Privilege Blog

True Wind Sailor Bag, For Your Imagination And Your Travels

True Wind Duffle

Would you like a new carrying bag? A cute, sturdy bag made in America out of sailcloth?

I thought you would. So when Meredith of True Wind reached out to me about mentioning her wares on the blog, I thought, sure! I will review and photograph the bag and give it away to my friends!

Why this giveaway, in particular? What is better than a classic aesthetic with a back story? Wearing our history and imagination along with our gear?

Sailing, for example. I’d never call myself a sailor, per se, and yet I’ve been on boats far more often than statistically likely. Memories flash like a catch of fish on the deck.

My family moved to London for year in 1968. Transportation? The QEI’s final eastward voyage. When we returned, and spent a summer on Cape Cod, Mom signed us up for sailing lessons at the Wianno Yacht Club. Us 12-year olds got to sleep over on an island one night, and eat pancakes on the sand in the morning. There must have been plates. Over the years I’ve vacationed in the San Juan Islands, on a fishing boat in Greece, on catamarans off Kauai. I even had an uncle who lived on a sailboat.

To say nothing of the Swedish Archipelago.

But right now I crave the nautical tropics. Let’s imagine a wood bench, shaded by bamboo. Towel, book, sunglasses and sunscreen in a water-resistant bag, you wait to be picked up by dinghy. Days spent on the ocean, in the sun, as civilization and its discontents seep weakened from your bones.

(We won’t let the reality of my overgrown backyard, a self-timed camera or the wood bench I received for my 40th birthday, intrude on our daydreams. We know better.)

The bag brings other memories to mind. All the grassy sidelines. You’ve been there. I’ve carried so many bags to so many fields and parks. Doesn’t being a good mother in some ways depend on your carrying capacity?  I remember vividly sitting in this foldout Target chair, watching my son play soccer. One year his team won the high school league championship. I had to jump out of my seat.

Let’s return to the present. This giveaway is also about the quality of wear. The fit and the finish. Don’t you love this fastener thingie?

And that my mother would term this bag Very Good Looking? It’s one big hold inside, which I prefer to sorting through compartments.

The small Sailor Tote goes for $155 on the True Wind website. But please enter here to win this one, all for the price of a comment. Tell us a story of time on the water. We will define water broadly, oceans, lakes, ponds, pools. Bathtubs. Puddles. Very broadly. Then stop by the site or Facebook page, please.

I’m giving away the red bag with navy stripes. But I suppose if you liked other colors, you could always go buy one here.

 Thank you Meredith. Wishing you all good outcomes in your business. Takes a lot to run a company. You have my full respect.

NOTE: I forgot to tell you two things. First, I will choose a winner Sunday afternoon and announce it Monday morning. Second, please make sure you’ve left a valid email address. Thanks for the great response.

And Kathryn, I am so sorry to hear about your house.

54 Responses

  1. We have a beach destination that perfectly suits…bumpy, tropical bike paths that lead through forests, over lagoon bridges, and to an unspoiled beach for walking, picnicking, contemplating. This is the ideal bag for bike transport, carrying the essentials in style.

  2. A water story: one of my horses will drink from and splash in a puddle; the other will only jump over water.

  3. Love bags like this! I was captain of my college sailing team, many moons ago, and even participated in the first-ever inter-collegiate windsurfer regatta. These are great looking bags!


  4. Our family vacationed last summer for one week on a sailboat we chartered out of Santa Barbara. We cruised to Santa Cruz Island and spent the week on the boat, and it was magic.
    I have a sailor husband, and beautiful strong daughters who are capable of hoisting anchors, diving for urchins, and battening the hatches when necessary.
    I prepare a terrific galley, and love the sea. Exploring the habitat of pelicans, seals, and dolphins was a tonic.
    The four of us agreed that this was the best trip we had ever taken together, unplugged, exposed, and free.
    This sail bag is adorable!

  5. Lovely bag. Oh, how I love bags!
    The last time I was on water, I was seven months pregnant and wearing what I thought must have been the world’s largest swimsuit. Nevertheless, the feeling of speeding down the river and floating lazily by its banks made a late summer pregnancy far more enjoyable.

