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:

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.

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  1. lala wrote:

    is that price in singapore dollar or usd?

    Posted 6.2.13 Reply
  2. I own a saffiano lux cammeo with strap and its been 1 year already. I can say that it was a good investment and you will never go wrong to match it either with casual or formal wear. you can keep many things inside as it has many compartment and also will never go mess and never gonna have trouble finding your stuffs due to its large opening. however, it can contribute you a lil weight if you put too many stuffs. I store my prada with the dust bag provided and stuffs it with bubble wrap to keep the shape. To those who are still in doubt I strongly encourage that just go for it. You will never regret =)

    Posted 5.10.13 Reply
  3. Angela wrote:

    I use the Michael kors rain and stain repellent. it is 9.99 online with free shipping. just spray it lightly all over and let it set for about 24hours. repeat this once a month or every couple months as you see fit.

    Posted 5.3.13 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    I love my saffiano doble zip black mag, large strapless. I got it with auth and cae cards in the dust bag for 800sgd! I think the seller was male who just had a divorce and didnt know the worth of what he was sellig.. he even shipped it in plastic, i almost cried! But it regain its form and i love every inch of it

    Posted 4.7.13 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    I have been eyeing the Kors Selma saffiano satchel as a more every-day addition to the Prada.;=cat000000cat8501cat8520&isEditorial;=false

    Do you have thoughts on the comparison of quality, etc.?

    Posted 3.7.13 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    I've noticed DKNY and Furla is mimicing structure of Prada bags for this season :

    DKNY Saffiano Large Work Shopper, price $483.00–large-work-shopper

    Furla Urban Tote 498.00 $

    If you don't want to spend over $1000 for a bag those are good options.

    Posted 2.14.13 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    I have the same one as well and also in caramel! Anyway my problem with it is that the front panel of leather is also quite wrinkled. I compared it with my two friends' who have a cornflower blue and a purple one respectively (so darker colours) and theirs hold up really well. The leather on theirs just looks stiffer and are better quality in general. So the front of my bag just looks bumpy with or without things in the bag, could this be classified as a fault?

    Also how do you care for your bag when you don't use it? Do you put stuffing in the bag to keep it's shape or use a dustbag etc ?

    Posted 1.27.13 Reply
  8. Very useful video I enjoy watching you very much. I own a same Prada purse as well, But I dont use it quite often because everytime I use it (If I carry it as a purse its perfect fine but when I put the shoulder strap on those two buttons always keep open.Its very annoy, Is it happen to you too? Or its just my purse?

    Posted 1.19.13 Reply
  9. Love this review…. I'm a HUGE Prada fan…..

    I have to ask…. Who is the maker of the dress in the photo of you…
    It looks like it is black and white stripped??
    or navy and white stripes????

    I am seriously in love with that dress, can you share some info on this…

    Thank you.

    Posted 1.18.13 Reply
  10. Nancy wrote:

    Hi Jean
    I am falling in love with your posts. Well at the same time loved this handbag and it is sold out in caramel all over USA. No luck at ebay either. Other color close to above is "Cammeo". For Caramel Prada SP said "NO" , they may not get it any more, they have in a bigger size (bigger medium) but then it does not have strap..:(.
    I was not a big fan of Prada before, but your review of this handbag is so nice, making me buy this. Any suggestions which other color. My main concern was to buy this for my work. Any help with color choice please !!!!

    Posted 1.6.13 Reply
  11. Nancy wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 1.6.13 Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    I have the medium double zip with strap in black. I spilt coffee on it a couple of weeks ago and immediately cleaned it with warm water which seemed to work at the time but have noticed the stain come back over the last couple of days. I'm not game to use an alcohol wipe. Does anyone else have any cleaning suggestions? Also when I purchase mine from a Prada store I had the voice between the standard black and the 'shiny' black as the sales assistants referred to it. I went with the standard black as the shiny black one seemed to be wrinkled like Jean mentioned above so make sure you choose carefully! I do love my bag very very much.

