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Thousands love this affordable yet stylish cellphone bag — including me

It's compact but can fit all your essentials.
Illustration of Katie Jackson wearing a crossbody cell phone bag
TODAY Illustration / Courtesy Katie Jackson
/ Source: TODAY

As long as they're not under my eyes, I'll always love bags. I used to think bigger was better. But after backpacking around Europe, I learned the advantages of traveling light or at least having a daypack.

I'm no longer backpacking. But as a travel writer, most days it doesn't make sense to haul around my beloved but bulky Marc Jacobs purse. So, recently I decided to invest in this bestselling $20 crossbody cellphone bag. Here's why I recommend it to anyone looking to downsize in the bag department.

It's not just me, thousands love it

Of all the smaller bags on Amazon, I chose this MyFriday Small Crossbody Cellphone Purse because it's cute and looks like it costs more than its price tag of $20. I also chose it for its 4.1-star average from more than 7,600 verified ratings. Most comparable bags with average ratings this high only have a few hundred reviews. Plus, it's ranked No. 1 on Amazon's list of bestsellers in women's crossbody handbags.

It's not the first crossbody bag I've owned. (For years I've used Fjallraven's $39 pocketbag, which deserves a cult-like following similar to that of the Kanken.) However, it's the first crossbody bag I've owned that looks professional enough to bring to a business meeting. At the same time, it doesn't look out of place when I wear it while cycling in my favorite leggings. Plus, it has some pretty unique features.

cycling with my crossbody cell phone bag
Katie Jackson / TODAY

It's touchscreen compatible and has an RFID blocker

This bag comes in 39 colors and two styles: vertical and horizontal. Many of them have transparent windows on the phone compartments, so they're touchscreen friendly. In other words, it's easy to make or take a call without having to dig your phone out of your bag. This bag fits most large smart phones from iPhone and Samsung. I have an iPhone XS and it fits well, even when it's in its case. I also appreciate that this bag is like this bestselling travel wallet in that it boasts radio frequency identification–blocking technology. Theoretically, thieves shouldn't be able to skim or steal information stored on credit cards in this bag.

It has the perfect number of pockets and slots

I used to think there was no such thing as having too many pockets. But then I bought a vest from Urban Outfitters that had so many pockets within pockets I was always forgetting where I put things. This bag only has three main compartments, all highly visible when you unzip the bag. There are just enough slots to fit my driver's license and the few cards I need. If there were more slots, I'd feel tempted to fill them with credit cards and loyalty cards, which I hardly ever use and definitely shouldn't be carrying around on a daily basis.

the crossbody cell phone bag holds more than it looks like it holds
Katie Jackson / TODAY

It's designed to be an accessory, not an albatross

I always wear this as a crossbody bag. But the shoulder strap is removable, so it can also double as a clutch. Either way, bringing it out with me never feels like a burden. With bigger bags, I find myself toting around everything but the kitchen sink. With this bag, I have just what I need and nothing more.

Plus, it helps me save money or, at the very least, think twice before each purchase. For starters, I can't carry as many credit cards or big wads of cash. More importantly, I can't hide any impulse buys. Basically, this bag paid for itself within the first month I owned it.

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