  6. For all three of my children their very first airplane rides were to Cozumel, Mexico for beach vacations. Two of them were 15 months, the middle was 9 months when she got her trip. We always stayed at the Presidente and snorkeled out to their sunken boat. At 10,6 and 4 we took the three snorkeling to the abyss there. As the dive guide tossed my kids into the ocean from the boat I thought “What in the world am I doing? My children are swimming in an ABYSS?” Turns out they were the best snorkelers that day and were rewarded with sharks, stingrays, lion fish and so so many more. I imagine my kids’ best childhood memories will be of beach trips.
    I could definitely use a bag- I’m still packing those kids to the beach every chance I get even thought they are now teenagers.

  7. I love all water, but love the Mediterranean,
    And Caribbean seas the most, love the Hamptons
    Beaches, where this back and I would summer
    This year. I lost my home during Sandy, and
    Moving, finally after three months in a hotel
    Room, with fiancé and dog, we are moving into a
    New home, on Saturday, which is my birthday.
    We lost everything, and are starting from scratch.
    This would be a great present, that at this moment,
    I would never buy, vacuum cleaners, Irons
    Dressers, are all necessities. Anyway, looking forward
    To summer, and would be honored to carry
    This great bag.

  8. Well, my most recent brush with water that was not in the form of snow was last summer when I kayaked with dolphins (and some people who shall not be named) in the Atlantic. Other members of my family were veteran kayakers, but I had only canoe experience. I was petrified by sitting so low in the water and couldn’t master operation of the double-bladed paddle. After crashing into the dock and getting stuck, I teared up as my family stopped coaching me and paddled away from the scene post haste. The tour guide came over, looked me straight in the eye and asked me if I played golf or tennis. As soon as I said, “Tennis,” he described how to manipulate the paddle like a tennis racquet. Success was soon mine as I triumphantly swept past my kids and the sweet grass marshes, out into the open waters of the sound, with dolphins leaping to and and fro in advance of my vessel.

    A sturdy and stylish tote could store my change of clothes and aqua socks quite nicely on my next excursion into uncharted waters. ; )

  9. My husband & I were holidaying in the aolian islands off Sicily over twenty years ago & we booked a boat trip with a local by the Harbour . Waiting there next morning we laughed at an tiny old tub struggling to get into the Harbour being maneuvered by two very young men nay boys . Of course it was our boat , along with a noisy Italian family also waiting , dressed in swimming gear – very minute swimming gear . We spent all day in that boat, mostly bobbing about , hardly saw the crew , they were upside down most of the time tinkering with the sad old engine & bailing out . Our Italian was almost non existent but there was lots of nodding & laughing & we somehow became friends . We would be far too wise to do the same now but we did get back safely & for the rest of the holiday , every time we bumped into our fellow travelers we were greeted like part of the family .
    If I should happen to win your competition , I don’t expect the bag to travel all the way to Yorkshire . Perhaps best for the lady who lost all her belongings to have it .

  10. I love these sailcloth bags! My favorite on-the-water activity is taking my sons sailing on my Sunfish sailboat… a great father/son bonding time.

  11. Kathryn, I’m so sorry you lost your house :-(

    Lisa, if I win this bag, I will stuff you in it and bring you to the Cape, where we’ll eat and drink and sail to our heart’s content. Maybe even on a Wianno Senior!

  12. Is there a better combination than bags and water? I love water and being around or in it. It’s like water and wind strip everything bare and clean, yet at the same time hold so many memories. The beauty is ever-changing and reflective. But then life is also practical, so one needs a bag to carry things in. But just the essentials, which is part of the joy :) I guess in a way that boats are like slightly larger bags, in the way that they keeps things pared down and yet contain all.

    This bag makes me think of the northeast US, and reminds me of a Maine day spent sailing on a small boat with a friend. Sunny skies, just the right amount of breeze to be fun yet allow lazy sprawling, and no particular agenda. In the bay, we were surrounded by blue water and rocky islets, punctuated by colorful lobster buoys. We laughed and talked, and then daydreamed and absorbed. Of course a bag (though not as spiffy as these!) figured prominently, as it contained sandwiches, sweaters, and other essentials.