    Posted 1.1.13 Reply
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    Great choices. I have BN 2274 in Nero (black), BN 1801 in Bruyere and Cameo. I am still rethinking about the cameo. Is it really a classic? I am wondering because the color is somewhere in between beidge, pink, gray, light purple all mix in one. Any suggestions?

    Posted 12.7.12 Reply
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    The DKNY Saffiano Tote is another cheaper alternative to Tory Burch. Retails at Macy's at full price of $374.

    Posted 11.26.12 Reply
  15. Anonymous wrote:

    I just bought a Michael Kors bag in Saffiano leather. I am a germ freak and cleaned it with Clorox disinfectant wipes immediately after buying. (the sales associate wiped it with toilet paper to get stains off from packaging) and it DID NOT ruin the leather or color. Looks and feels the same. Thought I would let anyone know who wants to clean their bag.

    Posted 11.25.12 Reply
  16. I Am Alexa wrote:

    Hi, Jean!

    I just recently purchased my first designer bag, the Prada Saffiano Lux bag BL0823 from the Prada Store in Venice. I initially thought of getting it in black or camel but selected the military green version in the end because it's such a great alternative to black and it's Autumn/ Winter 2012's IT color. I'm a petite girl as well so I chose the medium sized one. I'm really pleased about getting this because I absolutely love its classic design and the Saffiano leather. 🙂

    Here's the blog post that I made on the bag:

    Posted 11.25.12 Reply
  17. Ran wrote:

    The Marc Jacobs Whitney satchel is quite similar. The shoulder strap can be detached but I don't think it's meant to be.;=1354447271&cagpspn;=pla&site;_refer=GGLPRADS001

    Posted 11.4.12 Reply
  18. Anonymous wrote:

    Reading Lawgirls comments makes me suspect that her issue with Jean isn't about the quality of a product dictating a purchase. I believe the real issue is that Lawgirl wishes she could make the same kinds of purchases, bag-wise, as Jean but can't justify the expense, which she stated. But in doing so, she feels CRAPPY because she really wants one of her own. And what can you expect from someone who can't get what she wants? Answer: Cry-baby behavior. Typical, very childlike. If I can't have it, neither should you, unless you are of the targeted demographic. Being older doesn't always make you wiser!

    Posted 11.2.12 Reply
  19. Anonymous wrote:

    To "Bravo To Lawgirl": Yes, it's nice when a blog provides a forum for many different opinions. However, the comments section of a blog shouldn't be used to dole out inane judgments about other's shopping habits. It's one thing to offer constructive criticism but chastising someone for actually being smart about all their purchases whether big or small is another thing entirely. By the way, not all of Jean's readers are of the younger set, myself included. Jean shows us with her blog that you can be a smart shopper at any age.

    -A 30-something fan of Jean's blog

    Posted 11.1.12 Reply
  20. Libbeh wrote:

    I concur. TB quality doesn't even compare to anywhere near Prada, and even at that price point, I consider it a huge rip-off considering that there are cheaper alternatives. I was very disappointed when I ordered the Robinson tote and matching wallet, and saw the uneven stitching on the tote. I ordered mine directly from TB, so I ate the $7 return shipping price since there were no TB retail stores in my area.

    Lesson learned – don't settle for less. Save up if you have high expectations.

    Posted 10.31.12 Reply
  21. Unknown wrote:

    Hello gorgeous, may I know what is the model number please for your caramel medium tote, BN….? I am so confused with the model number there are so many. And the one you showing here is an exactly the size I really wanted to get it. Thank you for sharing and love to hear from you! cheers, Best , Jane

    Posted 10.31.12 Reply
  22. Hi Jean:

    After much deliberation I also purchased Prada BN2274 from Saks (apparently it is Saks #1 selling bag according to the SA and that in of itself says a lot).

