• Review: Prada Saffiano Lux / Galleria Double Zip Tote Bag

    Today’s post is a belated review of the Prada Saffiano Double Zip tote bag. I recorded this video a while back in a rush, and scrapped it due to fluctuating lighting and choppy content. Since several readers have been asking questions about this bag, I figured I’d post anyways in hopes of answering some of those questions.

    As a preface, this bag was probably my most mulled-over purchase to date. I’d like to think that every one of my larger purchases are carefully-considered, but unfortunately, some of them could’ve used more thought and research on alternatives. I’ve been trying to shop more deliberately, which starts with discovering what the biggest “voids” are in my closet. I realized early this year that many of my work and casual outfits could use a simple brown, medium-sized bag. I needed one that was durable, lightweight, and preferably weather-resistant. I fell in love with Prada’s Saffiano tote, and spent half a year trying on all the options, scouring the pre-owned market, and looking for any small ways to save. There was no rush to buy, and ultimately I ended up with something that I am in love with and do not regret (so far, anyways).

    Change to “HD” (4th button in from bottom right) for better quality:


    Material
    What exactly is “Saffiano” leather? I couldn’t find any authorized information directly from Prada, but this thread on The Purse Forum contains some member opinions that sound right. Based on that thread and a few other articles, Saffiano leather is treated for increased durability, scratch-resistance, and water-resistance. Several other handbag designers use it as well.
    Prada Saffiano Tote Review5Sizes 
    There are so many sizes and variations of this bag that I often get confused, but the sizes that I have tried on include..


    **Prices are as of 9/2012 and will probably change**

    Mini Double Zip w/ strap – 7″ x 10″ x 4.15″ – $1520
    Small Double Zip w/ strap – 8.25″ x 11.5″ x 5″ – 1730
    Medium Double Zip w/ strap – 9″x 15″ x 5.5″ – $1810
    Medium Double Zip no strap – 10″ x 14.5″ x 6″ – $1960
    Large Double Zip no strap – 12″ x 15.75″ x 6.75″ – $2100

    Open Tote no strap– I’ve seen a range of online measurements and don’t know exactly which one is right…approximate size is 10″ x 14″ x 7″ – $1730
    Prada Saffiano Tote Review4

    Trying on various sizes to find the most proportionate one (for reference, I am about 5 feet tall):

    Prada Saffiano Tote Review

    Top left: Medium #2 double zip tote in caramel, medium #1 double zip tote in cammeo
    Top right: Open tote in caramel

    Below: Open tote in cammeo (for some reason, this one definitely looks wider than the caramel one above)

    Prada Saffiano Tote Review2

    Issues: As mentioned in my video, I am not a fan of the nylon logo lining nor the less structured base. The base, however, should be an easy fix with a base shaper. A bigger issue that I did not mention in my video is the inconsistency of quality I’ve personally experienced. In the photo directly above, the front panel leather looks almost wrinkled – I thought it was a bag that had been used and returned. And out of the two double zip totes I ordered, one was perfect but one also had a slightly wrinkled front panel. I am disappointed that a product at this price point does not have better quality control, so be sure to carefully inspect your purchase before using it.

    The open tote easily fits a 15″ laptop, small makeup bag, wallet, plus baggie for shoes:

    Prada Saffiano Tote Review1
    Where to Buy
    After I decided on the size/style/color combo, I combed eBay for a pre-owned bag that fit the bill. There are so many options available with this tote that it was hard to find the exact one on the secondhand market. I am also not an expert in gauging Prada authenticity via photos, and was worried about purchasing a counterfeit. The similar ones I watched on eBay went for about $1,200-$1,400, so it was a lot to pay for the risk of unauthentic merchandise, plus not getting the exact bag sought. I ended up buying mine from Neiman Marcus at full price, choosing them over the Prada boutique because I trust their customer service and return policy more.

    Relatively Lower-Priced Alternative
    Ever since I started looking at Prada’s Double Zip Tote, a few readers have suggested Tory Burch’s rendition. This bag is also made of Saffiano leather and comes in a variety of colors, including “luggage” brown. At 10″ x 16″ x 5.5,” it is approximately comparable to Prada’s larger medium size but has a detachable strap, and has the same inside compartments.
    Prada Saffiano Tote Review6

    Readers – Do you own a Prada Saffiano tote? If so, please share your thoughts on it and whether you’ve encountered any issues over time.
     

