In Review: The Surprisingly Great, Cheap, Target Goodfellow Ballistic Nylon Tote Backpack

1 week ago 13

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Goodfellow & Co. Slim Ballistic Nylon Tote Backpack – $34.99

About the Author: Ryan N. is a professional web developer for (and alum from) the University of Delaware, who keeps a close shave as to not be confused with his strongly-bearded twin brother. He plays guitar and drums, loves going to concerts watching livestream concerts with his wife, and loves being a dad. 

Quick. When I say “nylon commuter bag,” what comes to mind? Perhaps this monstrosity? (Apologies to the Targus brand – they’ve really tried to sharpen up their looks of late.)

That’s about what I thought, anyway. Having worked from home for the past year-plus, I haven’t really had to think much about my bag. In a sense, bags are mostly utilitarian. You need to carry items X, Y and Z from Point A to Point B. If they look good, but don’t perform well, then what’s the point? Yet, you don’t want to stray too far onto the function-over-form side, either. Few bags are able to do it well. Far fewer are able to do it well AND affordably. Enter the Goodfellow & Co. Tote-slash-Backpack-slash-Messenger-Bag!

 Target's Goodfellow & Co. Ballistic Nylon Tote Backpack Commuter Bag |

The Goodfellow & Co. Ballistic Nylon.. “Tote-pack-ssenger.” Yep. Nailed it!

Much like last year, I’m still not a big fan of backpacks. But when the backpack can also be a shoulder bag and a tote bag, all in one? Well, that’s something I could get on board with. Ballistic nylon is one of those fabrics that can really be dressed up or down. There’s a bit of shine to it, so it doesn’t look out of place at work, but it’s also smart enough that you don’t look like you’re using a cheesy office bag as an everyday tote.

Target Goodfellow Ballistic Nylon Tote Backpack

Roomy interior, and that bright orange is wonderfully unexpected.

A padded laptop sleeve and roomy inner zip pocket flank the blazing orange inner liner’s large main compartment. Hardware looks surprisingly solid for the price, the leatherette-tabbed zipper pulls feel nice, and the included shoulder strap clips and moves securely.

Target Goodfellow Ballistic Nylon Tote Backpack

Extremely comfortable handles give it great balance and weight distribution.

The tote handles are shaped and have a bit of padding, giving them a quite comfortable and natural feel in the hand. And if you want to sling it over your shoulder? The tote handles tuck completely away into clever snap compartments. If you totes like to tote? The snap compartment then becomes a useful extra pocket to stash your shades or other small goods. This would be a pretty close to perfect beach bag.

Target Goodfellow Ballistic Nylon Tote Backpack

Why stop at being two things when you could be three things? Backpack straps make it even more versatile.

Backpack straps hide away in the large zip pocket on the back, and still two more zip pockets adorn the front. If I had to nitpick, the front pockets are a bit difficult to close, and I do wish that the backpack strap clips on the outside of the bag could be hidden like the tote handles, since I don’t see myself using them. So they just kinda dangle, orphaned, at the base of the bag. A bit puzzling given the fit and finish of everything else.

Add up all that storage and yet? It’s still a super slim profile. Getting hard to find in stores, but ships out just fine.

Bike commuting. Trips to the beach. Road trips where you need to keep the snacks in reach. Farmers markets. An extra bag for long weekends away for those “oh we should bring” items. This thing can seemingly do it all.

Well worth the $35 asking price for the versatility.

Target Goodfellow Ballistic Nylon Tote Backpack

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