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Suggestions for a messenger bag

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by Chocula, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Chocula

    Chocula Loaded Pockets

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    I am looking for a messenger bag to supplement my backpack for school, specifically for bad weather. I have noticed my notes and books getting damaged by rain when I am walking across campus, so most important is that the bag is waterproof.

    The bag needs to be big enough to carry standard spiral notebooks and 8.5 x 11 size papers/pads without squishing. I also occasionally take my laptop, which is something like 8x12 (a bit longer than a sheet of paper), but I dont need a separate laptop compartment. My current backpack is ~750 cu (black diamond bbee) which is fine for me. It would be nice if there were a few pockets on the inside for gadgets or some way to hold a water bottle but it is not necessary. I dont want a leather bag or anything that requires special care.

    Other things I might carry: lunch (in tupperware), clothes (coat or fleece stuff or gloves and hat or change of clothes for gym)

    The catch is that I want the smallest bag possible. I often carry very little (one or two notebooks, pencils, water, snack, spork, cash) and dont want a big, poofy, empty bag. I have checked out timbuk2 and like the x-small classic messenger but have a bad sense of size from reading dimensions.

    Do you guys have any advice or suggestions?
     
  2. RFA3

    RFA3 Loaded Pockets

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  3. Municipal_Jedi

    Municipal_Jedi Loaded Pockets

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    Bailey Works Pro FTW The hands down best bag I have ever owned. If I had the money I would buy a small for EDC but the XL serves me well for everything from large transport to weekends away. For what you want I would think medium or large would be fine. The company is great to deal with and all products are made in Portsmouth, NH.
     
  4. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

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    you mention that your current bag is fine for you....you could consider a liner-bag?

    the military waterproof bags are under $5 at any army/navy store - just twist and tie the top...easy to still get in

    of course...once the "I need a new bag" jones gets its hold.... :knuppel2: ;D
    :luck:
     
  5. jehan60188

    jehan60188 Loaded Pockets

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    yah, a liner might be your best bet- or just put a (proper sized) garbage bag in your backpack- after loading it up, roll the top down, and water won't get in
    or you could carry an umbrella?
     
  6. Surferbruce

    Surferbruce Empty Pockets

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    check out www.chromebagstore.com after using a few other brands (including Timbuk2 and R.E.Load) I am back to Chrome.
     
  7. carrot

    carrot Loaded Pockets

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    Chrome is the best! They are fully waterproof and made of tough Cordura. I have noticed that even with a large bag it tends to flatten out so it doesn't feel like I'm carrying something big and unwieldy even if I've got only a bottle in there.
     
  8. 1holegrouper

    1holegrouper Loaded Pockets

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    These are all very good brands for messenger bags:

    Aerostich (my personal favorite, has endured heavy rains, flying across the pavement and still looks new after 4 years of daily use)
    Bailey Works (second favorite)
    Chrome (good stuff but I don't really like the unnecessary weight of the belt buckles)
    Cocotte Equipment (small company in Canada)
    Mystery Ranch (small but best made and most expensive of all the above)

    Messenger bags I would avoid:
    Eagle Creek (more product fails than I can count with their stuff)
    Patagonia (made out of polyester)
    Manhattan Portage (based on poor board reviews only)
    Tumi (I have had and have a lot of their stuff. The messenger bags I've seen are overpriced and have impractical design)
    Decent price option: Timbuk2
     
  9. jehan60188

    jehan60188 Loaded Pockets

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    you don't like patagonia? i've got a few base layers from them that have served me well.
    any more input on why you'd avoid their bags?

    thanks!
     
  10. MAZ3ESP

    MAZ3ESP Loaded Pockets

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    Here is a completely different approach. Checkout BBPBags they make a unique carry system that is claimed to relieve stress on your back.. I can't speak on it but I am waiting for my new Industries High-Back Messenger to arrive hopefully I will see it in a day or two.. The Industries High-Back Messenger does not employ their carry system but I like the look and features. I ordered this because I wanted a little more organization compared to a few other brands mentioned here.

    Also checkout my other post on this brand 20% off coupon with free shipping make it very attractive....

    All of the bags mentioned are all top notch and I don't think you will go wrong with any of the bags mentioned in this thread...
     
  11. ssmtbracer

    ssmtbracer EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Timbuk 2 bags are very nice and they can be water proof. Good for electronics.
     
