belstaff 556 colonial shoulder bag.

I know when I posted the Belstaff 554 Large Colonial Shoulder Bag I said that was the last bag I would ever buy. Well, I lied.

The Belstaff 554 is a fantastic bag and I have no regrets. But I found myself often faced with the comment, “Wow. Nice bag… it’s big.” And people were right. It IS big. Big enough to carry my 15″ Macbook Pro. I was hoping the bag would be able to be an everyday carry as well as my work bag. But using it as an everyday carry was just a bit bigger than I’d like. Put it this way, fully loaded, it wouldn’t fit under some of the smaller seats on a plane. And fully loaded… it was HEAVY.

So I started looking and thinking about another bag. It was hard. I had been spoiled by the Belstaff bag. So when I came upon an ad for a Belstaff 556 Colonial Shoulder Bag (regular size)… I jumped on it. Mountain brown just like my larger bag.

I have had it for about a month now and through a trip to Orlando and a trip to New Zealand. It is GREAT! This is the perfect size for everyday carry and travel. Big enough to throw a good amount of stuff in, books magazines, a netbook etc. Not too heavy to carry around all day. Same great construction as the 554.

It also has one really nice feature. It fits a Tenba Messenger Photo Insert perfectly. I saw this insert on Flickr and it is actually better than all the Domke ones that I swore by. It is PERFECT for a messenger shaped bag… none of the Domke’s really are. With it, I can actually fit a Canon 1DmkIII and 3 lenses. Or even the 70-200L f/2.8 IS and another lens mounted. In a bind, I can load the 1DmkIII holster style (lens pointed down). The top closes… barely and is not that comfortable to carry but it fits… in a bind.

So if I had a choice, I’d go with the 556 over the 554. It’s just more universally usable. But I like having two and don’t feel it is duplicating. In a time where Belstaff seems to be stopping the manufacturing of these bags (STUPID STUPID STUPID)… I am glad I have another in case something were to happen to the other. Both mine also don’t have the magnets and the seams match the color of the bag. The newer ones have magnets under the latches and a different color seam. Now why would they do that!

The dimensions measured at the seams* are: 10.25 in tall x 12 in wide x 3 in deep at the top and 4 in deep at the bottom.

Front pockets are 6.5 in tall x 4.5 in wide x 1 in deep.
Side pockets are 5 in tall by 4 in wide… tight rounded depth.
Inside zippered pocket is 7 in long.
* inside might be a bit smaller.

Of course, pictures are worth a thousand words: More Pictures of Belstaff Colonial 556.








    • Tim Wilson
    • July 29th, 2009

    Mmmm … that’s food for thought, being a fellow 554 owner. I’ve owned many ‘day bags’ over the years to haul all my nonsense around in but never quite seemed to find ‘the one’. I actually thought I had a couple of years ago when I purchased an Ellington Hollister Satchel (http://www.ellingtonleather.com/Home_2/Mens/Hollister-Satchel-Brown). This is a great bag … very nicely made, quality materials and perfect proportions (for me, anyway). I just struggled at times fitting all I wanted to carry around into it and then being able to secure the flap. That wasn’t a design fault with the bag, just me having too much bulky stuff. And this is where the 554 wins for me.

    I normally carry around at least a Nikon D90 (in a case) plus a Sigg Maxi lunchbox, both which fit in the main compartment quite nicely. I then have a small Sigg drink bottle in one of the front pockets, and my slimline Filofax and pocket Moleskine in the other. It actually all fits in perfectly. I rarely use the side pockets as they’re not quickly accessed but they do contain a wealth of stuff I hardly use including a pack of Fluxx playing cards, Ricola cranberry herb drops, 50ft of para cord and a DMM carabiner, as they are surprisingly roomy. The internal zipped pocket contains an even weirder array of items including a Lego Indiana Jones mini figure!

    I would say the only thing these Belstaffs are not designed for is paperwork. The bags have a sloppy, rounded shape to them so the chances of keeping paperwork flat and tidy are slim. I’ve been looking for a solution to carry some of my correspondence with me and discovered that Moleskine produce an item called the ‘Folio A4 Portfolio’ (http://www.moleskineus.com/moleskine-folio-a4-portfolio.html). The dimensions suggest this will nicely fit into the main compartment of the 554, and so keep my paperwork safe and tidy.

