$$$ Messenger bags: Are they worth it? Tell your Story.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    $$$ Messenger bags: Are they worth it? Tell your Story.

    Looking for a new commuter/messenger bag. Love the one I have but it's wearing out. Got it for $30 at TJ Maxx. Lasted well commuting everyday for four years - but some of the stitching is giving out and the buckle has broken.

    So I'm seeing all these really expensive bags... Chrome, Mission Workshop, Timbuk 2, Osprey...

    Has anyone upgraded their cheapy bag to one of these? Are they really worth it? (like $30 vs. $160!) Is it just going to wear out in four years too?

  2. #2
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    The one I (think I) want is the Timbuk2 Shift Pannier. I don't like riding with the weight on my back, especially in summer, so I prefer the pannier, but on days that I drive I don't want to have to migrate all of my stuff from one bag to the other.

    I just need to get off my butt and go buy it
    :wq

  3. #3
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    Messenger bags are a fashion statement. Nothing more.

    Get the one that makes you feel pretty.


    Or if you decide to join the world of people who think for themselves there's a million great backpacks out there that do a far superior job.

  4. #4
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    I didn't realize backpacks were such a serious topic.
    :wq

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbbreath
    Messenger bags are a fashion statement. Nothing more.

    Get the one that makes you feel pretty.


    Or if you decide to join the world of people who think for themselves there's a million great backpacks out there that do a far superior job.
    Backpack = sweat bomb.

    Been there. Done that.

    No one at work likes seeing (or smelling) that dark nappy sweat stain on your hairy back. Get over yourself.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by connolm
    Backpack = sweat bomb.

    Been there. Done that.

    No one at work likes seeing (or smelling) that dark nappy sweat stain on your hairy back. Get over yourself.
    If you carry a back pack, you can carry a fresh shirt to change into.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbbreath
    Messenger bags are a fashion statement. Nothing more.

    Get the one that makes you feel pretty.


    Or if you decide to join the world of people who think for themselves there's a million great backpacks out there that do a far superior job.
    Backpack = Sweat Bomb

    Been there. Done that.

    No one at work wants to see (or smell) you nappy dark hairy back sweat spot.

  8. #8
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    I bought a messenger bag from Under the Weather in Montreal 4 years ago. I am the most irresponsible person on the planet. I've never met an object I couldn't destroy, and I can not seem to destroy this bag. I have left lunches in it for 2 weeks or longer, and then had to fill the entire thing with water and bleach. I have carried 5 growlers of beer home with it. I have filled it with work binders. I have caked it in mud; and it has never ever failed me. Nothing gets wet inside, nothing gets dirty, and it's ridiculously sturdy. As a full year commuter, it's been worth the cost.

  9. #9
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    I use the Mission Workshop Vandal. The price is super steep. However my take on it is this:

    Pros
    -Tonnnnnns of room. I can fit my mac, school books, a weeks worth of groceries in it, with my lock, and a change of clothes
    -The design makes it super comfortable to carry all of that stuff on your back
    -It is completely waterproof. I rode home yesterday 2 miles in a complete downpour and literally not a drop of water in the bag at all
    -It compresses super well when you don't have much to take on a day

    Cons
    -It is kinda big on your back
    -It costs 270.00

    It was a really good investment. I don't have a single complaint with it. I have always been a backpack over pannier kind of person. The whole sweat thing is really easily avoidable if you have a workplace that has a shower and/or a place to change clothes when you get to work.
    "Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves." - Benjamin Franklin

  10. #10
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    I use a Timbuk2 messenger bag. It's a warranty replacement for one I finally killed, after about ten years of on-and-off use and all-weather riding.

    Timbuk2 is no longer as cool as some other brands, and it's correspondingly less expensive. The water proof liner hasn't magically stopped being water proof, and I like the new strap adjuster better. It's also easier to get the stabilizer strap on and off. When I got my new one, I was initially angry at Timbuk2 for changing the tool pockets to more backpack-like cell phone and stationary pockets. But they also added a large zip pouch that turns out to be great for tools, and includes two more interior pockets that fit a spare tube really well, and I find the stationary pockets quite useful, much as I hate to admit it.

