A useful bag for putting things in.
January 6, 2012 11:22 AM Subscribe
I know I'm not the first with this sort of question, but bear with me. I need some sort of messenger-bag/briefcase/laptop-case thing for school, work, travel, cycling, and general out-and-about purposes. Emphasis on durability, value, and versatility. Anybody have some good recommendations?
posted by Scientist to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (24 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
OK, I know these messenger-bag threads have been done plenty of times but I haven't found anything that looks quite right. (Feel free to point out an old thread though if you know of one that would suit the needs described below!) Here is my version of the old story:
I need a new all-purpose bag that can hold my 11" laptop (in its neoprene sleeve), a book or two, my lunch, a water bottle, some writing stuff, and a few other sundries without making a big deal out of it. It needs to be something that I can take anywhere -- I want it to ride on my back when I'm biking to work, hang briefcase-style at my side or from a grab handle when I'm walking around campus, and slide under an airplane seat when I'm flying home for the holidays. It needs to be durable and long-lasting as I am not gentle to my things and probably never will be despite my best efforts to retrain myself. It must be as cheap as possible without compromising basic quality. Points for plain, anonymous styling and lack of prominent branding.
I think what I need is a messenger bag of some sort, but the selection is a bit bewildering and it's not something I have a lot of experience shopping for. I currently make do with a $30 black nylon briefcase from Target which is almost perfect except that it is just a bit too small and tends to slide down off my back and dangle against my leg when I'm riding my bike. I don't want a backpack, by the way -- I'm looking for something a bit more professional-looking, something which will blend in a little better with the slacks/t-shirt/suit-jacket look that I usually wear. It doesn't matter if it has a dedicated laptop compartment as my laptop has its own sleeve -- in fact, plain compartments would be better than laptop-specific ones. I think that two large main compartments plus some pockets for smaller things would be about perfect. A grab handle on the top is pretty much a must, as is a shoulder-strap arrangement that can hold the bag either down at my side or securely against my back.
The most difficult requirement is probably my budget, though; I'm a struggling student, and $100 is a lot of money to me. I'm not tied to a specific price point and I certainly don't want anything that is likely to fall apart after just a year or so, but if there isn't anything I can afford which satisfies my needs then I'll probably just keep getting by with what I already have. I'm not against turning to non-traditional sources like military surplus stores and such, if you think I could find something suitable there.
That's about everything I can think of. I'll be around to clarify if anyone has more questions about what I'm looking for. Thanks in advance for what I'm sure will be excellent advice.