He Said, She Said: Reviews of the Live Well 360 Luxx and Core Bagsby Jen Sinkler
Jen’s Review: I was standing in the gym at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Cali. It was the first time I’d been back since I was an athlete training with the U.S. rugby team a number of years prior. This time, I was there to watch the current team lift, practice, analyze game film. I was there to generally soak up the team culture, so that I can help convey the beauty of the sport outside of the rugby community.
What struck me was how fearlessly this team played, the sheer elation they exhibited on and off the field. The players started filtering into the gym after me, chattering and laughing. A few broke into dance when they heard Pink over the speakers.
I had just dropped my gym bag, and I glanced down at it. Of all of the words written on its lining, “Exhilaration,” “Joy” and “Courage” jumped out at me. That sums them up, I thought to myself. I snapped a pic with my phone and proceeded to watch the team hit the weights.
That’s not the first time the lining of one of my Live Well 360 bags has spoken to me — truth be told, it’s one of my favorite features (and there are plenty to choose from).
I was introduced to Sheila Viers and her company, Live Well 360, in 2011, and immediately got lusty after her line of sexy gym bags. My boyfriend got me their Core bag in eggplant purple for Christmas that year, and last month, I added an onyx black Luxx when I became an ambassador for the company.
Unfortunately for me, my time with the Luxx was limited to that trip to Chula Vista. Upon my return, my thieving boyfriend “borrowed” it. He thinks I haven’t noticed. I have, and it would be a bigger issue except I have the Core to return to.
- It’s sleek. It looks like a canoe, if canoes were sexy. This is the bag Live Well 360 was built around, and there’s a reason for that.
- It’s sturdy. I’m hard on my gym bags — they get a lot of use — and this one holds up.
- There are plenty o’ pockets, inside and out.
- The lining. It says happy things, and its slick surface is easy to care for.
- The zippers don’t stick. This may sound like a small thing, but the zippers always tell the story. Bad zippers can ruin a bag, while good ones don’t make you think about them. Live Well 360 uses the good stuff.
- Laptop size matters. The Core is 21 inches long, 9 inches wide, and 13 inches tall, which sounds plenty big until you try to jam a 15-inch laptop — inside a neoprene cover — in with anything else. Doesn’t work terribly well. I’ve since downsized to a 13-inch laptop, and space is no longer an issue.
- The handles. Like the Core, it’s got a long strap, but the Luxx also has two shorter “grab” handles that make it feel like a satisfyingly enormous purse.
- A special padded laptop compartment. I like that it separates work space from play space, and that it’s big enough to hold a 15-inch or 13-inch computer.
- The width. Size-wise, the Luxx isn’t terribly different from the Core, except the extra three inches it’s got in width make it seem super roomy in comparison. A friend once remarked to me, “It takes a lot of equipment to be you.” The Luxx lets me be me, and bring it all.
- It’s the perfect carry-on. The right look, the right dimensions, and easy access to your loot.
- Same pros as the Core when it comes to its construction, pockets, lining and zippers.
- My boyfriend stole it from me. Aside from that, I gots none.
[content_split]David’s Review: For almost 10 years I’ve had the same K2 backpack that I have hated for almost the entire time I’ve owned it. It was acceptable for the original purpose I purchased it for, backcountry skiing, but it was always too narrow to carry much for other activities. When I was primarily working in the online space, I carried a laptop bag and that was enough.
But when I opened the gym, I started using the backpack again for my laptop and gym clothes. There was barely enough room for anything more than that, and every time I set my bag on the floor I could hear my MacBook hit the ground. Normally, I am all too quick to purchase something new, but for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to buy another bag when this backpack I detested still sort of worked.
Last Christmas, I got Jen the Live Well 360 Core bag. When it arrived, I gave it a cursory inspection and decided it wasn’t for me – even if it wasn’t purple. For my purposes, it was too narrow and too girly.
When Jen recently became a Live Well 360 ambassador, she also got a Luxx bag. It arrived the day before she left for a 13-day trip to California, which I spent scheming how I would make the bag mine when she returned. The successful plan involved hypnosis and a Jamaican witch doctor. The truth is, she actually doesn’t even know that I use the bag now, and instead of carrying the Luxx she is using an Army surplus duffel bag.
The Luxx Review
- The bag is big enough (22 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 12 inches tall) for everything I lug to the gym on a daily basis: 15-inch MacBook Pro, a pair of shorts, an extra shirt or two, a pair of pants, a video camera, a water bottle, my training log, and other miscellaneous junk. If I used the shoe pocket, it would definitely hold a little less stuff, but I don’t.
- The padded laptop pocket saves me the tremendous hassle of using a separate sleeve. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
- The mesh water bottle pocket on the inside is clutch.
- The lining is the kind of fabric that is easy to clean. Which I haven’t had to do, but I suppose it’s inevitable.
- The bag is clearly durable — you can feel it in the construction.
- I don’t do yoga, but the yoga mat straps are useful for rolling up and attaching a bulky coat when I don’t want to put it back on.
- I get the purpose of the shoe pocket, and I’ll bet it serves its purpose well for those who use it. However, it would be even better if there was a snap cover on the inside so that you could collapse it and tuck it out of the way. As it is, it provides a place for spare change to hide underneath.
- I like that the strap is very long — you can either one-strap it (like the cool kids) or cross it diagonally across your body. The only problem is that there is only one metal slide to adjust the length, so if you want to shorten it you run the slide right into the strap pad. Two slides, one on each end, would solve that problem and be a nice addition.
Check out the Live Well 360 site for full features for all of their bag options (there’s a third, the Accel, that isn’t covered here).