    I also own panniers. For a longer ride, after which I'm not going to walk around much, they're a lot better. For short hops to run errands or to ride to campus and then walk around a bunch, the messenger bag is better. I like being able to have it ride low on my back - doesn't feel like it's trying to make me fellate my steer tube. And I like being able to adjust that one-handed.

    Note that a lot of these advantages apply to most messenger bags from companies that still make them for riding bikes and not buses, or to the cycling models from companies like Timbuk2. Also, I find when I ride my mountain bike, which has a more upright position, I'd rather have a backpack.
    Last edited by AndrwSwitch; 05-22-2011 at 10:46 AM.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    I just actually picked up a Chrome Mini Metro off of Craigslist for $45! I was looking into getting the biggest one they make (and also the most expensive) but I think the MM will do the job just fine of hauling my work clothes, lunch, books, and I am hoping lock and tools.

    So far I am pretty stoked, the bag only has one little mark on it, so I think I got a pretty good deal... It is most assuredly a step up from the Levi Messenger/Pack that I was previously using.
    "I have one speed. I have one gear: Go." -- Charlie Sheen

  12. #12
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    If you search the net, you can typically find a Timbuk2 at a decent price. I've got two of them, and they are pretty durable and get the job done. Plus, I feel really pretty when I use them, and I just know everyone envies my fashion sense. And it's got to be "cool" cuz everyone else is doing it!

    OTOH, when I use my Camelbak Alpine Explorer, I feel a sense of achievement for having stuck it not only to the Gods of Fashion, but to all of those messenger bag wearing sheeple.

    All sarcasm aside, as far as anything goes, you get what you pay for, so a higher dollar bag will likely be of much better quality than those found at a discount retailer.
    Road, mountain, commute, CX... who cares? Shut up and ride!

  13. #13
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    FWIW, I just picked up a Timbuk2 classic medium and I think its fantastic. This is my first real commuter type bag, and it fits great. Goes over the shoulder well and stores loads of stuff. Have not had a chance to use it yet, but I plan to soon.

  14. #14
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    Large is my favorite size. I bought a few different ones in college. I found that medium doesn't always do it for me, and if I need more volume than the large offers, it's too much to carry on my back anyway. I still use the XL bag for ski gear, though - perfect volume, and the waterproof aspect is frequently useful. (It was very difficult to manage on a bike, though. So too big, as well as more stuff than I want.)

    The compression straps are a good feature on a large. They're too far apart on the XL and overkill on the medium.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
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    Backpacks are better for posture, Messenger bags are great if you are frequently needing to access the contents. I like packs b/c I can put the majority of weight on the hip belt. My back aches thinking about heavy weights in a Messenger bag. My spine will never be straight again! Panniers are the bomb, especially if they have a backpack option.

  16. #16
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    There's also the idea of one strap vs two carrying the weight of the bag contents on your shoulders. While this applies somewhat when you're on the bike, it probably is more relevant while walking around. Personally I prefer to distribute the load of my pack contents onto both shoulders, instead of having just one shoulder bear the entire weight of the bag. YMMV depending on the actual contents of your bag.

  17. #17
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    If you already have a backpack or any type of bag. Get a hybridbackpack. I use it to carry my backpack to school. But if I need a beer run or groceries I can use it for that.

    Check out my videos.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/bobbisig...r?feature=mhee

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbisighncommuter
    If you already have a backpack or any type of bag. Get a hybridbackpack. I use it to carry my backpack to school. But if I need a beer run or groceries I can use it for that.

    Check out my videos.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/bobbisig...r?feature=mhee

    OK, four similar posts on this forum touting a hybrid backpack. You either really like the product or you're a shill for the company. Which is it?
    Amolan

  19. #19
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    Have used Timbuk2 amd Chrome. Vastly prefer quick release Ortlieb panners for just about anything- you can carry more weight, you don't get as hot, the centre of gravity is lower on the bike.

    I'd use a messenger bag for super short rides or if I needed to carry a bag around all day. Even then, messenger bags make kind of crappy alternatives to backpacks for carrying weight for extended periods.

