Monday, February 2, 2009



Outdoor Retailer Market Winter 2009, Salt Lake City Palace UT

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

A good handbag is like a good friend…comfy, always there, sturdy…and maybe even better looking than you. Ha Ha!

And so we segway to…

Overland Equipment, a collection of carryalls that used to have a funky “outdoors” rep since the line was launched in 1981.

But with new owners and a visionary creative head, Suzi Pritchett conjuring up bags with flair, the whole line has been totally revamped. Now, “it’s fashionable and function-able…there’s a place for everything…honest bags for real people,” Pritchett notes.

The best selling Half Moon bag- a small or large messenger style carryall is curved to fit lady’s torsos, just so, sports a front flap that covers two huge pockets, has handy interior mesh pockets, and is made with a ballistic nylon in high abrasion areas for durability.

The Bayliss, a travel friendly style that can ergonomically work slung over shoulders or as a low riding waistpack, is also electronics friendly, has magnetic closures, has three separate compartments to carry it all, and comes in cool colors like coffee bean chocolate, dark olives (khaki), storm blue, etc. We particularly like the trims “inspired by climbing harnesses and ropes,” according to Pritchett…with heavy duty overstitching, “not overdesign.”

Laptop devotees will love the padded sleeves in many options. The Cambridge model, with adjustable padded shoulder straps… works as a backpack too. It’s also commuter, bike friendly with zipped secure outer pockets.

The Placer is as close to perfection as any gal would want for an everyday bag. With padded and fleeced zip interior pockets for valuables organized underneath a foldover flap, a stretch toggle for keys ( more archeological digs???!!!!).

Plus a tougher fabric for Fall 2009, earthy tones and fetching new logo…make The Placer a chic and practical choice for women.

Amazingly, Overland is EXTREMELY reasonably priced given that these neo-classics are in for the long haul….(around $35-$90).