What’s good in messenger bags?

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  • What’s good in messenger bags?
  • After foolishly giving away my lovely (and indestructible) Manhattan Portage bag I now find myself in need of one again. I like the look of the Osprey Flapjack but they don’t make ’em any more and I keep missing them on the classifieds.

    So what’s good? Needs to carry a 14″ laptop plus other gubbins like lunch and notebooks and a mirrorless camera. Sooner have something big than be cramming things in.

    Working on a bike is less important as I have panniers for that.

    Premier Icon kilo

    Have been using a Chrome Citizen courier bag for a few years now – no issues at all with it, recommended.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    My Patagonia Half Mass is great for that. I squeeze in 15.6 laptop. It’s just big enough for an overnight too.

    It’s now 15 years old and still going, used daily for work these days.

    Premier Icon nickc

    Mission Workshop make some nice ones. Pricey though

    Timbuk2 fanboi here.

    Plain black, ten+ years of use as cabin baggage, weekend bag, beach bag, shopping bag, work bag, etc. Only just starting to show any sort of wear now.


    I love my YNOT messenger which has a cracking strap plus a cobra buckle for easy release and is very tough…. Again, not cheap though and very much cut for cycling.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago

    +1 for Timbuk2

    Lomo stuff is good value hardwearing stuff not the most stylish

    Premier Icon rossburton

    Timbuk2 for the win.

    I’ve an 11 year old classic messenger that is still going strong. Fell in love with the ‘hazzard’ colourway (daygo orange/green/black) and bought one in their sale earlier in the year: just as solid but with some good improvements.

    Lots of people like Crumpler but I’ve never got on with their messenger bags.

    Premier Icon tootallpaul

    Where is the best place to get a Timbuk2 bag in the UK?

    Not sure what they do now, but by Crumpler one must be 15 years old and is still going strong. I bought it carry a 15″ G4 Apple Powerbook in!


    Another bombproof option –


    Premier Icon hot_fiat

    I don’t think crumpler have a UK distributor right now. My Crumpler Cheesy Disco was bought in 2005/6 and has only just been replaced, by a brand new, old stock Cheesy Disco that I found on ebay for £20. Truly superb bags.


    Timbuk2 here.
    Survived me sliding down the road on top of it after coming off my bike.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed

    Mack Workshop, Mission, ever reliable Chrome, Jordan@ BigXTop, not sure if Belk are still making.

    My Chrome Metropolis is 13 years old and still perfectly fine. A bit too big really, because it weighs a tonne when full.

    Premier Icon Whydot

    +1 for the Patagonia Half Mass. Mine has done 10 years and still looks near enough new, despite being used daily.

    Lifetime warranty as well for when it does eventually die!

    Has anyone tried the one in the STW shop? I like the ethical and eco side of these…


    Literally just posted my Flapjack Courier in the classifieds:

    Osprey Clearout

    Premier Icon nedrapier

    What’s good in messenger bags?


    @IvanDobski literally just PMd you.

    Watching with interest as I’ve never found the right one for me, don’t drive so use it for commuting and general shopping etc. I’ve had:

    2001 Patagonia Critical Mass. Still got it but it was never great, just a big floppy messenger. Worked well for lugging boxes on my bike as it sort of just wrapped round them. My Mrs still uses it as a weekend bag.
    2004-2008, Crumpler something. Fabric was rough, pretty indestructible but didn’t get on with it. Then some North Face thing, that was rubbish.
    2008 Osprey Flap Jack. OK as a slightly nicer laptop bag but not great for cycling. Sat in my office now, as a slightly nicer laptop bag for walking to on-site meetings.
    2010ish medium Timbuk2. probably the best messenger I’ve had for cycling, but the strap annoys me. think they’ve changed to seatbelt material. Still looks mint, should’ve got a bigger one.
    Current bag is an Osprey Momentum 32 backpack. Somehow manages to be massive on my back but tiny inside. Pretty hard wearing and has a waterproof cover, but low level annoying.

    I’ve looked at Life Behind Bars bags but feels a bit risky buying one without seeing them. Not sure I’d want to pay Mission Workshop money. Bagaboo look good, especially with the extra cross strap.

    Premier Icon notmyrealname

    Just stuck my Timbuk2 bag up on the classifieds if anyone’s after one…

    Has anyone tried a Trakke bag. Before this thread became active I ordered a Wee Lug. It was quite expensive!!
    It’s well made and looks ok, but there’s just something about it. It’s quite basic for the price. That said I like the cotton finish
    It is currently sat unused in the kitchen. Do I like it or not? Do I want it or not?
    Just not sure, I need convincing!

    Millican shoulder bags

    I’ve a Stewart and it’s a nicely made thing although I’ve been tempted to get a Trakke too but quite £££

    A peanut butter sarnie wrapped in foil
    A small banana
    A small flask of hot, sweet tea
    A thick paperback novel of the intelligent-yet-ripping yarn variety
    A few gingernuts wouldn’t go amiss either.
    Keys, to get back indoors when you finally get home.

    Premier Icon andygreener

    So the normal recomend what you have thingy – Defy bags


    I am also looking for a messenger bag.

    20L preferred as I use it for weekly shopping.

    My ORTLIEB massenger bag that I bought from Classified few years ago is now knacked as the zip is completely broken.

    So keep the suggestions coming … 😀

    Premier Icon dissonance

    Have a crumpler which is still going pretty strong after several years commuting with laptop. Although now only sporadic use. Specific laptop pocket and case which works well.
    Have a Bagaboo which is very nice for general use. Not really designed for laptop though although think can get it built with laptop pockets.

    Well I just bought IvanDobski’s Osprey off the classifieds (my fourth Osprey bag I think, guess I’m a bit of a fan boy) but cheers for all the suggestions. If I don’t like it for whatever reason I’ve plenty more to go at.

    Premier Icon djflexure

    My mission workshop has been faultless for 5 or 6 years
    Kept lab top dry

    Premier Icon ART

    My Timbuk2 is 24 years old…. used daily 😄

    Crumpler. Look good. Waterproof. Indestructible. Lightweight. Can be had from https://crumpler.co.uk/ and Amazon.


    Ooh… I like those life behind bars bags…. Pretty much like the YNOT junction I have but for less cash.
    Also really like the mission Work shop bags and might have to get rid of my collection of Timbuktu and crumpler bags and purchase one…. Bit of a messenger bag fiend tbh.
    I quite liked the crumplers as they sat well on the back when cycling but never got on with the Timbuktu as it always seemed to shift around…. The North Face one was shite, it never sat in place and was the sweatiest thing ever.

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