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Mess Bag That's Functional and Profesh

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Mess Bag That's Functional and Profesh

Old 02-06-09, 05:49 PM
  #26  
CB HI
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Originally Posted by vaticdart View Post
I'd actually worry more about your friends releasing the seatbelt buckle when you're wearing the bag and distracted.
Sounds more like bike messengers messing with each other.
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Old 02-07-09, 03:58 AM
  #27  
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As a long-time messenger I recommend using a large backpack, or perhaps panniers, unless you plan multiple stops along your commute where you'll need to get into the bag repeatedly.

Timbuks are a good value among messenger bags. Their big flaw is the three piece outer panel across the back of the bag which comes apart and requires repair long before the rest of the bag fails. This doesn't really harm the utility of the bag though and may never become an issue for a commuter. They are also one of the least hipster-approved bags available, which is nice. Chrome bags don't work for me because I find the buckle system quite often resting on or raking across my clavicle, depending on the load and what I have to do with it.
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Old 02-08-09, 07:26 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by RobertHurst View Post
Chrome bags don't work for me because I find the buckle system quite often resting on or raking across my clavicle, depending on the load and what I have to do with it.
I haven't noticed that with mine, but I wear it high on my back anyway, so the buckle is a lot closer to the center of my chest.

However, it means that it's got less flexibility in how you can carry it, just as you found. I can't wear it low even if I wanted to. And, off the bike, it's kinda silly -- it doesn't carry well on the opposite shoulder (not a problem until you've been standing in line at the airport for an hour) and there isn't a smaller handle for carrying it by hand.

Still, it's a beast of a bag, and I carried home a Wii Fit in my Metropolis.
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Old 02-08-09, 07:53 AM
  #29  
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You could open the seam where it is splitting, then reinforce the the split seam from the inside with either thin leather, folded linen or other heavy duty cloth, use a heavy duty thread, don't forget the needle from a fabric shop or marine store that has a sail section such as West Marine.

I repaired a very similar fray on my old Chouinard bag, the repair has held up very nicely.

That is a nice bag
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Old 02-08-09, 08:17 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Sounds more like bike messengers messing with each other.
It happened to me enough to be annoying. People see a button, and they want to press it. My Chrome Metropolis never fit me quite right, which is why I can't recommend their bags. I'm 5'10", 170 lbs, and the bag would slide all over the place when it was close to empty because I couldn't cinch it down tight enough. The buckle also adds unnecessary weight while providing limited (or no) functionality.
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Old 02-08-09, 01:58 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Saltybeagle View Post
You could open the seam where it is splitting, then reinforce the the split seam from the inside with either thin leather, folded linen or other heavy duty cloth, use a heavy duty thread, don't forget the needle from a fabric shop or marine store that has a sail section such as West Marine.

I repaired a very similar fray on my old Chouinard bag, the repair has held up very nicely.

That is a nice bag
I should have taken time to do some better reinforcing. As it is, it has held up since August. Unfortunately, that isn't the only rip. There are one or two spots in the bottom that aren't anywhere close to a seam and the reflective stripe is all but gone.
You did give me the idea that I could redo some of the repair and have fairly clean smallish bag when I need it. That could easily let me get a more functional/technical and larger daily use bag.

By the way, I really appreciate everyone adding so much input to a fairly well traveled topic. Right now I'm thinking about waiting for my tax return to pick up a Seagull bag. My loaner T2 is making me crazy.

If anyone can tell me how Seagulls tend to fit off the bike (close to empty or situated lower on the back), I would love you forever.
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Old 02-08-09, 02:04 PM
  #32  
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Reload makes a professional looking variant of one of their bags, all black.
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Old 02-08-09, 06:44 PM
  #33  
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Seagull bags seem to be made for wearing high on your back.
One will have the same issues with the large buckle on the strap riding on your clavicle, or shoulder even, if you wear it lower on your back. It's not a buckle though, it is just a strap tensioning metal thingy (which is really well designed btw). I have a medium size. I think the larger sizes might have a longer strap which would help with this though (pure speculation).
It is not uncomfortable, it just took a little time to get used to.

I would not even consider taking this bag on a hiking trip, or if I was going to be doing a lot of walking. Unless, you are used to wearing a mess bag really high and tight while walking.
It wears OK on the opposite shoulder, but I haven't done that with any kind of really heavy load or for an extended period of time.

This is an extremely well designed and executed bag though. Great craftsmanship all around. It is made for people who spend a lot of time on their bike.
When riding (light or really heavy/awkward load) it doesn't move around at all. Rides high like it should, and is completely waterproof. I rode through a complete downpour the other day for about 30 minutes. Bag was loaded pretty full with clothes, tools, other crap.....
Interior was bone dry.

