An honest review from Dagne Dover


I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time debating which bag is best for my professional life. I’ve gone from totes to backpacks to purses, all looking for the right balance between form and function. And while the style of the bag has changed with the seasons, the creator has remained constant: Dagne Dover. Founded in 2012, the brand has become synonymous with work bags for stylish people everywhere, and for good reason.

Dagne Dover, Everything for We
Thanks to Dagne Dover

I first discovered the brand a few years ago and eventually succumbed to its seemingly ubiquitous presence on Instagram. Since then, I’ve managed to keep the same two bags in continuous rotation for five years. Between my Dakota backpack and Allyn Tote, my needs are fully catered for, whether I’m in the office, on the road, or just on the go. Thanks to Dagne Dover’s durable construction, clever storage, reasonable price and classic design, their collection of bags is well worth the investment.

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Dakota Backpack

I’ve had my medium Dakota Backpack for about three years, and have used it (and enjoyed it) well. Despite almost daily use and the many trips on planes, trains and rideshares, the backpack remains just as durable as the first day I got it, and it also looks surprisingly the same.

Dakota Backpack
Thanks to Lulu Chang

For starters, the backpack is made of neoprene, which means that it can not only withstand the weather (I certainly ran through the rain and snow with this backpack on), but also feels wonderfully soft. Extra cushioning in the lower part of the backpack and plush shoulder straps make this super comfortable to wear. The straps are also adjustable, making it a good fit for my frame, as well as my partner’s (who is about a foot taller than me).

The medium backpack has a capacity of 16 liters and offers enough space for a 13-inch laptop (which fits snugly in the laptop sleeve and is secured with a Velcro strap to prevent sliding), a pair of shoes, a lightweight jacket and my lunch and snacks . The full-size option can accommodate a 16-inch laptop, but I found it a bit too bulky for my taste. The small size, on the other hand, works well if you’re traveling light with a tablet and only a few work items. I also appreciate that the medium and large backpacks come with a shoe bag made from REPREVE recycled polyester, which helps keep dirty soles away from the other contents you might be carrying. Both the liner and dust bag that come with each size of the Dakota are also made from the same recycled polyester.

The Dakota is lined with two intuitively placed pockets on either side, perfect for storing a water bottle or your wallet and keys – and before you worry about the safety factor, rest assured that the pockets are pretty tight and the elastic holds items. In my time with the Dakota, nothing has ever fallen out of the side pockets. But if that makes you a little uncomfortable, the backpack comes with a small zippered front pocket that provides easy access to smaller items you may need more often (keys, wallet, chapstick, or headphones).

One of the many things to love about the Dakota is the ease with which it can be cleaned. I’ve sweated more than my fair share on my beloved backpack, and while the neoprene looks good (and even smells relatively fresh), you’ll inevitably want to use a gentle cycle and cold water to wash it. Fortunately, my backpack has kept its original Moss coloring, a lovely dark green, through many cycles.

In terms of price, the Dakota is admittedly slightly more expensive than your standard backpack. However, at $185 for its medium size, versatility, and durability — not to mention its ability to draw compliments in chic, corporate environments — it’s worth my investment.


Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack

Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack

The medium backpack has a capacity of 16 liters and offers enough space for a 13-inch laptop (which fits snugly in the laptop sleeve and is secured with a Velcro strap to prevent sliding), a pair of shoes, a lightweight jacket and my lunch and snacks .


Allyn Tote

Whenever I need to improve my look for business meetings or need even more storage space for my belongings, I turn to my large Allyn Tote. Since Dagne Dover first introduced this design in September 2017, the team has struggled to keep the bag in stock thanks to its serious popularity.

Large Allyn Bag
Thanks to Lulu Chang

I chose the large size to ensure I had plenty of room to carry when traveling, and just as planned, the Allyn has become my go-to carry-on item when flying. For starters, the bag is great for keeping me organized, even if it might not be mine mode of operation. Thanks to a series of cleverly placed pockets, there’s dedicated space for just about anything you need. The large carrying case holds a 16″ laptop in the padded, zippered laptop compartment, and I store a laptop in the adjacent compartment. There are four additional compartments that you can use to store your phone, chargers, sanitizers and wallet; plus, an inside water bottle holder boosts your hydration habit. There’s also a low-profile outer pocket to stash keys or your phone for easy access.

Even with all this storage space, the large Allyn offers plenty of room to store other essentials. The bag can also double as an overnight bag in no time, easily storing a change of shoes in the included shoe bag and an extra change of clothes. One potential problem with the Allyn, however, is its weight. The bag itself is just over three pounds, and depending on how much you want to put in it, the weight can give away the one-shoulder design.

Although the Allyn bag does not zip, it has a magnetic snap closure that ensures your contents stay in place. Plus, one of the many zippered interior pockets closes for your most valuables. I also appreciate the adjustable snap closures that close the bag when it’s less full.

Allyn Tote 2
Thanks to Lulu Chang

Aesthetically, it’s hard to beat the Allyn. The pebble leather is not only durable, but also very beautiful to look at, and Dagne Dover always has a fresh range of colors (some of which are seasonal, so keep an eye on the weather). In my five years with the Allyn, I’ve had no issues with rips, tears or wear – both inside and out – and certainly not from lack of use.

The price of the Allyn might be a bit steep for most $345but given the materials used, quality construction and functional design, this is probably the last work bag you’ll ever have to buy.

dagne dover allyn tote bag

The price of the Allyn might be a bit steep for most $345but given the materials used, quality construction and functional design, this is probably the last work bag you’ll ever have to buy.


Dagne Dover

Dagne Dover bags combine fashion and functionality. Although they are on the more expensive side, they stand the test of time.

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