  13. My family spent a week every summer vacationing in Cape Cod when I was growing up… memories of renting a different house each time… backyards of sand and tall grass and giant crickets. I wore sailor outfits, drank birch beer, learned to ride a bike (rented of course.) The Kennedies would often be in the area at the same time and people were always on Jackie watch. It was my big escape from the hot city of Boston, and still some of my fondest memories. Anything nautical or red-white-and-blue brings back that period. THANKS for all the pictures!

  14. I have done much sailing as I used to date a world-class yacht racer (had a great time at the 2003 America’s Cup in Auckland). I crossed the Atlantic on one of the USS United States’ last crossings as a small child (fortunately I remember it well), but I think my favorite sailing experience was in the Indian Ocean out of Knysna, South Africa about 12 years ago. We were in a tri-hulled catamaran and the water was very rough. To add to the excitement, there were about 20 sharks around us. It was kind of nerve-jangling the entire sail (about 2 hours), but it was a lot of fun!

    The bag is lovely; thanks for the chance to win it!

  15. Oh, I’m so NOT an “on the water” person, having grown up on a land-locked Iowa farm! But eventually, DH and I retired to Wisconsin and many of our friends go off in canoes.

    So one fine June day, we borrowed a nice canoe and went floating/paddling down the local river. Just meandering along, dodging snags from the winter storm downfalls. All well and good until the spiders starting falling in our craft. BIG ones – ACK!! In what I consider normal sizing, I am not disturbed by our arachnid friends. They eat bugs; I’m cool with that. But I was so not cool that day and I have no desire to venture down the Hay River any time soon. No matter how nice the weather!

    On a happier note, I had a lovely sail in SF Bay years ago on a nicely-sized boat owned by friends. No 8-legged critters, a glass of wine for me… nice.

  16. I love the sea and my husband is a surfer, but my favorite memories on water are from time spent on/in a freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevadas. My great grandparents had a cabin at Pinecrest Lake, and back in the 20s my grandfather was a lifeguard (I have precious photos of him in his singlet bathing suit with all the cute little flappers gazing admiringly at him). That is “my” water place. We still have a cabin up there, and summers there spent canoeing, swimming, and kayaking are fond memories for both me and my children (now teens).

    1. Pinecrest Lake! we spent our summers there with our growing family..we had to take our van and a car…motor boat, sail boat, windsurfer,many flaoting objects, food and drink. we were a sight! I, too, love those summers…now, not so much. to many people dicovered this treasure so we sneak up early spring and the beautiful fall.

  17. Having only spent our summer vacations and weekends at the lake, we now live here full time. I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful view and appreciate how blessed we are to be able to see it every season – surprisingly, I have enjoyed the “off” seasons even more than the summer. This would be a wonderful bag to carry swimming gear when we boat to see our relatives. Such a lovely giveaway!

  18. Terrific bags, Lisa. I left her a comment on her FB page. Smart and tasteful design. I grew up sailing on Long Island Sound and took a bag very similar to this to summer camp in Maine (Wohelo), then sailed in college and for a decade from Rowayton, CT where I lived before marriage and motherhood. Happy memories.

  19. As a teenager, I was a counselor in training for two summers at a girls’ summer camp. One of our activities was taking along lake canoeing trip–with gear lashed into our boats, including hammocks and mosquito nets. None of us had a “good looking” bag like the one you are featuring today. If we had, we would have stashed our personal items in it.

  20. We used to do a lot of fishing in the early years of our marriage. Sometimes I’d fish, other times I’d make my own shade with an umbrella and read a book I’d brought along. Very relaxing times on the lakes, bayous and in the swamps of the Achafalaya Basin here in southern Lousisana.

  21. Lovely bag and enjoyed your pictures. When our children were little we lived in Nevada so I took the kids to Tahoe every week during the summer. So many wonderful memories, plus the hubs and I were Bay Area babies. The water is my preferred hang out.

    Please don’t enter me in the contest, I want the lady who lost her house to get the bag!

