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Help me find my dream messenger bag

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

  1. yakuzaboss

    yakuzaboss Loaded Pockets

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    You might not be able to find a ready made bag with all of your specific requirements. That said, buying a custom made bag might be your best option. When I was looking for a real bike messenger bag, not a shoulder bag, I spent weeks searching and researching for ready made bags. When I couldn't find one, I then spent months contacting custom bags makers in Canada and the U.S. through email inquiring about custom work with my specific needs and requirements. I did get a handful of replies back but many did not. The ones that did, weren't able to build my bag since my requirements were too specific and wasn't available in their stock options. I found that quite a few 'custom' bag makers offerings were you choosing the size of bag you wanted, picking colors for the flap, interior, exterior, pockets, you might even be able to choose the type of material used for the bag and then whatever stock add-ons they offer to their specifications. While to most people, that level of customization is adequate, it wasn't quite perfect for me.

    When I did find a bag maker that was willing to alter and modify a basic stock design and include my specific needs, I was set. After almost 30 emails going back and forth with ideas detailing what I wanted, measurements, suggestions and so forth, my bag was finally ready to be built. Although I did pay a premium for the bag, I believe you get what you pay for. In my case, I have exactly what I wanted. An overbuilt bag that will last a lifetime. No disappointments. No regrets.
     
    Last edited by yakuzaboss, Jan 30, 2013
  2. nemoaz

    nemoaz Loaded Pockets

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    I was thinking the same thing, 511 or Maxpedition...but I'm not sure about the floating thing and I'm not testing mine.
     
  3. WWW

    WWW Loaded Pockets

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    As far I understand the floating liner is basicly a sack made out of (in this case) truck tarpaulin that is not stitched to the outer cordura layer. I believe he was not talking about a floating ability :D For that you could go with the Karrimor SF Predator Patrol 45 for example.
     
  4. mu®t13

    mu®t13 Loaded Pockets

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    best bags out there.
    I have had the ultimate for years, and used a lot of others, it packs down really small, and gets massive when needed. (I used to be courier) you don't really need the x-strap. and is very light too.
    keep a look out for second hand ones, they come up now and then. you won't regret it.
     
    zombieslayer001 likes this.
  5. zombieslayer001

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    I would love to have one but in my line of work I don't know what I'd use it for.
     
  6. fresh eddie fresh
    • In Omnia Paratus

    fresh eddie fresh Loaded Pockets

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    I agree that you will have to go full custom if you want everything on that list. Maybe a WIG or a Mission Workshop build?

    I am a bit of a messenger bag junkie, and my favorite are Seagull Bags out of Columbus, OH. I do agree that Bailey Works are great bags (and they are made right here in New England.) I also like REload and Chrome, but the openings are really narrow, which is good for some things (I use REloads for roller skate bags since you can put them in there without them shifting) but not so fun for general use.
     
  7. noth

    noth Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the replies guys and gals.
    @nemoaz,WWW: the floating liner is indeed just a bucket of truck turp sewn on the inside of the bag. It is "floating" in the sense that it is only attached to the outer layer on the top of the bag, so all other seams do not go all the way into the main bag pocket. Coupled with a main pocket opening above the fold line, this design makes the bag almost waterproof (that is, unless it is submerged in water...).
    @speedyturtle: that tenba is a sweet bag but by no means a messenger; rather more of a shoulder bag
    @MangeD700: ditto for the sling-o-matic; it reminds me of my MaxP's which just aren't messenger bags (although that's what some manufacturers may call them).
    @fresh eddie fresh: Those have crossed my mind (and screen) on more than one occasions. My gripe with Reload and BW (and most of Timbuk2s) is that bucket-and-flap format; why oh why is it that hard for manufacturers to understand that having "Gorby gaps" is a bad thing? Chrome and Seagull (and Timbuk2 in their D-lux and Snoop bags) have gone the extra step and added those little flaps on the sides of the main pocket. MW, GreenRoom136, Bagaboo (and at last Timbuk2, in their new Especial) have gone the extra mile and made the main pocket open above the fold line. That's no big feat or engineering innovation, so I don't get why don't others follow in their steps?
    @zombieslayer001,31t: I am indeed by Pac bags. I can't find any decent photos on the web though. Could you please verify for me whether their opening is more like bucket-and-flap or rather like GR136/Bagaboo/Especial?