    So, personally I wouldn’t have reason to go smaller as my 554 suits me perfectly but I can appreciate what you’ve said here. I suppose when buying a bag an idea for anyone would be to calculate the accumulated size all the stuff you figure you’d want to carry around with you on a daily basis and then check it against the internal capacity of a bag you’re considering. For me, I don’t think I could now do without having the front two pockets on the 554 as I’m always dipping in and out of them.

    By the way, great photos of the bags as always, Aaron!

    • aaronlam
    • August 1st, 2009

    Thanks for the kind words about the photos! Such a beautiful bag with so little photos online… I felt it deserved some decent ones.

    I too thought I was set with my 554. I carry it every day to work with a Macbook Pro in it. I get around the paper issue as I have a laptop sleeve in there that gives it shape. Papers go into a manilla folder.

    But carrying that bag filled with stuff for “the weekend” just got too heavy. And bulky. I am a total minimalist and hated getting basically a second copy of the same bag. But I have grown to love the 556. It is a perfect bag for my camera equipment so it makes the perfect travel bag for me. And then obnoxiously enough… I really don’t like the new bags they are making with different color threads and the magnets. So I thought I’d get two in case something happens to my beloved bag and I can’t get a replacement…

    Love to see picts of what you carry in yours. The Sigg lunch box looks cool!

    • Darrell
    • August 22nd, 2009

    Thanks for the great reviews and wonderful pictures.

    To thank you properly… I’ll buy that nasty, oversized 554 off you. I’ve been trying to find one for ages without success.

    Cheers.

    • Juan
    • August 27th, 2009

    Hello Aaron, thanks for the great post! As you seem to be familiar with these bags, I had a question that you or one of your readers might be able to help me with. I have a khaki colored Colonial 556 that I received as a gift from my sister in NYC. I’ve noticed that Belstaff makes minor changes from season to season, but I have yet to see another like mine and was wondering if anyone else is familiar with these changes.

    The biggest difference I have seen is that my buttons actually have Belstaff engraved on them. I haven’t see this in any other picture. Also, the lining inside the main pocket matches the bag color and is not black like yours. Finally, the leather on my bag seems dull and soft, while pictures I’ve seen all have an almost shinier leather. I don’t know enough about leather to describe it (maybe mine is nubuck?), but I definitely know that mine uses different leather than yours.

    Other than that, my bag seems of very good quality and has all the same features as your bag. It does not have the magnets and uses the same color thread as the bag. It has the Belstaff logo, the small Union Jack, etc. I don’t believe mine to be a fake, but I know they are out there and would feel more at ease if I knew someone else had a bag with these similar changes. I appreciate any insight!

    Consequently, there is a guy on eBay selling a 556 who is using your picture (of your 554) as the description. Oddly, he has the picture with all your stuff, including your wallet with your initials on it. Just thought you should know.

    • Josh
    • August 31st, 2009

    I saw that guy too! LOL! Yea, you should definitely have a look at it. There is another seller on ebay, Delgados, I think it’s called and they have some really great Belstaff bags but they are pretty pricey!

    • Mark
    • September 2nd, 2009

    Hi Aaron, great post! I am looking at purchasing the colonial 554 from Gotlands and saw that they were selling a Belstaff messenger bag at Barneys (http://www.barneys.com/Messenger%20Bag/00505000464284,default,pd.html). I was wondering if you could tell me if this was the 556 bag as I am not sure as I thought they stoped making them.

    Thanks

    • aaronlam
    • September 2nd, 2009

    @ Juan… that’s interesting. Do you have any pictures? I’d love to see… I have never seen that one before. I’d wish Belstaff would just stick to a good thing!

    Yeah… not the first time someone has used my images. I guess it is flattery… I have written eBay but they don’t do much. Hopefully, the guy is actually honest and is just selling a new bag.

