Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing the Musketeer Athos Laptop Bag and the Book Luggage Tag by the local accessories label Gnome and Bow.

It’s been some time since I’ve reviewed products from Gnome and Bow – the most recent review was of its Hitchhiker Backpack, over two years ago. As such, I’m pretty excited to review the brand’s latest products. Let’s see if it’s any good.

Gnome & Bow – the Brand

Founded in 2013, Gnome & Bow is a homegrown label that prides itself on offering storytelling bags and accessories. I actually covered its brand story in my review of the Kale Backpack, so do check out that article if you’re interested in the brand.

Gnome & Bow – Musketeer Athos Laptop Bag

The Musketeer Athos Laptop Bag is a definite upgrade over the Hitchhiker Space Capsule Backpack.

Unlike the Hitchhiker backpack – which was made from Cordura nylon – the Musketeer Athos Laptop Bag is crafted from US full-grain Nappa leather. For those uninitiated with leather, Nappa leather is a specific form of full-grain leather (the highest quality tier of leather), fashioned out of the hides of young animals – in this case, cow – and is prized for its softness. Commonly seen in luxury handbags and the interiors of luxury automobiles, Nappa leather is supple yet durable, and feels premium to the touch. As it is a form of full-grain leather, Nappa leather will also patina over time, developing a nice, aged hue.

The bag also uses YKK Japan Excella gold zippers, which is a step up from the SBS zippers found on the Hitchhiker backpack. With the Musketeer Athos Laptop Bag, the zipping action was buttery smooth, and I genuinely did not encounter any issues with the zippers being stuck, etc.

The straps of the backpack are made from water-resistant nylon. As compared to leather, nylon is more breathable, resulting in more comfortable wear.

The interior of the Musketeer Athos Laptop Bag uses Gnome and Bow’s signature cotton blend herringbone lining, which is a mainstay across most of its more premium products. It’s definitely more refined than the orange ripstop nylon lining of the Hitchhiker backpack.

Up close, the grains of the leather are evident and a sight to behold. The embossing is exquisitely done as well, oozing elegance and class.

Another aspect that I really like is the hand-stitched detailing. It elevates the bag into an artisanal accessory, and separates it from similarly priced competition.

I also like the gold-plated buckles, which match the golden YKK zippers well. In fact, I’m a huge fan of the overall black and gold aesthetic.

As its name suggests, the Musketeer Athos Laptop Bag is part of the brand’s “The Three Musketeers” series, which is inspired by the iconic Dumas novel of the same name. As such, the bag includes a reference to the book’s famous line, “One for all, all for one”, or “Un pour tous, tous pour un” in French (the novel’s original language). The latter half of the quote is inscribed on the back of the backpack…

…while the first half of the quote can be found on the detachable wristlet that’s included with the bag. It’s a nifty little idea that I quite like.

The wristlet is actually functional, and with two card slots. When not in use, it can be stealthily tucked away in the bag’s back compartment.

There’s also a front compartment, which features three internal pockets and two pen slots.

The main compartment has two internal pockets, and is spacious enough to store books, documents, and even spare clothes if you’re planning on hitting the gym after work/class. Overall, the Musketeer Athos backpack has a 23.5L capacity.

Lastly, there’s also a padded laptop compartment that holds a 13/14-inch laptop – I’ve found it to fit a 14-inch Macbook Pro with ease.

All in all, the Musketeer Athos Laptop Bag is a refined product that elevates the usual backpack experience. It’s sleek and stylish, and I’ve actually found it to pair well even with formalwear (e.g. a suit), which is usually a huge faux pas for me. And at $448 (after the promo code below), it’s not exorbitant as well. It’s definitely a step up from the regular Herschel or Gaston Luga bags, but still far less expensive than a “branded” Gucci/LV/Coach backpack despite using arguably better materials.

Gnome and Bow – Book Luggage Tag

The brand also sent over its Book Luggage Tag.

As its name suggests, the Book Luggage Tag is designed to look and flip open like a book. It’s a unique design that reflects the literary ethos of the brand, and distinguishes it from alternative offerings.

Like the Musketeer Athos Laptop Bag, the Book Luggage Tag uses full-grain leather and features red hand-stitching for an artisanal touch.

Another trademark is the brand’s personalisation service, which allows customers to make the luggage tag uniquely theirs. Customers can opt for either silver or gold embossing – I chose gold to match the gold aesthetic of the Musketeer Athos Laptop Bag.

At $61 (after the promo code below) however – $95 if you opt for the embossing – the Book Luggage Tag is slightly pricey for a mere luggage tag. To put things into context, you could get a Jekyll & Hyde iPad Tablet Clutch from Gnome & Bow for cheaper. Nevertheless, if you’re enamoured by the literary aesthetic of the Book Luggage Tag, it’s certainly one of the most distinctive options you can buy.

Conclusion – so Gnome and Bow Musketeer Athos Laptop Bag and Book Luggage Tag “shiok” or not?

I really love the Musketeer Athos Laptop Bag – it’s now my backpack of choice. It looks chic, and is crafted from premium full-grain Nappa leather. As a result, it not only looks great, but also feels great. There’s plenty of functionality as well, and I found myself able to store everything I need for a trip to the office, and even to a gym class afterwards. And at $448 (after the promo code below), it’s also arguably one of the more affordable Nappa leather backpacks in the market. For the Book Luggage Tag, it’s also sleek and well-crafted. While I personally might not shell out close to $100 for a luggage tag that I’ll only use 2 or 3 times a year, the Book Luggage Tag will certainly appeal to frequent flyers.

Those interested in purchasing the items can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all Gnome & Bow products on their web-store. After the promo code, the Musketeer Athos Laptop Bag can be had for just $448, while the Book Luggage Tag would cost $61 ($95 with personalisation). For bargain hunters, the promo code is even applicable to the brand’s sale items, such as the aforementioned Jekyll & Hyde iPad Tablet Clutch.

View the Musketeer Athos Laptop Bag here.
View the Book Luggage Tag here.
View the full range of Gnome and Bow’s offerings here.

P.S: Check out The Shiok Store here – it serves as a curation of my favourite products from my favourite brands.

P.P.S: Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!

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P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.