Looking to buy a Messenger Bag

LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
Hey folks. I'm in the market to buy a messenger bag. There are a few specific ones that I'm considering, but I'm looking for input and suggestions.

Here's what I'll be using it for:
-- iPad
-- Kindle Paperwhite
-- Water Bottle
-- Books (novel size)
-- Vita or 3DS
-- Notebooks and writing utensils

This will not be a laptop bag. I have a separate bag for my laptop. This is simply a bag that I want to use to carry some of my stuff around rather than trying to stuff it in my pockets.

The first one I'm looking at is on the Bethesda merch store. It's a Skyrim messenger bag. My one reservation with this item is that it appears to have a hard back, and I don't really want a hard backed bag.

Bioware's N7 Mass Effect bag. Does anyone have experience with this?

ThinkGeek also has a pretty sweet Wookie bag:

The other bag I've been looking at is just a general canvas bag on Amazon. It appears to have everything I'm looking for in a bag.

So anyway, on all of these I'm looking for any opinions or first hand experience. Or if there are any other awesome video game or geeky bags I should be aware of, I'm always open to other suggestions.

Bill Nguyen


  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    I've generally had good luck with Timbuk2 and Bailey Works. A lot of people also seem to love Khrome and Mission Workshop.

  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    Anything by Timbuk2 will last you an eternity. They're great bags.

  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    I'll give a third vote for Timbuk2. You can do custom color schemes, pick the size you want, and the quality is fantastic.

    *ponder* I just had a realization, too. I've been looking for a new bag, something geeky like you, and realized I can probably just get a patch to turn a Timbuk2 bag into a geeky bag.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I would recommend buying a nice bag and geeking it out with buttons/patches. I have a Timbuk2 I got on on the cheap, and I can attest to its sturdyness, I've had it for 3 years now and its survived a few moves and lugging around my heavy as shit laptop.

    If you want to pay a little more, you can customize a bag to match a geeky color scheme on their site. something like this:

    And: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Horse-Deluxe-Mass-Effect/dp/B007C37M9K

    Would have the same geek impact but you know you are getting a quality bag.

  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    Oh man. This custom bag thing on the Timbuk2 website is amazing. I'm totally going to get one of these.

    Now that I'm settled on a brand, would you guys recommend a size based on my above listed usages? I'm thinking either Small or Extra Small. Once I'm satisfied with my customization I'll post what I'm going to order.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    I would go find a dealer (plenty of places sell timbuk2) and play around with the bags. I have a commute 2.0 for a 15 inch laptop and find it completely easy to deal with while empty despite being able to swallow a family of small animals and my laptop. Go feel the weight and the size on your person, as realistically you want as big a bag as possible that's still easy to deal with.

  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    Small or extra small should work with what you want. I think my main one is a small and it fits my netbook and everything else I want fine. It's the water bottle that I'm not sure about (is it "water bottle" or "bottle of water". A bottle of water should fit fine, a water bottle maybe not).

    I also have a large and the thing is HUGE.

    I'm not sure where to find it, but somewhere they give (or used to) the bag capacity in terms of how many rolls of toilet paper it will hold which could be useful.

  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    @Iruka How did you get a link of that design? I'd like to link one here but the URL just pulls up the default grey when I try to link it.

  • NijaNija Registered User regular
    I own one of these. The only problem is, that when I put all my school books and (large) gaming laptop, it doesn't have a moveable cushion thing on the strap.

    Priest lvl 110 Warlock lvl 9x DK lvl 110 Paladin lvl 9x Rogue lvl 8x

    Steam Me
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    There is a gray share button at the top, click that and then "link to this bag"

  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    I would say the first, as you WILL get crap on it/beat the heck out of it, and white isn't as easy maintenance-wise. If you're someone who's into keeping stuff clean, it will be fine (it's just nylon after all), but I personally just toss my bag around and dust it off occasionally.

  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    Yeah, #1 is my first choice also, based on knowing the white will get dirty. Black and dark colors (the navy blue) are definitely much more serviceable. However, I think I like my #3 option best for visual appeal. But it is bound to get scuffed and not look that pretty over time.

  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    I use a small BaileyWorks Kit Courier bag for my iPad, camera, and water bottle, which is my standard kit when out and about (although I usually leave my iPad at home/hotel).
    While BaileyWorks' website doesn't allow as much customization as Timbuk2's website, if you actually call them up, they'll add additional custom details, at very reasonable prices. For example, they added velcro on the flap and a different location for the key clip to my bag, at no extra cost.

