Load Messenger Bag The classic messenger look This traditional messenger offers up an insane amount of capacity and can be customized down to the threading. Check out our update, with a few twists, turns, and fresh looks at the messenger bag. The Monty is the only bag out of those I tested that my partner liked. It has ample pockets—but not too many—carefully crafted to secure and protect your electronics.
Recently, however, many bicycle commuters are switching to backpacks, which distribute the weight more comfortably over two straps. This style doesn't allow for the quick access that a messenger bag does, but if you don't need on-the-fly access, then this isn't a problem. This shift in the needs of urban cyclists puts pressure on the traditional designers to keep up with the evolution and growth of the urban cycling community.
We tested these products extensively, in a range of situations, to explore the concept of comfort and muse over the reasons to use a bag instead of a backpack or pannier. On our official OGL Ride Test, we took notes on the carrying comfort of a variety of load types and weights; and in our OGL Load Test, we maxed out every bag and reported on its optimum load size, before the bag became unwieldy and uncomfortable.
In our first round of testing, we asked: How is the padding? And most importantly, how does it handle a variety of load types and weights? Then we considered the design features such as a cross-body stabilizing strap, or, in some modern twists, the addition of backpack straps. The strap designs factor in heavily to the Comfort metric, and there are more and more creative takes on how to make the shoulder strap more comfortable. But comfortable straps aren't necessarily the whole story—the way the bag rests on your back and how closely it sits factor in also.
The top score in this metric goes to the Designs Mountain Briefcase. Topo Designs took a different approach to comfort: Runners-up in the comfort category were the Timbuk2 Classic and the Chrome Mini Metro , which are functionally similar products.
These two rest more angled or vertical on your back like a traditional model after all, these two companies define the messenger for purists. They are easy to adjust with supple fabrics that hug close to the body and move with you, whether on foot, bike, subway, skateboard, etc. Some bags were surprisingly comfortable for their niche design, such as the Timbuk2 Proof which is a dressed up, business-oriented bag. The Tom Bihn Daylight Briefcase also scores well because it is small and light, which functionally made it comfortable to carry around on a daily basis.
Additionally, two of our award winners, the Patagonia Black Hole and the Osprey FlapJack did not score as highly in this category mainly due to the lack of cross strap Patagonia or a weird and quasi-functional stabilizer strap Osprey.
This is important to mention because if you are not someone who does a lot of long-distance bike commuting, this cross-body stabilizer strap shouldn't factor heavily into your purchase decision.
If that's the case, these two contenders are still above average in the comfort metric. Two factors stand out in the packing and organization category: A bag needs to improve our daily commute with a relatively broad array of attributes: To be an effective model means that it addresses our needs, as diverse and changeable as they may be from one day to the next.
Second, it needs to be efficient. We don't want to be slowed down, weighed down, or in any way hindered by our accessories; we want a bag that makes us feel more free and nimble. An intelligently designed organization scheme will allow us to be organized, but not require us to overthink it. These two broad attributes, effectiveness and efficiency, aligned in the Patagonia Black Hole. It did not have the most pockets: Instead, it had just enough organizational options, not too many that we got lost in a labyrinth of pockets, sleeves, and zippers.
Topo Designs takes a similar approach with the Mountain Briefcase , offering streamlined but handy features. The runners-up will please those who have a preference for lots of pockets: Both of the Timbuk2 products also score well. The Timbuk2 Proof is the best for business and office use, with features well tuned to its user type.
The Timbuk2 Classic also has just enough pockets to be fun and functional, but not too many. This would have been a stronger competitor, but it lacked a few easy-access features that made it, overall, slightly less versatile and required a bit more thought to pack efficiently. We also really liked the extremely simple yet thoughtful pockets and additional add-ons from Tom Bihn's Daylight Briefcase.
Back in the 80s, when bags started to take off among bicycle messengers, not many users were toting around computers the size of a notebook, small space-age touchscreen gadgets, and they certainly didn't have cell phones.
All that technology could barely fit in a small room at that time, let alone in a bag that slings over your shoulder. Today, however, things have changed—and most manufacturers have evolved with the times. Most of the models in this review have kept true to the spirit of the messenger, even in modern times: Most of the top scoring bags include padded laptop sleeves and pockets useful for cords and tablets.
The Topo Designs Mountain Briefcase has a streamlined and straightforward electronics-friendly design, while the Timbuk2 Proof offers a refined take for your casual business needs.
We had several runners-up, all award winners of some sort, but all for slightly different reasons. The Osprey FlapJack features myriad organizational options, and the Mobile Edge ECO also had a distinct and thoughtful approach to toting around laptops, tablets, and phones. The Patagonia Black Hole kept a straightforward and streamlined approach which was enough, not too much, and as a result, an easy bag to adapt to our changeable needs.
Tom Bihn takes another approach to toting around electronics. The Daylight Briefcase is too small for a standard laptop, and since many people have a case for their tablet already, you might not need a padded sleeve. Additionally, if you stuff a jacket in the back pocket, you can add padding without adding unnecessary weight or bulk to your bag.
But if you do want a tablet sleeve, you can purchase their "cache" which attaches to rails for easy access and storage in the bag.
The Timbuk2 Classic was less remarkable for our electronics storage, but still well above average. To earn an average score in this metric a bag had to have a secure and padded laptop sleeve, at a minimum. A bag needs to keep up on a rigorous commute, whether on bike, foot, subway, skateboard, rollerblades, Lyft, Vespa, etc. The messenger is a bag for many traveler types, from the urban athlete to the reluctant business person.
We put these products to the test on our humdrum daily errands, as well as our epic urban adventures, airport travel, and even pushed the boundaries a bit on hikes.
In our OGL Load Test, we assessed how logical, intuitive, and easy the bag was to pack and how quickly we could access the contents. Product - KroO Product Title KroO Already a Shipping Pass member? Free returns online or in-store Not completely satisfied? We've made returning items as easy as possible. Never worry about minimum orders Order as often as you like all year long. Cancel your subscription any time. It's free shipping made easy It's your key to free shipping. Use your subscription to unlock millions more items that ship free.
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Report your issue Only associates can see this. Items sold by Walmart. Select items that are not included in Shipping Pass will ship for free but with value shipping. Bosca leather is made in Italy using primarily natural vegetable tannins. Each hide is individually hand stained with a translucent pigment for a rich coloration.
Upon completion, each hide is inspected and individually signed to ensure only the best quality. In , a young Italian immigrant named Hugo Bosca founded our company on a foundation dedicated to originality, ingenuity, and lasting quality. Today, the Bosca family and Bosca brand remain stubbornly dedicated to these timeless values. Every detail of each product receives our full consideration from design, to engineering, and, finally, manufacturing. Many of our customers have fallen in love with our products and have become lifelong Bosca friends.
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Our hands-on team is small, knowledgeable, and committed to meeting your needs. Every Bosca product is a work of art, handcrafted with over years of experience. Our stubborn dedication to the quality of our leather shows in every product we sell. We source our hides from small free-range farms in Europe. Hides with blemishes and scars need to be colored with heavy pigments - covering the natural look and feel of the leather - so we select only the best hides to send to our tannery in Italy.
After the tanning process, we inspect the hides for a second time. Color is then applied by hand rubbing translucent dyes into the leather - for this reason we often refer our to leather as hand-stained. We inspect again, looking for flaws and imperfections, but also at the character and coloring of the hide to makesure each one is ideal.
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