Messenger bags: praises and criticisms



framism

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Apr 24, 2006
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What's people's opinions on messenger bags they use or have used in the past? I'm not totally satisfied with what I have for different reasons, so want to hear people's thoughts.

I have a Chrome Citizen that is spacious, comfy and could probably be used as body armour. What I absolutely HATE about it, however, is a) how much I have to shorten the strap to have it fit and b) how the damn thing sits on my back. It just don't feel right. I'd love to be able to explain that better, but I'm just not sure how to!

For scooting around town with little need for large cargo space, I use a Manhattan Portage DJ Shoulder Bag that I scored off my little brother. It fits a script, notebook, a few graphic novels and a D-lock in the main compartment; personal effects in the front zipper compartment and not much else. Issues with this one: a) haven't tested it in the rain, but I suspect it's only showerproof and b) without a stabiliser strap, I find the damn thing slipping around at most inopportune times - like when I'm hooting down a hill in a crowded urban area and need my attention on avoiding peds!

peace

framism
 

ROBIN9

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Mar 31, 2006
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Yeh,

I have tried a few. I commute to work every day and the best for comfort I have found is the specialised Courier bag. It has a second stabalising strap to keep it where it should be, it's a simple design and does not have loads of compartments, but it has a cushioned bit for a notebook and a bid compatment.

It often rains in the UK as you probably know and it copes with 40 minutes wet commute no problems.

Robin
 

framism

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Apr 24, 2006
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ROBIN9 said:
Yeh,

I have tried a few. I commute to work every day and the best for comfort I have found is the specialised Courier bag.

What is the "specialised Courier bag"? Are you talking about Specialized? I failed to find it on their website if this is the case.

framism
 

ROBIN9

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Mar 31, 2006
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I can's see it on the web site either. I got mine from by LBS around 2 years ago. Either its discontinued or they dont have their entire range on the website... I would give 'em a call an check if its still available and see if they can email you details.
 

framism

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Apr 24, 2006
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No worries. There's a bounty of bag makers out there, probably simpler to give them a go!
 

atarinaper

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Apr 26, 2006
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I have the patagonia vertical mass bag at the moment, which apparently has been discontinued. I like it alot, but my only complaint is the lack of waist strap and room. Its great for short rides to the store or around town, but not for serious riding for the day.

I will say that the build of the bag is awsome and would not buy any other bag now that I've used a patagonia one.

I will be buying the half mass bag which is a little bigger and has the features im looking for.

which looks like this:
48271_207.fpx


and here is a link to their websites:
http://www.patagonia.com/za/PDC/Pgonia/store/shop.jsp?cgrfnbr=500994&merchant_rn=7385
 

parawolf

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Jan 16, 2006
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framism said:
No worries. There's a bounty of bag makers out there, probably simpler to give them a go!
I've got a Crumpler "Very Busy Man" messenger bag and I love it.
 

F.G.

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Apr 24, 2006
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I recieved my chrome kremlin today, and I can;t imagine what problem you could possible have with the back position, mine is extreemly comfy. I was wondering if you knew anything about the secret pocket, such as where it is?

Oh yes and I used to use a karrimor messenger bag, which was quite good, it had a stabilizer strap accross the waist, which meant that you could manouvre the bag around to the front without undoing it. although that was fairly small (for a messenger bag, so more than adequate for most other uses), wasn't that waterproof (again, for amessenger bag), and didn't have any padding on the shoulder strap. But in general it was pretty good, so for domestic uses they may do some good ones!

yrs, F.G.
 

framism

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Apr 24, 2006
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F.G. said:
I recieved my chrome kremlin today, and I can;t imagine what problem you could possible have with the back position, mine is extreemly comfy. I was wondering if you knew anything about the secret pocket, such as where it is?

It can be a problem when I have my laptop, three scripts, headphones, jacket, etc in the bag. I wonder if a bigger bag, however, would wrap around my body a littler more, fixing it in place. Probably would.

Way to go on the Kremlin - that thing's massive!

I also have no idea where the secret pocket is. Have you asked Chrome? Let me know if you discover it.
 

Jennifer_Quest

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Jun 3, 2006
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Don't buy Crumpler, there are much better made, better designed bags out there. Check out the list at http://www.messengers.org/resources/bags.html

Of all the bag companies listed there, Crumpler is the only one that has its bags made in Vietnam, in factories with flagrant safety & health violations. In fact they are the only ones that are completely off-shore, nothing they sell is made in Australia for many years now. They claim Australia doesn't have the ability to make their bags. They charge just as much as a custom bag company, but use substandard materials (ChickenTex, their proprietary fabric for messenger bags, is a cheap nylon fiber made to look like Cordura with none of the properties of Cordura, the standard among professional bag makers) and substandard construction techniques (whatever is fastest and whatever hides stitching the best)

If you want a cheap ass bag, get it from Timbuk2, cheaper than Crumpler, sub-assembly made in China, which now rates way better in worker pay & treatment than Vietnam. Then they assemble it in San Francisco. If you planned on paying for a large Crumpler, any other company listed there has superior craft, materials.