    I purchased mine in the Cameo color (blush pink) and do worry that it will get dirty as the color is light. Especially with the price point, sometimes I'm nervous to carry it around so if anyone has any good tips on how to keep the bag clean (i.e. with what protectors/sprays that would be helpful)

    I love the utility of the double zippers for putting important items like passports and wallets and the open middle for everyday items like make up bag and scarf for a windy day (here in SF).

    I hear what everyone is saying about the quality especially for the price. I did notice a few very slight minor defects on the bag. I do know the bag has a one year warranty so for those who just bought it, maybe use it often so if there are any hardware issues they can be brought up before the warranty =) I should practice what I preach.

    Posted 10.15.12 Reply
  23. You guys, this is clearly not Michael Kors’ first time at the rodeo, even if it was his first time on safari. Kors used a recent trip to a luxurious South African resort in the middle of a nature reserve to power the Michael Kors Spring 2012 show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York, and if you’re having a hard time seeing the theme in these photos, then you might want to get your eyes checked.michael kors coffee monogram logo satchel

    Posted 10.14.12 Reply
  24. Anonymous wrote:

    The Robinson collection (and the whole Tory Burch site) is 25% off on Tory this week with the code TBFRIENDS. FYI, Nordstrom honored the discount, I had just ordered the double-zip Robinson online over the weekend…it shipped today after I saw the TB discount and IM'd Nordstrom requesting to cancel the order…they couldn't cancel the order since it had already shipped out but were happy to refund 25% back onto my credit card.

    With the 25% off it took $143.75 off of the original price and brought the price down to $431.25 instead of $575 + @ $50 tax for a total of $625.

    Posted 10.8.12 Reply
  25. RnRMom wrote:

    the back zipper can hold my Prada wallet and sunglasses with extr room to spare. I use the front pocket for papers and my iPad. tons of room in the medium with shoulder strap for all of that.

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  26. RnRMom wrote:

    It was pouring cats and dogs one day when I was leaving a shop. I went back and asked for a large plastic shopping bag then put my bag in it to protect it until I got to the car. I would think that the rain would leave water spots on the leather.

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  27. Furla Practica Large Tote

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  28. the robinson collection from tory burch looks so great in pictures. even in person, without closer inspection, looks great. however the quality really isn't there at all. i bought the bag and a matching wallet from neiman marcus and ended up returning both due to poor quality. the leather was uneven, stitching wasn't lined up, ripples and wrinkles especially at seams and edges… the list goes on. since i didn't use either item i can't say if the embossed saffiano texture would fade like other readers have mentioned.

    great review on the prada bags! i see them all the time and have considered it for a new work bag.

    Posted 10.6.12 Reply
  29. Vivian wrote:

    Lucky that Prada allowed you to take a picture with the bag, I went to Prada to check out and maybe invest in one too, because I remember you mentioning taking pictures really help, but the saleslady didn't allow me… Weird. But that's a great bag!

    Posted 10.5.12 Reply
  30. Anonymous wrote:

    It was dry today. Alas, still no Pradas. But one YSL with metal Y on the side really nice, looks like a briefcase. And MANY Longchamps, lost count! (very practical I guess, see also Jean's review of them to navigate among variety of styles)

    Posted 10.4.12 Reply
  31. ooooh this TB one is a good alternative. good pick.

    Posted 10.3.12 Reply
  32. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi! Can you put the name of this Furla bag? I went to their website and couldn't find anything similar to Jean's Prada bag…

    Posted 10.3.12 Reply
  33. Anonymous wrote:

    Bravo to Lawgirl; you took all those snarky comments with so much class! Everyone has their own opinions… and when one has a blog that allows commenting, they need to take the negatives (to a degree) as well as the positives; the downside of going public with yourself.

