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===The Product=== Kipling Delphin shoulder/cross body bag. Part of their Basic range. Comes with furry monkey keyring. Shoulder or cross body bag. Make of nylon and with a grey feather print lining. Flap from fastens with Velcro. Under flat are two open pockets and a zipped central pocket. To the rear of bag is another zipped pocket. ===Cost=== full price on Amazon is £55. Non lacquer plain nylon ones are.£48. ===Other Varieties=== Delphin ST - metal money and logo - some with special piping. Delphin BW has furry trim around edges. ===Size=== Bag is 9.5 x 7 and 2 inches deep. Adjustable strap 0.75 inches wide and up to 55 inches long. Back zipped pocket is 4 x 7.5 inches. Front slip pocket under flap is 4 x 9 inches. ===My Opinion=== This is a sleek and compact little bag from Kipling - the Belgium luggage and handbag company which now sells worldwide. This bag was purchased in Lacquer Black which means the lightweight nylon is coated - not quite to patent finish but it definitely does have a shiny layer which is slightly glossy. The Delphin is a streamlined bag and is available in many colours. Purchasing in Lacquer Black I think makes it look that much smarter and as it does not have extra patch pockets like some of the other Kipling bags it looks sleek and dressier. The only thing on the front is a 1.5 inch round rubber Kipling logo sewn on but this is quite unobtrusive. Everyone needs a decent black bag for various occasions but for general use I do not tend to use black, but I always have a black leather bag in the wardrobe ready for a smart occasion or a funeral. I noticed I needed a new black bag when I had to attend a service a while ago - I was using a leather bag and after using Kipling bags I did not enjoy using this other bag at all. I therefore decided to buy this Delphin as it is small enough to look smart but just large enough to carry my essentials. It did take everything I carry on a daily basis but with not much more room so if you buy a smallish bag you need to be disciplined with what you carry. I can get my Blue Badge, pad, pen, fold up shopper, small purse, phone, camera, glasses 4head stick and some lipstick and perfume, as well as hand wipes so not a bad size at all. I like the fact that, although it has the usual webbing strap it is quite thin and slim which makes it look smarter. The front is a flap over and fastens with Velcro. As you would expect from Kipling the Velcro is of superior quality and the part stitched onto the bag is larger than the piece fastened to the flap - so it can be adjusted according to how much you are carrying in the bag. The underside of the flap is the same Lacquer finish and inside there is a front and back slip pocket and one zipped main section in the centre. The main part has two slip pockets and one for a pen, a small back zip pocket and the attached key fob. To the rear of the bag is another zipped pocket - so although streamlined outside it still has the multitude of pockets that Kipling bags are famous for. The Lacquer fabric is water resistant and can easily be wiped down. The lining is called the feather print which is in shades of light grey. Not a fashion bag as such but a great timeless classic that will never date - sleek and lightweight - the only weight you will be carrying is what you put inside it. The zips,as with all Kipling bags are remarkably robust ad strong and have little round rubber pulls - the Velcro on the flap is also good and strong and as the whole bag is covered with the flap you do not even have to zip up the main section if you do not want to. ===Star Rating=== 4 stars. Expensive at full price. ===Would I Recommend?=== Yes. ===Website=== www.kipling.com
~ * ~ Kipling Himi Cross Body Bag ~ * ~ Kipling is a brand I first found around five years ago. I was watching one of the shopping channels and was intrigued by all of their designs and colours. Seeing all the handbags 'virtually' fly off the shelf, I had to find out more. Having owned several of this brand's handbags since that day, this review discusses one of my latest purchases, the Delphin small shoulder bag in Royal Red (as shown above). ~ * ~ About Kipling ~ * ~ Kipling was established Antwerp in 1987, and have gone from strength to strength; doubling their sales in just the last five years alone. Their motto is 'fashion is too important to be taken seriously' and as such everything is designed with not only function and versatility at its core, but also fun and a touch of Belgian quirkiness. It's a simple as that! ~ * ~ Where To Purchase ~ * ~ Kipling has more than 215 stores in 67 countries worldwide, but rather annoyingly, for me at least, is that there is only one based in the UK. This makes it rather tricky for most of us to get to, but thankfully I can get my Kipling fix relatively easily by shopping online at www.kipling.co.uk, or with a range of other retailers. My favourite stockist is Amazon, as they have a huge range, good prices and excellent promotions. Therefore I was able to purchase my Delphin, R.R.P £48 in a plain colour (or £55 in a print) for the much lower price of £23.03. Always on the lookout for a bargain, this was an opportunity too good to miss. ~ * ~ What Is It Made From? ~ * ~ I must first talk about the construction of this bag before I go any further as I feel it's what will put some people off. It's made from Polyamide, a form of nylon. While some people might think of this is strange, it makes for a very light handbag, one that's easily cleaned, and gives it the ability to come in a huge range of colours, and at a very low price. Kipling recommend that they are wipe clean only, but being manufactured from this fabric has some benefits; they seem to repel dirt and moisture. The nylon exterior gives it a kind of sheen, and while it doesn't across as shiny, this does make it easy to wipe or wash and it dries in extremely rapidly. The inside is fully lined too, from polyester this time, so this is wipe clean too, should you spill anything inside. ~ * ~ Size Isn't Everything ~ * ~ Delphin is a small shoulder bag, and perfectly suits my petite proportions. If I use a handbag much larger than this I tend to feel drowned in comparison and it swamps me. I prefer a smaller handbag anyway; otherwise I tend to carry too much junk, necessities at the time, but far too much. Delphin is tardis-like inside as all Kipling's are, but having a smaller bag makes me limit the things I 'need' to put in there. The dimensions are 23 cm's L x 15.5 H x 5 W and it holds a capacity of three litres (so the website informs me). This means it can hold three times the amount as the Himi that I reviewed recently, so overall a much larger bag, but still relatively small compared to others. Three litres means nothing to me though, so I will try and give you some sort of 