    112 thoughts on “Review: Prada Saffiano Lux / Galleria Double Zip Tote Bag

    • alermy September 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      Just make sure you DON'T clean your saffiano bags/wallets with wipes with alcohol in it. I learned this in a hard way…

    • Megan September 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      The Robinson tote with the strap is definitely a great "dupe", however, I found it to be so heavy in itself!

      I've wanted a bag similar to your Prada (without the strap) and ended up getting the Tory Burch Robinson Saffiano East-West tote, which is light and very roomy. Plus it's about half the price. That's another great option! Someday I'll have my own Prada bag though. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anonymous September 30, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      Yikes, did cleaning it with alcohol wipes yank the color off??

    • Sheila September 30, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      Hi Jean! I was waiting for your review of this bag before I took the jump, but I ended up being impatient and ordered one in red last week.

      I also looked at the Tory Burch alternative but I decided not to go that route based on two reasons:
      1) Members of the Purseforum have noted that their Tory Burch bags have had the Saffiano "pattern" rubbed off their bags after just a few weeks of use, meaning the "pattern" isn't very well stamped onto the bag
      2) The strap of the Tory Burch is placed diagonally of the front and back panels of the bag, and not actually on the sides, which means that if you carry relatively heavy in the bag and you use the strap, the strap will pull on the fabric of the bag, making it look deformed and then maybe even rip.

      Quality-wise, the Tory Burch alternative might not last very long, which is a disappointment because the whole point of it being Saffiano leather is that it is supposed to be super long lasting.

      For those who like the style of the double zippered sides with the bigger compartment on the inside, Michael Kors also has a similar style for about $300. It's not saffiano leather but it's still real leather.

    • alermy September 30, 2012 at 7:53 pm

      I used it on my blue prada saffiano wallet. It removed the saffiano texture and some color. I stopped right away. It looks ok. Only I know the texture is messed up on some parts of the wallet.

    • Katherine September 30, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      I've always been curious, do you usually pack lunch to work? And if you do, would you carry it in your purse (ie, the Prada) or separately? I've been looking to purchase a new work bag and was wondering about this!

      Thanks

    • PetiteAsianGirl September 30, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      I do pack lunch if I have food at home, and I store it in a plastic bag (sometimes double plastic bags) just like the one shown in the "inside the bag" view in this post. If you really care about the bag, then I'd double up to be safe and avoid packing liquids.

    • PetiteAsianGirl September 30, 2012 at 8:02 pm

      I'm sorry to hear that! I use chlorox wipes on a lot of stuff, so thanks for that warning.

    • PetiteAsianGirl September 30, 2012 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you (& Megan up above) for the advice re the Tory Burch alternatives.

      Did your red one arrive yet?

    • RnRMom September 30, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      I have the camemeo (read "blush" in color) bag you show in your pictures. At first I had the Small Double Zip with Strap. I was dissapointed that I couldn't fit my Ipad in the one of the zipper compartments but it did fit in the center. I had a few other items/essentials in my purse. After about a month, the trim (which looks like molded rubber?) started pulling away from the bag revealing the seams underneath. Also, on of the strap hooks which is only held by one stitch! came off from the outside leaving it only attached to the liner. I immedately took it back to the Prada store where they happily exchanged it for me. I ended up with the Medium Double Zip with strap instead – for two reasons. 1. they advised that the strap broke because of the weight I had in the bag and the small couldn't handle this much weight. 2. the medium holds my iPad in the front zipper with no troubles, which I prefer.

      One word of caution that the Prada sales manager told me was that the straps shouldn't be used that often as they cannot handle any real weight. (then why have the straps I wonder??) I have since transitioned to being a handle-only purse wearer as I love the bag dearly. *sigh*

      Also, for those that mentioned cleaning above, the manager also said that I should use the dust bag and rub in small circles to clean the bag. She said that is what it is intended for and that saffiano leather will blend the color on and over any stains or scratches.

      I do love my Prada despite some of the issues I shared above. It is so classic and holds everything that I need for work or as a hockey mom. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anonymous September 30, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      Thanks for the review, Jean! Just wondering, does your Goyard tote still get much use since you've acquired your gorgeous Prada tote?

