Bag Check: Why One Editor Can’t Stop Carrying the Coachtopia Ergo Bag


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There’s an old saying that goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” — and this editor just discovered “Exhibit A.” Coachtopia, Coach‘s TikTok-loved little sister subbrand, takes the sentiment to a new, fashion-forward frontier with luxury handbags strictly defined by sustainable design. Among the loot, the Coachtopia Ergo Bag makes the case for a worthy addition to any handbag rotation, serving as a timeless carry-all from day to night.

The Ergo reimagines a 1990s Coach archive design, but its nostalgic crescent bag style echos circular fashion in more ways than meet the eye. All Coachtopia handbags, including the bestselling Wavy Dinky shoulder bag, are created completely unique, as the brand takes meaningful steps toward a zero-waste fashion fantasy. As an eco-conscious shopper, I’m always on the hunt for my next vintage holy grail, or I’m willing to shell out a little extra cash for a piece that’s especially kind to the Earth. But the Small Ergo Bag in Checkerboard Patchwork Print goes one step farther than anything I’ve owned before. It celebrates sustainability in every stitch, boasts the same durability you’d expect from any brand-new Coach bag, and stands at an impressively affordable price point.

woman in green jacket holding a black and white checkered coach bag

WWD Shop editor Olivia Cigliano holding the Coachtopia Ergo Bag. Photo taken with the Leica Q3 Camera.

WWD/Adam Mansuroglu

The Ergo‘s all-encompassing sustainable construction starts with a shell of “Upcrafted” leather, referring to leather scraps from Coach’s tanneries sewn together as a patchwork print. It’s bound by the brand’s “regenerative leather,” which is developed at ranches to reduce carbon capture and purify production at its source, and comes lined with recycled Coachtopia Leather. Even the speckled resin hangtag is made of 70 percent reprocessed plastic, while the handbag itself is fully recyclable. Additionally, the Ergo comes with a direct line to the Coachtopia Workshop via a “digital passport” NFC chip embedded in the leather. With this, not only can you request a mend to extend the bag’s lifespan, but the brand will also accept it as a return, to which your well-loved accessory will be disassembled back to scraps and wholly remade for a new home.

I tested the Coachtopia Small Ergo Bag over a two-week period, carrying it all over New York City, across several boroughs, and to vastly different occasions. It rode along my subway commute to the WWD office, slung hands-free during a Sunday grocery run, made for chic arm candy at a fancy dinner date, and received many compliments over a casual night out with friends. My first impression? Despite it’s “small” label, this Ergo offers shockingly ample “Goldilocks”-sized storage — not too big, not too small, but just right.

Coachtopia by Coach Ergo Bag Review

Coachtopia Small Ergo Bag in Checkerboard Patchwork

Price: $350
Colorways: Black/Chalk, Army Green/Sandy Beige, New Bordeaux/Midnight Navy, Chalk/Faded Orange, Midnight Navy/Black, Wine/Pink, and more
Dimensions: Length: 9 3/4″ x height: 12″ x width: 3″
Materials: Upcrafted leather shell, Coachtopia leather lining (at least 50% recycled leather scraps), regenerative leather binding, 70% recycled plastic resin hangtag
Additional features: Top handle (6 1/4″ drop), magnetic snap closure
What it fits: A wallet, keys, iPhone, sunglasses, earbuds case, several lip products, a small notebook, and more
Best for: Day to night styling
Coach Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars

Price upon publish date of this article: $350

The supple-yet-structured leather held all of my daytime necessities with room leftover: A wallet, a keychain, my vintage Coach sunglasses, some earbuds, a pack of gum, a large setting powder compact, two lip glosses, and my iPhone 13. It also has a bonus interior slip pocket that’s perfect for stashing loose cash and a subway pass. Its wide opening allows for a full view of the entire contents of the bag, which would otherwise get lost at the bottom of a daytime designer tote, and a magnetic snap fastens with a thick tab, so no matter how I swing or sling it, there’s little risk of spillage.

