Help me find the perfect murse
October 19, 2010 6:09 PM   Subscribe

Help me find the perfect murse, man-bag or whatever you want to call it?

I've hunted and pecked just about all of AskMeFi for this perfect murse:

I want something that I can use to carry around my notebooks (paper, not laptop) and maybe someday in the future, an iPad too. So definitely something along the dimensions of an iPad, but with a bit more depth, as I carry quite a few notebooks and stationary.

Pockets: The more, the merrier! In any and every conceivable spot on the bag? Even better!

Bags I'm considering that almost fit the bill Tom Bihn Medium Cafe Bag, and Patagonia Single Shot

I would love a bag that's also discrete. The more it blends in like being a part of my body, the better. Which is why I have not bothered with larger messenger bags.

In case it matters, here's what usually goes with me on a daily basis. Apple's Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard (for use with my phone), anywhere from 3-4 large sized Moleskines and some other odd sized notebooks or sketchpads, with more stationary than I should have.

I'm sure a lot of folks here are going to vote for Tom Bihn, I don't blame them... I'm leaning towards it too. But I'd like to see if there's something else that's around the dimensions of 10" x 11.5" x 3".

Also, if it's no more than $60 before shipping, that'd be awesome. Not a fan of leather, just putting that out there. Simple colors, preferably black, grey or navy.

posted by jasmeet to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (24 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Have you ever been to Uncrate? I shop there and I'm a girl -- but they always have the BEST bags and gear:
posted by patronuscharms at 6:11 PM on October 19, 2010

I recently got this Brooklyn Industries bag and I love it. It's sold as a laptop bag, but it's pretty much perfect for anything flat.
posted by griphus at 6:15 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: patronuscharms: I have, I love that site. But it seems like just about most of the bags there are either pricey, or much bigger than what I need right now. Is there a particular blog post you're thinking off that may fit the bill?

griphus: That actually does not look half bad. Especially in black! Although not as deep as I had hoped for, but a nice new candidate! Thanks!
posted by jasmeet at 6:20 PM on October 19, 2010

Although not as deep as I had hoped for...

That's the 15". There's a 17" one as well.
posted by griphus at 6:22 PM on October 19, 2010

Response by poster: griphus: How well would you say these bags blend with your body? Discrete enough?
posted by jasmeet at 6:28 PM on October 19, 2010

I came in here to recommend the Tom Bihn Medium Cafe. I've been carrying one in brown for a couple of years now. I love how discrete it is and it sits so well on my hip. In fact, that's how I usually describe it. It seems like we like the same thing in bags. Mrs. Advicepig has the Small Cafe bag and it's very rare I wish I had the small. I have never wished I had the large.
posted by advicepig at 6:41 PM on October 19, 2010

An inexpensive (but surprisingly sturdy) option is the Ben Sherman Canvas Commuter. I have one in black and like it so much I just ordered the taupe one too.
posted by neroli at 6:54 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've been using a small Timbuk2 bag (about 16" x 9") every day for about 12 years. I can put a 12" MacBook and several books/magazines in it, and pens, multitool, camera, GPS, etc. in the pockets. It still looks good, no holes or rips.

Looking at their website it looks like the "S" Classic Messenger is the closest to what I have, $80.
posted by phliar at 7:00 PM on October 19, 2010

A European Carry-all, you mean?

My male friend just found an absolutely GORGEOUS men's leather valise on Etsy. vintage, perfect condition. he paid a bit of coin for it but it's worth it -- if you want something nice, spend the money and it should last you.
posted by custard heart at 7:20 PM on October 19, 2010

I like Calvin Klein's bags

I have one that I got at an outlet store for 35 dollars (!!!) that's subdued, comfortable, and durable. I think that finding an outlet for them might save you quite a bit of scratch, but the styles in that link are similar to what I have now.
posted by codacorolla at 7:34 PM on October 19, 2010

griphus: How well would you say these bags blend with your body? Discrete enough?