    One can only hope that many of the young'uns here can mature as well as you 🙂

    Posted 10.3.12 Reply
  34. Wow, the convos that happen right in the comment section. Awesome! Great purchase and I really like that you take much time to research and mull over big purchases like these. Recently, I was considering buying a $25 polyester satchel but then decided if I really found it functional for my life and could see myself loving for a while, why not take the plunge and buy more leather! I'll definitely check out PurseForum before I buy!

    Posted 10.3.12 Reply
  35. Anonymous wrote:

    Great review!! Can I ask what colour & brand red nail polish and lipstick you're wearing in the video? Love both! Thanks so much!

    Posted 10.3.12 Reply
  36. Anonymous wrote:

    …or Furla! (per Kat, below)

    Posted 10.3.12 Reply
  37. Anonymous wrote:

    When it is dry, keep an eye out for Kooba too!

    Posted 10.3.12 Reply
  38. Anonymous wrote:

    Lawgirl: Thanks for being so calm and reasonable. Please don't think I was calling you judgmental; I was actually referring to myself. I do tend to be judgmental when I see college girls my age (21) carrying a Louis Vuitton purse. I'm prone to think, "I can't believe her parents blew that much money on a bag for their little princess." I'm not proud of entertaining those thoughts because they are rude, assuming and stereotypical. But I am only human after all.

    The reason I personally don't care for high-end brands, other than the fact that I'm stingy, is that I've come to associate some of them with political corruption. There have been several cases in China where the mistresses of high-ranking politicians were busted with a huge collection of Hermes handbags that were purchased with bribe money. I think by pricing items so high, some fashion designers have turned their artistic creations into little more than status symbols, which is unfortunate.

    (I'd like to say more on the subject, but I'd rather not. I don't believe that anonymity on the internet grants me the privilege to say things that I wouldn't say to Jean's face in real life. I do think this Prada purse is lovely, and I think it's great that she thought about it long and hard before she pulled the trigger on it. I'm a little younger than she is, and I hope that one day I'll get to be in a similar position where I can afford to splurge a bit on things that I like.)

    Posted 10.2.12 Reply
  39. Lawgirl wrote:

    Yes, @anonymous, no argument from me; you make good points about your camera vs. Jean's bag. I'm rightly chastised for being judgmental. I continue to see these bags as badges of the ridiculously affluent, and the market is much broader than that, and includes non-rich, aspirational buyers.

    Posted 10.2.12 Reply
  40. Kat wrote:

    If anyone is looking for a bag that is very similar to the Prada Saffiano tote above but at a much lower price tag, I recommend the Furla version. I was at Nordstrom Rack and they had a shelf full of the Furla version, which is pretty much identical (got it because it also has the Saffiano leather texture) except for the Prada logo. It has the snaps on the side and the handles are made the same way as the Prada one (not the Tory Burch one where its one handle attached to material on the bag, that is then attached to the bag). I got it for $180. The base is wider than Prada. I take it to work and it's been great. It holds its shape, holds all my papers, everything I need for a day at work without looking too "large".

    It's great for work, for casual outings that can hold quite an amount if needed to, and very classy at a great price.

    Just wanted to note that when I took it on a trip and went to the Prada store, the sales associate asked me who made the bag because it's very well made. I've noticed that the quality of Prada seems to have improve from years and years ago. The design of the bag is very practical and the leather can take a lot from everyday use.

    My Saffiano Ferragamo wallet has been with me for 10 years and it's still doing great! You can probably tell that I highly recommend saffiano leather, regardless of brand.

    Posted 10.2.12 Reply
  41. Anonymous wrote:

    To lawgirl: I agree with you in that I would never spend this much money on a purse (my upper limit for any fashion item is $100), and I, like you, may never understand why others will choose to spend that much money on a single item. However, I recently had a revelation where I took a look at myself and said, "have I spent my money on anything that others might find incomprehensible?" And I have. I spent $600 on a camera, and I'm planning to spend $1000 on an even better camera maybe 5 years down the road. I also love to travel, so that's a ton of money I've spent on plane fare, train fare, exhibit tickets, etc. When I look at it that way, I tend to stop making judgments about what people choose to spend their money on.