David Roper, one of the owners of Crumpler, constantly logs into rate & review sites to give good ratings to their cheap bags.

For the money Crumpler charges, you should expect both a good bag and honest manufacture methods / materials. With Crumpler you get neither.
 

WineStar

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Feb 10, 2008
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Jennifer, you seem very bound up about the Crumpler company and seem to know all there is to know about everyone out there. For your information, and others that could read this, we prefer to buy Crumpler goods as they are very good quality and priced as much as lesser quality bags you refer to, and I speak from long term experience as we have tried most others which to be very honest just don't survive our demands.

I have personally used the Crumpler bags since they were but a small outfit in Ballarat, Victoria and we don't despise people for making goods overseas at all, in fact if we took your stance in life, imagine how much poorer these poor people would be in Vietnam and China and other countries if they did no work at all? I think you had better look closer at your perception of life and maybe see that not everything good comes from here.

As far as marketing goes, Crumpler have done a great job, and backed it up with great and ingenious products.
(No relation to Crumpler, just a loyal consumer)
Andrew

Jennifer_Quest said:
Don't buy Crumpler, there are much better made, better designed bags out there. Check out the list at http://www.messengers.org/resources/bags.html

Of all the bag companies listed there, Crumpler is the only one that has its bags made in Vietnam, in factories with flagrant safety & health violations. In fact they are the only ones that are completely off-shore, nothing they sell is made in Australia for many years now. They claim Australia doesn't have the ability to make their bags. They charge just as much as a custom bag company, but use substandard materials (ChickenTex, their proprietary fabric for messenger bags, is a cheap nylon fiber made to look like Cordura with none of the properties of Cordura, the standard among professional bag makers) and substandard construction techniques (whatever is fastest and whatever hides stitching the best)

If you want a cheap ass bag, get it from Timbuk2, cheaper than Crumpler, sub-assembly made in China, which now rates way better in worker pay & treatment than Vietnam. Then they assemble it in San Francisco. If you planned on paying for a large Crumpler, any other company listed there has superior craft, materials.

David Roper, one of the owners of Crumpler, constantly logs into rate & review sites to give good ratings to their cheap bags.

For the money Crumpler charges, you should expect both a good bag and honest manufacture methods / materials. With Crumpler you get neither.
 

Eden

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Feb 28, 2005
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I have a Timbuk2, mainly because it was simple, the right size and on sale... Its comfy enough. I have one shoulder that doesn't tolerate abuse so much, so a messenger bag is better for me than a regular backpack. The chest stabilizer is a must have - my old generic bagfromsomeconference was always sliding around to the front. The other little touch that I love is the key ribbon - its just a ribbon with a clip on it, but it means its always easy to dig my keys out of the bag no matter how much stuff is in there.

If I had unlimited funds I'd love to have a bag by RELoad - their west coast shop is just down the street from where I live and the bags they have in the window are incredible, but they are so beautiful I think I might have qualms about using one and getting it dirty....

Alchemy goods bags made from recycled innertubes are also really cool (and waterproof too). They have a ton of reflective tape which is nice too, but they are expensive and rather heavy.
 

Crankyfeet

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Jun 5, 2007
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Eden said:
I have a Timbuk2, mainly because it was simple, the right size and on sale... Its comfy enough. I have one shoulder that doesn't tolerate abuse so much, so a messenger bag is better for me than a regular backpack. The chest stabilizer is a must have - my old generic bagfromsomeconference was always sliding around to the front. The other little touch that I love is the key ribbon - its just a ribbon with a clip on it, but it means its always easy to dig my keys out of the bag no matter how much stuff is in there.

If I had unlimited funds I'd love to have a bag by RELoad - their west coast shop is just down the street from where I live and the bags they have in the window are incredible, but they are so beautiful I think I might have qualms about using one and getting it dirty....

Alchemy goods bags made from recycled innertubes are also really cool (and waterproof too). They have a ton of reflective tape which is nice too, but they are expensive and rather heavy.
Thanks for the advice. I want to get a bag for riding. I laughed at your "bagfromsomeconference" reference... :p
 

Eden

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Feb 28, 2005
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Crankyfeet said:
Thanks for the advice. I want to get a bag for riding. I laughed at your "bagfromsomeconference" reference... :p

Ortlieb makes some nice waterproof bags, that would be probably be good for around here too - but they tend to be too large for my little person.... (I saw one at REI that I could probably have crawled into and closed with room to spare....)

I have found that while my Timbuk2 will keep stuff relatively dry it is by no means waterproof. I keep things that *must* stay dry in a couple of dry bags made for kayaking. In a way its actually nice, because everthing also stays organized.