    • aaronlam
    • September 2nd, 2009

    Looking at the dimensions and price, it looks like a 556. I have heard they started coming back out with the 556’s. Mountain Brown and Black are the abundant colors. But also those off white and khaki colors are around.

    Gotlands is honest but man was it tough communicating with them unless you speak German. It took a long time for them to get me my bag (I think it might have been held at customs). Some people had better experiences… about a week. Mine took a little over 2 weeks.

    I would suggest you get the one you really want… not the one that is convenient. It’s an expensive bag to settle on. Try calling Barney’s and see if they have other ones. If they are starting to appear, Bloomindales in San Francisco is another place to try. I have a friend who is opening a store in NYC and swears they will carry Belstaff bags. I’ll post if that ever materializes.

    • aaronlam
    • September 2nd, 2009

    Hmmm. No. 🙂

    • Nick
    • September 30th, 2009

    Any chance of a pic with both bags being worn.
    So by the dimensions of this one there is no way of getting a Macbook Pro 15″ to fit.

    I guess I’ll need to get the larger one.

  1. Well, I tried it out. It will technically fit… not sure if you could get a sleeve in there too. But I wouldn’t say it fit comfortably. It really stretches out the shape of the bag to the max of its width. But technically… would fit!

    • Nick
    • October 3rd, 2009

    Wow! Thanks for the reply and great pics!

    I see that your macbook is the older one, mines the newer one so I guess its marginally smaller. But by the pics I guess it wont make a huge difference.

    But when its in, it pretty much occupies the whole bag. Right?

    Sorry for all the bags, but never really buy bags that cost this much.

  2. I have the new Macbook Pro too and it is just marginally smaller than the old one pictured. It does stretch the bag pretty far. You’ll be able to get the charger in there too. But see the second picture, it won’t close properly.

    You can get it to fit but it won’t like it! That’s my best advice.

    • nick
    • October 15th, 2009

    Hi Guys,
    Just thought i’d spread the news… J Crew has (or will very soon) begun selling Belstaff gear including, you’ve guessed it, the colonial bag. The 556 is going for $385, still pricy but without the trouble of having it shipped from Germany. They have black and mountain brown (as well as the large travel bag). I’ve been told that these bags will go on sale (reduced) after xmas, if they haven’t sold out.
    Here’s the link… get them while there hot!

    JCrew

    Nick

    • phil
    • November 23rd, 2009

    Hey there, I’ve got the J.Crew one; it’s great. The J.Crew ones don’t come with the dust bag, by the way. J.Crew lists it as the 556, and no, it doesn’t have the magnets. Can someone settle this once and for all though: Is the 554 exactly like the 556, only a different size? If so, is the 554 larger? The above image seems to suggest that.

    My 556 from J.Crew is 11″H x 14″W x 4″D. If the 554 is the exact same style and is larger, I’m going to get it instead. Or I’ll settle for the Colonial Travel Bag (15″H x 23″W x 10″D. I don’t like its style as much as the messenger-style 556, but at least it can fit all my gear.

    • phil
    • November 23rd, 2009

    It looks like the 554 and 556 are the same style, yes, but are they the EXACT same style? Something looks slightly different in that side-by-side photo and I can’t tell what. I can’t find the dimensions of the 554 anywhere to compare to my 556. Anyone have the dimensions for the 554?

  3. I have both bags and yes… they are the EXACT same style… except bigger. Meaning, the front button pockets are bigger, the leather reinforcements at the bottom are bigger etc. For some reason, the leather straps on my 556 have curled a bit where on the 554 they are straight.

    There was the “magnet” variation for what seems like only a season or two but if you get the new or older 554, should be the same as the 556.

    But my 556 doesn’t match your measurements. Your’s sounds closer to a 554. Post a pic with it next to a DVD or something. You should be able to fit a DVD case in the front pocket of the 554 but not the 556 (or barely squeeze it in).

    http://www.aaronlam.com/blog/2008/08/14/belstaff-554-large-colonial-shoulder-bag/
    Measurements of the 554 are:
    The dimensions measured at the seams* are: 12 in tall x 15 in wide x 3.5 in deep at the top and 4.5 in deep at the bottom.

