What messenger bag to get.

Okay I’ve been looking for a good bag, because right now I use an under armor backpack and it really doesn’t distribute weight well, especially when the bag is full and when it is close to empty.

Here’s a big problem I want to resolve. I sweat. I sweat like a mother fucker. My back gets soaked, it leaks through the backpack and gets everything inside the most disgusting damp ever. Really gross to open up a textbook with damp pages.

It does have one thing I love, which is a little bag within the bag which is ALMOST completely sweat proof. So if i bring a second shirt I can put the old drenched one in the sweat proof pocket.

So the big things I want is to be able to sweat all over the bag and have the contents inside NOT get wet. I also want the right size bag for me, and this is where I am even more clueless than anywhere else.

The bags I have been looking at are the only reputable messenger bags I know of, Timbuk2 and Chrome. If anyone has other suggestions please throw them at me. I’m strongly leaning towards the chrome because people seem to be more in favor of it and I also like the belt buckle connector and the whole BAG in the BAG idea, which I think will resolve the sweat issue.

I also read this review http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=133693 which is on the fixed gear forum on BF so I pretty much can’t trust it at all. The tool even “accidentally” has his handgun in his back pocket in one of the pictures… how cool.

Also, Timbuk2 has released this item that makes me think MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH less of them http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/laptop/steve-sleeve

Anyway, back to the sizing. I want to be able to carry 2-3 medium sized textbooks (I’m not talking about humongous intro to biology type books) a macbook pro, maybe a change of clothing for working-out, and a towel, also room for a travel coffee mug. Looking at the chrome it seems I want something around citizen and metropolis and I’m leaning toward the citizen. The Timbuk2 sizing is a little vaguer and I’m not sure exactly what size I would want.

Anyway, any advice on what I should get would be much appreciated.

chrome roll top.
messenger bags are alright, but I kind of wish i had a nice roll top.

i like my chrome roll-top back pack. everyone and there mother has a damn messenger bag. check out the SAG backpack too.

check out seagull and re-load and chicago wig for some good messenger bags.

pretty much any bag you get will be waterproof.
i have a r.e.load and i really like it. timbuk2s are decent, i used one for over a year and started to hate it towards the end.

imho it’s worth it to drop a little more and get a nice bag.

I love my Freight but if you don’t live here in SF where they are made they can be tough to get. Sometimes even if you do live here the custom ones can be a long wait. However it’s super comfortable and well made. It also doesn’t have that annoying ‘seat belt’ style buckle which dick heads like to walk up and push the button on so your bag falls off.

i have a timbuk2 commute and a chrome metropolis.

the commute is practical for commuting. the shoulder strap, although it may not look like a cool messenger bag strap as it hooks onto the side of the bag, has a more convenient quick release/adjust than the side cam deal of the others. the back is padded AND vented, which actually helped a bit when i rode to school during the summer. (not from my truck to school, rather from the bus station a few miles away to school.)
it has a handle on the top which is actually real nice.
so yea the commute isn’t as cool as a messenger bag, may not really look like a cool mess’ bag, but it’s a real nice bag. definately more practical for school especially if you carry a laptop.

the chrome metropolis is real heavy duty. it’s also real heavy and makes my back sweat really bad. but the sweat doesn’t penetrate the cordura and especially the pvc. the strap is real comfy. harder working bag, but not the BEST for school. but for everything else it’s great.

oh and for school, if you unbuckle the bag on the chrome to take it off, that buckle swings and bangs against everything you walk past. i’ve hit someone in the head and have made such a clatter when walking into class. very embarassing.

[quote=“frankstoneline”]chrome roll top.
messenger bags are alright, but I kind of wish i had a nice roll top.[/quote]

What makes you wish you had a roll top? I was looking at them, but they are more expensive. Also, I am going to be wearing it primarily for school which means walking with it on my back a great deal too, so a backpack type thing seems maybe better for me.

one shitty part about a backpack is that its a pain to get stuff out of it without taking your arm out of a strap first. with a messenger bag you can just swing it around and reach in. something to consider.

