1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

Help me find my dream messenger bag

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by noth, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. noth

    noth Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    1
    I've been on the lookout for the perfect messenger for quite some time but this beast of legends proves ever elusive. My living in a small corner of the world makes the quest even harder, as I can peer at the serious carry options only through the screen of my computer. I already have a closet full of bags, including a Timbuk2 Classic, a MW Rummy, a Booq Boa Nerve, a Bagaboo classic, Maxpedition Lunada/Malaga/Mongo, a couple of North Face backpacks, and so on (btw I should really start selling them before the closet explodes or swmbo makes me sleep on the "welcome" mat). I thus hope that you could at least shed some light and point me at the right direction.
    Without further ado, here are the characteristics I'm looking for in my dream bag:
    1. Real messenger format, with a wide padded quick-adjustable main strap (no need for shoulder swapping support), and a secondary under-the-arm stabilization strap (no around the waist crap). A PAC-like X-strap would be nice, but not a requirement.
    2. Medium-size bag, but with a wide main compartment (a la Bagaboo messengers; I hate narrow messengers like the Timbuk2 Classic, and my daily load already brings my Rummy to its limits).
    3. Real 3D outboard pockets (as in Mission Workshop messengers).
    4. Main pocket opening above the fold line (a la Porter Protect or GreenRoom136's), so Timbuk2, Chrome, and the like are a no-go.
    5. Floating (preferably truck tarp) liner construction.
    6. A grab handle. No need for fancy options; just a means to grab the bag and go. Could be just a piece of webbing on the top or on the side (a la Timbuk2).
    7. Organization options; at the very least it should have a section with pen slots, an inside zippered compartment (for stuff like credit cards, etc.), a keyring attachment point, and the classic three (or more) main compartment pockets. As I usually carry various smaller bits and bobs (computer mouse, euro-us plug adapter, cellphone charger, small pouch with bike tools, etc.), I'd appreciate if I could stash them in pockets as well, but that's secondary.
    8. An outside quick-access pocket for sunglasses and a small notebook (think pocket-sized Moleskine).
    9. Reasonable strap management; my OCD kicks in every time I sense a strap flapping in the wind.
    10. Ideally it should feel comfortable when on the bike as well as while on foot, as I hate moving staff from one bag to another so I usually use one bag throughout the day.
    11. Back padding (a la Bagaboo Workhorse)
    12. Don't break the bank (€180-200 is the most I would give for it, especially given it will be put through its paces).
    Other than going with one of the makers that do custom work (Bagaboo comes to mind) and customizing the hell out of my bag, does anyonw know of any ready-made bags that cover the above requirements?
     
  2. aurora889

    aurora889 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    28
    Hi,

    Have you considered checking the ITS Discreet messenger?
     
  3. noth

    noth Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have but it fails quite a few of my requirements (e.g., 1, 4, 5, 11, 12). Thanks for the suggestion though. :)
     
  4. bubbaj

    bubbaj Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    66
    I'm really not to sure if they fulfill the requirements but Tom Bihn makes nice messengers. Zulu Nylon (although if ITS DMB didn't meet the requirements than those prob wont either).

    Good Luck! Hope you find the bag you are looking for
     
  5. Exploriment

    Exploriment Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Messages:
    718
    Likes Received:
    637
    Oh yeah.

    If you are going to get that persnickety, with all sorts of very specific requirements, you’re looking at custom.
     
  6. Bodeen

    Bodeen Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    33
    Sounds like you just described the 5.11 Rush messenger bag...to a tee.
     
    Busheagle likes this.
  7. cdenniston

    cdenniston Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    262
    You could try Seagull bags. They do custom work so I am sure they could build whatever you need.
     
    Pine Box Parkinson likes this.
  8. wildborego

    wildborego EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,029
    Likes Received:
    617
    CDO COMES TO MINE ;)
     
  9. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    2,732
    Noth, some of your requirements deviate from the traditional messenger format. Therefore, I think you're going to find it hard to satisfy them all because most of the good work being done by companies that specialize in messengers tend not to do things like outside pockets and back padding - especially if they are working with tarp material. So custom might be the way to go.

