Johansen Hanover Review: A Spring Fling Bag

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It’s Spring in New York City.

Typically, that means everyone ditches their heaviest winter coats and embrace the incoming rays of sun. It’s a great feeling when the air doesn’t hurt your face or fingers, and the attitudes of those around you — whether they be stranger or familiar — alleviate the feelings of getting to work — and in style because you can wear liberating clothes again. That also means one needs a new bag to go along with a new season, obviously.

Enter, Johansen’s camera bags, designed to be dual-purpose: facilitating the containment of your pricey camera gear as well as being a fashion statement for bringing your heaps of junk — I mean belongings — around with you. Also, before someone rambles on about it; the Hanover bag is designed as a women’s bag, but clip on the shoulder strap, carry it with some style and it can pass off as a boxy men’s messenger. Done.

Price as Reviewed: $119 at Jo Totes

Aesthetics

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[pullquote align=”right”]”Nylon/leather sounds simple, but it has charm. Slightly urban with a hint of professional.”[/pullquote]

Black Water-resistant nylon and leather. There are not too many flourishes on the Hanoverm the design is kept rather simple but not minimalistic. There are almost no quality issues or poor stitching here either. In fact, the only gripe I do have with the bag are the clasps used to switch between the comfortable shoulder strap (seen above) and the not-so-comfortable thinner leather strap — the clasps are rather difficult to open, but that’s all.

The bag supports a 13"inch laptop at the most, with two zipper pockets for easy external access to things like keys SD cards, maybe a wallet, earbuds and the like. In the interior of the Hanover lies a customizeable container with Velcro divider pads; essentially you can customize the storage style and division of the bag’s main pouch, or remove the container from the equation and have a crater to through stuff into.

Still, the Hanover prioritizes keeping things organized, as there are two more zippered pockets, two open pockets, and one pen pocket; Jo Totes’ page better visualizes the interior setup, in case you were wondering.

Using It

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[pullquote align=”left”]”Throw stuff in. Take stuff out. Repeat.”[/pullquote]

Since the Hanover represents a style of bag I have not reviewed before — backpacks and messenger bags are my staple — meaning asking for input from more than one wearer.

The general consensus is that with a DSLR, 13" Macbook Air, a small umbrella and over-ear headphones, the Hanover remains comfortable on one shoulder with the appropriate strap. Wearing the bag cross-body looks even better, however if you pick up the pace and start walking (or even running), the additional firmness thanks to the camera container slams into your back: it gets uncomfortable.

So, the takeaway: don’t run with the Hanover if you have the camera container in. Otherwise, go for it because you really need to catch that train.

Conclusion

Score: 8/10

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[pullquote align=”right”]”I might need a fashion consultant. Do I? This is getting out of hand.”[/pullquote]

Get it, but you might kvetch over small things: like opening the clasps or the effort it takes to properly align the Velcro pads inside the camera compartment. Th Hanover has the quintessential factors for a solid everyday women’s bag, or a camera bag for that matter.

Being that it has a solid design and nice mix of materials, the Hanover might survive the onset of a few new fashion trends, while still maintaining its strongest suit: versatility,

Pros:

  • Build quality
  • Two straps and the camera container = options
  • Looks good in sunlight, no?

Cons:

  • Clasps take some effort to open
  • With container, bag become battering ram to your back, if carried cross-body
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