  22. Hi, Lisa
    My comment disappeared as I was typing; I’ll try again, and apologies if it posts twice.

    Do your tropical reveries involve Tahiti? You’re clearly channeling a Paul Gauguin in that first photo.(And I love the print on your skirt.)

    The bags look well-made, serviceable, and, with their bright blocks of color, cheery and direct (much like nauticl flags)–a Sturdy’s Delight.

    I was lucky to grow up in a house right on Long Island Sound, so every day was an adventure at the intersection of sand and sea (well, Sound). I spent hours wandering and wading, climbing rocks, peering into tidepools, stooping for sea glass and seashells, checking to see what treasures the packrats had stuffed in the seawall, and watching the traffic flow in and out of the harbor, just like the tide. Best memory from home: a number of the Tall Ships anchored just off our house during the Bicentennail celebrations.
    Best single adventure on the water: whale-watching and deep-sea fishing off the Kohala Coast of the Big Island. We didn’t see any humpbacks that day but were treated to something rarer: we chased a pod(?) of pygmy killer whales all over the Alenuihaha Channel. We spent most of the cruise trying to figure out whether our guide was pulling our leg (ever heard of a pygmy killer whale?)–turns out they really exist!

  23. That bag hits me where I live, on the waters of New England from May to October in our comfy little boat. I have seen these in seaside shops, but never could rationalize the splurge. Love the quality materials and the recycling of the sail cloth. A brilliant business move with quality aesthetics and a universal reference. Does anyone not like the sea?

  24. Long time reader, first time commenting, therefore a little bit nervous. But you have caught my fancy so here goes…
    Grew up sailing on Canada’s Great Lakes and am now a new mummy and a MARS Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. So I guess our early life lessons run deep.
    My favourite sail: I was 25, and had just submitted my Master’s thesis at the University of Durham in England. Together with the submission came a rejection – my boyfriend of over a year, the first one I thought was ‘the one’, had decided to move on. My first deeply, sobbingly broken heart.
    One of my flat mates, a guy I had never taken the time to get to know, was completely befuddled (as only the English can be) by my hysterical sobbing. He suggested I join him for the weekend: his parents had asked him to move the family sailboat to it’s summer mooring on Mull. He didn’t even know I sailed, he was simply looking to shut me up.
    The trip was magical. Two relative strangers sailing up the west coast of the U.K. The perfect balm for my broken heart.
    I never saw him after that weekend. I flew home to Canada to await the results of my submission. But his kindness has always stayed with me. Thank you Alan.

  25. I had never sailed, ferrys don’t county, before I moved to Marin (northern California) by myself. My family situation at the time was best described by the military slang term “geo bachelor”, someone whose geographical work location took them away from their family and into bachelor status despite a wedding ring and committed relationship.

    I was lonely, but at the same time craving adventure and a sense of belonging that my far away husband couldn’t give me. A dear friend offered to take me sailing. It was November but I was game. To say that I fell in love with the sea, with sailing, is a vast understatement. From that very first sail that dear friend and I made it a weekly tradition to sail. Up and down the bay, out into the Pacific. Crabbing. Pleasure sailing. Cruise outs. I have rarely in my life ever felt as free, as fearless, and as honest as I did that sailboat in those days.

    In the end, my dear friend passed away and my work returned me to my husband. But those magical months remain to whisper in my memory of sweet salt, strong wind and limitless possibility.

  26. What a wonderful bag! The first time I went sailing was the summer of my senior year in high school. My friend Jennifer’s family introduced me to the world of sailing, and I was hooked. I learned that people with yachts never call them yachts.

    I was absolutely certain that I would have a boat one day myself, but so far that hasn’t happened. Having friends with a boat is *almost as good.

  27. I would love to be entered. Living on the west coast in SoCal, most of my summer weekend trips were to the beach. The summer of 1974 I was visiting my then boy friend at the beach house he was renting with his friends upon their high school graduation. This is where I met my future husband. He likes to remember when he met me I was wearing a blue bikini and was barefoot in the kitchen. We’ve been married for almost 30 years and he still meets with the same high school friends at a beach house on the central coast, hafl way for both the NorCal and SoCal guys. As a matter of fact, this is their weekend at the beach! For us, Newport Beach will always hold a special place ini our hearts. :)

  28. I have never been on a sailboat in my life, and I’m not a swimmer (I don’t like to put my head underwater.) My only water story is my daily shower. I’m pretending that I don’t remember skinny-dipping at the lake in my 20s.

