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💼 🌟 My Etchr Art Satchel Review (2024)

Iva Mikles
💼 🌟 My Etchr Art Satchel Review (2024)

Hey there, welcome to my Etchr Art Satchel review.

I’ve had a chance to use this art bag slash artist backpack for a while now, and I had a lot of fun exploring its different features. Below are the details of my experience! It takes about 10 minutes to read.

I share my initial impressions, exploring the different configuration options, modes, and possibilities. I also included what other artists think about this versatile convertible art bag! Enjoy!

My Pick
Etchr Hybrid Art Bag and Artist Backpack

Best art bag and artist backpack for artists and designers

Designed by artists for artists :: Multi-functional weatherproof travel art bag and artist backpack for art supplies and drawing tablets :: Adjustable modular organizer with intuitive compartments to organize your tools :: Tripod mountable with built-in surface for drawing and painting

My Etchr Art Satchel Review Summary

   

I think Etchr Art Satchel is an amazing convertible messenger art bag and artist backpack with tons of storage options suitable for plein air artists, urban sketching artists, art students, and traveling artists. I find the satchel to be super versatile, durable, and highly customizable. After I took some time to figure out how to set it up and how to use its different modes, I really enjoy using it as a backpack for carrying my iPad and sketching tools.

Pros Cons
➕ Highly Customizable and Adjustable ➖ A bit heavy when empty
➕ Durable, Weatherproof Materials ➖ Initial complexity due to numerous options
➕ Quality Construction ➖ Steep learning curve for all configurations
➕ Convertible: Backpack or Messenger Bag with Luggage Slip-on ➖ Straps can get loose and tangled
➕ Tons of Storage and Organization Options ➖ Shoulder strap can be uncomfortable
➕ 3 Helpful Modes Available: Easel Mode, Tripod Mode, Supported Mode ➖ Corner holders are tricky for thicker books
➕ Ease of Transition Between Configurations
➕ Removable Tripod Mount Plate for Easel & Tripod Mode
➕ Can Attach Field Case and Tools Securely
➕ Additional Llama Mode for Extra Cargo such as Etchr Field Case and Tripod
➕ Quick Access Pocket

Why Did I Choose To Test Etchr Art Satchel?

Photo: Trying Etchr Art Satchel with my art tools - ©Art Side of Life

I first learned about Etchr Lab and their innovative art products a few years ago when they ran their Kickstarter campaigns. I was particularly interested in their bags and cases collection.

Over the years, they improved their bags so much that they gained quite a lot of hype.

As I am always on the lookout for art tools and art supplies that could make our art-making process smoother, I decided to see if Etchr Art Satchel lives up to the hype.

I felt that the Etchr Art Satchel was interesting enough to deserve a closer look.

And so here I share what I found with you guys.

I had a chance to test Etchr Art Satchel and Etcher Field Case. You can read the Etchr Field Case review here.

Who Is The Etchr Art Satchel Great For?

I think the Etchr Art Satchel is great for plein air painters, urban sketchers, art students, or just about any artist who wants to carry their art supplies and create on the go.

The great thing is that it isn’t limited to one medium, but it’s well-suited for painters, drawers, and mixed-media artists alike. I, for example, used it mostly for carrying my iPad and sketching tools to draw on location.

In my opinion, Etchr Art Satchel could be amazing for:

Exploring The Etchr Art Satchel

Unpacking Etchr Art Satchel

My Etchr Art Satchel arrived in a classic white plastic shipping bag, so I was concerned if it “survived”.

To my relief, I didn’t have to report any shipping damages because the satchel is very sturdy.

There were a few things I noticed when I got the Etchr Art Satchel out:

Fortunately, there was this card accompanying the satchel:

A-tag-with-QR-code-to-how-to-use-Etchr-Art-Satchel-©Art-Side-of-Life
Photo: Etchr satchel creators must have received a lot of feedback from the art community to include this important card in the bag 😊 – ©Art Side of Life

When you scan the QR code, it leads to this video below … sooo helpful!!!

Style, Materials, and Durability

I feel like the Etchr Art Satchel could easily last me for years.

It is made with a tough fabric that can handle rain, snow, and other elements.

The outer material covering most of the bag is a polyester that is waterproof. While stitching creates some perforations that prevent it from being 100% waterproof, the polyester itself is waterproof and will keep contents very dry.

The zippers used are YKK water-resistant zippers, considered some of the best zippers globally.

Along the spine and sides of the satchel is a material called Toughtek, which is a very strong, non-slip, waterproof material meant to add durability.

The padded, weatherproof materials protect art supplies and tools from damage and elements.

Overall, the satchel looks and feels high-quality without being all too flashy.

The material on the front and back main panels is a velcro fabric that allows attaching removable modular components like straps and pouches. The cool thing is that the velcro material is soft and flexible.

The extra material on the sides helps weatherproof it and acts like a rolltop to prevent rain getting in when in backpack mode.

Comfort (Messenger Art Bag vs Artist Backpack)

After trying it in both messenger bag and backpack mode, I prefer it much more in the backpack mode.

Photo: Etchr Art Satchel's Shoulder Strap - ©Art Side of Life

I was pretty excited that it is primarily a messenger bag because I could carry it as a secondary hand luggage on the flights.

The shoulder straps are made of thick, cushioned material, and they can be securely attached together to create one shoulder strap or detached so they can be attached to clips on the side and convert the satchel to a backpack mode.