    <rant>
    There is (in my mind at least) a clear distinction between courier bags (like the Kato/Tonto), sling bags (like the Sling-o-matic, MaxP Gearslingers, etc.), shoulder bags (like the 5.11 Rush, Tenba, TomBihn ID, MaxP Gleneagle/Larkspur, ITS, etc.), and messenger bags (like the Pac, Seagull, BW, MW, etc.) Through trial and error I've concluded that only the latter work for me, hence my search for a "real" messenger bag. Those requirements of mine echo my experience with the "real" messenger bags that I've tried, and it still strikes me as odd that you can only get them in custom builds. Over time I see manufacturers adding (some of) those features in their bags, then naming them "professional" or "die-hard" or whatever and bumping up their prices. I am all for paying for a well thought out product that tries to cover all bases. It's the other way round that bugs me: spending the time/effort to fix such quite realistic issues with one's product only to name it "pro" or "custom".
    </rant>
     
  8. Exploriment

    Exploriment Loaded Pockets

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    Because what you perceive as reasonable is totally useless to someone else. Ask a thousand people what exact, minute detail they would like to see on a bag, you will get a thousand+ different answers. If manufacturers had to try and accommodate every last imaginable wish from every imaginable customer, they would lose their mind, and quickly there after their business. And given that there are posts on this forum from people who ask "gee this bag is pretty cool, but holy moly! It costs $25! Does anyone know where I can find a similar bag for half the price?", manufacturers also have a hard time justifying making bags with every last imaginable feature, given the number of nickel and diming cheapskates out there who don’t want to pay for it.
     
    Last edited by Exploriment, Feb 6, 2013
  9. TomWelch

    TomWelch Loaded Pockets

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    Many of the so-called patriots on this forum are nickel and dime cheapskates
    who will only buy gear made in China by prison and child labor.
     
  10. Th4rg0r

    Th4rg0r Loaded Pockets

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    Nothing wrong with staying within budgets nor spending hundreds on a bag. Nor is that 500 bucks bag always better than this 80 dollars. Nor is all China stuff cheap, my everyday work Booq cobra is pretty spendy. Well, maybe you'll still think its cheap. To each his own. But I learn much from cheapskates, that much is true.

    I do own USA made packs, fyi, and love them. But made in USA used to mean "better" to me, now, seems many hides behind this tag to justify high prices. And oh, I'm not from China, just in case...
     
  11. Pine Box Parkinson
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Pine Box Parkinson Not a N00b

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    I've had a Timbuk2 bag since the late 90's same bag and it's never failed me yet. I got the biggest size they offered at the time. I like it's 2100 cubic inches or as they referred to it "it can carry a color copier in box and not crush your pbj sandwich" I love it, but i can't speak for their quality for their current bags. I have no idea.

    The company i'd purchase from these days is definitely Seagull bags out of Ohio. They offer a great bag that is totally customizable and they have basic "Black bags" which aren't always black. They change with the season. You can get great deals.

    Good luck
     
  12. noth

    noth Loaded Pockets

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    @31t®um, zombieslayer001: Could you please verify for me whether the opening of Pac bags is more like bucket-and-flap or rather like MW/GR136/Bagaboo/Especial?
     
  13. yakuzaboss

    yakuzaboss Loaded Pockets

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    So...what did you end up buying? Or are you still looking?
     
  14. zombieslayer001

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    Bucket and flap
     
  15. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Loaded Pockets

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    12 criteria? You might have to make your own.

    I like the Timbuk2 stuff.