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Review: Rothco 9148 HW Classic Messenger Bag AKA: Jack Sack

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by mrichelo, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. mrichelo

    mrichelo Loaded Pockets

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    My review of the Rothco 9148 HW Classic Messenger Bag. I purchased it from Galaxy Army Navy which had the best price I could find.

    Description from Rothco's website:

    DISTINCTIVE STYLING & FUNCTIONALITY LIKE THE ORIGINAL CLASSIC PACKS IN A DARKER, UNWASHED, HEAVYWEIGHT CANVAS.
    • ENOURMOUS MAIN COMPARTMENT
    • INSIDE ZIPPER POUCH
    • TWO OUTSIDE AND TWO INSIDE POCKETS
    • BRASS HARDWARE
    • 2'' WIDE ADJUSTABLE SHOULDER STRAP
    • DIMENSIONS: 15'' X 11'' X 6''

    This is a very basic, simple messenger style shoulder bag, with no frills. For $20.00 it is a good buy for what it is. I like the simple discreet style. I have read mixed reviews online. It is a cheap bag, and apparently the quality of the construction varies. Some people like it, some don't. The one I received is decent. The strap is sewn on. The 2 large front pockets and main compartment do not have any closure, no zippers or velcro. This could be a drawback for some. The two side pockets have metal snap closures. A small hanging interior pocket seen in the second picture has a zipper closure. The canvas seems like it is pretty tough and should take some abuse. For a bag to beat around and for the price, I think its not bad. Time will tell how it holds up.

    I like the size of the bag. For me, not too big, not too small. Also I like its discreet, plain style. Put it on and blend in to a crowd.

    Improvements I would like to see: If it had zippers on the 2 front pockets and main compartment, it would be a much better bag with a little more security.

    Front view.
    [​IMG]

    Inside main compartment, you can see the interior zippered pocket.
    [​IMG]

    Velcro on inside of flap.
    [​IMG]

    Side pockets can hold .5 Liter water bottle.
    [​IMG]

    2 Large front pockets.
    [​IMG]

    Front pockets can hold alot.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, feel free to ask or PM me.

    Mark
     
  2. El Verbo

    El Verbo Empty Pockets

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    I can't believe I missed this review. Anything related to 24 usually catches my eye.

    I think the review was a spot on! It the subtlety of this bag for me is the big draw. I admit I have some Maxpud stuff but it draws alot of looks.

    I think the demo on the review is great. Excellent minimalist packing!
     
  3. mrichelo

    mrichelo Loaded Pockets

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    El Verbo,

    Thanks. I'm actually still acquiring things for my EDC bag. Working my way through the list when finds allow.

    It would be nice if the bag had some more compartments inside, pen slots... small pockets for small accessories, etc. But for the money this will do until I can find something better.

    Mark
     
  4. El Verbo

    El Verbo Empty Pockets

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    That was the main reason why I didn't pull the trigger on. The bags that I roll with have pockets and that is what the selling point is. I guess the simplicity and riddle of what you can pack with minimal pockets is what I would buy it for. Definitely a light, stylish EDC bag.
     
  5. Dizos

    Dizos Loaded Pockets

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    Cool review! I picked one of these up recently. I've moved to the big city and commute on daily on the subway so I wanted a shoulder bag. I have never used a shoulder bag for EDC before so I didn't want to spend a lot of money only to learn that they don't work for me. I discovered the bag from Mercops post Bag of Evil, his review is also a good read. I like the robust no frills design of the bag, unlike most inexpensive products this has a solid build and looks like it will last a long time. The canvas and brass materials have more class and a better feel than the cheap nylon found in many inexpensive bags. I also like that it does not have a bunch of over specialized pouches. It carries well and holds everything I want it to. The downsides for me is that it is a soft bodied bag so it does not hold its shape well and tends to "melt" a bit when you set it down. I also find myself wanting a top grab handle for picking it up and adjusting its position during carry. This would require a couple of clips instead of the hook-and-loop attachment for the flap.
     
  6. Gene O

    Gene O Empty Pockets

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    Great review. Great kit you've put together. Thanks Wireguy.
     
  7. gcstct

    gcstct Loaded Pockets

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    Funny you should say that. I recently got the Rothco 9748. It's basically the same bag, but with zippers on both the main compartment and the 2 front pockets. It's 4" rather than 6" thick, but otherwise looks to be identical to your 9148 aside from the zippers. It's interesting that Rothco would feel the need to sell two products that are so similar--you'd think they'd do a better job of highlighting the differing specs in their advertising.

    Another funny thing: The link I posted above is to the Amazon seller I ordered the bag from. If you click on the customer-uploaded pics there, most of them are pretty clearly of the 9148--no zippers--but both of the bags I've ordered from that seller (I got one as a gift for a friend) were of the zippered variety.
     
  8. Dizos

    Dizos Loaded Pockets

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    Do your zippered bags have vinyl coating on the inside of the main compartment?
     