Woman holding black and white shoulder bag

WWD Shop editor Olivia Cigliano shows how many items can fit in the Coachtopia Ergo Bag. Photo taken with the Leica Q3 Camera.

WWD/Adam Mansuroglu

Its substantial capacity, to which I found myself drawing comparisons to Mary Poppins’ bottomless bag, is compact enough to style as a chic handbag in the evening, too. The sturdy leather handle serves as a comfortable top-handle or a shoulder strap (which even fits over my puffer jacket), while all that extra interior space — which doesn’t translate to a clunky exterior — bodes well for late nights that bleed into mornings when you want a couple extra essentials handy, like a portable charger, digital camera, or several full-size products from your makeup bag. (Though, if you prefer a mini bag for nights out, the Checkerboard Ergo Bag is also available in a new Micro Mini size).

This Ergo bag iteration in checkerboard print adds textural intrigue and a bold graphic feel to a range of outfits. In fact, there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the size of the black patchwork squares that seems to keep the bag’s pattern from clashing with other prints like stripes or plaid, while the colorway reads neutral. Whether your wardrobe leans toward muted hues, quirky color blocking, or understated monochromes, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a look that isn’t elevated by this bag’s personality. Plus, checkerboard is simply trend-defying, and its design will last you through every season of the year, and even decades to follow.

But, if you’re in the market for a little more pop, Coachtopia released a slew of new patterns and prints of the Small Ergo Bag to spark playful styling. There are two new checkerboard styles and colorways in Upcrafted Leather: The zig zag-stitched Checkerboard and the Woven Checkerboard, which is reminiscent of the enduring straw bag trend. There’s also a new Ergo iteration that’s covered in darling daisy appliqués, or a groovy Wavy Stripe pattern that feels so stylish and retro. Also, the sweet and super on-trend Ergo Bag with Zipper Bows and Cherry-printed Ergo have already sold out to no surprise, but you can sign up for notifications right now to snag them when they’re back in stock.

The Coachtopia Small Ergo Bag in Checkerboard Patchwork retails for $350, only at Coach.com.

woman with black and white shoulder bag

The Coachtopia Ergo Bag fits comfortably on the shoulder, even with a puffer jacket. Photo taken with the Leica Q3 Camera.

WWD/Adam Mansuroglu

More Editor-Loved Coachtopia Ergo Bags to Shop

Coachtopia by Coach Ergo Bag Review

Coachtopia Micro Mini Ergo Bag in Checkerboard

Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars

For a smaller but just as mighty version of the editor-loved Small Checkerboard Ergo, grab the Micro Mini size in the same Patchwork Upcrafted Leather. This one comes with a detachable crossbody strap for more compact and convenient hands-free hauling.

Price upon publish date of this article: $195

Coachtopia by Coach Ergo Bag Review

Coachtopia Small Ergo Bag in Woven Checkerboard

Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars

Coachtopia’s timeless patchwork print is made much more intricate with the Small Ergo in Woven Checkerboard. Available in trendy deep red or sunny yellow, the unique design is comprised of hundreds of narrow leather scraps woven together for a texture similar to wicker, straw, or basket bags.

Price upon publish date of this article: $350

Coachtopia by Coach Ergo Bag Review

Coachtopa Small Ergo Bag in Checkerboard Patchwork with Zig Zag Stitch

Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars

This third iteration of Coachtopia’s Patchwork Checkerboard print has sketchy zig zag stitching to frame each square. It gives little added flair in exclusive style colorways — choose between moody gray or orange color contrasting.

Price upon publish date of this article: $350

Coachtopia by Coach Ergo Bag Review

Coachtopia Small Ergo Bag in Mini Flower Appliqué

Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars

Florals for spring? Just how we like ’em. This Small Ergo style is unlike any other in the collection, as it features clean-cut flower appliqués against a minimal Coachtopia Leather shell.

Price upon publish date of this article: $350

Coachtopia by Coach Ergo Bag Review

Coachtopia Small Ergo Bag in Wavy Stripe

Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars

The new Wavy Stripe Ergo offers a hefty dose of ’70s vibes. It’s constructed with the same durable, Upcrafted Leather Patchwork technique our editors love, and comes in four fresh yet vintage-feeling colorways: Saddle brown and black, army green and black, rust red and denim blue, or green and navy.

