The totally multi-functional Fact + Fiction bag

Written by Sabi Phagura on . Posted in Lifestyle and Beauty


As a travel writer, avid gym goer and laptop lugger, you can just imagine my life resembling that of Buckaroo (remember that game?!). Always carrying so many different bags, I’ve never quite managed to find one that does it all, so my search for such a bag is forever ongoing. In pure dedicated search mode, I recently stumbled across Fact + Fiction on my twitter feed. I took one look at a picture which showed a compartment for trainers, laptop, passport and other bits and bobs and I was intrigued. 

No sooner had the bag arrived on my doorstep and I was immediately impressed. From the Fact + Fiction website I chose the Charli Backpack (in shade Smoke which is like a nude but there other colours and styles too). It’s stylish, feels great to the touch and is big enough to carry lots of things without being weighed down. Plus, there would be no rummaging as there is literally a compartment for everything. The first thing I did was pop my laptop and trainers in it to see if they fit properly. And they did. The bag has a sleeve to fit a 15″ laptop or a baby mat which can be bought from the site separately. Everything else – my purse, small make-up bag, diary, notebook, keys, phone, charger, healthy snacks, water bottle went in afterwards. And there was still some room for more. 


Backpacks in my opinion are not always attractive but this one has been attracting attention everywhere I have been with it so far. In fact, this was one of the motivations behind creating the bag by co-founder Helena Searcaigh who was sick of carrying around an ugly gym bag. She once even embarrassingly pulled out a sweaty sports bra in the middle of a meeting! So, teaming up with handbag designer and mum-of-two Nicola Kearney, Fact + Fiction was born which started life as gym bag brand GymTote in 2012. It quickly became apparent that buyers were using it more than just a gym bag. It appealed to mums, travellers, commuters and more so the name was changed to Fact + Fiction. The name reflects the two sides to the bag. Looking ordinary from the outside but hiding a wealth of unique technical features inside. 


Talking of specifics, this anti-smell tech, water resistant linings and breathable sections is far from your average handbag. And because it’s on your back, it leaves your hands free to do other things like pop them in your pocket in this extra-long drawn out winter.


With three separate breathable compartments, there is space at the bottom of the bag for shoes, nappies, or lunchbox, a sleeve for the laptop or baby mat and an upright spill-proof bottle holder, Personally I found this too small for my water bottle. There are also multiple slip and zip pockets for smaller items like keys, tissues, pens etc. In fact, an external zipped phone pocket with earphone cord access is great for listening to music while on the go.


The bag, which costs £135, is fully wipeable and water resistant which was a huge help given the snow and rain combination we had over the weekend. The size of the Charli Backpack is 37 x 36 x 19cms and has adjustable extra buckle holes on the straps. The outer material is 100% PU while the inside is polyester. It has the capacity to hold 14kg. Carrying that much load is like a workout in itself but I wouldn’t recommend it! All in all, I’m totally sold by my new Charli Backpack and it will be my firm companion on wherever my travels take me. It will literally be attached to me like a tortoise.  

Where and how? 

For more information on Fact + Fiction or shop the range visit here.

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Sabi Phagura

I am a freelance journalist and lifestyle blogger. I travel the world covering travel, destinations, hotel, spas and bar reviews and love fitness. This blog illustrates how you can lead a healthy lifestyle, travel the world and still have a life! I am also a qualified fitness instructor, Punjabi-Hindi interpreter and a champagne and rum enthusiast.

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