    But this bag would be perfect for my 3 grandchildren to carry their gear to the neighborhood swimming pool this summer.

  29. My childhood ocean experiences largely consisted of the muddy Gulf of Mexico. Once experiencing the fabulous beaches of Rio I could never enjoy the Gulf as much. My nostalgia protects my memories at least!

  30. I spend considerable time on the water; diving off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico. While not particularly a preppy destination, it is nonetheless my place of choice on the water. Below the water would be most accurate, when diving. ;) But the bag would be perfect for taking my personal belongings aboard the dive boat!

  31. The boat of my life was the Windigo, a 72-foot schooner built in the 1930s, given to the heir to a pharmaceutical company fortune as his high-school graduation gift, then sailed into the ground on the Great Lakes by a bunch of drunks till three of my friends bought it for a song in 1970. Three years of restoration and squabbles followed. Finally, one glorious July we sailed via the St Lawrence Seaway to Lunenberg NS for its new sails, and then down to the US Virgin Islands.

    A magical boat, fourteen of us standing shoulder to shoulder on deck. In St. Thomas, a man offered more than anyone ever dreamed for that boat, and the three owners, cash-strapped after the project, agreed. This broke everyone’s heart.

  32. No sailing stories to tell, so I’m not in the running. I just wanted to say, Lisa, you have a “way with words” that takes us to a better place. And, the replies you inspired do that also.

  33. Ten years ago my best friend and I kayaked through the San Juans. In Rosario we came across a fishing boat selling live fish and she wanted to buy an octopus as a mascot.

    “We could put it on a lead and pull it along behind us!”
    “1, how do you put an octopus on a lead?
    2, an octopus trailing behind a kayak seems like nothing more than orca BAIT. How fast do you want to see the world whiz by when something takes said bait?
    3, when the octopus gets bored and starts climbing up its lead into the kayak, i am sitting in the back and it will reach me first. I guarantee that when I feel that first tentacle, I will scream like a little girl and throw my paddle into the air.”

    We bought little rubber squids from the bait shop as mascots instead, and I still have mine on my lifejacket. :)

  34. Endless summer sophomore year spent with my two best girlfriends sailing around Fisher’s Is Sound in the sturdy Rebel. Dreaming away the days, sun up to sun down or so it seemed when untethered from our part time gigs. Truly loving life :D

  35. Twenty years ago, I was below decks in our Jeanneau Sun Odyssey cooking up bacon and eggs, the frying pan sliding from side to side and whack! the cover to the stove slammed down. I popped my head up to find out what was going on and sure enough, my husband was tacking between freighters and ferries on Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. No power, strictly sail, on a VERY busy harbour! We have fond memories of our years sailing around the beautiful waterways and islands of Hong Kong.

  36. Okay, so I’m not really a water person, but I am a color person, and I love the cheerfulness of those bags! Red white and blue…as your mother (and mine) would say “very good looking” indeed.

  37. I do love this bag, and I love that its made in America.

    Not too long ago, I toured the eastern coast of Australia from Sydney to Cairns and of course went out on a catamaran to the Great Barrier Reef. My husband and I stayed in the shade eating cheese and fruit. A whole family of Australians sat on the front netting and sunned themselves for 6 hours – they were red as lobsters when we finally made it back to the marina. We had a few glasses of wine on the way back as the sun started to set – it was a lovely day for us, at least.