    Posted 10.2.12 Reply
  42. Anonymous wrote:

    "Everyone and their mom and grandma has a size or version of this Prada bag."

    I was looking around on the train and while walking from station this morning. No Prada bags spotted. I wish I had one with me, it would definitely not blend in. But wait … may it was just because it was raining! Hopefully tomorrow, if it is dry, they will all bring out their Pradas for me to see.

    Posted 10.2.12 Reply
  43. love the open tote, the color is so cute…


    Posted 10.2.12 Reply
  44. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi! Thank you so much for the review. I am considering about buying Prada bag and your reveiw is really helpful.
    But I wonder what is the code of caramel bag in top picture. Is it BN2274 or BN1801? Because I am 5 feet and think that the size of caramel bag would be perfect for my height.
    By the way, what on your thought about durability of Prada bag compared with Louis Vuitton bag? (Because I am considering Brea MM from LV as an alternative)
    Thank you so much!

    Posted 10.2.12 Reply
  45. Anonymous wrote:

    "And potential for everyday abuse is not an excuse to avoid stylish objects."

    I thought Cole Haan, Kooba, Minkoff were stylish.

    "Life is too short to blend in."

    Everyone and their mom and grandma has a size or version of this Prada bag.

    Posted 10.2.12 Reply
  46. Rachel wrote:

    Hi Jean, I've been following your blog for a while now, but this is my first comment! I bought my Saffiano bag in Paris when I was in Europe this June. Love love love my bag. I went to the store 3 times before committing to the purchase, so understand how you thought about it for so long. I bought the bag one size up from yours in the grey colour with no strap. It's the perfect work bag for me, as I often have to take documents home to read, and it fits my A4 documents perfectly, plus all my other work necessities. As I was new to buying 'designer bags', I didn't think to check my bag when the SA brought a new bag out from the store room, thinking it should be OK. When I was at the airport doing my tax refund, I realised there was a dent on my bag! Oh no, but I was already at the airport. Spent the whole trip home worrying about the dent! (I live in Sydney, Australia which means a long long plane journey home). Luckily, I was able to exchange my Prada bag at the Sydney store. The SA agreed the dent was rather obvious so exchanged it with minimum fuss. So despite how exxy these bags are, there can be imperfections. I still love my bag though!

    Posted 10.2.12 Reply
  47. Rachel wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 10.2.12 Reply
  48. zara's "office city bag" is a knockoff of this bag, i just realized. i purchased it online for around $89 and it has a similar crosshatching to the saffiano leather, but it is PU. in addition to the 2 zippered compartments, there's a padded pocket for an iPad as well as one for a large laptop. love the extra compartments. it's my every day work bag 🙂

    Posted 10.2.12 Reply
  49. Anonymous wrote:

    ^ Love this comment!

    Posted 10.1.12 Reply
  50. Anonymous wrote:

    Now, Lawgirl, that last one about quality and value difference I agree and can deeply relate to. I can also understand why Jean bought the purse, this is called "aspirational buyer" in marketing lingo. I shop at NM contrary to your description of their demographics, but I do it mainly when they have sales, not at full price. You can even find a sales lady there who will be very helpful and keep things for you at pre-sales, even if you never buy from her full price, you just need to know how to find that type who are not snooty about it (typically older and wiser looking). And I would rather buy a cute Chanel piece on sale [which is still awfully expensive even after 40% off] or a Ferragamo bag, than load up on cheaper things. And potential for everyday abuse is not an excuse to avoid stylish objects, life is too short to blend in! Just be careful with what you got and if accidentally spoiled something, look at it as an opportunity to go hunting again for a replacement 🙂

    Truly Yours, 41yo professional, 2 kids, one in college, mortgage, only non-luxury Asian cars in the household, and no C-level execs in the family.

    Posted 10.1.12 Reply

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