  20. #20
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    I can only speak to my one experience with moderately expensive messenger bags. I have an $80 (1999 money) bag made by a company called Ant Industrial Designs. I've used it nearly daily for 12 years now and it shows no sign of giving in.

    I don't entirely subscribe to the 'you get what you pay for', but higher end products tend to be made of higher end materials.

  21. #21
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    Recommendations for pannier messenger combo?

    I am looking for a messenger pannier bag combo. I really like the Tmbuk2 shift anyone know of something similar? I am not very familiar with the brands. If the timbuk2 shift was customizable I would probably just get it.

    Thanks

  22. #22
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    Sorry, I did not mean to post in this thread.

  23. #23
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    Well I decided on a new messenger bag finally. I came home with a Mission Workshop Rummy. It boiled down to that or a Chrome Citizen. I really like the Chrome quick release but the Mission Workshop beat it in every other way. It's a little more rugged, has more pockets, and feels more durable.

    I took it camping this weekend and was quite surprised how much stuff I got in there. I haven't yet used it for commuting so I'll defer judgement for a week or two.

    But I can't help wondering: these bags are designed for "messengers" but I suspect the vast majority of users are students and commuters. Why don't they throw in a few commuter friendly features like an external pocket and a carry handle? Even messengers would enjoy an external pocket for keys, cell phone, wallet, etc. And how about a specific pocket/loop/velcro hanger for a U-lock?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbbreath View Post
    Messenger bags are a fashion statement. Nothing more.

    Get the one that makes you feel pretty.


    Or if you decide to join the world of people who think for themselves there's a million great backpacks out there that do a far superior job.
    Depends on what you are carrying. I don't commute on my bike, but being a network engineer I have a ton of crap to carry day to day.

    A backpack is great if I have books and a laptop.

    A maxpedition lunada will fit a ipad, quite a bit of stuff and a handgun. This is a great messenger type bag and even has a body strap.

    The maxpedition remora is smaller if you don't need to carry an ipad, it can still carry a gun.

    there is a great website called edcforums with a lot of ideas.

  25. #25
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    As the owner of too many expensive messenger bags (Timbuk2 Classic medium, Timbuk2 D-lux 2.0, and a Crumpler Barney Rustle Blanket) I'd like to assure you that yes, they are very nice, very expensive, very cool looking, and very worth it. The Classic and the Crumpler are both 3-4 years old and look brand new. The D-lux is brand new, and my favorite so far; it's wonderful for a laptop bag.

  26. #26
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    chrome metropolis user here....huge huge huge compartment

  27. #27
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    ex-messenger chimes in

    if your not delivering 30-40 packages a day messenger bags make very little sense.they're designed to stay fairly steady on your back when carrying large loads and still let you get into them without having to take them off when they're not overstuffed.say getting out or putting away your lock for the billionth time that day makes a messenger bag amazingly useful.

    I just use mine for grocery shopping these days and that's only because I don't put my racks on unless I'm touring. if I'm just carrying a lock a clean shirt my knives and other kitchen stuff to get to work I use my dakine drafter.

    that said I like my xl bailey works super pro better than any other messenger bag I've tried fits good even when empty HUGE lots of nice pockets and compartments for pens,spare manifests,your lock,water bottles keeping smaller packages from getting lost in the bottom of the main compartment etc etc.you know features that matter to a messenger .bailey makes a couple backpacks too they look very nice but I've already spent enough money on bags for one lifetime. so yeah buy a backpack for commuting.
    I turn wrenches at a not for profit bike shop in Denver called The Bike Depot

  28. #28
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    I own a Chrome Mini Metro for commuting, and I have to admit I bought it because it makes i feel like a bike messenger, and I like that feeling . I only use it to carry an umbrella, tissues, a bike lock, gloves, hi-vis ankle band and occasionally groceries or books. I prefer it over my Eastpak backpack, because it keeps the stuff inside dry and because of the looks (pretty pathetic, innit?)

  29. #29
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    As a long time backpacker and recent bike commuter in grad school. I have to say that I love backpacks, but they just aren't designed for school/work materials.

