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Messenger Bag Recommendations?

Old 10-31-12, 12:24 PM
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Messenger Bag Recommendations?

Hey,

I'm does anyone have any good recommendations for biking messenger bags? I just started commuting to work by bike, and could use a new bag.
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Old 10-31-12, 12:43 PM
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Mission Workshop, Chrome, Seagull, etc. all make nice messenger bags. That being said, you might find a backpack more comfortable for daily commuting than a mess bag. The single strap on the mess bag can be uncomfortable if you load it down and wear it a lot.

I've got a Mission Workshop Vandal and Fitzroy, and a Chrome Metro and Ranchero (discontinued medium-sized backpack). My favorite is the Fitzroy.
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Old 10-31-12, 01:41 PM
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How much gear do you need to haul and how much can you afford? If I was in the market for a mess bag, I'd be giving the Chrome Citizen Night a hard look myself.
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Old 10-31-12, 01:51 PM
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Depends on what you want to carry. I snagged a new still-in-wrapper timbuk2 x-large off of craigslist for 40 bucks. The guy didn't expect it to be . . . quite that large. ; )

I wanted it to carry juggling equipment and a backpack and whatever else. I have carried a dell 23" monitor in it (still in the box) and it still clamped! Wonderful bag. Big bag.

Most messenger bags are really robust, so I'd check the used market first.

Oh, and I haven't had one but those knog bags look like a good deal, they often go on sale for 20 or 30 bucks. They have a few that you can use as panniers or a messenger bag.
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Old 10-31-12, 02:01 PM
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My shoulder is way happier once I switched to a backpack. I've had the same Ortleib for 7 years. It's light and truly waterproof. If you like tons of little compartments maybe not the bag for you but otherwise I have little bad to say about it.
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Old 10-31-12, 02:17 PM
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Timbuk2 works well for me. Bought one 3 years ago and did a bunch of traveling and motorcycle duty with it. It's proven water-resistant and still looks brand new.
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Old 10-31-12, 02:23 PM
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Ortlieb makes one too, stuff stays dry.
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Old 10-31-12, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Ortlieb makes one too, stuff stays dry.
I have one and it does keep stuff dry and has bombproof durability. Pretty warm on the back for me though, but I sweat a lot.
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Old 10-31-12, 05:19 PM
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I'm wondering if anyone has laid eyes and hands on one of Kona's (by Brenthaven) bags yet. Curious about how useful (or useless) the built in light is...
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Old 10-31-12, 08:06 PM
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Mission workshop. Great bag. Keeps everything dry. Looks great too.
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Old 10-31-12, 08:15 PM
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I liked my Timbuk2 when I commuted. I had a large one with the extra reflective material sewn in. I still have it and it looks brand new.
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Old 10-31-12, 08:23 PM
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Have you ever tried a backpack? I use one on my bike all the time. Works great.
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Old 11-01-12, 09:06 AM
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I think it really depends on your body type, how much you bend over while riding, and what you're carrying. I used a backpack for a long time, but since I'm skinny and ride with a nearly flat back it always put pressure on very small areas. I switched to a messenger bag and it really evened out the load across my whole back.

I have one of these in the florescent green.
https://www.eddiebauer.com/catalog/pr...mPathInfo=null
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Old 11-01-12, 09:12 AM
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I use a Chrome Mini Metro Night bag. I don't carry much so it works out great and I love the reflective-ness now that the sun goes down so early.

https://www.chromebagsstore.com/bags/...o---night.html
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Old 11-01-12, 11:07 AM
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Aren't messenger bags kinda floppy on a bike? I would hate to have something moving around while I'm biking. My backpack stays pretty well in one place.
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Old 11-01-12, 11:39 AM
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Crumpler

https://www.crumpler.eu/
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Old 11-01-12, 12:09 PM
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Aren't messenger bags kinda floppy on a bike? I would hate to have something moving around while I'm biking.
I added a stiffener i just put it in, as if a Book. take it out if not needed..


many offer a second waist strap, to keep it from 'coming around' on you.
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Old 11-01-12, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by blargman View Post
Aren't messenger bags kinda floppy on a bike? I would hate to have something moving around while I'm biking. My backpack stays pretty well in one place.
As mentioned, some (including my Timbuk2) come with a secondary strap to stabilize the bag. Also, I like to wear mine a bit snugger than I did when I was wearing it around town or on the motorcycle and that helps keep it in place.
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Old 11-01-12, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by blargman View Post
Aren't messenger bags kinda floppy on a bike? I would hate to have something moving around while I'm biking. My backpack stays pretty well in one place.
Bags that are designed for actual couriers or derived from those designs will not budge when riding, unless you decide to move it yourself. They will be waterproof and have a cross strap that runs from the bottom of the bag and runs under your arm to connect to the main strap. MSW has product videos- check out how much their bags flop around.

