No surprise we are big fans of IKEA's home decor. But you ought to know by now that the Swedish superstore delights and amazes outside the home as well. In fact, an $14 IKEA find is the best travel companion that's ever hit the road with me. (No offense to past travel buddies!)
It was love at first sight when I saw this FÖRENKLA shoulder bag hanging on the wall at IKEA. I adore the color, the functionality, and the smart design. Here are three reasons why you'll love it too.
1. It's affordable!
First of all, it's insanely cheap for such a workhorse of a bag. On IKEA's website, it's listed for $18, but it's $14 if you're an IKEA family member — and honestly either price is a steal. It comes in sleek black or fiery red (I opted for the red!) and because it wasn't too expensive, I never have to worry about it getting too beat up. It's not like I spent so much money on it that it's now too precious for me to throw on the ground or smoosh into an overhead compartment.
2. It's versatile!
How many purses can boast not one but two zippered side pouches? The small compartments are perfect for holding an umbrella, water bottles, or even a fancy overpriced cold-pressed juice. There's also a handy front compartment, a sleeve for my phone, and a helpful pen pocket, too.
Tip: Want even more storage space? There's a matching $3 accessory bag for you to tote cosmetics and toiletries.
The bag is large enough to stash hats, gloves, and a scarf, yet it's small enough not to feel overly bulky. To add to its versatility, the adjustable strap gives you the choice to wear it over your shoulder or across your body, and the soft, durable canvas material is easy to clean.
3. It's secure and professional.
Thanks to the mesh zippered pocket on the inside, my wallet can be safely tucked away. There's also a hidden back pocket for tablets or valuables. I feel like a spy when I pull my Kindle out.
And I keep my business cards in the little plastic card holder at the top of the bag, so I don't need to dig around for hours (okay, minutes) when I'm trying to hand someone my card. (You never know where or when you might want to network!) I may have coffee stains on my shirt and lipstick on my teeth, but hey, at least I can whip my business card out in a flash.
Bottom line: If you're looking for a stylish, reliable, and comfortable shoulder bag, definitely check this out.
What IKEA items are you obsessed with? Tell us in the comments!
This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: A Surprisingly Awesome IKEA Find for Travelers