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Admit it: messenger bags are about style, not utility

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Admit it: messenger bags are about style, not utility

Old 10-07-09, 03:29 PM
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adlai
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Admit it: messenger bags are about style, not utility

They do look super-cool, but the load is unbalanced, plus, on a bike, I like to put my backpack on the rack and ride without anything on my shoulders. Works out well.
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Old 10-07-09, 03:33 PM
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Sorry. No agreement here.
For me, the bottom/side strap provides a tight fit and makes all the difference in load balance.
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Old 10-07-09, 04:09 PM
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My old ManhattanPortage was all about utility, and absolutely had no style- blue cordura outside, yellow PVC inside, a couple of pockets made (from the factory!) with surplus camo cloth... It could swing about on my back if I had odd loads, but then again, when I got to where I was going, that worked fine- swing the bag in front, pull out the delivery and board, and get out of there.

The bag is still my best grocery bag.
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Old 10-07-09, 04:17 PM
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Um... no.

My loads always stay balanced (unless I'm carrying something like a single jug of milk or a bowling ball), I can hold the contents of probably two backpacks in my bag, and I can access it all easily without taking off the bag. Plus the single strap across the chest is just more comfortable for me. I used to ride with a backpack -- I'm never going back.

As for the sweaty back that some people complain about... I ride in Texas -- I'm goddamn sweaty everywhere: front, back, above, and below. Complaining about a sweaty back here like standing in a swimming pool and complaining that the rain is getting you wet.
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Old 10-07-09, 04:19 PM
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fuzz2050
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it depends on how they're worn. If someone has a messenger bag hanging loose at their side, chances are it's for style. However, if it's sitting high and tight across the back, and if it has a 3rd leg strap, then not only is the weight evenly distributed, but it moves with your body better than a backpack, making manoeuvring easier. and they also just feel better on.

No arguments about the rack thing though, much as I like my messenger bag, it leaves me with a bandoleer of sweat.
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Old 10-07-09, 04:19 PM
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i have a timbuk2 laptop messenger bag which I do not like and prefer my ruck sack. However I'm willing to give the timbuk2 another shot as I think the straps were not adjusted correctly.
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Old 10-07-09, 04:22 PM
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Not wearing your cargo is best.
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Old 10-07-09, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by modernjess View Post
Not wearing your cargo is best.
For you.

Why is it that people can't fathom that something that does not work for them may work great for others? And why do they have to try to coerce an "admission" from others that it really doesn't work all that great? Insecurities?
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Old 10-07-09, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
it depends on how they're worn. If someone has a messenger bag hanging loose at their side, chances are it's for style. However, if it's sitting high and tight across the back, and if it has a 3rd leg strap, then not only is the weight evenly distributed, but it moves with your body better than a backpack, making manoeuvring easier. and they also just feel better on.

No arguments about the rack thing though, much as I like my messenger bag, it leaves me with a bandoleer of sweat.
+1

The only style point I'll concede is my body carriage is too huge for any backpack shy of a frame pack. I've mentioned this before, but seriously, no matter what the backpack I wear, I look like an first grader with glandular issues being mainstreamed out of special-ed. Also, my change of clothes could probably double as pool covers for mere mortals. No way those would fit in a backpack with the books I have to lug to class.

My Chrome Metropolis (which is strapped high and tight on my back while riding and walking around), actually fits.

Unfortunately, there's no room for a rack on my bike, but I'm looking to buy a new ride around January, so here's hoping.

I'm with you on the hipster hatred, but unfortunately there's a kernel of pragmatism buried in many of the more ridiculous fashion choices out there. More than anything, intent is the watchword in cases like this.

I'm glad your backpack works well for you and you can avoid the aforementioned sweat bandoleer, though.
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Old 10-07-09, 04:33 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by adlai View Post
They do look super-cool, but the load is unbalanced, plus, on a bike, I like to put my backpack on the rack and ride without anything on my shoulders. Works out well.
Maybe you should get panniers.
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Old 10-07-09, 04:34 PM
  #11  
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As a student the waterproof messenger bag is great around campus, with pockets in it for pens, ruler, calculator etc. Plus you can walk while sorting things, or get something out of the bag without taking it off...

