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Smallish canvas satchel/messenger/field bag?

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by Brewer, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. Brewer

    Brewer Loaded Pockets

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    Hi everyone, I'm having trouble finding a simple canvas shoulder bag, and hoping some of the members here might be able to help me out with some names or links.

    I really like the Saddleback/Mountainback 'Indiana' satchel, but they've sold out of the green, I don't like the pale sand colour, and they haven't responded to my enquiry, so I'm looking elsewhere. Otherwise the size (10" wide x 11" tall x 3" deep) and style (simple, rugged, top grab handle, single clasp) seem just about perfect for my needs as a general purpose EDC bag.

    I imagine Filson is likely to be suggested, but they tend to have a more dressy style than I'm comfortable with. I recently bought a Domke F-802 but I find it too big for EDC, and their smaller bags tend to be fatter and more structured (I prefer something soft and slim that will conform to the body when loaded lightly). I'm keen for a traditional canvas & leather appearance over modern materials.

    Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited by Brewer, Apr 12, 2020
    #1 Brewer, Apr 11, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  2. phatch

    phatch Loaded Pockets

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    Not canvas and with more options than you might want but the mountainsmith tour is in that size range.
     
  3. jcombs

    jcombs Loaded Pockets

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    ONA Bowery, small canvas camera bag with a removable divider. There are several models from ONA that might work.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1141761-REG/ona_ona5_014rt_bowery_field_tan.html/overview

    [​IMG]

    Nutsac, weird name but nice bags and lots of size options.

    https://nutsac.com/products/satchel-11?variant=9318847021098&currency=USD&gclid=Cj0KCQjw-Mr0BRDyARIsAKEFbededzu0p5luvQctjLnM1DzkVNRxVOLQX2nEp6-Nfng8OBx7YWFv4goaAhi-EALw_wcB

    Duluth Trading may have something close to what you’re looking for.

    https://www.duluthtrading.com/gear/bags-and-travel-gear/
     
    #3 jcombs, Apr 12, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
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  4. Tallboyjim

    Tallboyjim Loaded Pockets

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  5. jcombs

    jcombs Loaded Pockets

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  6. Brewer

    Brewer Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I do have an ONA Brixton but I don't like it - it is very boxy due to the structured padding, and the leather and fittings are all a bit too designer / posh for my style.

    I also REALLY need a top grab handle - I don't understand why so many bags are designed without one, I use it A LOT. It is part of the reason I like this form of bag, it is easy to pick up and carry in one hand, over one shoulder, or across the body, depending on the circumstances and distances involved.

    I have been browsing military bags for years but I am yet to stumble upon anything that really matches this format - although I'm keen to hear any specific recommendations! I will also check out the other options posted, thank you.

    Here is the Saddleback for reference:

    [​IMG]
     
    #6 Brewer, Apr 12, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
  7. Tallboyjim

    Tallboyjim Loaded Pockets

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    I get what you mean with the grab handle, one of the reasons I moved my timbuk2 messenger on.

    But given you want a really simple bag, would it not be easier to sew one on, or get somebody to sew one on?

    That said, a couple of ideas for your consideration.

    https://www.homeofmillican.com/collections/shoulder-bags/products/the-originals-stewart-the-courier-bag-22l-grey-blue#product

    https://www.fjallraven.com/uk/en-gb/bags-gear/backpacks-bags/shoulder-bags

    https://trakke.co.uk/collections/waxed-canvas-messenger-bags/products/wee-lug-messenger-bag

    https://www.military1st.co.uk/tb-ucm-cd-01-helikon-urban-courier-bag-medium-black.html

    There are loads of tactical-type messengers with grab handles.
     
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  8. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    Frostriver has a good selection of canvas shoulder bags. I too prefer grab handles - makes it easy to convert into dual strap backpacks.
     
  9. Tallboyjim

    Tallboyjim Loaded Pockets

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  10. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

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    My taste in shoulder bags seem to align pretty well with the OP. However, after a few attempts, I've more or less concluded that I like the idea of using a shoulder bag more than actually using it. I seem to always go back to backpacks after a while.
    If I were to buy a new one today, Nutsac would be high on my list: https://nutsac.com/collections/all/large

    SF Bags/Waterfield make good quality bags as well, I have the canvas version of the Muzetto, that I mention briefly in this post: https://www.edcforums.com/threads/aicolainens-edc-and-more.136828/
    Looking at their page, it seems like they have moved away from canvas to a full lineup of leather, if thats your jam, I would still vouch for them.
    https://www.sfbags.com/collections/bags
     
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  11. jcombs

    jcombs Loaded Pockets

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    Agree for sure on the shoulder bags. I haven’t found a need for a small bag like OP is looking for but if I did it would be the Nutsac Satchel. I’ve almost bought it several times but it just doesn’t fit my day to day needs.

    I do use a Filson Medium Field bag or Vertx messenger for my laptop, papers, notebooks, etc. but it goes from the home office to the truck and I don’t really carry it around all day. I pick from a small pile of backpacks, Mystery Ranch, Evade, etc. if I know I will be lugging stuff around.

    I would think something from Nutsac would be perfect for the OP.
     
  12. karlito

    karlito Loaded Pockets

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    Sorry I don't have any specific suggestion, but for the prices some of these are going for ($249 for the SB :eek:) I would go surplus and mod it. Some wax, leather, rivets, and time should get you what you want. We seem to have a lot of extra time at home now.
     
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  13. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    And I will just say this again,I have picked up several SFB and Bihn bags cheap used and/or from Ebay and they have always been a steal compared to buying new.
    This is testament to how well they are made I think.
    So yes at retail it can be a heavy lift for sure but pre-owned is the way to go if possible.

