I had a chance to road test the Explorer earlier this summer for a four-day sojourn in Los Angeles. Eschewing all rolling bags, I wanted to find out precisely how the Explorer would hold up. The bag itself, a few design-moves aside, did wonderfully, carrying so much of my gear that I'm inclined to call it a long weekender.
I myself was somewhat disappointed to learn that I am still an overpacker—a new pair of shoes for each day? Three blazers? An embarrassing haul of bow ties? And though I'd like to blame the seriously roomy Explorer for my lack of self-control, I realize that I'll have to own up to this one.
My only real gripe is that the buckled strap that fastens over the top of the bag served more as a bit of aesthetic filigree than a necessity. The few times I actually buckled it I immediately regretted the additional step now needed to get at my stuff. Letting it dangle open was a merely satisfactory solution. Considering the weapons-grade zipper on the bag and the pair of handles you need to thread the buckle through, it felt superfluous, if attractive.
The leather handles and shoulder strap were up to any task, though, and the bottom of the bag is reinforced with another grid of leather and a quintet of metal studs. It may sound silly, or maybe I'm barkingly lazy, but that strong underside was a lifesaver in the security line. You know the half hour of slowly nudging your bag forward across the floor with your foot like you're playing some incredibly low-stakes game of soccer with a 45 pound sack of cabbage.
I've been toting another Mismo canvas bag for a few years now, and would certainly entertain adding this one to my collection.