    Front pockets are 8 in tall x 5 in wide x 1 in deep.
    Side pockets are 6 in tall by 4 in wide… tight rounded depth.
    Inside zippered pocket is 7in long.

    Measurements of the 556 are:
    http://www.aaronlam.com/blog/2009/07/18/belstaff-556-colonial-shoulder-bag/
    The dimensions measured at the seams* are: 8 in tall x 12 in wide x 3 in deep at the top and 4 in deep at the bottom.

    Front pockets are 6 in tall x 4.5 in wide x 1 in deep.
    Side pockets are 5 in tall by 4 in wide… tight rounded depth.
    Inside zippered pocket is 7 in long.

    • phil
    • December 1st, 2009

    Hey Aaron, thanks. I have the J.CREW one, which says it’s a 556. It’s definitely the smaller of the two. What I need then is the 554 instead! Can I ask you this too. Is J.CREW’s “Colonial Travel Bag”

    JCrew

    the same as this bag:

    Acquire Magazine

    ???

    Thanks!!

  4. Hmm. Those bags definitely look different. Belstaff used to have an extensive Colonial line but it has gotten reduced. My guess is that those are two different travel bags… 1 a travel and 1 a duffel.

    BUT… I just got a call from http://george-greene.com/ that they have the 554 in stock!!!

    • J
    • December 21st, 2009

    I am grateful to stop by your blog today. You got an awesome talent in photography! I’m interested to find myself a new camera bag. I noticed that you’re recommending the belstaff 556 colonial shoulder bag, but I’ve some questions.
    1. Did you get this? http://www.tenba.com/products/Messenger–Removable-Photo-Insert.aspx
    2. With the Tenba insert, can your 5DmkII with 24-70mm mounted fit in the 556 bag?
    3. With the Tenba insert and 5DmkII with 24-70mm mounted, can you fit in 24-70mm and a flash?
    4. Would it be a stretch to fit a MBP 13″ without any camera gear?
    5. I also live in the Bay Area. Where (online and offline) would you recommend me to get the 556 bag? I heard about jcrew. Thx!

    Appreciate your help very much. Thankssss!

  5. 1. Yes I did… it’s a great insert that fits perfectly into the Belstaff 556 as well as a medium size Timbuk2 bag.

    2. Yes you can. Both pointed down or on its side.

    3. Yes… of course… flash not mounted.

    4. I THINK so but not positive as I don’t have a 13″ MBP on hand.

    5. JCrew has them right now and George Green in Chicago I believe has some right now too.

    The Tenba in the Belstaff is great but keeps the bag at its max depth the entire way up (needed for 1-series). I have switched to a Kinesis V090 which is a bit smaller and tapered. It’s perfect for the 5DII.

    • J
    • January 3rd, 2010

    Thank you Aaron. You’re totally Awesome!!

    i’m about to pull trigger on the 556 and v090. 😀 one last question, which i messed up on question #3 in the previous post… with the v090 on 556, can i fit the 5DII with 24-70mm mounted, 16-35mm, and flash (not mounted)? thanks! you truly deserve to be the spokesperson of Belstaff~! Your pictures of 554 and 556 are the best online, which Google Images stands by my claim as your pictures take the #1 and #2 spots in the query. Keep up the good work!! 🙂

  6. Thanks for the kind words!! Well… I always think a picture says a thousand words… so here ya go:

    So… the short answer is yes. Inside the Belstaff 556, the Canon 5DII with Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 mounted and hood reversed fits no problem with the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 NO HOOD. I have the Canon 16-35mm mkI not mkII but there is plenty of room for the mkII too. The flash unit fits… a bit tighter packed upfront like in image 1. You can also pack it with plenty of room up top which is slimmer.

    If you were thinking about it, the flash doesn’t fit in any of the front or side pockets though.

    Good luck!

    • J
    • January 4th, 2010

    COOL! Here’s my new bag! Thankssss! 🙂

    • Jerry Yip
    • January 28th, 2010

    The dimensions measured are a bit off. I have the 556 bag. There are versions of this bag with magnets, my 556 has real buckles.

