Waterfield Designs' Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief review: Everyday carry for the necessities

Waterfield Designs Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief Hero
(Image: © Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

iMore Verdict

Bottom line: The Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief comes in two sizes: Compact and Full. It's made from rugged waxed canvas or ballistic nylon materials with full-grain leather bases and accents. The main section has two padded interior compartments for both a laptop and a tablet. There are organizational pockets, a gold interior lining to easily find what you need, carrying handles, adjustable shoulder strap, and wheeled luggage passthrough.


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    Comes in two sizes and four color combinations

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    Handcrafted with premium materials

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    Durable and rugged

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    Two padded compartments for laptop and tablet

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    A lot of organizational pockets

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    Has grip handles

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    Has removable and adjustable Supreme Suspension shoulder strap


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    Compact fit can be too snug for some

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    Back pocket isn't that deep

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Even though I've been working remotely from home for years, I still like to go out every now and then and work from a local coffee shop for a change of scenery (though that's not possible right now). When I do, I need a bag that can carry my mobile office setup, and then some. I've tried a few different brands during my time as a tech writer, but Waterfield Designs continues to be one of my favorites.

I have several Waterfield Designs bags and sleeves from the past few years (the VERO Sleeve, Executive Leather Messenger, the Sutter Sling and CitySlicker for Nintendo Switch, Bolt Crossbody, and Field Muzetto, just to name a few) and it continues to be one of my favorite brands when it comes to toting my tech around. When I saw that the company was coming out with yet another laptop bag, the Hitch Crossbody, I was eager to try it out for myself.

As someone who prefers vertical bags, this one is another winner from Waterfield. I got the Compact size, which can hold an iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard and laptops up to 13-inches, such as the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. If you have a laptop larger than that, you will need the Full size.

It's bigger on the inside!

Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief (Compact): Features

Waterfield Designs Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief Interior Full

Waterfield Designs Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief Interior Full (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Waterfield Designs is known for its high quality, premium bags and accessories made from waxed canvas, ballistic nylon, and leather. The Hitch Crossbody is no different — this bag feels rugged and durable, since they make each bag by hand in San Francisco with top notch materials.

My bag is the waxed canvas with grizzly leather trim, which looks sleek and professional. The canvas feels robust, as if it can handle anything that you throw at it. The leather base helps protect the bottom of the bag, and it'll develop a nice patina over time. The YKK zippers are all water-resistant, so you can even take this bag out in the rain and not worry about water getting in.

The Hitch Crossbody is deep and spacious, despite the overall slim profile. Even if it's packed full of your stuff, there won't be any unsightly bulging.

The main compartment of the Hitch Crossbody is rather deep and spacious, despite the overall slim profile. There are two padded pockets inside that can hold up to a 13-inch laptop, as well as an iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard (or other similar keyboards like the Smart Keyboard Folio). You can even just carry two appropriately-sized laptops if that's your go-to setup. The interior also features Waterfield's signature gold rip-stop lining, making it easy to find what you're looking for quickly. There's also an open top pocket to store small accessories, such as a power adapter and cables, along with some pen slots. You can find a keyring holder on the inside, near the top of the zipper.

As far as the middle space goes, you can stuff whatever you need, such as a pair of headphones, cable organizer bag, books or notebooks, and anything else you may want to carry. The front of the bag has a zippered pocket, which has a single open top pocket for storing small objects. Thanks to some subtle expanders on the front pocket, you can store bulkier items like power adapters and mice in there without the bag showing unsightly bulging. On the back, you'll find an open top pocket for storing documents and other slim items, but the depth of this pocket doesn't go all the way to the bottom of the bag, unfortunately.

When it comes to carrying the Hitch Crossbody, you have two options: double handles at the top (briefcase style) or shoulder strap (over-the-shoulder or crossbody style). Both the handles and shoulder strap consist of nylon.

Waterfield Designs Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief Zippers D Ring Carabiner

Waterfield Designs Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief Zippers D Ring Carabiner (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

The adjustable shoulder strap used for the Hitch Crossbody is also removable thanks to the carabiner attachments at the ends, which go on the bag's D-ring. Thanks to the D-ring, the strap is flexible and conforms to your body, no matter which side it's on. And since this is a suspension-style strap, rather than going with a traditional leather shoulder pad, the padded section in the middle has a bit of elasticity to it. It's comfortable to wear and won't cause too much fatigue on your shoulders, even if the bag is full.

Because of the vertical orientation, weight is evenly distributed, and the bag can stand up on its own. And if you're traveling, the Hitch Crossbody has a rolling luggage passthrough on the back, so you don't even have to carry it — just wheel it around!

Again, for this review, I am using the Compact size, which holds up to a 13-inch MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and an iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard. If you have a larger laptop, you'll want the Full size, which holds up to the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

A great everyday carry for the mobile office

Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief (Compact): What I Like

Waterfield Designs Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief Supreme Suspension Strap

Waterfield Designs Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief Supreme Suspension Strap (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

As someone who is more petite, I never cared much for laptop messenger or crossbody bags that are horizontal. They look bulky and way too big for me. Because of this, I much prefer vertical bags, and the Hitch Crossbody is a new favorite.

The best part about the Hitch is that it has two padded compartments for a laptop and and tablet. Usually, most laptop bags only have one, so you'd have to figure out another way to secure your tablet in the bag. And even after you pack in all of your mobile office essentials, the bag retains a slim profile and minimal bulging (if any).

For my setup, I have a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, a mousepad, Bluetooth mouse, iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard, AirPods Pro, cable organizer pouch, power brick with charging cable, and battery pack with cable. If I didn't have the cable organizer, I could fit a pair of over-ear headphones in a carrying case in there. I also like the fact that the bag can stand up on its own once you have it packed.

I found the Supreme Suspension Strap more comfortable than previous strap designs, because it has a bit of flexibility and bounce to it.

The Compact is a very snug fit

Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief (Compact): What I Don't Like

Waterfield Designs Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief Back Pocket

Waterfield Designs Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief Back Pocket (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

I only have the Compact size for my needs, and while it holds everything that I need to work on-the-go, it gets a bit snug. For some, it may be too snug, so I would recommend getting the Full size if you prefer to have a bit more space. Considering that the Full is only $10 more, it's not out of reach.

Another thing I noticed is that the back pocket really isn't that deep at all. I have very small hands, and the depth of the pocket just fits my entire hand in there. I was expecting it to reach the bottom of the bag, so that's a little disappointing. However, I don't often use the back pocket for things except for receipts or my iPhone, which is fine. But if you want to stash a magazine or folded newspaper in that pocket, it's going to stick out.

Lastly, this bag is definitely not cheap, like all other Waterfield products. However, you will get years and years of use out of them, so it's up to you whether you want to invest in that or not.

Another quality bag from Waterfield

Hitch Crossbody Laptop Brief (Compact): The Bottom Line

If you are looking for a high quality, durable and rugged bag for your laptop and tablet, then the Hitch Crossbody fits the bill. Even the Compact size should fit all of your essentials, but if you need a little more space, then the Full size should cover the rest. This bag has two padded compartments to keep your laptop and tablet safe and sound during travel, and despite the slim profile, you can fit a lot in this bag. The vertical orientation is a plus, and you have multiple carrying options.

Yeah, this is a pricey bag, but think of it (and any other Waterfield Designs bag) more as an investment — this bag will last you a very long time.

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed. When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.