When I was contacted and asked to review The Ascot, the latest in the range from Mia Tui aimed at ‘men’, I had to smile. I am indeed quite partial to a man-bag and have had my fair share over the years. All shapes and sizes. For every occasion.
Small ones for my wallet, keys and a banana. Medium sized ones for my lunch-box and a cagoule. And bigger ones for a bread knife, a roll of masking tape, 4 meters of polyurethane sheeting and a complete change of clothes.
Now the thing with man-bags is that in my experience having a man-bag automatically pigeon holes you in the eyes of a certain sub-section of society who have hijacked the term ‘men’ for their own. You know the sort. Thick.
You can usually identify the sort to which I refer by their jawline or their GCSE in head-butting. If neither of these identification methods is available to you, either because they are not carrying their education portfolio (sparse as it may be) or because they are wearing a false beard, they can also be spotted by their stubby little fingers and their use of the word ‘bender’.
But my years of man-baggery (please read that back so we are on the same page) have given me a thick skin. So I agreed to the review. Yes I did. And in agreeing to the review I reacquainted myself with the actor boy I used to was. That fresh faced fashion mistake attempting to be, but managing not to be a household name….why is the question?
I WILL review the Ascot God Damn you.
The Ascot is indeed a nice bag. It has a funky bright blue interior, pockets for this and pouches for that. There are zips, side compartments, an insulated bottle holder, a strap for your keys and a removable zippy see-through thingy-a-me-jig for wet wipes and a nappy or two. The term I believe is ‘Messenger bag’. However the Ascot does not have one of those annoying flappy close overs usually associated with a messenger. There is a zip-a-de-doo-da. What a wonderful way.
I don’t know about you, but with the flap overs I never flap open? Rather I just pop my shoulder out of it’s socket and squeeze my hand through the gap of the flap to rummage around for 25 minutes trying to find what I am looking for by feeling. And gurning.
Testament to The Ascot’s usefulness (and it’s handsomeness) my wife has already tried to commandeer it as her new baby change bag, citing the fact that all of the aforementioned pockets and pouches are eminently useful for a mum about town. Oh and the funky blue is wipe down-able, so if someone takes a plonk in there, it isn’t a total disaster.*
So yeah, The Ascot is a great Mum and Dad bag. But. BUT. I wanted to test it out for a whole host of uses because to be honest, I will probably not be putting any nappies in it. Generally when the time comes for a nappy change, I opt for looking around apologetically and patting my pockets like a skint drinker when it’s his round. This has stood me in good stead thus far and no award-winning bag company are going to make me a hands on dad. Fo shizzle dizzle.
The Ascot review – a bag for all uses.
Out and about – The Ascot messenger bag from award winning Mia Tui, will carry the following items easily and in style….
- 70 cl Vodka
- 70 cl Sloe Gin (home made)
- 75 cl Gin
- 75 cl Sherry
- 75 cl Port
- 50 cl Tequila
- 70 cl Ginger Wine
- 35 cl Whisky
- 200 ml Grapa
- 1 bottle of Chardonnay
- 1 can of IPA
Now, admittedly the zip won’t do up, however I suggest you reduce the amount in your gin bottle from 75cl to 65cl and although the zip still won’t close, you will no longer give a rat’s arse.
Casual infidelity – The Ascot will hold just enough items for one night away with your mistress.
Should you intend to spend any more than one night, might I suggest that you ask her to bring the battery pack and you don’t pack your pyjamas.
A childless marriage – This is where the The Ascot fell down for me. I was not able to carry a sulking three-year old to the adoption agency using this bag.
Nor was I able to carry him to the end of the road where I could at least have dumped him with a ‘help yourself’ sign attached to his forehead. This I am afraid to say is a MAJOR flaw. Sure it could handle this one…..
But I’d still be left with one child? And a Wifey wondering where her daughter was? Unacceptable. Too much talking to do.
So it is back to the drawing board I think Mia Tui. Sure you have made a good looking bag for the man about town. And sure it is very useful for MOST things. But If I can’t use it to transport my children to adoption agency, or indeed carry my wife’s severed limbs to the incinerator, then just how useful is it really? Hmmm?
*neither I, my wife, or my children have attempted to plonk in the Ascot. I cannot confirm whether the clean up would be manageable or not. If you choose to defecate in your bag, then you do so at your own risk.
*I was provided with my very own Ascot for the purposes of this review, however the thoughts and opinions are (surprisingly enough) my own. Go figure.