    Here my measurements:
    11 in tall x 13 in wide x 3.5 in deep at the top and bottom.

    Front pockets are 6.5 in tall x 4.5 in wide x 1 in deep.
    Side pockets are 5 in tall by 4 in wide.

    Inside zippered pocket is 7 in long.

    I don’t know how you got 8 inches for the height!?!

  7. You are right! I made a mistake on my height measurements. I went back and remeasured everything and updated the post. I took the length in the middle as it is a bit tapered on the outside bottom edges because of the leather reinforcements. Thanks for the heads up! Enjoy the bag…

    • Luis
    • February 12th, 2010

    guess j crew sold out cause i cant find it anywhere on their website. didnt last too long there

    • Anthony
    • February 16th, 2010

    Hey guys, great news! The bag is back at JCrew. I was a little upset I was going to have to order it through Gotsland due to shipping durations. However, I just looked and it was there!

    Anyway, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Call the customer service rep and tell them you’re a student (or faculty). You get 15% off 🙂

    USD 385 = 327.25

    Cheers,

    • Luis
    • February 21st, 2010

    Thanks for the post Anthony. It wasnt showing for a couple of days and just checked this morning and they were there again. Just ordered mine.

    • Peter
    • February 24th, 2010

    I’m on a hunt for a 554 in Mountain Brown. Aaron as others have said, your posts inspired me. I have been looking for a good bag to carry my unibody 15″ macbook. I just spoke with JCrew and they of course have the 554 but its in the Burnt Caramel.

    I see you posted mid December George Greene was carrying the 554, was that with the magnets? And do you know if they were carrying the Mountain Brown?

  8. Hey folks, I´m so in love in the belstaff bags that I´ve searched the web for month to find infos and dealers. 😀 As I´ve read that some of them had the magnets instead of real buckles, I was a little bit disappointed, but I´ve found something out that might be interesting all the potential buyers. 😀
    I´ve ordered my 556 at Gotland Germany (www.gotlands.de) (they deliver them to everywhere. 😉 ) And it arrives on 02/24. I bought the smaller one because everybody said that the 554 is a monster and might be too big. Well. Yesterday I found out that the 556 is too small. 😉 If I put my modbook (13″) in it, nothing else will fit. So I decided to order the 554 although. Today it arrives and yes, thats the right size. Book fits and there is enough room for everything else. But, and thats special, Gotland´s Bags from Blstaff are all equiped with the original stitched buckles instead of the magnet. I was wondering about that and called Gotland which is the major importeur for Belstaff. Nico Seifert said to me that he, as one of the biggest commercial customers in Germany or Europe has criticised the useless of these buckles on a bag for “real” men and that Gotland won`t sell them as long as they use the magnets. Well. It works. Ok, maybe some other dealers have done the same … 😉
    So at Gotland you can be sure to get the Belstaff bags with the right buckles and for a good price. And be carefull as there are still dealers outside that are selling the version with the magnets. 😉
    Hereyou can see my both Bellstaff´s. Great bags and I think I´ll never get any other bag. 😀
    http://www.coredesign.org/belstaff/554_book.jpg
    http://www.coredesign.org/belstaff/556_book.jpg
    http://www.coredesign.org/belstaff/554_buckle.jpg
    http://www.coredesign.org/belstaff/554_overview.jpg
    http://www.coredesign.org/belstaff/556_overview.jpg

    • Linwood
    • February 25th, 2010

    I Just got a 554 in from Gotlands. Awesome bag, I had ordered the 556 from Jcrew and found it to be too small. After returning that one I placed the order with Gotlands, it was shipped the day I ordered it after a couple of emails exchanged and arrived to me in Louisiana within 5 business days (ordered the 18th and received on the 24th of Feb). I am very pleased with it to say the least, the workmanship is fantastic and it just feels good! Thank you for the great review Aaron, certainly pushed me over the edge.