    • Ann September 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Such a thorough and helpful review! Makes me want to purchase one!… But alas.. I'm still a student and have a buttload of student loans to pay off when I graduate. Sigh. Maybe one day…

    • Anonymous September 30, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      Good review. I do have the money for expensive things as a young professional but will probably not spend $1000+ on a bag. The most expensive bag I have is about $400 and it works just fine. Where do you buy a cheap base shaper? I need one for my Kate Spade bag. Thanks. -Angela

    • Anonymous September 30, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      A better way to buy Prada bags is to wait for NM gift card event.
      They usually offer $300 gift card for a $2000 purchase. And sometimes they have double gift card event–that's $600.

      I got my Prada double zip Saffiano bag during that double gift card event, which saved me a lot of money–I got a pair of Louboutin shoes with the $600 gift card. Isn't that sweet?

    • Ping September 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm

      you know that i been working at a new job. well a lot of my clients are non-profit and i been feeling bad about carrying my LV bag to appointments. ever since you wrote that article about wearing designer items to work, it totally made me feel that i wasn't only one who felt that way! i been on a a hunt for a new work bag (w/o logos) and have considered that tory burch bag. then i thought about purchasing and thought it looked like your prada Double Zip tote bag. then i ended up thinking about buying your prada bag, but am not ready to splurge, mb one of these days! thanks for the great review though.

    • Fiona Wu September 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      I'm really glad you did this review and that you're happy with your new totes! I fell in love with the zippered tote while watching Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, then made up my mind about it after seeing it in person. I agree with you about the lining, it looks/feels cheap. I didn't know it was nylon! Unless it's an easy clean-up, I don't understand why such a bag warrants a nylon lining. I'm hesitant given the QC problems you mentioned, but it's too perfect to pass up. I'm bookmarking this review for (much) later when I have the need (and the money!) for this bag. Thanks again, Jean!

    • Julie September 30, 2012 at 11:34 pm

      So happy to see a new post! I seriously check back… every single day… especially before going shopping. Haha Is that a pathetic thing to admit? I just wanted to emphasize how much I love your blog! Ok I have a question.. I've been showering at night and trying to recreate your loose waves.. I did as you said and tied my hair in a loose bun when I sleep.. However, my hair is a mess in the morning. It's frizzy and not as soft as usual after just-showered hair.. How does your hair stay so soft after the bun trick? Do you still go to sleep with your buns? Btw, I'm sure we have the same texture hair.. I'm asian and my hair is naturally straight. Also I don't straighten or put much heat on it, so it's not damaged or anything.. I just feel like it doesn't look as soft as yours after the overnight bun trick. ๐Ÿ™

    • Julie September 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      Also, do you twist in a certain direction? Sometimes one side of my hair flip out while the other flips in.

    • Miriam October 1, 2012 at 12:22 am

      i absolutely love my prada bag! it was such a great buy! <3

    • Esther Yoo October 1, 2012 at 12:27 am

      Thank you so much for your informative review on the beautiful bag. I was wondering why the medium sized bag with no strap was more expensive than the one with the strap? Is it just because it is bigger in size or are there other features to the bag with no strap?

    • faye lu October 1, 2012 at 1:24 am

      great review jean – i've been eying a prada bag for the longest time ever as an 'investment' .. thinking should i? shouldn't i? … this is definitely making me lean towards should!! =)

    • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 1:29 am

      I LOVE the striped dress you're wearing in the bathroom pictures. Do you know who makes it? Thanks!!

    • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 2:41 am

      Thanks for this review. I wonder what if it rains ? Will the onside get
      wet since its not completely closed?

    • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 2:45 am

      Sorry for the typo, I meant to say "inside" not "onside"

    • Sheila October 1, 2012 at 2:45 am

      Thanks for the reply, Jean! No, mine hasn't arrived yet. I just ordered it on Thursday and then it got shipped out Friday morning. It should be arriving tomorrow but then it's signature required so I'll have to pick it up over the weekend. I'm so impatient normally with mail, I don't know how I will be knowing that it's waiting for me at the post office…

    • Sheila October 1, 2012 at 2:50 am

      Sorry to butt in on your question to Jean, but I also recently bought the same model bag as Jean and to answer your question, yes the medium without strap is slightly bigger than the medium with strap, which accounts for the increase in price.

