Stop my messenger bag from sliding down?
October 4, 2008 9:33 AM   Subscribe

I have a Timbuk2 messenger bag. When I ride with it on, it wants to slip down to the right under my right arm. What can I do to make it more friction-y or tacky on the back, such that it is not so slidey?

There is, of course, the included lateral strap, but I want to avoid using that.

I am thinking along the lines of brushing on liquid latex, or something.
posted by everichon to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can you add some of that grippy rubber stuff to the shoulder strap? The extra friction at the shoulder might be the key to keep from it from sliding. Extra friction on the back might be overcome by the bounces, jiggles, and body movement inherent in cycling. (Which what I assume "riding" means; your not in the pony express, right?)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:47 AM on October 4, 2008

Response by poster: Yes, riding a road bike fairly in a fairly bent-over position, not a horse.
posted by everichon at 9:57 AM on October 4, 2008

Some backpacks have somewhat tacky material on the inside of the waist belt to prevent it from sliding down. Perhaps ask your friendly neighborhood outdoor shop? Until then, the best thing to do is to shorten up the main strap. If the bag sits higher on your back, it'll be less likely to slide down into your armpit.
posted by harkin banks at 9:59 AM on October 4, 2008

Response by poster: I do wear it quite high up; I think if I cinch it further I will be unable to breathe. :o) The outdoor store suggestion is a good one.
posted by everichon at 10:00 AM on October 4, 2008

Timbuk2 themselves make an extra-grippy shoulder strap pad. I've never used one myself, but it seems like it might be good for your purposes.
posted by box at 10:46 AM on October 4, 2008

A drastic (but maybe worth in your case) solution could be Velcro tape, just to give it some stability.
posted by ddaavviidd at 10:47 AM on October 4, 2008

Best answer: You need a sternum strap. It attaches to both shoulder strap anchor points and goes around your waist/chest area in front to cinch it tightly. They're usually also removeable and do double-duty as a tie-down (I last used mine to keep a fork/stem/handlebar assembly tied into my bag on a ride home from the LBS).

I don't know why a "messenger" bag would come without one..
posted by kcm at 10:59 AM on October 4, 2008

Response by poster: You need a sternum strap

It came with one. I've not wanted to use it, for simplicity's sake, though my resolve is weakening.
posted by everichon at 11:09 AM on October 4, 2008

I commute to work with a laptop bag that did this until I lengthened the strap so the bag was lower on my back. Once I got it below both my shoulder blades, it stopped bouncing around so much (and it would always slip after a bounce). It stays put now that I've got the strap let out so far the bag sits over my kidneys while I'm riding.
posted by Crosius at 2:58 PM on October 4, 2008

Use the sternum strap if you ride w/ your bag high. I have to use mine and it makes all the difference.
posted by lannanh at 3:24 PM on October 4, 2008

Grip liner, the stuff that they sell to line shelves and drawers with. It's a few dollars a roll, it comes in all sorts of colors and texture (depending on brand), and it's at nearly anywhere you'd buy kitchen and home stuff. Then just cut to size and attach with tape or pins or whatever is appropriate for your bag.

I've actually got a few extra rolls around the house. If you'd rather not buy a whole roll, I can mail you a square of it.
posted by truex at 3:25 PM on October 4, 2008

Look, you can stick as much to your bag as you want, but you really want this to be working when you go over a bump - like a railroad track - and now it's dangling between your legs, and now you don't have time to re-adjust it before you hit the next track. The strap is the way to go. It's what the pros use, and why it exists.. anything based on gravity will fail at a most un-opportune time.

I'm missing my front teeth and have more broken bones than you'd want to know about resulting from bike crashes. I know what I speak of. :)
posted by kcm at 7:58 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

the strap makes all the difference. it doesn't even need to cinched tight - loose is good enough.
posted by ye#ara at 3:27 AM on October 5, 2008

You need a stabilizer strap on any messenger bag to get it to not move around.
posted by loriginedumonde at 5:40 PM on October 5, 2008

Response by poster: Yeah, tried the goddam sternum strap today. It works, and I agree that 10-20 lbs of stuff is not anything to entrust to friction. Thanks, all.
posted by everichon at 1:45 PM on October 6, 2008

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