    • Burton
    • February 26th, 2010

    Hi folks,
    I am going to get one from Jcrew but I am still deciding on the color.
    Should I get the black or mountain brown? The black shows on Jcrew’s website looks lkind of like dark gray.
    I can’t really make decision. Could you guys please give me any suggestion?
    Thank you very much in advance.

  9. When I spoke to George Greene, they did have the ones without buckles and in Mountain Brown. But that was a while ago. I am not sure how many they got in stock… usually very limited numbers like less than 5.

    Burnt Caramel is not an official Belstaff color! haha. JCrew must have put their own spin on it… it’s probably the Khaki version. @Peter

  10. I would and have gone with the Mountain Browns. I have seen the black in person and it is a matte black and less dark grey. The thing that irked me about the black is the black leather straps. I have never been a fan of black leather… even on belts (only when I have to).

    Here’s a thread with the black bag: http://www.britishblades.com/forums/showthread.php?70746-Belstaff-Colonial-Shoulder-Bag-%96-Model-556

    @Burton

  11. I´go with aaron. The mountain brown is the only color that rocks. The khaki one is tooo “bright”, black looks at distance too clumsy. the mountainbrown is definitley the best color. 😀

  12. @Linwood

    I had the same effect. 😀 The 556 is smaller but a little bit more pleasing for the eyes in its proportions; more charming, more a bag and less than a duffel bag. 😉 But i can´t get my book in it and have still enough room for other stuff. So I´ve ordered the 554. And then I can´t send one back. 😀 A little bit decadent, but well … I´m in love with both. 😀

    Yours although has the right buckles instead of the magnets

    P.S.: 5 business days is fast, nor?

    • Linwood
    • February 27th, 2010

    @ryback

    Have fun with both of them! I’d have to stretch to find a purpose for 2, maybe down the road I’ll find a need for the 556 as well.

    Yep, buckles and no magnets.

    5 days was very fast in my opinion. I brought that up as there seemed to be some concern with shipping times from Gotlands.

    • Maggie
    • March 6th, 2010

    Hi Aaron! I come across to your blog while doing a camera bag search. I am having a hard time of deciding between belstaff 556 and Billingham Hadley Pro, I like the style of belstaff better but it’s not water-proof. Do you think that’s an issue? Or is the insert alone enough? Thanks!!

  13. Hey Maggie,

    I have played with the Billingham Hadley Pro bag and here are my thoughts… the Billingham is nice but it’s clearly a camera bag. It’s stiff (maybe it breaks in over years but the new ones were very rigid) and rather cumbersome.

    The Belsaff is NOT a camera bag but can be nicely converted to one with inserts etc. So for me, it’s a bit more versatile. Personally, I find them much more attractive too. But it won’t be as “good” as a camera bag as one that is designated to be one. Meaning, the lenses and bodies will be easier to get in and out of the Billingham. But I also find the Belstaff easier to carry.

    As for the water resistance… the Belstaff is NOT water PROOF but I have gotten it pretty wet. Usually what happens is that the canvas gets soaked but doesn’t let water through. And this takes A LOT of water. But it does mean as soon as I am home or at the hotel, I’ll empty the bag out to dry. I’ve never had any problems but it wouldn’t be the best bag if you were standing in the rain for more than 1-2 hours.

    I travelled to Seattle with it where it is very damp and rainy. We got caught in a very heavy downpour (enough to totally soak my sneakers). I closed up the bag and ran for the hotel. By the time I got there, the canvas was drenched but the cloth inside the bag was still dry.

    Good luck!

  14. It took me a long time to save up for one of these, but it was well worth it. Mine is the magnets version. Loads of fakes etc out there or “replicas” shall we say at cheap prices or ‘bargain’ prices (yeah right).

    Got it through this site eventually as I don’t live near a Belstaff store, seems some of the different colours too:

    http://www.milanstyle.co.uk/belstaff.htm

    • Maggie
    • March 9th, 2010

    hi Aaron! thank you for your thoughtful reply and great photos of the bag! I think i’ll go for Belsaff because it can be disguised as an ordinary bag which is good for backpacking and travelling. Once again thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!

