I’ve traveled the world for two years with two backpacks. One, the eBags Motherlode, and the other, Côte&Ciel’s Moselle Backpack.
Now, it may sound weird to be traveling with two backpacks, but the Moselle is not your average backpack. It’s the answer for travelers who are constantly on the go and need to have everything for work, leisure, travel, or any situation. It’s the versatile woman‘s (or man’s, I guess) dream bag.
As you can already guess, this is a unique bag. Côte&Ciel, a France based bag company, was “created for the active but style conscious woman”. I am that woman who doesn’t want normal and prefers something stylish yet practical. The Moselle is just that. I can’t give it enough praise. Trust me, compliments will follow you when you have the Moselle on your back…
- Unique look
- Functional – tote and backpack
- Versatile – for casual and formal-ish events
- Easy to access laptop compartment for 13 inch
- Leather handles
The Moselle backpack sports an inventive tear-drop like shape when seen from the side that will make you stand out – even in the crowded streets of NYC.
The bag is made of a yard dyed fabric which has a slubbed texture. The yellow handle matches the zipper pulls, giving the grey main compartment and straps a little color.
I’ve used the Moselle backpack in situations ranging from formal to super casual. Here’s an example: On a day that I needed to go to the Four Seasons to review an afternoon tea in Shanghai, I took the Moselle on my back, walk to the subway station and took the train. Once I got to the hotel, I took the pack off my back and used the bag as a tote, giving it a more sophisticated look while I entered.
Apart from commuting and luxury hotels, I’ve taken my Moselle when walking along a part of the Great Wall of China, strolling the quiet streets of Reykjavik, climbing the steep steps of Borobudur, and even during overnight bus rides in New Zealand!
When looking at the backpack from the back, you’ll notice its saggy circular shape. Although the shape is unorthodox, it still is able to comfortably house my 13 inch MacBook Air along with a water bottle, notebooks, snacks, and other essentials. The laptop sleeve is right against the wearer’s back, allowing for good weight distribution.
Another aspect about the Moselle backpack which is unlike most other daypacks is that the zipper to access the main compartment is located against the back of the wearer, not at the front of the bag. This allows for a clean cut minimalist look at the front and also prevents pickpockets from unzipping the bag (since it would be harder for them to reach the zipper because it’s so close to the wearer’s body), although I’m sure this was an inadvertent benefit.
- Zipper quality
- Small exterior pocket serves no purpose as the zipper has broken two times at around the same time, one week after use
During the first week of using the Moselle, the zipper of the small exterior pocket meant for storing keys got off track and was impossible to zip.
Côte&Ciel has great customer support and cleared up the issue by sending me a replacement bag. Since the replacement arrived after I had begun traveling overseas, I continued using the broken Moselle as it worked fine, minus the outer zipper.
Three months into using the backpack, another zipper got stuck and wouldn’t zip. This time it was one of the zippers for the main compartment. Thankfully I was still able to use the bag for another four months while traveling, just with using the other zipper on the main compartment. To my amazement, the last working zipper decided to give in the week I got home from the seven month journey.
I was finally able to use the replacement bag, however it was total deja vu when the zipper for the exterior pocket was unusable one week after use. And the main compartment zipper broke shortly after. History had unfortunately repeated itself.
The Côte&Ciel Moselle backpack is the backpack for the modern female traveler. It has all the organization to hold your essentials and the looks to keep you stylin’. The bag’s ability to be used as either a backpack or tote bag gives it even more versatility, perfect for business travel, long term travel, and more.
Priced at retail $194, the Moselle backpack is expensive for the quality that you’re getting, although it is well designed. I’d expect more durable zippers from a backpack at that price.
Where To Get It:
- Côte&Ciel’s website $194, also available in black, navy blue, black and red leather – prices differ depending on color.