Let me say this is my first "Real" messenger bag...
I have been using an Echo "DJ" sling bag for 5 years.. and last year got a Timbuk2 laptop bag so I can take my macbook to and fro around town with out destroying it..
okay.. so that being said
This bag is amazing... The colors are perfect.. I loved being able to pick out every last detail.. including the color of the 'thread' amazing..it's dark gray body, black boot/lid. light blue pocket.. baby blue thread.. the "badevilcow" color combo incase you want one The customer service was top knotch.. the UTW team *smile* answered every single tiny question I had.. and helped me under stand the plus and negative of every option i got..
I got the backpad.. the double intenal liner.. the ballistic boot (they even used 1680d!) i got the pen pockets.. and the zip pocket.. and a blinky holder .. basically i got 'the works'
the shoulder pad is amazing.. i think i could fill this thing with bricks and not have any shoulder pain!!
Okay.. so the bag rides nice and high on my back.. and nice and tight..the straps work wonders.. it's great to beable to fit pretty much everything i need/want for a day or two in this puppy..
my first day out i put my chess board in the bag.. and rode to the library to play some chess with a friend.. i ended up checking out 5 books on chess.. good sized books.. and I rode across the city to my favorite coffeeshop with NO. back pain.. noithing dug into my back thanks to the amazing backpad.. and the bag never shifted once.. even while i hit high cadence.. i'm very happy so far
day two. i went to the store.. i got 6 boxes of cereal, a box of oatmeal and two organic root beers in the bag no problem.. i rode home.. and to both my surprise and sorta enjoyment i got stuck in a nice steady rain.. the bag kept everything totally dry.. not on drop of water inside.. i can't say the same out the other two bags i own..
So i'm a happy camper.. i think UTW are the best (of course i own one) the bag seems bombproof. and i really like the large front pocket. i thought i wanted a split like on the r.e.load.. but no. i love keeping mail/journals/bike pumps and stuff in the front pocket....also.. the LID DOES CLOSE PERFECT EVERYTIME. something i saw on fixedgear gallery and totally get now.. yeah it's awezome.. sorry my review is so jumpy. i suck at typing. .but.. i took some pictures so you can just feast your eyes... hope the pictures don't suck too bad.. i'll post a 'long term' review eventully.. any questions just ask
oh and for thoes of you who 'live the life' the bag came with two postcards with information on nybmf.org (new york bike messenger foundation) and one with info on www.bicyclemessenger.org which was really a smart and great thing to put in a 'messenger' bag