  9. Manatakui

    Manatakui Loaded Pockets

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    Oh I'm tempted to say this is the messenger bag I want, but the few poor reviews of the bag on the Amazon site have me hesitating. :/ I think I'd go for the 9748, myself, but only if it came in other colors, /and/ if I knew the bag wouldn't begin disintegrating when carrying items, as what some people have been saying. Okay, disintegrating is a poor word choice, I guess I mean unraveling? :/
     
  10. deep30hz

    deep30hz Empty Pockets

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    I think it's a cool bag. The one thing about those Amazon reviews (not sure if it's applicable here though) is sometimes when people review an item it may not be the exact item in the review. It may be another "messenger" bag from another company, but it all gets lumped together. Sometimes people specify the item they are talking about, sometimes not. I know this happens alot with the book reviews. It may be the same title , but it's a different author and not the book pictured.
     
  11. gcstct

    gcstct Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah, that is one other difference I didn't notice in Wireguy's pictures at first. The 9748 is lined with a slick, shiny material similar in color to the bag.
     
  12. gcstct

    gcstct Loaded Pockets

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    You're very right about that. I originally ordered the bag from this listing. If you scan through all those pictures, you can easily spot at least four different bags being sold as the 9748 by different sellers (the link in my original post is to the particular seller I ordered from). You'll also notice that that same collection of 81 reviews appears at the bottom of the page, so who knows what any given reviewer ordered?
     
  13. Manatakui

    Manatakui Loaded Pockets

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    Does the 9748 hold up well to heavier objects, then? Laptop or single textbook without unraveling? :/
     
  14. gcstct

    gcstct Loaded Pockets

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    Seems super-sturdy so far. I haven't used it to carry iron barbells or anything, but it handles my laptop, external hard drive and several books and notebooks without any apparent problem.
     
  15. Manatakui

    Manatakui Loaded Pockets

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    I just ordered a black 9748 for a birthday present from my parents... so, I guess I'll find out soon as to whether I like it or not. For my sake, I hope I do. ^^; I'll give my impressions of the bag whenever I make it back home to actually get it. *nods*
     
  16. Manatakui

    Manatakui Loaded Pockets

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    Update for me: I finally returned home to receive my bag, and was slightly disappointed that I received the velcro one, instead of the zippered; oh well; it's still a wonderful bag. :)
     
  17. Guarddog
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Guarddog EDC Junkie !!!!!

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    Hhmmm, has anyone else tried to order the Rothco 9748 as mentioned above? Below are the details that I find for the 9748 on the Rothco site. Look like the dimensions are a bit different but no mention of zippers on both the main compartment and the 2 front pockets. Is there really any difference between the 9148 and the 9748 except the color?

    WASHED COTTON CANVAS - WOODLAND CAMO
    SIZE: 15" x 11.5" x 5.5"
    WASHED COTTON WEBBING
    LARGE MAIN COMPARTMENT
    INSIDE ZIPPER POUCH
    3 OUTSIDE POCKETS
    ADJUSTABLE SHOULDER STRAP
     
  18. gcstct

    gcstct Loaded Pockets

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    I have an answer for you. The bag I purchased came from Finaday, who listed it on Amazon as the "Rothco 9748." However, I've since realized that what they sent me is in fact the Rapid Dominance R31, which is mostly identical to the Rothco version, but with zippers on all three compartments and a nylon lining.

    Thinking my bag was a Rothco, I assumed "Rapid Dominance," which appears on the red tag on the side of the bag, was just a style name. I didn't get that that was the actual brand until someone posted a link elsewhere on this board to the Rapid Dominance Field Bag, which finally clued me in. Sorry I didn't think to come back and update this thread with the new info. The Rapid Dominance site doesn't offer much detail about their bag, but it's definitely the one I have, little red tag on the flap and everything.

    By way of possible explanation, if you look at Finday.com's messenger bag listings, several very similar bags are pictured. The first is the Rapid Dominance one. The second and fourth show the "9748" photo that appears on the Amazon listing. I'm guessing whatever mailroom employee packed my order didn't really know the difference between the various bags (which, to be fair, are basically identical on the outside), and just grabbed the first olive drab messenger bag he or she came across on the shelf.
     
  19. deep30hz

    deep30hz Empty Pockets

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    I can see how that can easily happen. As I mentioned on a reply down below here somewhere.....Some Amazon reviews are mixied up and are not for the product pictured and some of the reviews are all lumped togther from different manufacturers of the same type product. So you may not know if a review is for the product you are interested in. Some people who leave reviews actually say the name of the manufacturer they are talking about, but not too often.
     
  20. deep30hz

    deep30hz Empty Pockets

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    I can see how that can easily happen. As I mentioned on a reply down below here somewhere.....Some Amazon reviews are mixied up and are not for the product pictured and some of the reviews are all lumped togther from different manufacturers of the same type product. So you may not know if a review is for the product you are interested in. Some people who leave reviews actually say the name of the manufacturer they are talking about, but not too often.