  38. My story? I don’t spend much time on the water but I feel that will change this Spring. In December I adopted a Labrador Retriever who cannot get enough water. He cannonballs into other dogs’ waterbowls at the dog park (in the 2 inches of water) and jumps into the shower after I’m done to get his paws wet with the last vestiges before it all disappears down the drain. I get the feeling that once the pond opens up at the park we will be spending even more time there…

  39. Hello “Privilege” readers. My name is Meredith Marquis and I’m the Owner of True Wind. I felt compelled to write. Your stories, and the memories that you’ve shared, are heartwarming. I’ve enjoyed reading each and every post. Lisa, you are truly blessed to have such wonderful, loyal readers. My best wishes to each and everyone of you! MM

  40. We are more of the canoeing and kayaking type – lovely bag and great stories from everyone!

  41. It’s it interesting how water plays a part in so many lives. Something very primeval there.

    My favorite water memory goes back a few years when my boys were little. After I got home from work in the summer, we would head toward a local state park, stop and grab a pizza on the way. The crowds would be gone, so we’d just hang out, the boys splashing on the shore, eating pizza on a beach towel. We’d catch the ice cream truck’s last run and finish up the evening with Dove bars and Popsicles.

    Those are some of my happiest memories. Thanks for helping me relive them. :)

  42. I grew up right on a large river. Many of my memories of it center on my grandfather. He lived practically next door, and loved any excuse to get out on his boat to fish. One of my most poignant memories is from my freshman or sophomore year of college. I came home for Thanksgiving break right at the end of striped bass season. About the last thing I wanted to do with one of my few mornings off was get up early to sit on a cold boat, but I knew how much it meant to him, so I did it. He was not an emotionally demonstrative man: sitting together in silence was the best way to know his love.

  43. The bags remind me of our time on the water in Rhode Island — but they’d have been more useful when we lived on the windward side of Hawaii — much more bag to beach opportunities there!

  44. Don’t expect a bag in England (and it’s not really my style anyway) but I thought I’d join in the water stories.

    I grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, City of Sails with regular trips to a family friend’s yacht in the gorgeous Bay of Islands up north. There’s nothing like the relaxation of being on the water and the movement of the boat under you. The ting, ting, ting of the lines against the mast. The rushing sound of water furling away under the hull. The sparkle of sunlight glinting off the waves… oh stop, you’re making me homesick!

  45. What a neat giveaway! Thank you for doing it, and thanks to True Wind as well.

    I have one neat water memory to offer. I was 12, and my family went out on a friend’s boat for sailfish fishing. One of the lines got a nibble, and my dad sat me in the “fighting chair” and wouldn’t let anyone help me. It was rough! It took me more than an hour, but I caught – by myself – a 7′ 7″ sailfish. My dad had it mounted, we had it for years.

  46. I spent my childhood going back and forth to a beach cabin on a private island in Puget Sound. No phone, no lights, no motor cars. But we always brought Rusty the Cocker Spaniel. One trip over, we noticed – no Rusty! We looked behind us, and could just see his little red head swimming toward the boat, a couple of hundred feet back. My sister and I screamed, and Dad turned the boat around. We saved him, but the trauma of thinking that we would watch him sink before we got there almost killed my sister and I. Other than that. almost exclusively happy happy memories of the boat and that little cabin named Slipshod Manor.

  47. I want to thank everyone for their kind wishes about the house.
    Moving into an apartment today, and then off
    To get furnishings, etc.
    Only good part, is we are very close to beach
    And complex has a pool..
    ps: hope everyone enjoys their water days ahead.

  48. Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The mighty Columbia River. The Snake River and Hells Canyon. Crater Lake.
    I love water whether I’m in it, on it or looking at it!

  49. Growing up by the Pacific, the sound and feel and smell of water is so deeply ingrained in me. All of my favourite memories involve water – ferry rides, visits with friends on the beach in front of a fire, relaxing in the early morning sunrise.

    Funny how so much can be tied up in just a little nautical detailing. It must be why I love navy and white so much.

  50. l’ve always had a passion for being on the water. This past summer, I had the opportunity to take a Sunfish out on a lake in Maine. The little boat sat in the water, sail quivering, as I played with the line and rudder. The water was warm and sunlight pierced its depths in wavering fingers. I waited for the wind to pick up again, enjoying the slap of waves against the hull and the brightness of the sun reflecting off the water. There! I sensed the building tension before the line actually tightened in my hand and my little boat surged forward. Success! A passion was born.

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