definitely recommend the OMG (or its slightly larger cousin the OG) for fellow T-commuting, gym-going teachers. It is pricey for a teacher budget, but that ends up being worth it when calculating cost per use, considering the quality of the bags, and considering their functionality/organization. These bags will last through the long haul, and Lo & Sons also provides impeccable customer service if your bag does happen to break. I’ll stand by my splurging philosophy on good teaching shoes and good teaching bags!

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  • Erin

    This is like the third review I’ve seen where the user said this bag fell apart. While I appreciate the fact that the company is willing to replace it right away, it’s a pretty expensive bag to have to worry that it’s going to come apart, probably at an inopportune time. Has your new one held up better?

    • Kristina

      The new one has held up much better. However, I try to keep it to gym-only stuff now (rather than trying to cram a laptop, lunch, and school work as well) so that it’s not too heavy on one shoulder when I carry it.

          • Kristina

            Kati–my sister has the OG and likes it for airplane travel. She has a 15″ MacBook Pro and prefers the OG. I have also found that since I got a 15″ MacBook Pro that if I need to carry my laptop (while driving somewhere), that it’s a pretty tight fit in the OMG.

          • Kati

            Thank you so much! That really helps. I have the 13″ MacBook Air & I want to use this mainly when I have to fly. Ordering the OG- too back you don’t get a commission or anything.
            They need a referral program!

          • Erin

            Kati — I bought the OG, and I have to say, I am disappointed. I think that organization-wise, it’s an awesome bag, and I haven’t seen much else like it in terms of a travel bag. Unfortunately, the quality just doesn’t justify the cost. I’ve been using an MZ Wallace metro tote for years, and love it, but thought that the OMG would help keep my stuff more organized, and it that it did. However, when you compare the quality — the material is better, and the zippers are smooth and don’t stick — the MZ Wallace is hands down a better value for less money. I’ve had it for several years and it looks brand new, while I have a feeling the OG would look worn out within a few uses. Probably not what you wanted to hear, but it’s the truth 🙁

  • Evelyn

    I searched and searched for the perfect travel bag because I tend to carry a lot of stuff and I like to keep everything in reach under the seat in front of me. The Lo and Sons OMG Bag is my favorite! L-O-V-E it! I had to scale down a bit because I really did carry too much stuff and it was exhausting lugging it all around. Now I can have all my essentials and no matter what the baggage restrictions are the OMG bag will always fit under the seat in front with room for my legs. It is well made, classy and I can also use it as a purse when I get to my destination for sightseeing and shopping! The OMG bag has the same compartments as the OG bag, but it is a bit smaller.

  • Julie G

    Hi! Just curious if you still love this bag? I’m on he hunt for the perfect travel bag and am between the OMG and the Tumi Athens. Tumi is great quality, and Lo&Sons is a new company. Anyhow, is this still your travel “go-to”? Would love any feedback! Many thanks!

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