I barely notice it is there most of the time, if that's what you're asking. It took some getting adjusted to how long and where I should be wearing it. Since I found the sweet spot, however, once in a while I'll get the "shit where's my bag?!" feeling only to realize that I'm wearing the damn thing.
posted by griphus at 7:37 PM on October 19, 2010

here is what I care.... called a "Leapers UTG Tactical Messenger Bag"
[i will 't be upset if it fails your specs...
cool... comfortable... several color options... enough room for me. [good luck, it is a hard search]
posted by digital-dragonfly at 7:55 PM on October 19, 2010

missed the "won't..."
posted by digital-dragonfly at 7:57 PM on October 19, 2010

how about this or this?

I have a version of this from about 5 years ago my girlfriend got me. It has survived bike crashes, broken glass from inside and out, and a friggin car wreck, and still looks great. The buckle hasn't even tarnished! Not so low key, but I have to suggest, as it is still my work laptop bag.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 9:05 PM on October 19, 2010

I have a Chrome Vega, and LOVE it. It might work for you.

The small timbuk2 I had didn't have quite enough pocket for me.
posted by bibliogrrl at 9:29 PM on October 19, 2010

Token has some decent murses.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:42 AM on October 20, 2010

Mr. crankylex has the medium Tom Bihn Cafe. It's nicely sized and very low key.
posted by crankylex at 6:49 AM on October 20, 2010

I don't know if it technically fits the bill as a "murse" but for messenger bags timbuk2 has kept me (and several others I have pointed their direction) very happy. Their quality, fit, selection, style, and ability to protect whatever you put inside them has sold me until proven otherwise. I do ride a bike a fair amount so am biased towards the 'must ride well' side of things.

Good luck.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:05 AM on October 20, 2010

I use this Jack Spade bag which I really like and is roughly the dimensions you are looking for. The one drawback is the price, however I bought this whilst on holiday in San Diego (I'm from the UK) and I'm sure it cost me a lot less than the price listed on their website. It might be worth trying to find an outlet that stocks them to see if you can get a deal.
posted by jonnyploy at 7:14 AM on October 20, 2010

I've been a shoulder bag man for many years, and my search for the best culminated in the CourierWare Messenger Bag. I can't say enough good things about it.

I demand the following from a bag...
It needs a flat bottom so it stands freely when you set it down.
It needs pockets on the front so I don't have to completely open the front
flap to get at my sunglasses.
It needs a regular slider strap = cam buckles break and I don't like the looks of
car seat belt buckles, etc.
It needs to be lightweight.
It can't be too big or too small = too big and you're part of the fixie pixie hipster set, too small and, sorry, it is in fact a purse.
No dangle-y, gimmick-y bits. It should look plain and utilitarian.

Mine is about 10 x 12 x 4 inches and navy blue with black. It blends in and looks more like a low key camera bag than a messenger bag.
I paid $75. I also got a size large for when I do in fact ride a bike.
It looks REALLY plain on the web site but I swear you'll love this bag.

posted by No Shmoobles at 9:51 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

My years-long search for the perfect bag ended when my girlfriend loaned me her Tumi crossbody bag. The one I'm using is similar to this one. It may be a little small for you, but it works perfectly for me. It fits wallet, keys, pills, ebook reader, cellphone, blackberry, moleskine, small camera, and sunglasses without any bulging or awkwardness. It's roomy enough to keep small purchases and other things I pick up on my daily travels.

The quality is amazing, but it's Tumi so it's a bit pricey as well.
posted by bluejayway at 10:08 AM on October 20, 2010

It's a tarp!
posted by Biru at 2:40 PM on October 20, 2010

I use a small timbuk2 for my EDC. I solved the pockets problem with a insert made for the seal line bags (I also love my sl urban backpack). Another strap (made of webbing and a couple clips) slings across the front and holds a bike helmet or flipflos (I work on pool decks) like a champ.
posted by mce at 10:38 PM on October 20, 2010

I should note this bag carries 1/2 doz vials of various meds, stop watch, pens, iPad (used to be a net book), apple kb (sometimes), shorts and a tshirt and a notebook.
posted by mce at 10:40 PM on October 20, 2010

« Older Therapist and psychologist recommendation Swansea   |   Scholastic Book Fair filter Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.