I do hate an overpacked messenger bag while biking for any long distance.
I use a combination of a pannier for all the heavy stuff (books, lunch) and wear the messenger bag while riding with minimal stuff in it, but well organized. My u-lock is also locked to the rack on the back, with a krypto cable wrapped around it in a way that it won't bounce around.

I have a locker, so otherwise that wouldn't be an option.
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Old 10-07-09, 04:35 PM
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I'll wear it on my back looooong before ever hanging it off my bike ... I find that affects my centre of balance too much.
From Messenger bag to trailer, if the load is that heavy, but seeing this is Commuting always a messenger bag.

My backpacks all have metal frames for hiking/camping
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Old 10-07-09, 04:37 PM
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I love generalizations.
My messenger bag does nothing for my lack of coolness.
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Old 10-07-09, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by adlai View Post
They do look super-cool, but the load is unbalanced, plus, on a bike, I like to put my backpack on the rack and ride without anything on my shoulders. Works out well.
Are you The God of Cycling ? Meaning your way is the only right way ? Just because messenger bags don't work for you, it doesn't mean that they don't work for other people. If you don't like to carry anything on you back , that's fine, you do whatever works best for you and let others use whatever they prefer. Personally I like to carry most of my personal belongings on me , rather then the bike. I use messenger bag for commuting, shopping , running errands, it's very comfartable when used and packed properly. But I also have a small backpack which I use for long distance riding and other recreational riding. I do think that a messenger bag looks more profesional then a baclpack. Oh and one question ?
What's wrong with looking " cool " ? Is that a mortal sin ?
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Old 10-07-09, 04:43 PM
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Pfft. I just slide my AmEx into my back pocket and buy what I need, wherever I go. Bags are for people who can't afford it.
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Old 10-07-09, 04:46 PM
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I started riding to school with a loaded rack and pannier this semester for my art class. I still have to ride with a messenger bag for other things. I much prefer the messenger bag. The loaded rack and pannier makes the bike feel awkward and I'm not even carrying much extra weight, just about as much as taking my text books on days I don't have art class.
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Old 10-07-09, 05:06 PM
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Commuting = messenger bag

Touring = panniers

I started commuting with panniers and they are a PIA compared to a messenger bag. Especially, using a bus as part of the commute.
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Old 10-07-09, 05:14 PM
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Wrong...
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Old 10-07-09, 05:30 PM
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Wait till I go home and tell my wife that my messenger bag makes me look cool........

Response in 3, 2, 1........... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAAAAHHHHAAAAAAAAAA ouch.

Ouch is her:

falling to the floor

or

pulling a rib muscle

maybe both
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Old 10-07-09, 05:31 PM
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Right..... I completely agree with you, messenger bags are uncomfortable and crappy for hauling things like tools, text books, cans of beer, or anything with hard corners....no support.

A backpack works better IMO....but panniers are the end-all for me, even for just commuting.

To me it's a trendy thing...nothing more.
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Old 10-07-09, 05:42 PM
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I do have panniers. I slot my backpack into the pannier and am off. Works really well. I don't have a load on my shoulders when riding. When I'm off the bike, it's easier to carry. If I need extra cargo, I carry the backpack on my back and hold the cargo in the panniers.
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Old 10-07-09, 05:42 PM
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After commuting for a week with my backpack, I dug my old messenger bag out of the closet and never went back.
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Old 10-07-09, 05:43 PM
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North Face backpack with chest & waist straps in additional to shoulder straps ftw.
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Old 10-07-09, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by drifter757 View Post
After commuting for a week with my backpack, I dug my old messenger bag out of the closet and never went back.
For real , imaging folks who ride with loads all day knowing a little something about staying comfortable and balanced with a bag O stuff.
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Old 10-07-09, 06:19 PM
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I don't think all these messengers would run around with messenger bags if they were just about style.
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