If you have questions, or want ANYTHING on your bag customized, just call them, they will make damn near anything for you.

edit: Damn, I sound like I work for them or something.
I have no affiliation with them other than being a customer. I simply think that they make a quality product right here with their own hands, stand behind them, and sell them at a reasonable price. Getting to be a rare thing.....

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Old 02-09-09, 04:58 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by crawdaddio View Post
Seagull bags seem to be made for wearing high on your back.
In my experience a messenger bag is best when high on the back. The high corner should be at or even a little past your shoulder. A properly designed strap is ergonomic in that fashion: it helps the bag to stay high on your back. Then the weight is distributed on your back, shoulder (or shoulders if you have an X-strap) and chest.

Conversely, this seems to only be comfortable on bicycles with the more aggressive riding positions. On my road bike my PAC is the more comfortable thing in the world, but on mountain bike, or hybrid, or just standing, not so much. On a bicycle with a more upright position a bag that can be worn comfortably lower on the back seems to be better.
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Old 02-09-09, 08:41 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by vaticdart View Post
... it helps the bag to stay high on your back. Then the weight is distributed on your back, shoulder (or shoulders if you have an X-strap) and chest.

Conversely, this seems to only be comfortable on bicycles with the more aggressive riding positions. On my road bike my PAC is the more comfortable thing in the world, but on mountain bike, or hybrid, or just standing, not so much. On a bicycle with a more upright position a bag that can be worn comfortably lower on the back seems to be better.
That's how it is with me. If the bag is too low and I'm in a forward position, the weight of the bag (and worse, the heaviest items that settled in its bottom end) presses against my lower back. Besides the kidneys to the side, the small of my back is awfully sensitive -- whenever I get a backrub, I might jump out of my skin when my lower spine is touched in the wrong spot. Carrying a load there is a big no-can-do, so it's either up between my shoulders of hanging over my butt.
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Old 02-10-09, 05:55 PM
  #36  
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Seagull bags kick ass. I went with the largest size "black bag" ... I can fit a ton of crap in it and my whenever my cat pees on it it just beads right off. My only problem with it is the back doesn't have a support so if you're carrying a lot of odd shaped things you get stabbed in the spine.. nothing some *dental floss* and a foam pad can't fix.
Or if you're rich just buy their super huge custom bags, but they kind of take ages to make and ship.
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Old 02-10-09, 11:37 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by dobbler View Post
Seagull bags kick ass. I went with the largest size "black bag" ... I can fit a ton of crap in it and my whenever my cat pees on it it just beads right off. My only problem with it is the back doesn't have a support so if you're carrying a lot of odd shaped things you get stabbed in the spine.. nothing some *dental floss* and a foam pad can't fix.
Or if you're rich just buy their super huge custom bags, but they kind of take ages to make and ship.
I've got a system where I use a neoprene laptop bag and whatever papers I'm working on to pad everything. It doesn't weigh much so I can just leave that with me even if I'm just going to the grocery store. The padding is also their if the laptop is actually in my bag.
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Old 02-11-09, 01:27 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by dobbler View Post
Seagull bags kick ass. I went with the largest size "black bag" ... I can fit a ton of crap in it and my whenever my cat pees on it it just beads right off. My only problem with it is the back doesn't have a support so if you're carrying a lot of odd shaped things you get stabbed in the spine.. nothing some *dental floss* and a foam pad can't fix.
Or if you're rich just buy their super huge custom bags, but they kind of take ages to make and ship.
Learning to pack a mess bag is an art. My PAC has 1/4 inch foam padding (removable) and it helps, but I still have to pack my bag correctly when I do a big grocery run to not have the OJ carton stabbing me in the back the whole way home.

Also, how often does your cat pee on your bag? Maybe put it on a chair or table?
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Old 02-11-09, 01:53 PM
  #39  
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My daughter is a college student that bike commutes, she's also a receptionist at a firm in Down Town Seattle and she uses a chrome bag to commute to both. I haven't heard her mention getting laughed at or ridiculed by anyone for her choice in messenger bags. It seems to be a pretty darn sturdy bag too. As far as looks go, the chrome's seem like pretty handsome bags to me, but to each their own.
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Old 02-11-09, 03:12 PM
  #40  
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I'm not sure I saw anyone mention the SealLine Urban bags. The backpack is quite comfy, but the large is HUGE.
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Old 02-11-09, 03:18 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by jdmitch View Post
I'm not sure I saw anyone mention the SealLine Urban bags. The backpack is quite comfy, but the large is HUGE.
That is actually kinda interesting. I've used some of their stuff before, but I didn't know they were doing this style.
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Old 02-11-09, 03:30 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by vegipowrd View Post
That is actually kinda interesting. I've used some of their stuff before, but I didn't know they were doing this style.
I really liked the backpack I had... but I'm not joking... the large is big enough to carry a small child. I eventually sold it to someone else on this site.

