Cuyana Tall Structured Zipper Tote Review

Cuyana is known for making the perfect leather tote. Or should I say totes – because there are several styles of tote Cuyana makes and they’re all damn near flawless.

I’ve got whole blog posts and YouTube videos dedicated to my love of Cuyana’s Classic Structured Leather Tote, but frequently get requests to review the Tall Structured Zipper Tote as it’s slightly different than its Classic counterpart.

Trying to choose the best Cuyana leather tote? Look no further than the Tall Structured Zipper Tote in this blog post review.
Trying to choose the best Cuyana leather tote? Look no further than the Tall Structured Zipper Tote in this blog post review.

My thoughts and review of the Cuyana Tall Structured Leather Zipper Tote

The details & specs

Sustainability

First and foremost, I need to give Cuyana credit where credit is due – the brand does care about the sustainability of their products. They do not want to see poorly made bags end up in the landfill. With a brand motto of “fewer, better” – all Cuyana leather tote bags are build to last. They’re actually LWG Gold Certified, which is a testament to the sustainability of their leather (with a goal to produce leathers with the least environmental impact).

Cuyana also focuses on a capsule wardrobe style of design. You won’t find any fleeting trends in their designs. Fashion (fast fashion in particular) is such a huge culprit when it comes to waste. If you’re shopping Cuyana, you’re shopping for a piece you won’t have to toss out later this year because it “went out of style.”

In terms of sustainable leather bags, Cuyana is up there with the best of them.

Design

The design of the Tall Structured Zipper Tote should look familiar to all Cuyana leather tote lovers. Cuyana has a variety of tote options available and this zip version is just one of the many iterations.

The Tall Structured Zipper Tote is just that – tall and structured. This bag utilizes a heavyweight Italian pebbled leather to help form the structure of the bag. It’s also fully lined with a microsuede interior, helping further stabilize and add structure to the bag (it literally stands up on its own). This tote is made in a woman-owned factory in Turkey…which just rocks.

The Structured Zipper Tote utilizes a smooth zipper along the top to close the bag and keep it secure. This detail is a primary difference between the non zip version of this bag – and my other most used Cuyana tote (the Classic Structured Tote).

Inside the bag you’ll find that microsuede lining mentioned earlier, along with an interior laptop sleeve that fits up to a 16″ laptop. You won’t find this build-in sleeve in the Classic Structured Tote. In fact, I always recommend you purchase the Classic Structured Tote with the specific tote insert for it because it lacks organization that this Zipper Tote has build right in.

I wouldn’t classify the Tall Structured Zipper Tote as a small bag, but I also wouldn’t call it oversized. Given it’s tall, but thin shape, this tote has a sleek and large, but not overwhelming design. The bag measures in at 15.38″ high, 16″ wide, and 5.5″ deep. The handle drop is 9.75″ which is insanely roomy and comfortable – I can wear this tote with even my puffiest of winter coats.

This tote, like many a Cuyana leather tote, comes in a variety of colors from neutrals like black and blush to more seasonal varieties.

Price

The Tall Structured Zipper Tote rings in at $215.

What fits?

Well first and foremost…your laptop will fit in this bag! And comfortably so!

The Tall Structured Zipper Tote has plenty of space for most daily and work essentials, including your computer (all the way up to 16″). I’m typically able to fit my wallet, keys, notebook or planner, a little cosmetics case, laptop, and other essential items into this bag. The only thing I can’t really get into the tote would be lunch items – but I tend to have this problem with any work bag that isn’t a backpack. I usually just carry a lunchbox separately.

Trying to choose the best Cuyana leather tote? Look no further than the Tall Structured Zipper Tote in this blog post review.
Trying to choose the best Cuyana leather tote? Look no further than the Tall Structured Zipper Tote in this blog post review.

Pros

Fair pricing

Purchasing a Cuyana tote bag isn’t exactly a cheap purchase, but it also isn’t comparable to true designer “luxury” brand name pricing. Unlike a few of the other Cuyana bags which sort of “require” extra accessories to make them truly functional (like the Small Structured Tote that needs a crossbody strap to be purchased separately or even the Classic Structured Tote with its separate organizer). At $215, given the make, materials, sustainability, design, and all the features – I think the price of this bag is more than fair.

Security

I love how secure the Tall Structured Zipper Tote is because of the zip top. I love my blush and black Classic Structured Totes so much – but they don’t have the safety and security of a zip top. As someone who does (or used to pre-Covid) commute on public transport, I always appreciate a little extra security to deter pickpockets.

Cons

Lack of organization other than laptop sleeve

I’m going to be very honest – I had to really be nit-picky and stretch to find a con. BUT if I had to pick one con of this Cuyana leather tote it would really just be that it only has the one laptop sleeve and lacks the extra pockets and compartments that my Structured Totes have when I utilize the separate insert. The insert has a water bottle sleeve along with a bunch of other pockets, making it really handy and convenient. The Tall Structured Zipper Tote is more of an open space and an organizer doesn’t fit.

But do I care? Not really. It’s such a small little detail and I personally love having a laptop sleeve built right in.

Trying to choose the best Cuyana leather tote? Look no further than the Tall Structured Zipper Tote in this blog post review.

If I could only choose one – the Cuyana Classic Structured Leather Tote or Tall Structured Zipper Tote?

Am I allowed to say both? Lolz. It’s so hard to choose between two of my most favorite children. I just love a Cuyana leather tote SO much it’s hard to choose – but if I had to choose one, I might actually go with the Tall Structured Zipper Tote because of the built in laptop sleeve and extra security that comes with the top zip closure.

Where to buy Cuyana bags

I consider myself insanely lucky because I have a Cuyana store not too far from home! You can reference this page on the Cuyana website to find a store nearest to your address, or shop online. I’ve ordered online and the web customer service is BOMB. I highly recommend.

As you can clearly tell, I love a tote. If you’re looking for reviews on the Everlane Tote or Madewell Tote, I’ve actually written a whole other blog post comparing them to my Cuyana tote! I’ll leave that link for you here. I also have blog posts on several other Cuyana bags – you can find my other Cuyana posts here.

Tell me your favorite Cuyana bag in the comments down below!

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