Briefcases / Messenger Bags

LiquidMantis wrote:
Maq wrote:

Gotta go with Crumpler

Although to be fair that's not going to win any briefcase-look awards.

I gotta Back the Maq. I've got a few Crumpler bags and I really like both the styling and the quality. But yeah, they aren't really going to blend in with corporate culture.

Yeah it sticks out a bit, but I basically said to hell with it. I've had my Crumpler Horseman since 2006 and it basically looks the same as it did when I bought it, and it's been to Europe/Asia several times over.

I've been eyeing their Dry Red briefcases for a bit, but they just don't look like they can carry as much stuff as my messenger.

I wasn't aware that Rolex watches double as bags. The more you know.

Seriously though, you guys have given so many suggestions in this thread I feel like while I could go in any direction and find a good bag for myself, yet I have no idea which direction to go in.

Delerat wrote:

I wasn't aware that Rolex watches double as bags. The more you know.

Seriously though, you guys have given so many suggestions in this thread I feel like while I could go in any direction and find a good bag for myself, yet I have no idea which direction to go in.

Start with more formal vs. more casual, if it's going to be a work bag. Then work your way out from there.

clover wrote:
Delerat wrote:

I wasn't aware that Rolex watches double as bags. The more you know.

Seriously though, you guys have given so many suggestions in this thread I feel like while I could go in any direction and find a good bag for myself, yet I have no idea which direction to go in.

Start with more formal vs. more casual, if it's going to be a work bag. Then work your way out from there.

Well it's mainly going to be for school and short trips out of town. I think I've actually managed to settle on the Timbuk2 Medium Commute Messenger Bag. Now I'm just torn between the blue one because it will stand out more, or black because it's more professional and sleek.

Also, you guys are certain Timbuk2 holds up really well? I like the life-time warranty, but it doesn't cover the shipping and with me being in Canada it could cost a lot to have it fixed for "free".

I had my first for six years! Used it as a school bag, laptop bag, travel carryon, and it still looked almost new. No stitching issues or anything behaving badly at all. I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

Oh, wait...

Edit: I carried a Macbook Pro in a sleeve most of the time... Medium was good for that plus a few notebooks and assorted stuff. Large would be too much to lug around all the time, but I'm only 5'8".

I'm looking at Timbuk2's and am not sure which to get. My primary use is for overnight stays when I have to go to one of the remote offices. So I'm looking for it to hold laptop+charger, change of clothes and toiletry essentials. Any extra space is a plus, but I want something that I can carry on without hassle and take with me to the office so that I can heard straight to the airport.

How big is your laptop?

The friend I mentioned has started a blog for his bag creation process: http://prometheuspacks.tumblr.com/

clover wrote:

How big is your laptop?

Is space an issue?

trichy wrote:
clover wrote:

How big is your laptop?

Is space an issue?

o/

clover wrote:

How big is your laptop?

13" MBA

I stumbled across the Novara Gotham Backpack at REI recently and ended up picking one up to replace my busted Ogio. It's substantially lighter than the Ogio and yet still has a laptop sleeve that fits my 15" MacBook, and there's still enough room for everything I was already carrying. Between that and the breathable back-panel I've dropped using my old Manhattan Portage J-bag for the Novara when biking to work (the Ogio was too big and heavy) and I can carry more with the same weight and arrive without a sweaty back.

The reviews criticize the durability of the bag and it definitely won't last as long as a good messenger bag, for example, but between the low weight, capacity, and breathability it's a perfect fit for me. I've personally never been super-fond of messenger bags anyway because the load isn't distributed evenly, so it's nice to find a backpack that I can ride with that doesn't feel constricting.

Robear wrote:

Swissgear by Wenger are incredibly popular as contractor bags in the DC area. Very functional and durable.

I have one too. Really good bag.

I have an old German Mil-surplus pack by Schulze-Brakel I use, but I will neglect to praise it in a messenger bag thread.

BishopRS wrote:
clover wrote:

How big is your laptop?

13" MBA

A medium will hold everything you listed but not much else. A large will give you more stowage, but it won't fit under an airplane seat quite as well.

Edit:
Oh, definitely get one that has a partition/laptop compartment in it. My old one was a plain messenger bag and I kept my Mac in one of those Incase sleeves... it was easy to get it out at checkpoints, but a real pain to slide it back into a packed bag. I ended up always leaving the sleeve inside as a placeholder, and just pulling out the computer. Otherwise the whole bag needed to be repacked.

