Luggage Buying Tips Part 3 – The Secrets Inside a Messenger Bag

January 19, 2014 3 min read

Last week we started doing a series on Buying Tips. Now it’s high time to move inside the fast world of messenger bags.

Messengers are a step ahead of backpacks. When it comes to lighter loads, hotter climates, looking sharp in an office space or when access on the go is needed, these fit the bill better than any over-sized alternates you may be considering. Yet there are some frequent issues. Bike inspired messenger bags depend on a soft wrapping form around your body to take a partial load off, so they’re usually not recommended for laptops which can hinder the wrap. Whilst satchels and office shoulder bags have a bit more structure, so they can deal better with rigid folders, laptops and work documents, but they can't be wrapped around your back, so it can be uncomfortable at times to carry them on the side.

3 things to look for inside a Messenger Bag:

Choose - soft for an active lifestyle or structured for being a bit more organised:
Not many bags do well with a semi-structured interior. If you have a more active lifestyle, the softer and more wrapping the messenger is, the better. A more structured bag is made to look more stylish for the office, don’t go soft and unstructured. It will flaw your entire look and appeal. Try and find a satchel that is as square as the items you’ll fill it up with. Usually, flap openings are better for soft messengers, roll-top openings for semi-structured messengers, and zip openings for structured satchels.

A good ol' strap:
You get only one, so it has to be darn good. If you’re riding, make sure the bag can be pulled up close and personal so it is positioned high on your back. This kind of messenger has to have good padding that continues also into the body of the bag. Another aspect is: quick release buckles to lengthen the strap again, when needed. If you want a structured work satchel don’t stress about the strap but it still needs to be a durable one.
Fabrics that don't clash with your environment:
When you’re riding, you’ll need water-resistant polyesters that can take all the dirt in the world; mud, rain and road muck. If you’re commuting by bus or car to the office, you can easily to get some canvas, leather and naturals in the mix. If you are looking for a stylish and weather-proof look, then coated or waxed canvas is the choice for you.

3 things to avoid while looking inside a Messenger Bag:
Mind the gaps:
Some bags have the sides turned out and they let you see past the flap and into the bag. These are the results of a lazy pattern craftsmanship and should not exist whatsoever. Tube openings, clever gussets or smart panels avoid the gaps and so should you.

Organising in a jam:
Most messengers bags have all the organising spaces right under the front flap. And when you stack layers upon layers of organising under the hood, a single apple, spectacles case or computer charger will jam lock all of them in there and make them unreachable. Look for organisers on the sides, the top inside, or anywhere that will help you avoid have a congestion going on.
Colourful and flashy or just a conference messenger bag:
Unless you’re absolutely, positively sure it looks cool, just don’t! Any outfit can be dismantled by a really ugly bag. You'll be a lot safer by going for subdued colours, minimal or no branding. Basically, a clean bag that has a really resolved shape is the best choice. At least, that’s how we see it. Let the form, shape and function do all the attention-grabbing.

Do you want to put these tips to the test right away? Start browsing through our special collection of messenger bags and find the right fit for you.

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