    Also while not Canvas or Leather I really like my Kaito Bag for this size though like others I usually wish I had grabbed a bigger bag in the end too.
     
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  14. Ren

    Ren Loaded Pockets

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    Seems Belstaff stopped making their canvas shoulder bags.
     
  15. godcode

    godcode Loaded Pockets

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    how about the messenger bag fondly called the Jack Bauer bag? i think its made by rothco.
     
  16. theotherphil

    theotherphil Loaded Pockets

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  17. Brewer

    Brewer Loaded Pockets

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    Hi all, just wanted to say thanks again for the leads, I've been checking them all out. I also thought I'd post back here with my adventures in case it interests anyone else... :sleep:

    By way of background, the purpose for this bag is to be a minimal 'everywhere' bag, containing reading glasses, sunglasses, SAK, hand sanitiser, bandaids, notepad & pen, maybe a reusable shopping bag, and other small items (like a tape measure) as needed. It will also occasionally get my keys, wallet, phone etc if I want to get those out of my pockets.

    I've carried a much bigger EDC for years, but the bigger the bag, the more I tend to leave it in the car, only to find myself standing in an aisle struggling to read a label without my reading glasses. I've decided that the bag should ONLY JUST be able to accomodate a standard magazine (visitor guide etc) - any smaller would just be frustrating, and much larger would be getting too big.

    The story so far is that I've now ordered several bags (yes, it's a sickness). I'm keen for a traditional canvas 'field bag' look, so I've ruled out the various nylon options and anything with modern side release buckles. I'm also steering away from wide horizontal designs and anything padded or boxy looking, as I prefer a more vertical and body-conforming form factor for this use. I'm resigned to the fact I will probably need to modify it (eg by adding a grab handle). In fact, I may ultimately choose to make or commission my own design, so to some extent this is all a prototyping project anyway.

    First to arrive have been the two Gootium bags pictured below. I already have a larger Gootium messenger I'm quite happy with, but it is too big for this use. They are a decent quality canvas, although not waxed or waterproofed in any way (in particular the straps feel a bit, well, 'absorbent'), but I have a can of otter wax inbound so I anticipate an improvement in both functionality and appearance when that arrives.

    They also use cheap (but real) leather fittings, and have a tendency towards antiqued hardware, contrast stitching, and too many zips. The result is that it can all get a little Chinese fashion looking, but I think their quality is actually quite reasonable for the $35 price, and that waxing and some minor mods here and there will help remedy the appearance issues.

    First up is the Gootium 21223:

    [​IMG]

    This is a small bag, even smaller than the published dimensions. I measure it at about 8" wide by 9" tall and 3" deep. The main compartment is divided laterally with a zippered 'purse' dividing the two halves, and it has a couple of other simple undivided pockets for organisation.

    The size is just about perfect though. It's probably one of the least fashiony of their designs, but I find the bifurcated main compartment a bit annoying. I would add a top handle, change the flap closure (it's fiddly, has no adjustment, and taps when I walk if it's not fastened) and subdivide the wide pockets with vertical stitching to better accommodate eyewear and small EDC items.

    Next up is the Gootium 30829:

    [​IMG]

    This bag is a tad larger than ideal at 9" wide by 10" tall by about 3.5" deep. It has a single main compartment and a few other organiser pockets, including two vertical ones on the front (perfect for eyewear) and another internal pocket also divided vertically.

    The bag has a few more fashiony elements to it, with extra stitched seams, little superfluous leather tabs, and 15(!) of those domed antiqued brass studs, which look a lot more blingy IRL - but they were easy to remove. I have also removed the twin closures and will install a single - better - one in the centre. The mods have left a few frayed spots and some feint discolouration from behind the missing closures, but it all just helps to manly it up a bit IMHO.

    The top zipper on the main compartment feels a bit unnecessary, and the sides of the flap make no attempt to protect the ends of the main opening from the weather. It's not a dealbreaker though, and once modified and waxed I reckon this bag will actually be pretty good. I especially like the convenience of those front pockets for eyewear, to the point that I may not be able to accept a bag without them now (even though I still have a couple more incoming) :rolleyes:

    Still to arrive are a Rothco Canvas Map Case:

    [​IMG]

    And a Polish army gas mask bag:

    [​IMG]

    I will report on both when they get here :smile_coffee:
     
    #17 Brewer, Apr 22, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
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  18. Jackr

    Jackr Loaded Pockets

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    To bad I can't see your pics in Explorer or Chrome, not sure what is going on.

    I think your original choice is one of the best of that type of bag, might be worth waiting for it to come back in stock. I'm currently looking at a Think Tank Retrospective in canvas and my current favorite Wotancraft Trooper. The Wotancraft is called cordura canvas. They do some type of treatment to make it look like weathered canvas, and the leather is very cool on these. Both of these are offered in many sizes.
     
  19. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I have a TT Retro and it is a pretty sweet bag for sure but unless carrying fragile stuff I have never carried it either.

    They are for sure padded and boxy just by the nature of what they are designed for.
     
  20. Brewer

    Brewer Loaded Pockets

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    Is anyone else unable to see them? They show up ok on my PC and iPad, but I'm certainly no expert with this stuff.

    Thanks for the Wotancraft tip, I hadn't seen them before. Their small Trooper is pretty interesting, I'm not sure I'm really into the shape of it but I'm really digging that combination of canvas and leather with stainless hardware. It looks even better than the Saddleback IMO.