A Bird and a Bag: The Bold Journey of Bartaile

The Bartaile Journey Bag converts from backpack to messenger to tote

The Bartaile Journey bag converts from backpack to messenger to tote.

Before I introduce Bartaile — a startup line of travel goods and accessories — let’s discuss the company’s namesake bird, the bar-tailed godwit. Scientists tracking the birds’ migratory path from their breeding grounds in Alaska to their winter homes in Australia and New Zealand discovered something incredible: The small birds make the 7,000-plus mile trip in just nine days — with zero stops to sleep or eat. It’s the longest nonstop flight recorded in the avian kingdom.

It’s a remarkable journey, and one that Bartaile founders Amina Belouizdad and Felicia Snyder see mirrored in the lives of women on the go. Jetsetters themselves (between them they’ve lived in 12 cities on three continents in the past six years), the friends share a passion for travel and a frustration with uncomfortable, impractical, and unappealing suitcases and bags.

When the duo was reunited at The Wharton School (they first met at McGill University), they transformed those frustrations into the Bartaile brand. Enlisting fashion pros and industrial designer Taylor Welden, their line of stylish, functional bags and accessories was born.

Their signature bag, the Journey, launches this fall. (Pre-orders are being taken now.) With classic style and functional versatility, it seamlessly transforms from a comfortable backpack into a more polished tote or messenger bag. Available in water-repellant canvas, Nappa leather, and limited-edition Timo Weiland leather and wool-silk prints (I’m personally obsessed with his Drip Stripes), the Journey’s practical interiors include a padded laptop sleeve, a micro-fleece glasses pouch, key ring, and charger compartment. And since 5 percent of every sale goes to Bartaile’s 7,000 Mile Fund, a charity that supports Teach for America, you can feel good about looking good.

Timo Weiland Drip Stripes Journey Bag

The bag is available in limited-edition Timo Weiland designs, like Drip Stripes, above.

The Journey Bag in Heathered Grey Canvas

Functional, stylish, and practical, the Journey bag comes in leather or water-repellent canvas, as shown above.

Images courtesy of Bartaile.

Natalie is fresh off a 16-month romp around the world. She has trekked mountains from Machu Picchu to the Himalayas, studied Jamón Iberico in Spain, rallied with protesters in Istanbul and Bangkok, and skinny-dipped in most of the world’s oceans. She and her fiancé, Cliff, document their food and travel adventures at Pasture Braised and their Instagram feed. They live in the Bay Area with their pit bull, Gigi.


  • Reply June 25, 2014

    jaime @laviejaime

    So cool…chic and functional.

  • Reply July 9, 2015

    Bag Buyer


  • Reply July 9, 2015


    Same here. Bot then never got

  • Reply October 28, 2015


    Where the FUCC are our bags? This is a straight ponzu sauce scheme! Amina keep your word or we’ll tell the world. I mean really.

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