This cult-favourite tote bag is on sale: Here's my honest review

Kate Mendonca
Shopping Editor
Image via Instagram/Madewell.

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If you’ve ever lusted after an item for an extended period of time, you’ll know the feeling of uncertainty that comes along before you decide to finally pull the trigger on your purchase. Well friends, that’s exactly how I felt about Madewell’s Medium Transport Tote in the months before I actually bought one.

I’d been eyeing this bag since at least before Christmas of last year, and couldn’t justify paying over $200 on such a simple tote. After months of searching for a dupe without any success, though, I finally lucked out and bought one when I happened to find a colour that I liked that was included in a recent Nordstrom Sale.

The Medium Transport Tote comes in two year-round colours (True Black and English Saddle), as well as a range of textures and colours that vary from season to season. The one I picked up was the Linen colour, which is currently out of stock online but likely still available in stores.

Medium Leather Transport Tote in Linen. Image via Nordstrom.

This classic leather tote has quickly become my new go-to for days at the office, with plenty of room for my wallet, makeup bag, snacks, and a book. I love that it’s large enough to carry my everyday essentials, but not so big that I feel like I’m getting in the way of other commuters during the peak of rush hour. I also really like that it can be carried two ways, with either top handles or an adjustable crossbody strap.

I’ve been using my bag for a couple of months now, and the only downside that I’ve found about it is that it doesn’t come with a zip or a snap closure, so the contents of my bag are not as secure as I’d like them to be. Eventually my plan is to figure out a way to attach a magnetic clasp to the top of the bag, but for now I’m not too worried about it since I can story anything extremely valuable in the interior zippered pocket without issue.

This best-seller comes with hundreds of other positive reviews on the Nordstrom website, as shoppers have been quick to celebrate its effortless style and versatility.

“Beautiful construction, beautiful colour and beautifully versatile,” writes one Nordstrom reviewer. “Great price for the quality and supplements of the leather. I'd buy this bag again.”

“I pretty much love it. It’s slender, sturdy and of great leather quality,” shared another shopper. “Can comfortably carry a slim laptop, a small work notebook, my small cosmetics bag, a reading book, a change purse/wallet, my AirPods and a pack of tissues.”

If you’re considering a Madewell tote of your own, it’s currently on sale at 25 per cent off, along with the other sizes it’s available in (small, medium, and large). Shop our favourite Madewell handbags below, all of which are on sale just in time for the holidays.

Madewell Medium Leather Transport Tote

Image via Nordstrom.