Friday, October 19, 2018

Review: Dagne Dover Small Allyn in Sienna

I was stoked when I heard Dagne Dover released a small version of the Allyn. As much as I've enjoyed using my full-sized Allyns this year, they only emerge from their dustbags when I need to travel—I don't consider them 'everyday' bags.

Here are some of the reasons why the new small size is a game-changer:

• It comes with a longer shoulder strap (which can apparently be made closer to a crossbody length by pulling the grommets past the notches, although I can't speak to how comfortable the strap would be in that case);
• It fits a 12" macbook (sans case) in the padded tablet sleeve;
• It fits my essentials (laptop, sunglasses case, water bottle, small Lola pouch, and DD wallet);
• It's easy to get things in and out of their respective compartments;
• It's comfortable to wear and carry.

The Ava has been my favorite Dagne Dover style to date for everyday use, but the small Allyn might just take its place. Two minor annoyances I have with the Ava are the lack of interior compartments (either zipped or for larger items) and the overall bulk of the bag, and the small Allyn has neither of these issues—and taking into account the thinner silhouette and the external cell phone pocket, the small Allyn now feels like the more 'effortless' option of the two. (Which is saying something because I'm a huge Ava fan!)

Specs: L 12" x H 10.5" x W 4.75" (snapped), L 16.5" x H 10.5" x W 4.75" (unsnapped), 11.25" handle drop, detachable shoulder strap drop length: 13" - 15", 2.5 lb weight

Ideal for: everyday use (errands, social engagements)

I would absolutely recommend this bag if you're looking for a new everyday bag that can hold a few larger items in addition to your essentials, and I would also recommend the Sienna color in particular. It's one of those colors that shifts under different lighting and continues to look amazing.

Not ideal for: toting large quantities of supplies/documents around or for use in high-crime areas

I'm hoping to test out the medium Allyn as a work bag because I don't think the small Allyn would cut it for the purpose space-wise; for example, it just barely fits a thin standard binder. I wouldn't recommend this bag if you're in an area with a pickpocket epidemic, as the bag is very easy to get in and out of. (Update: I now have a comparison post featuring all three Allyn sizes! Click here to view.)

Did you know it even comes with a built-in cat toy?
Color comparison: Rust Suede and Sienna
Please let me know if you have any questions or requests for additional comparison photos—I'll do my best to help. If you decide to make a first-time purchase through Dagne Dover, please consider clicking this link for $20 off your first $100+ purchase! (If you make a qualifying purchase, Dagne Dover will gift me $20 in spending credit as part of their new Dagne Rewards program!) The link will take you to Dagne Dover's home page, where a unique $20 off code should pop up after a few seconds. 


  1. Hey, can the extra strap really be used as a crossbody? I read another review that said it was not long enough for this but only serves as a longer shoulder drop strap. If it's long enough for a crossbody then I would definitely buy it over a medium! Thanks in advance!

    1. I'm so sorry for the huge delay in responding—I didn't see this comment until now! I've updated the review. I had read that it's possible to bring the strap closer to crossbody length by pulling the grommets past the notches, but now I've read comments that sound like the elongated strap might not be very comfortable to wear.