The actual checkpoint-friendly ones make me nervous because your laptop ends up inside the top flap, and I would always have an irrational fear of it getting smashed somehow. I like mine in the back of the bag, against my spine.

Gregory Crossfade!

I like Rickshaw Bagworks in San Francisco. They're custom made-to-order and (so far) seem really well-made and reliable.

I have a feeling this bag is going to sit in my shopping cart for a week before I can pick between the blue bag or the black bag. Decisions, decisions.

Delerat wrote:

I have a feeling this bag is going to sit in my shopping cart for a week before I can pick between the blue bag or the black bag. Decisions, decisions.

Flip a coin.

boogle wrote:
Delerat wrote:

I have a feeling this bag is going to sit in my shopping cart for a week before I can pick between the blue bag or the black bag. Decisions, decisions.

Flip a coin.

One of each.

I've had my medium Timbuk2 custom Commute Messenger bag for 1 week and I am now in love with it.

KrazyTacoFO wrote:

I've had my medium Timbuk2 custom Commute Messenger bag for 1 week and I am now in love with it.

Same. I need to order a shoulder pad, but other than that, it's incredible.

Can anyone recommend a bag or brand that folds up to a small package?

I like having a messenger bag with me when I travel. I prefer them to those keychain backpacks or other types of day bags. And I adore my Tom Bihn large cafe bag, but while the material is durable it also takes up more room than I'd like. It's also about as waterproof as a sponge.

Size is large enough to fit a couple books and a tablet or netbook.

jollyeskimo wrote:
LiquidMantis wrote:
Maq wrote:

Gotta go with Crumpler

Although to be fair that's not going to win any briefcase-look awards.

I gotta Back the Maq. I've got a few Crumpler bags and I really like both the styling and the quality. But yeah, they aren't really going to blend in with corporate culture.

Yeah it sticks out a bit, but I basically said to hell with it. I've had my Crumpler Horseman since 2006 and it basically looks the same as it did when I bought it, and it's been to Europe/Asia several times over.

I've been eyeing their Dry Red briefcases for a bit, but they just don't look like they can carry as much stuff as my messenger.

The guy whose company we were paying $700 a day to help us setup a new library system had a Crumpler bag. So, who knows. Maybe a casual bag is okay.

trichy wrote:
boogle wrote:

See how that inside is waterproof? Throw a 6 pack and some ice in there. BAM COOLER.

Mind = Blown.

I have to say the Timbuk2 guys are as forward thinking as you are: Dolores Chiller.

Pity it doesn't seem to be sold on their website anymore.

Just as a quick plug for Timbuk2: I got an email from them yesterday informing me that a sale had begun since I purchased my bag. Without me complaining or even asking, they applied the new sale price, refunded me over thirty bucks, and have shipped me the free strap pad that the new sale promises. They may have sealed me as a customer for life.

trichy wrote:

Just as a quick plug for Timbuk2: I got an email from them yesterday informing me that a sale had begun since I purchased my bag. Without me complaining or even asking, they applied the new sale price, refunded me over thirty bucks, and have shipped me the free strap pad that the new sale promises. They may have sealed me as a customer for life.

Whoa. That kind of customer service awareness just made my choice easier.

Oh man, so this thread had me put a Timbuk2 laptop bag in my shopping cart, finger over the purchase button.

$200? Everyone is raving about it but it's still nylon, I don't know... I think I'll check amazon.

The same bag but just black is $80.

Hmm... but what if I could find something in leather?

3 hours of browsing and research later, I find this for $120 with a lifetime warranty.

I'm waaaay too picky about bags.

I've been using Booq's Cobra Case for a while. There was a small defect in the original one a purchased and they shipped me a replacement based on a quick photo I took with my phone. It's particularly handy for weekend sojourns and business trips, and nothing I've placed in it has ever been damaged. One time in particular, I forgot my umbrella and while the bag was soaked from the rain, my books, laptop, and work papers were bone dry inside. They are a bit spendy when compared to Timbuk2 products, which I know to also be of high quality, but Booq uses ballistic nylon and their design is the best out there in my opinion.

My only complaint is that the Cobra Case is a bit heavy for my daily commute on the 'L'. I'm going to buy a slimmer/lighter bag for my daily trips and reserve the Cobra for weekend and business trips.

My bag arrived today! It ended up being a bit more expensive due to shipping and being dinged at the border, but here it is in all it's fabulousness!
IMAGE(http://i49.tinypic.com/2wfv41s.jpg)
I went with blue!

Since you showed yours...
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