    Note that I own a Timbuk2, a CourierWare, 2 BaileyWorks, and my preference is definitely BaileyWorks.

    hsu on
  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    @hsu What is it that sets the BaileyWorks apart from your other brands?

  • cabsycabsy the fattest rainbow unicorn Registered User regular
    I can't get the timbuk2 loads to work on my phone but I will say I have what is considered an extra small bag and it is about medium purse size. I can fit a 10" netbook with extended battery, 3ds, thin book or kindle, girl wallet, phone, keys, pens, and if I stretch it maybe a bottle of water or soda but that's pretty well packed solid. It'll hold enough stuff in it that weight-wise it becomes uncomfortable to carry. I'd also recommend either going to a retailer or even going to Walmart with a tape measure and just measuring some bags until you find similar sizes (in case you live somewhere without a retailer) to get a good handle on size and what is comfortable for you to carry before you order online

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Bailey's are handmade in the USA, and anecdotally they hold up a bit better. Plus you're supporting NH, most awesome state in the union. Note that I may be slightly biased on the last point.

  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    @Lucascraft, let me go over my purchase history, from my oldest bag to my newest.

    Timbuk2's small Classic Messenger bag (the exact bag you're looking at) was my very first bag, sized for a small laptop. I customized it in black waxed canvas for all 3 panels. I wanted a professional looking bag, so bright colors were out for me. I hated the shoulder pad; it was too stiff, so it hung awkwardly off my shoulder, and too slippery, so I stopped using it. Then I found that I hated the shoulder strap itself; it was too thin and floppy, so it dug into my shoulder. A bad strap is extremely noticeable when you commute to work by train/subway, as you end up carrying your bag quite a bit. Because of this, I repurposed it to a range bag, something that I can throw into my car and only carry over my shoulder for a few minutes at a time.

    BaileyWorks' small 253 Courier was my replacement bag, again sized for a small laptop. It has a wider, thicker shoulder strap, and an extremely comfortable, non-slip shoulder pad, plus better front pockets under the flap, and a nice big zippered interior pocket, both of which were more useful than Timbuk2's pocket designs. But the better shoulder strap was the main reason for the switch. This worked fine for a long time, until I ditched the laptop (by leaving it at work and using VPN), and found myself carrying a bag that was mostly empty.

    CourierWare's mini Courier bag was my next bag, one that just barely fit an iPad and camera. Plus, it had an exterior pocket for maps (traveling to foreign countries means paper maps), tickets, and boarding passes, which is something I found lacking in my other messenger bags when traveling. This worked just fine, until I traveled overseas, ended up walking for 12 hours at a time, and found that I had no convenient location for a water bottle. At first I clipped a bottle to the strap via a carabiner, but the bottle ends up bouncing around annoyingly. Plus, the bag turned out to be just a little too small, and the exterior front pockets were not laid out all that well (they are too flat, which limits what you can put in them).

    BaileyWorks' Kit Courier bag, not available at the time of my CourierWare purchase, came to the rescue. It has a mesh external water bottle holder, so when I had cold drinks, the condensate would not get my interior electronics wet, and it has better exterior front pockets. I could have gone with an extra small, but when I tried the extra small, it looked like a purse, rather than a messenger bag. It's not perfect though; I should have added a custom, second mesh pocket, for a small umbrella.

    Edit: looking back at my Kit Courier purchase, I like the layout of the 253 Courier bag the best; not that there's anything wrong with the Kit Courier's layout, but I like the 253's layout just a bit better, so I should have gone with an extra small 253 Courier bag, a size that BaileyWorks normally only sells to Japan (I found out about it when I visited the factory, just an hour north of Boston), with 2 mesh exterior pockets, and an exterior pocket for maps.

    hsu on
  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    Me and a couple of friends all have the bag of holding from think geek, and it's a really nice bag. It might be larger than what you want for just a few items though? It's my first bag besides a backpack so I dont know how it compares.

  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited December 2013
    I don't really know anything about messenger bags, but my love of all things Portal had be buy the Portal messenger bag from Thinkgeek.

    It's huge. I use it as a laptop bag, but it's mostly unused space since all I have is a Macbook Air.

    It's also really nice quality, but I don't really have anything other than backpacks to compare it to.

    Nova_C on
  • MelinoeMelinoe Registered User regular

    Just got this for Christmas and I like it a lot. It's definitely big enough for all of the stuff you mentioned. No outside mesh pocket, which is a bummer if you have a water bottle that gets condensation, but that aside it's great.

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