    • Danielle H. October 1, 2012 at 4:26 am

      Hi Jean,

      Since I read your blog so much, I wanted to know your thoughts on a specific designer bag that I just recently purchased. After your review on your Prada, I began to think why I never considered this an option when I was shopping for my first designer purse. Anyway, since I don't want to get carried away with another huge purchase, I wanted to know what you think about the Givenchy Pandora bag in large?

      Looking forward to hear from you!

    • Skylar Grey October 1, 2012 at 6:20 am

      Button available to close…

      New Fashion Fantasy

    • Susan October 1, 2012 at 6:39 am

      Thanks for your thorough review. ๐Ÿ™‚ The bag looks lovely.

      Quick question. What are the functions of the double zip compartments? I can't imagine putting anything more than a few (small) pieces of paper or tissues before the body of the bag gets lumpy or misshapen. And it looks to small to carry office documents unless folded.

      Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Tang October 1, 2012 at 9:39 am

      I have the Tory Burch Robinson zip wallet that's made with the same saffiano leather. I've had it for about 5 months now and love how the leather has held up!

    • lin October 1, 2012 at 9:50 am

      thanks for the thorough review. it's very helpful and informational. i'm going to bookmark this so when i finally do decide to purchase a prada bag, i'll know what to look for.

    • The Glitter Life October 1, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Love the shape of that bag! I have a TB version that's similar.

      We're kicking off October at The Glitter Life! http://the-glitter-life.com/2012/10/01/boo/

    • Ashley October 1, 2012 at 10:49 am

      Did you keep both or just one?

    • Dazzle October 1, 2012 at 10:57 am

      I have a Saffion Leather Prada bag in Black. Its small size with detachable strap. I ordered SAND color before, but it came in a very bad shape. The bag was dirty and it was just wrapped in a plastic bag (bad quality bag), no shoulder strap… I ordered from Neiman Marcus and the bag came with abill like ebay seller bills… weird! My tax was very less too…

      then I returned it back and bought one from NM store. I told them my issues with the earlier bag, So they sent home a clean, nice crisp amazing PRADA Black bag… ๐Ÿ™‚ The tax was waay too much when i purchased at store. Have not used much… Prefer lighter tone bags in summer.

      Michael kors makes a bag, that looks similar to this leather leather and I have a wallet from DKNY and Furula with same leather.

    • Lawgirl October 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Wow, not to be judge-y, but it's stunning how you'll fret over spending $40 polyester skirt from H&M;, and then drop ~$1800 on a bag. In my wildest dreams, I couldn't justify spending that amount on a purse, and I've been a decently successful corporate lawyer for 15+ years. I'm not a luxury goods purveyor, but I'd imagine that the target demographic for this kind of purse is a C-level exec, owns a nice home, has kids in private school, drives an Mercedes, and wears Chanel. I know it's unscientific, but those are precisely the type women I see in Neiman Marcus buying high-end clothes and accessories. I guess it's all about priorities…

    • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      Technically, Jean didn't just "drop" $1,800 on a bag. She took time to think about her purchase. Who are you to judge what people can or can not do with their hard earned money. She has a successful career herself, so don't go around thinking she's not part of that demographic.

    • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Lol Lawgirl, your comment reminds me of this article. http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/judgmental-money-spending/

    • CynthiaC October 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      I have the small double zip – I've been looking for a more classic black bag for a while, to replace another one that I've used for a few years. I like how it's relatively light weight compared to other bags I've seen in stores and the size isn't overwhelming (something that is difficult for petites to deal with). I could have gone with the medium sized bag, but felt that the shoulder strap made it a little overwhelming (which you can see in Jean's video – I'm a little bit taller than Jean).

    • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      Everyone spends their disposable income in different ways. As a decently successful corporate lawyer, I'm sure you have your fair share of such income, and I'd be curious to take a stroll through your home and see what things make me go "lawdy, I can't believe she spent her money on THAT!". To each her own…no need to judge.

    • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      It's all about how much value Jean gets out of her bag. Considering that this is a beautiful, well-made purse that she can use for work and play for years to come, I actually think it's a great buy. Sure, she can probably carry around her stuff in a $0.99 grocery bag, but it would be a sad, sad day if people stop valuing beauty and only look at function.

      Also, I believe the only requirement to buy a Saffiano is "adequate funds." I wasn't aware that you had to fill out an application or sign an affidavit saying you are a C-level exec with a nice home and a Mercedes before you can buy a handbag.

    Comments are closed.