    My timbuk2 bag is better designed to hold papers, notebooks, binders, laptop, etc. While the backpacks work much better to carry my mtn bike tools, camelbak, clothes, and camping gear.

  30. #30
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    This is what I have used since 2003 I think... Jandd Iniki Messenger Bag.
    http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FINIKI

    I don't enjoy strapping anything to my back when riding to work so most of the time it sits on my front rack. But there are plenty of times I ride with it on too. Mission Workshop is the popular brand here, and I have owned one, but rain would get in and the corner seam tore. So I went back to my Jandd. It has served me well.

    Pros:
    ** Iniki Messenger Bag is under $100.
    ** I feel that it is made very well. I think it is better than most. White-water raft material.
    ** The main compartment has a pull-string to keep rain and snow out.
    ** There are nice, modular laptop carriers that snap into the bag.

    Cons:
    ** Strap adjustment has the same issues as most bags other than RE Load or BaileyWorks.
    ** No place to securely hold a coffee thermos. Had to rig something.
    ** Like most bags, it lacks internal structure or carry handle, so it can be a pain.
    ** Really, this is not a "pro" messenger bag. The straps are short, so you can't carry a large box. Most pro bags this size have very long straps.

    So if you are looking for a commuter bag and you ride in the rain, it is very solid and well priced. If you are a "bike messenger", buy something else that can handle a large box.
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

  31. #31
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    I have been using a Chrome Metro (large) back for the last two years. Bag is looking just as good (if not dirtier) than when I first got it. Fully waterproof, tons of space and easy to get to if you need something in it without taking it off. And, if you do need to, there is the handy seat-belt buckle.

    I find messenger bags a lot more comfortable to use than backpacks, as they tend to sit lower (not get in the way of the back of my head when leaned over) and I tend to overheat a lot less.

    Just my 2 cents...

  32. #32
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    This one is the shjt:
    http://www.511tactical.com/All-Produ...ling-Pack.html

    It is designed carry a pistol AND an SMG (for those pesky motorists). Plus has a pocket for a hydration bladder. I don't have an SMG, but when the zombie apocalypse occures. I'll be prepared.

  33. #33
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    I prefer messenger bags because I'm used to them and like the ability to access my stuff w/o having to hoist the damn thing off my back everytime but if you are walking alot then a backpack is a better route. Personaly, I just dropped $230 for a Pac Ultimate(which is really as steal by the way) and love it. I wanted something super durable,waterproof, large capacity and comfortable while riding. That Im supporting a fellow Canadian's business also played a role. This bag will last me the rest of my life while cheaper bags will fail and fast if you load it up and use it daily. I think if you plan on using it alot then spend some decent cash on the appropriate sized bag and in the long run you save money and frustration. Not many backpacks will keep things dry and zippers,for me, fail quickly where as simple velcro lasts. Fact is there are now alot of really good small messenger bag companies offering a variety of size and feature to suite most anyone for a bit extra moola but you will have something different that will last. You don't have to get what everyone else gets, like Chrome, although there is no denying the fact that they produce a great product for the price. Bags are like music, it can be real good but as soon as lt gets mainstream somehow its crap because everyone has it. Thats BS, you are not a sheep for buying what others have so long as its a good product but do check out the smaller guys.

  34. #34
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    I have three bags I use regularly:

    Chrome Ranchero - the medium size of their original flap-top made-in-the-USandA messenger backpacks. Great bag, insanely durable, I use it for short errands, social rides, etc. where I don't need to carry a ton of stuff, commuter gear, etc. They don't make the bag anymore, which is a bummer, but I doubt I'll ever need to buy a replacement, since it seems like it'll last forever.

    Chrome Metropolis - large messenger bag, Chrome durability, I use this bag for carrying bulky or weird shaped stuff. Over-the-shoulder bags are great if you're a messenger, but I'm not a messenger. Carrying heavy loads with a single shoulder bag gets pretty uncomfortable. This bag doesn't get as much use at my Mission Workshop or Chrome backpacks, but it's very useful for certain things.