Price upon publish date of this article: $350

Coachtopia by Coach Ergo Bag Review

Coachtopia Small Ergo Bag in Crinkle Patent

Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars

If you like your bags as glossy as your lips, nails, and hair, you can never go wrong with ink-black patent leather. The Crinkle Patent Ergo also appears in several colors for the taking, including lilac, amber, turquoise, olive green, and deep orange, and is made of the brand’s signature Coachtopia Leather upcycled materials.

Price upon publish date of this article: $275

Coachtopia by Coach Ergo Bag Review

Coachtopia Small Ergo Bag in Embossed Cloud Print

Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars

This one’s for the fashionista with their head in the clouds. The Ergo Bag in Embossed Cloud Print has a light and airy periwinkle shell made of upcycled leather, and features a slight glossy finish that’ll reflect light, rain or shine.

Price upon publish date of this article: $295

More Coachtopia Handbags to Shop

Coachtopia by Coach Ergo Bag Review

Coachtopia Wavy Dinky Bag in Patchwork Checkerboard Upcrafted Leather

Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars

Price upon publish date of this article: $495

Coachtopia by Coach Ergo Bag Review

Coachtopia Mini Wavy Dinky Bag in Crinkled Patent Leather

Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars

Price upon publish date of this article: $195

Coachtopia by Coach Ergo Bag Review

Coachtopia Loop Puffy Heart Bag

Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars

Price upon publish date of this article: $175

Coachtopia by Coach Ergo Bag Review

Coachtopia Loop Quilted Cloud Tote Bag

Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars

Price upon publish date of this article: $195

How We Tested the Coachtopia Ergo Bag

Since 1910, WWD — often referred to as “the fashion bible” — has been the leading industry voice of authority for senior executives in the global women’s and men’s fashion, retail and beauty communities, while also informing the consumer media that cover the market. Today, WWD’s breaking news and trend coverage continues to be a trustworthy resource for both fashion insiders and consumers alike. Our shopping editors continue to uphold WWD’s editorial standards and values with quality, expert-backed product selections.

The Coachtopia Small Ergo Bag in Checkerboard Patchwork was kindly received from the brand for editorial testing and was evaluated over a two-week period. WWD Shop editors assessed its storage capacity with items commonly carried during the day or night, such as a wallet, keychain, sunglasses, makeup products, earbuds, and more. We paid close attention to whether the bag maintained its shape at capacity, whether items spilled out as it was carried through various activities, and how its structure generally compared to other leather goods and designer handbags we’ve tested.

We noted the weight of the bag while it was both empty and full, whether the top strap felt comfortable in the hand and properly supported the bag’s weight, and the different clothing items the shoulder strap comfortably fit atop, such as a thick sweater or a puffer jacket. Additionally, we spent many hours testing the versatility of the Checkerboard Ergo by styling it with a myriad of different outfits. We paired it alongside bold colors, prints, and contrasting textures, such as rainbow stripes, denim, polka dots, and neutral monochromes (to name a few), to determine whether the bag would add value to a variety of wardrobes and personal style perspectives. Learn more about us here.

Black and white checkered bag

A closer look at the Coachtopia Ergo Bag’s details. Photo taken with the Leica Q3 Camera.

WWD/Adam Mansuroglu

Meet the Author

Olivia Cigliano is a Commerce Writer & Producer at Footwear News and WWD where she writes shopping content across fashion, beauty, footwear, TikTok style trends, and more. Cigliano received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Emerson College, and her byline can be found in publications including Elite Daily and CR Fashion Book. She is currently based in New York City. A self-proclaimed purse addict, as well as a sustainability-focused fashionista, she’s constantly on the hunt for a new holy grail handbag that adds a playful pop to her every-growing rotation. 

woman crossing street holding a small shoulder bag

Photo taken with the Leica Q3 Camera.

WWD/Adam Mansuroglu



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