Vera Bradley Preppy Poly Triple Travel Bag for Sport/Travel/Work ($158 or less)
This is for women runners. If you have need of a ‘gym’ bag, to carry running clothes, gear and related items, consider one that may serve more than just this one purpose. Especially if you take one to work or on trips.
Last year I purchased a bag from Vera Bradley, the Preppy Polly Triple Travel Bag in black, 20” wide x 13 ½” high x 7’ deep (12” drop straps). It has 2 big exterior side pockets (one is a compartment for a laptop up to 15”), and most importantly a ‘trolley sleeve’ that allows you to carry it on the handle of a roller suitcase. All the closures are secured with a zip. The large middle compartment has 5 interior mesh slip pockets.
It looks very professional, possessing clean lines and a no-slouch construction from stylish polyester (Polly) water-repellent fabric. The bag is typical VB in that it’s lightweight, but NOT quilted, so it doesn’t have a typical VB look. I don’t know why it’s called “Preppy”.
I’ve used mine on trips to pack running and business clothes. Once at my destination it doubles as a meeting case to carry business materials; I’ve also used it as a shopper and purse. It can fold up, although a bit bulky, and be stored in my bigger piece of luggage, depending on how full I stuff that piece. In these days of restricted airline carry-on piece numbers (only 2) it very much can extend my baggage capability upon arrival. OR every day it can go with me to the gym carrying shoes, workout apparel, and dry snacks.
It’s only shortcoming (for me) is that the straps are a little long if I use the handles to carry it in my hand for an extended time rather on my shoulder. That’s only an issue because I’m a bit short.
Last year it was offered in other colors, a rose, claret, blue, and black. Online the selection is now confined to black and blue, with sale bags in a few of the other colors (Amazon only offers the claret). VB has similar newer duffel models, each with a shoulder strap and short handles (one has reinforced corners, the other a reinforced bottom section) that may be easier for toting, which come is bright pastel-ish colors.
However, I love/value the wide zippered opening and compartments of the model I have, which don’t seem to have been re-created in the newer version. The black color is sophisticated and can grab big city style points. A fashion-conscious, Tumi-toting, Millennial male colleague complemented the bag’s good looks!
Bottom line, think broadly when shopping for running gear if you want to stretch the use of some items. In the retail world it’s fits into the the “athleisure” trend in which athletic wear transitions to work and beyond.
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Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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