    Mission Workshop Vandal - holy cow, what an amazing bag. I got it on an EP discount when I was working part-time at a bike shop, so it was very affordable, but I'd still pay full price for it if I had to. Waterproof, durable, can expand and carry huuuuuuge objects, the optional waste belt helps when you're using it off the bike and carrying a heavy load, the reinforced plastic inner liner keeps pointy stuff from digging into your back. I commute with mine, use it for errands, and it's also a my carry-on and work-bag for personal and work travel. I work in the offshore drilling industry, so when I go out to rigs, I take my MWV. It gets thrown on and off of boats, planes, and helicopters, dragged around the deck on board, through mud, grease, etc. This bag is seriously durable and very well-designed.

  35. #35
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    I'm a backpack guy for sure... Not a messenger bag fan. But I did just make the switch from a fairly garden variety lower end North Face backpack, to a high-end Timbuk2 backpack. I got the Especial Medio...and the built quality is very, very nice. Obviously can't speak to the longevity yet, but it's obvious that this thing will last a really, really long time. Well thought out features and great on the bike. It's made me a big fan of the Timbuk2 product. Totally recommend springing for their upper end stuff.
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  36. #36
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    I was looking at a Timbuk2 messenger bag, and it just falls short in almost everything compared to my Chrome Metropolis. They make good stuff, but spring for the best if you can.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    I'm a backpack guy for sure... Not a messenger bag fan. But I did just make the switch from a fairly garden variety lower end North Face backpack, to a high-end Timbuk2 backpack. I got the Especial Medio...and the built quality is very, very nice. Obviously can't speak to the longevity yet, but it's obvious that this thing will last a really, really long time. Well thought out features and great on the bike. It's made me a big fan of the Timbuk2 product. Totally recommend springing for their upper end stuff.
    Slowly getting there eh??

  38. #38
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    Just got myself a nice Ortlieb Messenger Bag (backpack).

    I've had a cheap Ortlieb rip-off for 6 years. It's completely worn down, I used it A LOT for hauling stuff, riding to the ice rink with my skates and clothing in it, getting groceries etc etc.

    I'm sure the Ortlieb is a better quality so it will last longer. Really like it so far.
    Ride more!

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Slowly getting there eh??
    Where is that? Full snob?

    For the record, I had something like 9 years and 27,000 miles on the cheap North Face Bag. No complaints there. Got it for $15 at an REI garage sale because it had no zipper tabs.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  40. #40
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    Woah, zombie thread.

    I've had my bag for 13 years. Yes, it's a Chrome. One of the last runs they did before moving headquarters to the Bay Area. Most of the clips have died, but nothing a few quick-draws, or some time with a needle and thread, won't fix.

    I like single shoulder bags because they have smaller blind spots, or none at all. In my experience, most back packs stick up too high and block the line of sight when looking over the shoulder. Roll-top type bags are the worst. I like the offerings Osprey has in their commuter line. A draw back to messenger bags: heavy loads over long periods cause twisting of the spine and exacerbate lower back pain. But proper stretching helps manage that.

    A much better option, and one I'll fix soon (my sewing machine is down), is a handlebar bag combined with a seat bag. No weight on my back and plenty of room to keep all my stuff.

  41. #41
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    For me, the only thing more cumbersome than a messenger bag would be stuff strapped to the bike. Backpack all the way. To each his own.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  42. #42
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    What the? I totally didn't ressurect this thread. I was replying to comments on here yesterday that have apparently disappeared.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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    (no excuse for that either)

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    What the? I totally didn't ressurect this thread. I was replying to comments on here yesterday that have apparently disappeared.
    That was a spam comment.

    As for bags on bikes: carrying 80+ pounds on my back doesn't sound appealing. Not that it can't be done. To each their own, for sure.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    Where is that? Full snob?

    For the record, I had something like 9 years and 27,000 miles on the cheap North Face Bag. No complaints there. Got it for $15 at an REI garage sale because it had no zipper tabs.
    I was refering how long it took you to buy a pair of studs ans winter boots.

  45. #45
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    OP here. Still using the Mission Workshop Rummy everyday several years later. It still looks great outside. Inside, the rubber coating is showing some age. I've carried some impressive loads but on an average daily basis, it's fairly standard commuter fare.