All of those other bags marketed on the various online sites (eBags, Amazon, ebay) as messenger bags are not practical on the bike.
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Old 11-01-12, 07:03 PM
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Timbuktu, have had it for 10+ years. Still waterproof, still holding together. The cross strap holds it tight. Tough bags.
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Old 11-01-12, 08:20 PM
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My vote's for Chrome. The Citizen is big enough for most people. If you're a Sasquatch like me and you carry ridonkulous amounts of stuff, then go with the Metropolis. (Limited colours of both on sale at the Chrome website now.)
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Old 11-01-12, 09:12 PM
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I have an old school Chrome Kremlin that I've been using for about 12yrs now. still awesome.
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Old 11-02-12, 05:31 AM
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Another vote for Timbuk2 from a very satisfied user. Mine has got to be north of 10years old, and is still perfect and going strong. It has earned my respect.
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Old 11-02-12, 11:24 AM
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Chrome Citizen. I had a Timbuk2 for a long time, and it was a great bag, but the Chrome is an upgrade. Truly waterproof. Load bearing strap is more ergonomically shaped. The novel strap buckle is great when you are carrying a heavy load and don't want to lift it above your head/ helmet to get it on/off. The only down side I can think of is that the strap isn't really comfortable to sling over one shoulder. It seems more designed for comfort while riding a bike across the back, not slung from one arm while riding the train or bus. That being said, I won't be going back to the Timbuk2.

I also only carry a shirt/ socks/ underwear/ bike pump/ bike kit/ and a lunch. If the loads were heavier I may also change my mind on the Chrome.... but then I'd consider panniers at that point, not a different bag.

Also, take this as a + or -, but the hipsters all love the Chrome bags
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Old 11-02-12, 11:32 AM
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Disclaimer: I carry a lot of heavy stuff on a particularly long bike commute, so I use a backpack. My shoulder thanks me for it.

With that said, I have a few messenger bags that I use for shopping, travel, etc. You have to be much more careful how you pack a mess bag than a backpack, and you don't really want to go over 8 to 10 pounds, or your shoulder will get overloaded.

The medium-sized Timbuk2 Classic Messenger is okay for riding, and great for walking around. The strap pad is adjustable, meaning that it accidentally moves all over the place. I'm constantly adjusting the shoulder pad, which drives me nuts. It does have a nice adjustable stabilizer strap. It's not very weatherproof. The buckle doesn't separate, so you pretty much have to lift the strap over your head to remove the bag from your body. It does have awesome organization for small items, and the Napoleon pocket is a godsend. The custom Timbuk2 mess bags are made in USA. The off-the-shelf bags are not.

The Chrome Citizen is my main mess bag. It's close in size to my medium Timbuk2 Classic Messenger. It does not have a whole lot of internal organization for small objects. It rides at an angle on your back, and likes to ride up high. This makes it awesome for bike riding, but not nearly as good for walking around. The main compartment is very weatherproof. The shoulder strap is spectacular. The buckle can be released, so you don't have to lift the bag over your head to remove it. The stabilizer strap rides a bit to high into the armpit for my liking, but I live with it. The Citizen is made in the USA. Check out each Chrome model separately to see if it is US or China made.

My Chrome Mini-Metro Night is a great bag. Just like the Citizen, but smaller. It doesn't hold a ton, but it's perfect for small trips. It doesn't look nearly as huge as the Citizen, when on your back. The bag positively lights up when a headlight shines on it. The only downside is that the inside is also black, so it can be hard to see stuff when it's inside of the bag.

I also own a Chrome Victor - It's too small for commuting, but awesome for just day-to-day use. It holds my smart phone, along with either some bike tools, a Kindle, or my Google Nexus7 tablet, depending on where I'm going. The Victor gets a thousand compliments from admirers. It rocks.

All of the above are very durable. All of the Chromes come with the trademark seat belt buckle. The buckle is a love/hate relationship for many, as is the Timbuk2 cam buckle. Of the two, I personally prefer the Chrome buckle.
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