  12. 1holegrouper

    1holegrouper Loaded Pockets

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    I LOVE Patagonia. In fact I'm wearing one of their windproof fleece jackets today and own a fleece vest,hat, gloves, glove liners, Goretex shell jacket (that has lasted 16 years and going strong), regular and long undies. It is just their messenger bags that don't live up to the name IMHO. Edit; Why?; polyester is strong but not very abrasion resistant. If I want a messenger bag that lasts as long as one of their jackets it won't be theirs.
     
  13. shrap

    shrap Loaded Pockets

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    Single strap bags are quite uncomfortable if you have to carry them with any kind of weight. I'd recommend a messenger backpack like the Chrome Dually. I have a Chrome messenger bag and it's leaps better than Timbuk2.

    The small Timbuk2 messenger bag is slightly bigger than 8.5x11 and a few inches thick. It would just barely hold a small laptop.
     
  14. brix

    brix Loaded Pockets

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  15. italophil

    italophil Empty Pockets

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    Timbuk2 bags are waterproof, if the lid is fully closed. I love the build of my small Timbuk2 messenger that I bought in 2000 and that was made in SF. It fits letter size notepads and a 12" laptop. I also got a medium Timbuk2 messenger with the padded laptop compartment from about 2007 and the quality isn't as good as on the older one, additionally, imho, the laptop compartment makes for an awkward carrying fit if left empty.
    Bailey Works are really made to last, but i don't like how the strap is attached to the bag, it wrinkled after some month of use.
    Freitag bags are popular in Germany, but they seem more a fashion piece than a real thought through bag to me.
     
  16. Chocula

    Chocula Loaded Pockets

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    Im sorting through the links you guys posted. It looks like many of the bags are quite large (judging by the models) but of excellent quality. I even saw a guy on campus with one of those hybrid bags from bbpbags and now I know what it is. Thanks for the posts :highfive:

    I have tried using grocery store bags as liners. It works for one-way trips, but after class when you are returning everything to the bag, the water on the outside of the plastic bag tends to spread around to the inside. It is also annoying to mess with wet plastic bags, especially if you are trying to insert a laptop or a floppy notebook.

    I have wanted a messenger bag for a while actually, but I kept telling myself I dont need it. I could think of lots of reasons to get one though:
    -When I have a lot of clothes on, it is easier to put a bag on over my shoulder than to wiggle into a backpack
    -bad weather (as mentioned)
    -on the bus it is easier to maneuver a messenger compared to a backpack
    -easy to get things out when walking (i often walk the 2.5 miles to campus and, time permitting, walk back in the evening).
    -offers horizontal geometry rather than vertical (less wasted space compared to a book bag--I always have an open space at the top unless I am packing clothes)

    Also, since I usually carry so little weight, I am not worried about the strain. The little backpack I have now actually works well for heavier loads of books and my laptop since it sits kind of high on my back. It was designed for skiing i think but works well for running too, which was the main reason I got it (occasionally I run to/from campus).
     
  17. somber

    somber Banned

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    This! Chrome Bags are awesome, completely durable, and an easy use, comfortable bag. I spilled a water bottle in the main compartment and only that area got wet, of course. I just poured the water out when I discovered it. And carrot is right about it not seeming like you're carrying something big and unwieldy (I own the large chrome bag).
     
  18. Lord Bear

    Lord Bear Loaded Pockets

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    The Carrot Has Spoken.
     
  19. Lord Bear

    Lord Bear Loaded Pockets

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    I don't know why but I have an irresistible compulsion to say that every time when..."The Carrot Has Spoken"
     
  20. Roderick

    Roderick Banned

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    Chocula, Briggs and Riley have an expandable messenger bag (http://www.briggs-riley.com/category/productDetail.aspx?id=Grow-Expandable-Messenger-Bag_VB411X ) that I think would fit most of your requirements. It is made of the CORDURA fabric, which is lightweight, resistant to tears and punctures, and water repellant. That should prevent any damage from bad weather. The bag has large slip pockets that you can use for keeping your papers and pads without squishing them. It does come with a built-in laptop sleeve, but you can use it for other things if you’re not carrying your laptop. What you are going to love about this bag is the organizer section, which has lots of pockets for things like your pens, flash sticks, ID, etc. The main compartment can be expanded for times when you are carrying your lunch or clothes.

    If the above referenced bag doesn’t suffice, then I suggest you take a look at another bag – Briggs and Riley’s clamshell messenger bag (http://www.briggs-riley.com/category/productDetail.aspx?id=15-point-4-inch-Executive-Clamshell-Messenger_KMC310 ) and use it when you have to carry a laptop. It is also lightweight, resistant to water, and offers maximum organization.