[quote=“tx_what_it_do”]i have a timbuk2 commute and a chrome metropolis.

the commute is practical for commuting. the shoulder strap, although it may not look like a cool messenger bag strap as it hooks onto the side of the bag, has a more convenient quick release/adjust than the side cam deal of the others. the back is padded AND vented, which actually helped a bit when i rode to school during the summer. (not from my truck to school, rather from the bus station a few miles away to school.)
it has a handle on the top which is actually real nice.
so yea the commute isn’t as cool as a messenger bag, may not really look like a cool mess’ bag, but it’s a real nice bag. definately more practical for school especially if you carry a laptop.

the chrome metropolis is real heavy duty. it’s also real heavy and makes my back sweat really bad. but the sweat doesn’t penetrate the cordura and especially the pvc. the strap is real comfy. harder working bag, but not the BEST for school. but for everything else it’s great.[/quote]

I like the idea of the padded/vented back as my back sweats so fucking much, but my current backpack kind of has a similar thing and the problem is the padding acts as a big sponge, so I wear my frist shirt that I bike in, put on my new clean/dry shirt and then put the backpack back on and it re-soaks my back from the sweat that stays in the padding. It takes roughly an hour to really dry to the point of not soaking my back (and even then it’s still kind of grossly moist).

Does the padding/venting on the commute avoid this problem?

Yea, this was something I was taking into consideration, but not a deal-breaker on the backpack…

DOUBLE POST

[quote=“duckwars”][quote=“frankstoneline”]chrome roll top.
messenger bags are alright, but I kind of wish i had a nice roll top.[/quote]

What makes you wish you had a roll top? I was looking at them, but they are more expensive. Also, I am going to be wearing it primarily for school which means walking with it on my back a great deal too, so a backpack type thing seems maybe better for me.[/quote]

two straps is FAR more practical as far as load bearing applications go. My general uses include school (but I usually take an old old north face pack I have for that) and getting groceries. A messenger bag is designed to easily slide around for access, so sometimes with bigger/more awkward grocery loads it slips, despite use of a cross strap.

the padding on the commute doesn’t really absorb sweat. feels like really really thick, dense neoprene, not just like foam and mesh like on north face backpacks. the venting helps a lil, doesn’t prevent sweat but i sweat less than being wrapped in my chrome.

This. No bag worth a damn will let water/sweat through the outer layer.
I ended up getting a crumpler a year (maybe two, now) ago and am happy with it, as it’s held up very well through daily use.
If I had enough cash to throw around and buy another bag, I’d probably get a custom one made up, but I like custom shit so… vOv

If you have heavy stuff in there and you walk around a lot, a backpack is better than a standard messenger bag. Messenger bags are made for riding and they work really well at that, when you’re in a riding position, the weight rests on your back not your shoulder, but a heavy messenger bag gets your shoulders tired if walking around. Straps on both shoulders is better for walking.

So, the more I think about it and look around the more I’m leaning towards a messenger bag. I realized I pretty much only wear a backpack when riding. I ride to school, from class to class, and back. Also, in 2 weeks I will be COMPLETELY car free. I lived with my sister who has a car, so I could always fall back on her, but now I will need to do everything via bike, so I’m thinking messenger bag. Also, I realize I already have a backpack so I can always use that if for whatever reason I know I will not be biking.

I looked at reload and the bag I would get from them is the small civilian. It’s base price is 107$ which is about the price of a chrome citizen messenger bag. Also, they have a lot of options and I could see myself customizing it and making it even more.

Timbuk2 is also running a sale right now, but all their bags on sale don’t particularly tickle my fancy. The ones that are on sale are mostly only in small and x-small sizes.

Crumpler’s website confuses me (it is a disgusting flash monstrosity) and looking through all their bags I don’t really know what I’d be getting, although their prices are much more reasonable.

At this point I guess I should ask the question, “What reasons should I not get a chrome messenger bag?” From what has been said here it looks like it is a bag not aimed at being worn while walking and is somewhat heavy. I’m a little mixed feeling about the belt buckle strap because of what tx_what_it_do said about it popping off and the strap(s) going flying. I can imagine that happening, I can also imagine some of my dickier friends constantly pushing the button, or pretending to.

Also, does anyone know what kind of return policy chrome has. The website says

“Money Back Guarantee
If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, for any reason, return the unused item in its original condition (within a reasonable amount of time), for a full refund, less shipping costs. We will refund shipping costs if the return is the result of our error. Please return the item in the original box or a package of sufficient size to accommodate the item. Please don’t roll or cram the bag in a tiny package, this results in damage to the product which may result in only a partial refund.”

It says “unused item”, but do they really expect that? I mean how will they know if I used it for a week and want to return it? Is this some minor technicality in all return policies that people pretty much don’t care about? I never actually read return policies.

backpack for life. i love my rolltop. anything else is uncivilized.

Jim, we will fight over this.

to the death?

Nah, because then I will have to go get slushies and donuts alone.