I tried the satchel as secondary hand luggage on some of the flights, but the shoulder strap didn’t feel great.

It is too big for me, and carrying the bag was too clumsy. What is more, the straps holding the front flap got caught in the overhead locker mechanism and on the seat rest. I had it pretty packed, so I felt like an “elephant in the China store”, if you know what I mean.

I found out that it’s much easier to handle and carry in backpack mode.

Photo: Etchr Art Satchel in Backpack Configuration - ©Art Side of Life

However then it becomes the primary carry-on luggage and I can’t use it with my RAINS backpack which is a bummer.

So I sometimes use it only as a messenger bag without a shoulder strap. Then I can’t fill it so much though because it becomes too heavy to carry just in hand.

Photo: Carrying Etchr Art Satchel using the handle - ©Art Side of Life

Functionality

Etchr Art Satchel is the most versatile and customizable bag slash backpack I have ever used in my life!

First (which I already mentioned above), you can convert it from an art satchel bag style to artist backpack style by easily reconfiguring the shoulder strap.

The front flap expands super wide so you can put bulkier items such as thicker book, containers, water bottle, canisters, and even Tupperware with your lunch.

Space and Storage

I didn’t count all the pockets, pouches and compartments for organizing art supplies, but THERE ARE MANY!! I can fit a surprising amount and variety of art supplies and tools inside the satchel. There is room for watercolors, pens, sketchbooks, paints in tubes, paint brushes, pencils, water bottle, my iPad, Kindle and pencil case.

Modularity

I really like that I can remove the caddy and other modular parts from the bag to reduce the weight if I don’t need them. This customization makes it lighter. What is more, I can use the caddy to easily organize my art tools in my other backpack.

And those little square velcro corner tabs? They make it so super easy to securely hold my iPad, sketchbooks even my Macbook Pro.

Easel Mode, Tripod Mode, and Supported Mode

What I found extra helpful is that I could transform Etchr Art Satchel into different modes to function as a portable lapdesk, easel, or supported sketching station.

It can mount on a tripod as an easel using a removable plate. The shoulder strap configures for ‘supported mode’ to hold the bag open hands-free.

MOLLE System

Etchr Art Satchel was made using the design philosophy of MOLLE developed for NATO armed forces.

MOLLE acronym stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. It is a system designed for organizing and carrying gear in a highly customizable manner.

The MOLLE straps allow adding modular pouches and accessories. The front flap’s ‘llama mode’ with adjustable straps enables carrying odd-sized objects. The design focuses on versatility for plein-air painting, traveling, or other artistic pursuits.

The beauty of MOLLE lies in its modular design, allowing you to easily attach or detach pouches and accessories based on their specific needs for any outing or activity. This is especially handy for artists, photographers, or outdoor enthusiasts who require varying setups.

The lightweight structure of MOLLE ensures it’s not heavy to carry, yet it’s durable enough to secure items effectively.

What is more the stretchy cords are very flexible for holding down sketchbooks and books.

How Much Does Etchr Art Satchel Cost?

It’s true, compared to other art bags and artist backpacks, Etchr Art Satchel comes with a higher price tag.

However, when I consider the quality materials it’s made of to ensure durability; the versatility it provides me with, and the effort the creators put into designing it, I think the price is justified.

To check the latest price, click the buttons below:

What Do Other Artists Think About Etchr Art Satchel?

Illustrator and Content Creator Baylee Jae, whom I interviewed in episode 24 of the Art Side of Life Podcast, shared her review of Etchr Art Satchel* on her YouTube channel:

Urban sketching artist Teoh, whom I interviewed in episode 34 of the Art Side of Life Podcast, shared his experience with Etchr Art Satchel* on his YouTube channel:

*💡 Please note, since her/his review, Etchr has changed the design of the art satchel, and I have to say it looks much better now!

Should You Get Etchr Art Satchel?

My Pick
Etchr Hybrid Art Bag and Artist Backpack

Best art bag and artist backpack for artists and designers

Designed by artists for artists :: Multi-functional weatherproof travel art bag and artist backpack for art supplies and drawing tablets :: Adjustable modular organizer with intuitive compartments to organize your tools :: Tripod mountable with built-in surface for drawing and painting

To conclude, if you are an artist looking for a versatile art supply bag or/and artist backpack, Etchr Art Satchel could be for you!

It’s great that the creators at Etchr Lab partnered up with the concept artist Darren Yeow, to create this art satchel. They transformed his artistic experience and vision into a really well-thought-out product.

And more importantly, they didn’t churn out just any art bag. They used premium materials and workmanship to create a sturdy, durable, and convertible art bag slash artist backpack that feels good, looks good, and is highly functional.

Once I figured out what all the compartments and straps are for and how to use the different modes, I could use Etchr Art Satchel quite easily.

I think Etchr Art Satchel is an amazing art bag and artist backpack that can serve you for many years!

Happy creating!

Iva

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am a full-time self-taught artist behind Art Side of Life® and a Top Teacher on Skillshare. I have 15 years of experience in the creative field as a concept designer, illustrator, art director, and now freelance artist, content creator, and art instructor. My goal is to help you get your creative groove on with Procreate and make awesome art through practical classes, tutorials, Procreate brushes, and guides on art tools, supplies and resources. About me »

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