'visual' representation. ~ * ~ Colourful Kiplings ~ * ~ The colour of my bag is classed as royal red; and I won't list the others, simply because there's too many. Counting the options available today (13/6/13) there are 17 different versions of this bag available on Amazon, with 16 colours and one print, and only Kipling there are 12, some of which aren't on Amazon, so do check out all the versions to see which one you prefer. The photo shown above is the exact colour that I own, royal red. While I wouldn't say it's a particularly red colour, more of a wine, with a hint of burgundy, I can't see what's royal about it. Royal blue and royal purples are deep intense colours to my mind, but this shade can't seem to make its mind up what colour it wants to be. In some lights, it's a deep fuchsia pink, morphing through wine, and burgundy as mentioned. There's definitely no hint of red in there, so that's something to take notice of, otherwise you might be disappointed. The Delphin has more storage features than the Himi I recently reviewed, due it being a larger size, so I will list these as I talk you around it. The main bag section is a traditional East to West rectangular style; it fastened with a zip, and features a front flap to make it more feel secure. The zip material is self-coloured but the teeth are silver to pick up the colour of the lining inside. The teeth aren't metal, but are a tough plastic; despite this, they have never once faltered, and always run smoothly across. The zip pull features the Kipling logo, but it's done in a textured rubberised material and it's slightly larger size to ordinary zip pulls, meaning it's fine for use for people with dexterity problems. I myself have arthritic fingers and I can utilise this really well. To the front of the bag (under the flap) is an open section that runs the whole length of the bag. It's lined in the same pale grey lining fabric so it complements the interior, but it's done deep enough that should this pocket be pulled open, you wouldn't necessarily notice the lining. I like little touches like this. This pocket being flat, and the size it is, would make it perfect for travelling and ideal for keeping your passport and boarding passes handy, but they'd be hidden from sight and secure behind the front flap. This is fastened by the most secure Velcro imaginable; over time cheap Velcro picks up dirt and fluff etc and becomes unusable, but the 'magnetism' for want of a better expression, never falters with this, and despite my initial doubts to its usability in 'action', I really quite like having it. It just makes fastening the flap easy, without having to fiddle with magnetic closures. The front of the bag is decorated with the familiar Kipling logo with the star in the centre. This is about one and a half inches in diameter and stitched really securely. In fact, all the stitching on this bag is faultless. It's superbly finished, and where needed for strength there are two rows for security - not that it needs it. The place where this is most noticeable is at the sides where the strap is attached. The 142 cm strap is self-coloured on this one, rather than being patterned like my Himi. It's 2cm width means it's quite narrow, but due to the material it's made from (presumably nylon too) its soft and wouldn't cut into necks or shoulders whichever way you choose to wear it. The longer strap on this one gives me versatility, but I mainly use this as a shoulder bag, by altering the metal adjuster, this can be made as long or as short as I need, so would be perfect for a shortie like me, or the tallest of people too. On the reverse of the bag there is yet another concealed pocket. This one is zipped, so perhaps it would be more preferable to put passports and boarding passes here thinking about it, so they are even more secure being right against your body. Again, it's a nice rubbery textured zip pull. Back now to the inside of the bag; I'm sorry if I'm taking you all over the place, there's too much to talk about. :) There is another section that's not zipped, but being under the flap, it still feels quite secure, I tend to stuff till receipts and shopping vouchers here, so they are out of the way, but still handy when I want to use a voucher at the till or find the receipt to take something back; without having to rummage through the main bag. Inside there is a third zipped pocket, in which you could fit a small purse or make up. There is a mobile phone pocket and two slots for either pens, or mascara and lip gloss, the choice is yours, and that completes the tour of the interior and exterior. ~ * ~ Monkey Magic ~ * ~ Kipling is renowned for having orang-utans as their symbol and most bags feature them in some form or another. Most of the bags I own have a fluffy monkey with a name. These can be kept on the bag, or used as key-rings. I think I've mentioned before that my youngest daughter aged just five at the time, could spot a Kipling bag at 100 metres and often before I did; simply from the 'monkey' swinging from the bag. Each monkey comes with a name of someone who works at Kipling, I think this is nice touch; but being global brand, this does lead to some rather strange names though. On my Delphin the name is Carolina, but different colours 'usually' have different named monkeys. I think it would be difficult to choose a handbag but my selecting the monkey name, say perhaps if I was on the lookout for a Julie, my name, as they aren't listed next to the bags online. If you wanted a particular monkey name I recommend looking on eBay and seeing if you could find one, or watching the QVC presentations, where whilst trying to sell you the bag, they always inform you of the monkey name. You never know you may strike it lucky. ~ * ~ My Thoughts ~ * ~ I love the Kipling bags for their fashion forward sense of style and colour as much as anything, but being fashionable, you'll find that the colours that are fashionable today are done in such a tone, that you wouldn't be ashamed to use it five years from now. They are 'on trend' but not in your face 'full on' fashion. Kipling comes up with a range of prints and finishes too, such as a wet look/patent, but I prefer the solid colours; they may be a bold 'chunk' of colour but they certainly aren't 'plain'. Their sales have doubled in the last five years, and it's been five years since I discovered them - I wonder why that could be? :o) ~ * ~ In Summary ~ * ~ I've always found that Kipling bags are manufactured of the highest quality, are light weight and versatile, and Delphin is no exception to that rule. It's bold and happy colour brightens up the dullest day, and with weather like we've been having lately we all need a bit of that. I love it and I can whole heartedly recommend it to you. Therefore I can only conceivably award my Delphin bag, and Kipling, the full five stars.