Friday, October 10, 2014

Product Review: Boots and Barkley Skull and Crossbones Pet Tote

The Boots and Barkley Skull and Crossbones Pet Tote is a pet carrier designed to look like a messenger bag. It features a wide strap for comfortable carrying, multiple pockets for holding things other than tiny dogs, and a subtle design for stealthy dog-toting.
Photo by Erin Koski

This dog carrier is amazing, and probably out of production, though a few can be found online. I'm pretty sure it dates from the dog boutique fad of the late 90's/early 00's. Anyway, I found mine at a thrift store and if I designed a dog purse, this would be it. Ru still favors the Pet Flys Snuggle Bug because he is a total diva, but this one definitely my favorite.

I normally wear all black for a variety of reasons, including hiding stains and wanting to make some people vaguely uncomfortable. My hair is dyed bright fuchsia and the pink/black theme extends to my phone, keys, car interior, and various dog gear. Obviously this dog carrier was made just for me. It is predominantly black with a bright fuchsia trim and rainbow-colored zippers.
Photo by Erin Koski

A lot of dog purses have no storage built into them, which means I still have to carry an actual purse. Some generously provide a tiny, flat pocket, but most just seem to be designed with the assumption that I either don't carry a wallet, phone, keys, etc, or that I will stuff those things in there with my dog. This one has a nice big rainbow-zippered pocket on the flap, and a couple more on the side underneath.

Photo by Erin Koski
While it is intended to carry a small dog, this bag does not overtly scream "HEY THERE IS A DOG IN HERE!!!" like so many others. Ru isn't normally a fan of riding in purses, so the entire purpose off such an accessory is to sneak him into places where dogs are not welcome. I don't make this a habit or suggest anyone else do it, but once in a while on a road trip it is nice to be able to pee or get a drink without leaving my chihuahua to roast in the car. Brisbane doesn't fit in a bag, but he is also perfectly willing to devour would-be car thieves so I feel comfortable leaving the engine on and the air conditioning running when he's along for the ride. At a glance, the Boots and Barkley tote just looks like a messenger bag. It is rigid and has mesh in the back and on the sides, but is subtle enough that people don't seem to realize it is a pet carrier. Or maybe we're just all pretending I don't have a dog in there, I dunno. I'm really bad at people sometimes.

I am apparently a hipster of some sort because skulls lost a lot of their appeal for me when they got popular and began appearing on everything. They really compliment this bag though, there is a keychain on the zipper in front and another painted on the mesh in back. It's not flashy or overdone, and I like the skulls as an accent rather than slapped across the entire front of the thing.

Photo by Erin Koski
Pros: Punky/gothy/edgy style that fits me perfectly. Tasteful and understated design. Smaller than most dog purses, six-pound Ru is slightly cramped. Has actual pockets for actual non-dog stuff. Solid front flap and subtle design make this tote look more like a messenger bag than a pet carrier. Fabulous hot pink lining with skulls and unicorns is pretty much the best thing ever.

Cons: Not currently in production, and I have yet to find anything nearly as functional and fabulous. The wider side of the strap is kind of loud.

Bottom Line: Dog? What dog? This is just my super awesome skull unicorn bag.

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