    Roll top design is fantastically functional. Velcro reduces the odds of a broken zipper. Capacity is amazing: I carried a desktop home once!

    However, I still wish it had a small external pocket for keys and cellphone. Seriously. Really miss that.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by connolm View Post
    OP here. Still using the Mission Workshop Rummy everyday several years later. It still looks great outside. Inside, the rubber coating is showing some age. I've carried some impressive loads but on an average daily basis, it's fairly standard commuter fare.

    Roll top design is fantastically functional. Velcro reduces the odds of a broken zipper. Capacity is amazing: I carried a desktop home once!

    However, I still wish it had a small external pocket for keys and cellphone. Seriously. Really miss that.
    Good to hear. When my 13yo bag dies (I don't think it will. I keep repairing it!!!) I'll replace it with a MW bag. The people at MW came from the old Chrome brand and took their high quality craftsmanship with them.

    FWIW, the liner on my bag started showing wear at about 4 years old, and here we are 9 years later and it is still 95% waterproof, in that I'd trust electronic equipment in there in anything but a massive downpour.

    Check a local army/navy surplus for attachments for phone/camera that would attach to the shoulder straps. Also, there are several companies that offer cell phone pouches or some head scratching, hook-and-loop webbing, thread and a sewing machine.

  47. #47
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
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    Both Chrome and Timbuk2 offer cellphone pouches for phones, keys, pens, etc that mount right to a shoulder strap. The Chrome pouch will only hold a small phone, while the Timbuk2 will hold the bigger 5+ " phones that are commonly in use today. I have both, and prefer the Chrome, however it will not hold my phone, so I use the Timbuk2.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    That was a spam comment.

    As for bags on bikes: carrying 80+ pounds on my back doesn't sound appealing. Not that it can't be done. To each their own, for sure.
    80 pounds?!? Good God- what are you commuting to??

    Went thru two messenger bags before I realized that I just didn't like them. I mean, they look cool and all, but it seems like a dumb way to carry my clothes and lunch. Now I just use it as my gym bag.
    On my second backpack now, Timbuk2 Phoenix in red. Brilliant bag- can't understand why they discontinued it. (To push the Viaje line, I guess? Any color as long you want black- just what I want when commuting at 5am in the dark drizzle of Seattle winter, LOL).

  49. #49
    Bedwards Of The West
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    I was refering how long it took you to buy a pair of studs ans winter boots.
    Yeah, you got me there two more areas where you get what you pay for...why does it have to be like that?

    On topic, I had my first soaker of a rain ride with the Timbuk2 backpack this morning... very nice to not even worry about the laptop and work clothes getting wet in there.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  50. #50
    Bedwards Of The West
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    That was a spam comment.

    Oops. Sorry for biting guys.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  51. #51
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRRoubaix View Post
    80 pounds?!? Good God- what are you commuting to??

    Went thru two messenger bags before I realized that I just didn't like them. I mean, they look cool and all, but it seems like a dumb way to carry my clothes and lunch. Now I just use it as my gym bag.
    On my second backpack now, Timbuk2 Phoenix in red. Brilliant bag- can't understand why they discontinued it. (To push the Viaje line, I guess? Any color as long you want black- just what I want when commuting at 5am in the dark drizzle of Seattle winter, LOL).
    It's funny because I tried to commute with a backpack, and it just was not comfortable at all. I don't carry that much that necessitates a huge bag, so the messenger style works very well for me. I picked mine up used on another forum, but would totally pay full price to get another if needed. I would have a hard time living in Seattle, and not going into the Chrome hub there and having them make me a bag. I already have a gift card to the Chicago hub/online and am considering getting another custom made the next time I go.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  52. #52
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    I picked up an Ortlieb backpack this summer and it has worked great for me, but there are certainly some things I would change. The roll top does indeed block some of my vision when I'm looking over my shoulder and I wish there was a small external pocket. I thoroughly tested its waterproof-ness though. Took it on a rafting trip of the Upper Gauley river. Remarkably, everything inside stayed dry.

    The next bag I buy will be from a local guy that runs Forest City Portage. His backpacks and messenger bags are really nice, and I like to support the local small businesses.

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