J Crew Harwick Briefcase Review

To begin with, it's not easy making something that counts in a consumerist age. Saying that the market is abundant with hundreds, sometimes even thousands of options, would be a sore understatement.

As the competition grows fiercer every day, the selection constantly gets richer. However, having too many options can sometimes be as bad as it is good.

If you are looking for a good commuter or weekender briefcase, we want to help make the decision easier. Take a look at our J.Crew Harwick briefcase review to see if this model might be the right choice for you.

What Should We Look For?

j crew harwick briefcase review

With such a great variety to choose from, we must first define the main requirements that a commuter briefcase must fulfill. What is it that we expect?

First of all, it must be functional and offer a lot of options in regards to organizing items. Second, it should be spacious enough to fit all our necessities with ease, while not becoming too heavy or uncomfortable to handle.

Furthermore, it should offer adequate protection for our laptop and other gadgets. It should also be made of durable, resilient materials so as to ensure longevity of use.

Ideally, it should allow for versatile wear, enabling hands-free carrying as well as carrying by the handles.

At First Glance

We're sure we can all agree on this: when choosing the right briefcase, it's not the design that counts. We should first and foremost consider its practical use, as well as its value in terms of durability.

While this might be true, the looks are usually the first thing to notice, so let's start by saying that aesthetically, J. Crew Harwick briefcase is not an eye-catcher. It was not designed to impress: rather, it suggests practicality and durability.

In that sense, its design is not misleading. While not a stunner, it's a decent-looking bag: not too conservative, but also not too risky. It's aimed at customers who do not prioritize the visuals, but still want to look reasonably modern and stylish.

We were a bit surprised by the designers' decision to use camel brown leather for top handles and zipper tabs. While it complements the navy-colored body nicely, it clashes somewhat with the sandy shoulder strap and interior.

Introducing the third color was bold, perhaps even necessary, but we feel that, in this case, it did not come out as expected. We suppose this was done to avoid possible monotony of large dull-colored surfaces (dark navy and light sand), however the result will not make everyone happy.

Let's Take a Better Look

At this point, we've concluded this is not a bag you'll buy for its looks. Some will love it, others, not so much. But when it comes to functionality, it's a completely different story. This is where Harwick truly shines.

This waterproof canvas briefcase is all about smart design. Top two-way zipper in matte silver opens up to reveal a spacious, light sand-colored interior with a padded laptop compartment and several slip pockets for easy organization of both smaller and larger items. On the exterior, Harwick offers two zip pockets providing easy access to items frequently used during a commute.

Overview: J.Crew Harwick Messenger Bag

The position and function of inner and outer pockets was well-thought of and speaks in favor of its excellent usability. In addition to that, versatile carrying options, whether by the handles or with a shoulder strap, add to its functionality.

J.Crew Harwick weekender bag is a light-weight, large-capacity briefcase which allows for carrying large and small items combined, without the risk of becoming unbearably heavy or bulky. Although it does not appear so, it allows you to pack everything you might possibly need.

It easily fits a 13" laptop and a multitude of other business and daily necessities such as document folders, a tablet, a wallet, a phone, pencils, even a newspaper or a magazine to read while commuting, all of which can be sorted conveniently into its many pockets.

What Else Is There?

It's no secret: J.Crew bags are known for being a great value for money, and Harwick is no exception. More than reasonably priced for what it offers, it is sure to pay itself off several times over.

In addition to that, you will be able to enjoy it all year round due to its water-repellent qualities. Durable canvas fabric will be able to withstand continuous use even in harsh conditions. On the other hand, leather handles and shoulder strap might not prove to be equally resilient, but that is to be expected.

Do Those Who Have Bought It Recommend It?

Turns out, our J.Crew Harwick briefcase review is not the only source of positive feedback when this bag is concerned. It has gotten excellent customer reviews mostly on grounds of high versatility and great practical value. It is praised for its functionality, spaciousness, and above-average carrying capabilities.

However, that does not mean it has no flaws. Some customers found the padding insufficient, making them wonder if their laptop was protected well enough. That was especially the case with customers in need of carrying thin 15" laptops, which is the maximum size to fit in this bag.

Understandably, insufficient padding may leave you with a certain feeling of uneasiness, which is why we recommend carrying 13" laptops in order to provide adequate protection.

Another complaint was that the metal latches for shoulder strap moved around too easily, which somewhat spoiled the enjoyment of hands-free carrying.

How Does It Rate?

Several online magazines, including Rank & Style recommend this bag as one of the best commuter briefcases.

Editors of Cool Material and Best Products also seem to recognize its value, suggesting it might be one of the best-buy messenger bags on the market.

What's Good, and What Isn't

For your convenience, we have included a list of great and not-so-great things in our J.Crew Harwick briefcase review, so let's take a look.


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    Crazily functional, with assortment of different-sized pockets
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    Spacious and lightweight, with high-capacity capabilities
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    Sturdy, durable, waterproof exterior
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    Easily detachable shoulder strap
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    Affordable price


  • Interior laptop padding isn't substantial enough
  • Metal latches for shoulder strap are too loose
  • Shoulder strap and leather parts are not as durable as the rest of the body
  • Some customers have experienced troubles such as stitching ripping
  • Color combination and casual design won't please everyone

Final Verdict

J Crew Harwick Briefcase

To summarize our J.Crew Harwick briefcase review, this is a lightweight, portable, multifunctional bag suitable for people of different ages and tastes. It is equally usable as a casual commuter briefcase and a weekender bag.

Affordable yet stylish, it's appealing to younger businessman and students alike. Durable, waterproof exterior, a variety of cleverly organized pockets, and a roomy interior make it suitable for different uses.

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