Men's field bag
August 12, 2008 11:20 AM   Subscribe

Please help me find an alternative to this Jack Spade bag.

My trusty canvas field bag of many years is finally starting to give up the ghost, and I'm looking to replace it. The Jack Spade bale case I linked above is almost perfect, except it's bloody expensive, and I'm not a big fan of branded things.

Requirements: Wide sewn-in shoulder strap; no top handle; vertical format, around 10-11" long or so, not laptop-sized (got one, thanks); easy to get a hand in on the go; flap that goes at least halfway down the front, maybe even all the way. I'd like something a bit better quality than fake army surplus, and I don't want a lot of shiny nylon or any plastic fasteners. The nylon in the Jack Spade bag is as plasticy as I'd want. Canvas is great. Leather trim is fine but I don't want a leather bag. I have one of these already but you can see how many of those things it gets wrong!

There are lots of questions about big messenger bags (horizontal, bigger) but I found nothiner here about small men's bags like this. Thanks for your suggestions!
posted by mendel to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: How about the Tom Bihn Medium Cafe bag?

I have the small version and I love it. Also, the buckle snapped a few months ago on mine and they replaced it at no charge.
posted by stefnet at 11:45 AM on August 12, 2008

Maybe one of these from Manhattan Portage? I have their plain DJ bag as my everyday bag and can attest to their durability and easy access, and I like that they're not as buckley or bikey-backpacky-looking as other messenger-style bags. Though since you don't like branded stuff, the big red label might be off-putting.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:45 AM on August 12, 2008

Ah crap. Missed the no plastic fastener part. I would still recommend the bag and company though.
posted by stefnet at 11:46 AM on August 12, 2008

You mentioned expensive but didn't put a price range. So here's gos for the far end of expensive: filson bag, smaller filson bag.

This company is owned by Ralph Lauren.
posted by bdc34 at 12:17 PM on August 12, 2008

Response by poster: bdc34: No, no, I mean the problem with the Jack Spade bag is that it's too expensive. If I'm spending $100-$150, I'd just get the Jack Spade bag.

stefnet: Yeah, love Tom Bihn, just not for this bag!

Metriod: Ooh, forgot about Manhattan Portage. Those labels are borderline, but they'd be no match for a seamripper.
posted by mendel at 12:20 PM on August 12, 2008

How about Timbuk 2 bags, like the musette or build-your-own eula bag (horizontal orientation with this one)?
posted by kitkatcathy at 3:03 PM on August 12, 2008

Response by poster: One Tom Bihn medium cafe bag, olive/cayenne, on its way. Yes, it breaks a couple of my rules, but it still won me over.

Nice touch: Ask Metafilter is listed on the "How did you hear about us?" pulldown when you check out at

And kitkatcathy: love tb2, I'd have gone straight to them if I didn't already have two!
posted by mendel at 10:34 AM on August 13, 2008

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