The Shay Bandolier Bag Review: Chic and convertible

Shay Bandolier Bag
(Image: © Nicolette Roux / iMore)

iMore Verdict

Bottom line: Design meets function with this convertible, crossbody, leather phone case and bag combination. It can be configured in 11 different ways enabling you to go everywhere hands-free. Take note that it's a bit tricky to remove your phone from the case and it does not have any zippered compartments.


  • +

    Crossbody phone case + saddlebag combo

  • +

    11-way convertible bag

  • +

    Full phone access

  • +

    Interior + exterior slip pockets

  • +

    Magnetic closure

  • +

    Made of premium materials


  • -

    No zippers

  • -

    Tricky to remove phone from case

You can always trust iMore. Our team of Apple experts have years of experience testing all kinds of tech and gadgets, so you can be sure our recommendations and criticisms are accurate and helpful. Find out more about how we test.

I love fashion and I love versatile bags. I'm also a mom, so convenience and easy access is key. I'm a huge fan of small purses; having to dig through my bag to find things is a major pet peeve of mine. Cue the essential hybrid of the perfect everyday bag and Bandolier and we've found a winner. I'm a lucky owner of The Shay Bandolier Bag and I'm in love. This bag is the definition of chic and versatile and can be configured in 11 different ways. Yup, I said 11! Design meets function with this all-new convertible crossbody phone case and saddlebag combination.

It includes six interchangeable components, including a black pebbled leather saddlebag with magnetic closure, an adjustable length crossbody leather strap with gold buckle and dual gold connectors, an 8-inch leather handle strap, a matching pair of detachable gold 14-inch link-chain straps, and a classic two-pocket snap wallet leather phone case. I'd recommend this bag to anyone and everyone looking for a fabulous everyday option that includes versatility and style.

Convertible and chic

The Shay Bandolier Bag: What I like

Shay Bandolier Bag

Shay Bandolier Bag (Image credit: Nicolette Roux / iMore)

Well first off, I just want to say that I'm obsessed with the Shay Bandolier Bag.

The Shay Bandolier Bag is the perfect combination of convenience, style, and versatility, and it just looks so good! I'm a big fan of the crossbody design, it's the easiest and safest way to carry all of my belongings while remaining hands-free. It's amazing that you can configure this phone case, bag combo in 11 different ways. My personal favorite is the full crossbody, phone case plus saddlebag combo. I use this configuration most of the time and take it with me whenever I need both my phone and purse.

I also like just using the crossbody strap with the phone case for situations where I need my phone and a few cards, but not my full purse. I use this configuration when I'm walking my dog, hiking, running simple errands, or taking walks with my family. It's great because the case gives you full access to your phone's screen, buttons, and ports so you can snap pictures, read emails, send texts, and basically do whatever you need to from your phone while you're wearing it.

The phone case also has a snap pocket on the back where you can store things like your credit card, debit, ID, and folded bills. The snap holds your cards and cash safely in place and prevents them from falling out. This is a great option for moms who need to have their phone and some money on them, but don't want to bother with a full purse on top of a diaper bag.

The 11-way convertible factor offers premium versatility, and The Shay Bandolier Bag is the definition of designer chic.

The Shay Bandolier Bag is made of genuine leather and features gold connectors and chain details. Black and gold is my all-time favorite color combination because it goes with absolutely everything. You can dress this bag and phone case up or down for every on-the-go situation. It works for trips to the grocery store as well as fancy nights out. I mean, could you ask for anything more from an everyday bag? I think not.

The black leather, pebbled, saddle bag features a suede interior, one interior slip pocket, one exterior slip pocket, and a magnetic closure. It looks small, but it's actually quite roomy, and can carry basic necessities like your wallet, lipstick, chapstick, cash, earbuds, hand sanitizer, and tissues with room to spare. The matching black leather, pebbled phone case features one snap pocket for a few cards or folded cash on the back.

Tricky to remove phone from case, no zippers

The Shay Bandolier Bag: What I don't like

Shay Bandolier Bag

Shay Bandolier Bag (Image credit: Nicolette Roux / iMore)

There isn't much not to like about the Shay Bandolier Bag.

I guess if I wanted to be nit-picky, I would like it if the saddlebag had one or two zippered compartments. I always feel a bit safer when I can zip in my valuable belongings like cash and credit cards, so there is absolutely no danger of them flying out. There are two slip pockets on the saddlebag, but no zippered compartments. Zippered compartments are also convenient for holding your change, so it doesn't pile up at the bottom of your bag.

Also take note that it's a bit tricky to get your phone out of the leather carrying case. Bandolier does include a little note card on exactly how to do it, but it's a snug fit and requires some force to remove it. I've decided to use this leather carrying case 24/7, so I don't necessarily have a need to take it on and off. You have access to all the buttons and ports with the case on and it fits perfectly in the phone holder I have in my car.

The Shay Bandolier Bag: Should you buy

Shay Bandolier Bag

Shay Bandolier Bag (Image credit: Nicolette Roux / iMore)

You should buy this if ...

You want to be hands-free

This premium leather crossbody phone case and bag combo can be configured in 11 different ways delivering style and versatily and enabling you to be hands-free wherever you want to be.

You're looking for fashionable versatility

This black and gold color combo goes with just about everything. You can dress it up or down for all events and activities, enabling you to be stylishly hands-free wherever you go.

You want a functional design

Design meets function with this all-new convertible crossbody phone case and bag combination. With its modern minimalist design, this elevated convertible bag is perfect for all of your on-the-go, hands-free activities.

You should not buy this if ...

You need zippers

The Shay Bandolier Bag features two slip pockets, one interior and one exterior, but no zippered compartments.

You're planning on taking the phone case on and off a lot

The phone case is designed to snugly snap to your phone and is a bit tricky to get off. It does require some force. If you need to take your case on and off a lot quickly, this probably isn't the right fit for you.

You're on a budget

This saddlebag and phone case combo is pricey, but it is designer which usually comes with a higher price tag. I will say that in the world of designer bags, this cost is on the lower end, but if you're looking for a budget option, this isn't the combo for you.

Bottom line

I absolutely love my Shay Bandolier Bag and take it with me everywhere I go. It's the perfect combination of versatility, convenience, and style. You can dress it up or down for any kind of event or activity. It's durable, made of premium materials, and built to last. It can be configured in 11 different ways, it's lightweight, and enables you to tote all of your personal items completely hands-free. It's a little tricky to get your phone out of the case and there are no zippers, but all in all, I think it's a great investment. With the holiday season coming up, this would make a great gift for all the special people on your list.

Nicolette Roux

Nicolette is a freelance writer for iMore. She's been hooked on Apple products since she got the very first iPhone in 2007 and made the switch from PC to Mac in 2008 after inadvertently dousing her laptop with a hefty dose of water. A dedicated creative, Nicolette has had the pleasure of working with some of the top websites, studios, and brands in the industry throughout her career, and enjoys writing about all things: Apple, health, fitness, audio, and home. With over a decade of high-level experience as a health and fitness professional, Nicolette specializes in tech pertaining to the field. If she’s not working, you can find her sipping a glass of wine, enjoying a concert, or hanging with her family.