A Note From Last Week and the Lo & Sons O.G. in Action

I think I mentioned it about a week ago, but hotel living is starting to get old.

The kids are really feeling it, too.

MGM (9) and Trixie (7) are very different kids, so they are responding in very different ways, but Spouse and I can tell that it’s hard on all of us to have me gone during the week.

Since the weather was slightly more cooperative last week (meaning no active snowing or icy conditions; it was still freezing cold but the roads were dry), I decided to come home mid-week for a night and break the trip up.

That meant that I only had one night – Thursday – during the second half of the week to be away from home. I decided to try two new things: a hotel I’d never stayed at before and to pack lightly with just my Lo & Sons O.G. bag.

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Sidenote: I’ve mentioned it a million times, but I am on a perpetual quest for Starwood Hotel status, specifically Platinum status for 2018 and Gold for Life. I already hit Gold for this year with 11 stays to date (it’ll be lucky number 13 after this week if I break it up again into two parts), and I may just clear that Platinum bar in two more months.

The new hotel where I decided to stay is a Sheraton. It’s about the same distance from my office as the place I usually stay, but I discovered it’s in a less populated (read: creepy, industrial) neighborhood.

And there are giant power lines criss crossing the parking lot:

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Room with a (bad) view

I should have captured a picture of the architecture, which is early 1980s style at its worst. The exterior is all smoked glass and there is an interior atrium area with a bridge crossing from the lobby to the elevator bank. An ugly conference/ballroom area is below. It’s hideous. Fortunately, though, the hotel apparently got a massive cosmetic rehab a year ago and so the rooms were pretty nice. I am not sure I will stay there again, unless I can get a major deal. I digress.

Since I was only going to pack for one night, I didn’t need much. While I usually pack workout stuff, I didn’t need it because I would head home Friday night for an appointment with my trainer at the gym, so I could skip the hotel workout (I made Thursday a rest day). I also decided to wear my Rag and Bone Newbury boots two days in a row, so I didn’t even need extra shoes. In the end, here’s what I packed into my Lo & Sons bag:

  • Blouse (old, from Anthropologie)
  • J. Crew Pixie pants
  • A light cardigan
  • Necklace (Lilly Pulitzer)
  • Pajamas, socks
  • Hair Brushes (round, foldable)
  • Glasses
  • Toiletries
  • Makeup
  • Laptop

And it barely fit.

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We’re talking zippers-almost-ripping full by the time I got all of this packed. One concession I’ll make is that I could have reduced the size of my toiletry bag, but it’s already pre-packed and I didn’t have the time on energy to re-do it.

Not only was the bag stuffed, it was heavy and difficult to carry. I was really disappointed with this Real World test, especially since I’d been so pleased with the bag up to this point.

I may try using this solely for the gym. I probably wouldn’t use it as a work bag because the shape and style don’t seem right for that. Where it might make sense is to use it as a carry-on personal item on a flight, although you would still need to pack a separate suitcase for clothes. This would nicely accommodate a laptop, some magazines, a bottle of water, travel wrap and a small purse.

Speaking of purses, my shoulders got tired of slinging around heavy totes and I switched out to this handbag:

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The photo doesn’t do it justice. This is a gorgeous royal blue Prada bag with bold hardware. I think I’ll be using this for a while, but the Lo & Sons probably will be chilling on the top shelf of my closet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lo & Sons O.G. Review

Lo & Sons is a brand that gets a lot of attention on blogs and other social media.

I was intrigued by their Catalina Weekender bags after seeing a few of my favorite bloggers write about how much they held, and I bought blue one about a year and a half ago.

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Photo from Lo&Sons website

After using the Catalina for a few trips – including a complicated carry-on only jaunt that took me from a work trip in Dubai to running a race in Florida – I can attest to the fact that it holds a lot.

Too much, in fact. That trip I mentioned above gave me permanent shoulder grooves from hauling a heavy, overstuffed bag across 30,000 miles.

(Now there is a Deluxe Catalina available in two sizes that seems more travel friendly; there’s a sturdy crossbody messenger strap and a back sleeve to slide the bag on top of an extended luggage handle for easier transport).

But sometimes the Catalina is still more than I need.

Enter the O.G.

The O.G. (“overnight and gym”) bag is described as a lightweight overnight travel bag.

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Photo from Lo&Sons website

 

Honestly, the O.G. is better looking than the Catalina. It would be perfect to bring on a short work trip that involved traveling with your boss.

In contrast, the Catalina is better for a beach weekend with friends.

The O.G. also comes in two sizes: original and medium (cutely named the “O.M.G.”).

The O.G.’s features include:

  • A padded laptop sleeve
  • A side-entry shoe compartment
  • A crossbody messenger strap
  • A key fob on a strap
  • Many, many pockets to hold essentials, including pens, which seem to be something I always need and never have when I am on a trip

When I found a sale on the O.G., I bit.

I selected a black bag with lavender interior and gold hardware.

img_1014The bag arrived in only a few days. It was packaged extremely well. Every zipper, tag and strap was wrapped in packaging material.

img_1016There are metal footings on the bottom. I love when bags have this feature.

img_1017The decorative “L&S” tag on the front is a nice touch.

img_1018Ok, the above image is blurry and I have mentioned many times that I am terrible photographer, but what I was trying to show is the padded laptop sleeve, the lovely lavender interior and the folded white item in the laptop compartment is a dustbag. You know you’ve got something nice when there is a dustbag.

img_1020Here is the shoe compartment on the side. This is clever: on the inside of the bag’s main compartment, the rest of the shoe bag (entry only shown here) can be rolled up and snapped into place when not in use so as to not take up space in the main compartment with an empty, floppy shoe bag. When needed, it can be unsnapped on the inside and shoes placed in it from the outer entry shown above.

This, however, is the cleverest feature of all:

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On the back of the bag, there is a doubly zippered compartment spanning the bag’s width. There are zippers on the top and the bottom. When it’s opened all the way, this is an open sleeve to slide over the extended handle of a wheeled carry-on. If just the top is open, it is an exterior pocket that is big enough to hold a magazine, books, etc. The top compartment can also be zippered for extra security. I thought this design element was an especially nice touch.

I’m about to embark on a lot of work-related traveling, especially with carrying a laptop back and forth, so I am excited to see what this bag can do.

P.S. You may need to watch carefully, but Lo & Sons often runs sales on their bags, especially around holidays. If you are not picky about color, you can get the O.G. right now for 30% off in red or blue, or 20% off for black, gray or olive.

P.P.S. The Catalina bags are on sale, too.