    With that said, I would encourage you to take a hard look at Defy Bags out of Chicago, IL. They make bags in a variety of formats with some (not all) of the attributes you're seeking at different price points. Some have better organization than others. The Schlep pad can be added for shoulder comfort.

    Tom Bihn was also a good suggestion if you're willing to go to a vertical format. They just produced a Stabilizer Strap for their Cafe and Ristretto messengers. Both of those products would better meet your organization needs and they are cost effective also.
     
  10. AcerCulter

    AcerCulter Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    557
    Bedouin Barbary

    Misses a few of the requirements.

    Though, as people have said here before. I don't think there is a company that makes a bag with all your requirements. You're really looking at a custom bag here. Which will most likely run you more than 200 euros.
     
  11. MangeD700
    • In Omnia Paratus

    MangeD700 EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Messages:
    2,207
    Likes Received:
    18,704
    Check out Billingham bags, really nice stuff.
     
  12. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    2,732
    Good lord their website is a complete mess on Chrome
     
  13. ParTimeBourne

    ParTimeBourne Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    1,435
    Have you had a look at Crumpler bags?
     
  14. Schaferhund

    Schaferhund Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    156
    I'm not really ever likely to carry a messenger bag, but if I did, I think I'd get one of those Defy 'Recon' bags... those look really cool IMO! Nice link TARFU, cheers.
     
    TARFU likes this.
  15. Tizi

    Tizi Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    80
  16. zombieslayer001

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,172
    Likes Received:
    712
    Pac designs. Pat is a great gal and can do just about anything you want including embroidery on a messenger. Bomb proof and innovative. Give her website a look! pacdesigns.com
     
  17. noth

    noth Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Yeah, I think I'm looking into a custom myself too. The problem with custom work done/discussed from a distance is that you may end up not getting what you had in mind to start with. Even worse, when the maker hadn't tried before any of the options you ask for, you become a guinea pig/beta tester. I know 'cause that has happened to me on more than one occasions, and that's the main reason why I'm searching for a ready-made bag to fit my needs. Custom options aside, I know of just one bag that ticks most (although not all) of the boxes: the Bagaboo Workhorse. Bagaboo also does custom work, so they could add what's not there. Still, I'd prefer a ready-made bag to customizing the B.W. It does strike me as odd though that there is no one bag covering all of my reqs, as they seem only reasonable and I'd expect more people to have asked for them in the past... :-\
     
  18. speedyturtle

    speedyturtle Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    502
    Tenba camera messengers? Im looking into one myself

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2
     
  19. MangeD700
    • In Omnia Paratus

    MangeD700 EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Messages:
    2,207
    Likes Received:
    18,704
    Think Tank Sling-o-Matic 10,20 or 30

    Velcro on the inside, padding adjustable for your needs. Then u can utilize it with maxpedition organizers or something else with velcro.

    Has the "under arm stabilizer" too.

    I got the 20 myself for photo gear.
     
  20. Bauzen

    Bauzen Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    267
    I've owned numerous messenger bags over the years. It's my go-to bag for day to day chores when I'm out and about in the city by bike or by foot. Timbuk2, Chrome, ReLoad, etc. I've found my favorite to be Bailey Works Super-Pro - If you buy it new from their website, you can customize a lot of the options you want into it - in fact, if you call them on the phone, they can probably incorporate all of your requirements when they make the bag. They'll hit you hard with the added cost of the extras, though. While they're not cheap, they're certainly high quality and carry a lifetime warranty. I've seen people send back bags that were abused to the point that even the lining was shot, and they replaced those bags with brand new ones. As long as you're not a style junkie that wants to change looks every season, and functionality is your only priority, Bailey Works is an awesome brand to consider.

    Most people don't share the same needs as you. I've found dedicated bike messenger bags to serve me best, while adding organizational pouches to the actual shoulder strap suit me perfectly. However, if you're looking for all those specs and specific pocket/compartment requirements, I'd suggest going the route of fully-custom built bags, or you'll probably end up nit-picking any aspect of a stock bag that falls short.