    • jules
    • March 10th, 2010

    ji there. amazing pics and great blog man. bookmarked! so i just want to be clear, i have a macbook pro with an incase sleeve

    http://www.goincase.com/products/detail/ES87017

    is there no way this will fit in the 556? for some reason, the 554 doesnt look as nice as the 556. i like how the front pockets are covered by the flap on the smaller bag. thanks for the help, and i can’t believe that im even considering spending this much on a bag. i have a patagonia half mass bag now but its like 8 years old and im ready for a new one. thanks in advance!

    • Ron
    • March 11th, 2010

    So, in you guys’ opinion, which would be better as a school bag – a 554 or a 556? I’m a student with an eye towards med school, and I’ve got some extra cash sitting around to spend the money on getting a decent quality bag that will last forever, but I need to make sure I get one big enough to carry notebooks and things of that nature. Any thoughts?

  15. @jules… you’ll be able to squeeze it in there but it won’t fit comfortably and you won’t be able to sling it comfortably either. I am out of town right now but can take some photos of a 15in sleeve inside the 556 when I return. I am also pretty sure the flap covers up the same relative amount of the front pocket. It depends on how much you stuff in the bag. I usually don’t strap the front down so it hangs nicely over the front pockets… on both bags.

    I had a Patagonia Half Mass once upon a day. It was a great bag… love Patagonia gear. It was modern and efficient. The Belstaff bag is a bit more classic and vintage. Not the most efficient bag (lacks any sort or organizer etc) but if you have the cash… I wouldn’t hesitate! If you love bags, you’ll love this one.

    @ron… for around school, especially Med school… I’d definitely get the 554. The 556 is more of a EDC bag that you carry your wallet and personal goods in. The 554 is the size you’ll need if you plan on carrying a bunch of textbooks and/or laptop. If you JUST need a notebook pad, the 556 would do.

    Good luck guys!

    • Ron
    • March 11th, 2010

    so, a 554 it is. now the task is getting one. i’m thinking of just getting a j. crew one and being done with it, but having one in mountain brown would be nice. I usually carry the following on a day-to-day basis:

    3 ring binder
    2-3 spiral bound notebooks
    Kindle
    phone
    moleskine
    pens

    if I can’t track down a 554, would a 556 be enough to carry that much around? I usually carry 1 textbook at a time, and that’s frequently under my arm. I’m having trouble visualizing the size of the bags from the dimensions alone. According to the dimensions I’ve seen, the 556 is actually on par size-wise with the bag I have now.

    • jules
    • March 11th, 2010

    thanks aaron. much appreciated. i dont take my laptop everyday, in fact, its rare i have to carry it with me. i just want to know it will fit if it has to. everyone seems to say the 554 is too large for an everyday work bag so i think the 556 should be good?

    also, im an art director and i have to say, your product photography is outstanding. i have no need for a new flashlight but i feel like i need a $150 surefire torch? lol. nice work man, all of your photos are gorgeous, keep it up!

  16. @ ron… I think you can get that much stuff into the 556 but that will be about it. I’ll try to take some pics of it with those items or comparable when I return on Sunday so you can see. It is hard to tell the size of the bag b/c it is a very soft bag and collapses. FIND THE ONE YOU WANT!!! Don’t compromise. Did you check http://www.belstaff-deutschland.com/

    @ jules… okay… if you have a 15″ Macbook Pro… it WON’T fit in a 556… even if you squeeze and squeeze. Here’s a shot of my 15″ MBP in a Timbuk2 Sleeve that is one of the thinnest sleeves I have seen. Not even close. I use my 554 for a daily work bag that carries my computer. 556 for weekend carry around bag. If I could only have one, I think I’d pick the 556 and use some sort of other laptop bag. The 554 was too big for me to carry as and EDC bag.

    Thanks for the kinds words about the photography! And I love the Surefire light!

    • win win yen
    • March 12th, 2010

    hey, I am from Taiwam , I looking for this one very long, can you send the 556 to Taiwan for me ? Please I want the556 please, tne price is ? Can you e-mail to tiffanywinwin@yahoo.com.tw, soory my english bad ,I wait you mail,thank you so much^^

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