The Medium backpack would likely hold a paper grocery sack (the large would nearly hold two)
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Old 02-12-09, 09:17 AM
  #43  
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I have a large SealLine backpack and like it alot. The straps are very nice,it holds a ton,and it's totally waterproof. Biggest complaint is the lack of pockets. There's none on the inside,and the outer one is very shallow and hard to use sometimes when the pack is full. Wish they had all the organiser pockets the T2's have.
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Old 02-12-09, 09:44 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
I have a large SealLine backpack and like it alot. The straps are very nice,it holds a ton,and it's totally waterproof. Biggest complaint is the lack of pockets. There's none on the inside,and the outer one is very shallow and hard to use sometimes when the pack is full. Wish they had all the organiser pockets the T2's have.
I checked out SealLine's site after reading this thread and they do offer an organizer panel that can be inserted into the bag, or a couple of smaller modular pouches that can be attached to the outside.

I think that I will save a little $ and get a Banjo Brothers large 'pack myself.
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Old 02-12-09, 10:30 AM
  #45  
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Manhattan Portage makes bags that are inexpensive and look quite professional. They are much closer in style to a standard attache bag than most messenger bags. I won the basic model in a race and have been using it for a few months. Few fancy features but it looks and works well.
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Old 02-12-09, 02:29 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by jdmitch View Post
I'm not sure I saw anyone mention the SealLine Urban bags. The backpack is quite comfy, but the large is HUGE.
I see these around Seattle quite a bit, and looking at them in shops they look quite good.

One point though: the big SeaLine "only" 2200 ci (my PAC is 2600 ci), but it's also important to realize that the more envelope shaped a bag is, the less versatile it is. This downside applies to the Chrome roll-top packs as well. Preferably you want something that's smaller and envelope shaped when you don't need all the space, but then expands out into a big boxy sack when you do. Compression straps are a wonderful thing.

My favorite compression system on a backpack is ChicagoWig's: http://web.mac.com/chicagowig/www.ch...backpacks.html Their Full Flap bag goes from being a normal backpack to something big enough to smuggle people in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoGGjXgPtxI, although I haven't actually used or touched one of their bags.
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Old 02-13-09, 11:23 AM
  #47  
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A little known American bag maker is "Courierware" in Vermont. Each and every bag is made
in house there with quality far beyond the price you pay. I own two & my son owns one of they
fine bags for different uses. In fact, I venture to say that folk's who buy just one Courierware
bag become fans for life.......I know my son & I are!!

http://courierbags.com/
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Old 02-13-09, 11:39 AM
  #48  
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Have a CourierWare Deluxe. Lots of pockets and it's held up very well. But the strap is a pain to use,and almost impossible with thick gloves. It leaked in any steady rain;I had to seal the seam that runs across the top(it goes right through into the inside of the bag) and hose the outside down with CampDry(liner is not waterproof either). And I had to add a sternum strap of my own devising to keep it in place when I stand on the pedals. I see they now offer a second strap as an option,but until they upgrade the liner and eliminate/redesign the top seam,I can't see spending the money on one of these unless you live in the desert.
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Old 02-13-09, 03:01 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
Have a CourierWare Deluxe. Lots of pockets and it's held up very well. But the strap is a pain to use,and almost impossible with thick gloves. It leaked in any steady rain;I had to seal the seam that runs across the top(it goes right through into the inside of the bag) and hose the outside down with CampDry(liner is not waterproof either). And I had to add a sternum strap of my own devising to keep it in place when I stand on the pedals. I see they now offer a second strap as an option,but until they upgrade the liner and eliminate/redesign the top seam,I can't see spending the money on one of these unless you live in the desert.
Yeah, they look like they were a great maker about 10 years ago. The style looks great, but not as functional as more contemporary designs. In particular, I'd like to avoid that type of strap. By the time I add a sternum strap ($10!?!?!) and a pad ($10) their basic one costs as much as a Seagull black bag that's actually bigger.
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Old 02-13-09, 03:16 PM
  #50  
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I picked up a North Face Shifty at TJMaxx for $40.

http://www.rockymountaintrail.com/de...=Spice-Red-74B

I'm pretty happy with it. One thing that I thought clever was the way the bottom strap is attached with velcro so you can switch between having it go from "bottom to bottom" or "bottom to strap". Other than that...pretty simple and functional. Fully expandable. And has a built it laptop padded area.
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