Messenger Bag

Looking for a messenger bag for uni. Just wondering if anyone can shine some lights where can I buy it in sydney??

Chrome is very nice can we get them in Australia??


i got a Chrome, love it, love it, love it. Yes you can get them in Oz, check with Cheeky Monkey or some other courier popular store. Chrome also do mail order from the states. Then there is Ortleib courier backpacks, super pricey, but super good. There is Crumpler but I have not been convinced in their quality after they moved their manufacturing to China. Others: Timbuk2, MacPac, small indie manufacturers. Google is your friend…

cool thx I will give cheeky monkey a call.

You’ll have a TIMBUK2 delivered for about $200 from the US.
Not sure what they cost in Oz


ok, several things.
timbuk2 are shit. not the shit, just shit. badly designed, with uncomfortable strap placement, and they leak from a badly designed flap closure.
and as much as i used to love crumpler (right down to the tattoo) i won’t buy one of them either any more. they aren’t waterproof, and the strap adjuster is the shitty side model, not a good split strap. plus they don’t do lifetime warranty any more. they now make messenger style bags, not actual messenger bags. the only crumpler bag worth owning now is the bees knees, and i’ve modified pretty much every part of mine to make it any good.
look at chrome, bagaboo, pac.
if you are going to buy one, buy a good one.
look for a split strap, not a side closure buckle. if you can, get a suspension rig strap, not a solid fit. chromes strap is a solid fit, but at least it’s wide and better padded than crumpler and timbukpoo. chromes cool seatbelt buckle will fairly quickly cut the top strap if you don’t push a cut piece of hose around the sharp metal part where it rubs the strap. pac designs suspension strap is the best there is (actually, lets be honest, pac designs bags are just the best there is).
look for a minimum of 2 layer construction, preferably 3. truck tarp for the inner liner, heavyweight cordura for the outer. that way it’s reasonably waterproof and won’t wear and tear to quiuckly. my bees knees is 5 years old and looks new…ish. if you ignore the scrapes and the smell. but mine was one of the last made in geelong and the new ones wear out just as quick as the rest of them.
you’ll want to find one with a few pouches and sleeves, which drops crumpler from the list.
only a couple of manufacturers offer a system that allows you to change shoulder orientation (cocotte and bailey from memory) so make sure you know which way you want to wear it first cause you can’t really swap them round. one guy up here is wearing a bees knees with a standard orientation (left shoulder right swing) strap on his right shoulder. the big plastic buckle is digging into his shoulder all the time, and the lay of the bag is all fucked up. but he’s a muppet so we expect things like that from him.
will cost you somewhere around $200-300US as a minimum for one that is worth having. a chrome metropolis is about $185US including shipping. a pac designs OS delux is around $600US including shipping. a bagaboo workhorse is around $350US including shipping from hungary. a bees knees is around $300AUD at the moment i think.

now, having said all that, WHY?
you aren’t a messenger.
the chances of you needing to access your bag 100+ times a day are pretty slim.
you don’t need to get at the contents in a hurry, and your income doesn’t depend on you being able to carry 2 boxes of A4 paper.
why would you want a messenger bag other than for “cool” reasons?
a good quality backpac will cost a lot less, sit better on your back, be more comfortable, and won’t shift as much while riding. it will carry the weight more evenly on both shoulders, and since most now come with a rain cover, it will be more waterproof than cheap messenger bag. it will have more divided sections, areas for a laptop and folders and pens and crap, and it is in all respects a better method of carrying stuff on a bike than a messenger bag.
the only reason for commuters to use a messenger bag is for cool factor.
don’t be an idiot like all the others out there and make the effort to go for function over form.
look at a good deuter pac, or even blackwolf if you are on a budget.

you may now all flame me at will with why you have chosen to use a messenger bag, and try and convince me i am wrong. just remember that i’ve been working as a messenger for 22 years, i hike for hobby, and i design and modify messenger bags as a side line.
you may begin.

Good post Lupine.

I use a messenger bag 'cause I spent $200 on a Crumpler about 6 years ago, long before I started riding a bike. It only feels right to use it for what it was made for.

Nice post Lupine, I agree with it totally.
Form follows function. For a commuter that form is most likely a backpack.

I also thought I’d add this, Can’t remember where I found it but it has a lot of links to messanger bag websites. Lupine has prolly already ruled out half, but hey some of them might be of use.


Chrome backpacks are THE SHIT! (not shit)


Like Chief Wigham says:

“I say: if it feels good, do it”

i have a reload. it’s ok, mnot great. it’s staunch and puts up with a fair bit of abuse, but the lack of of internal pockets is a real drag.

i’m going to get an alchemy when funds permit.

I need it for books factor…I needa carry alot of books and a laptop. Backpack wont fit anything cept camping one…

Ordering one off Chrome…just waiting for their reply…


Don’t fall into the trap of feeling you have to justify yourself to others. It sets a difficult precedent.

You definately need to justify yourself :smiley:

I needa fit a bitch in my bag…a fat bitch that is. Now I should justify myself :D…

In reality…just 2 dictionary size boooks, pencil case, lunch box, bottle of water, laptop and bike tools. I am only getting the medium size one. Ohhh a spare tyre too…


Love my crumpler for commuting.

  • sits on your lower back, much better when you are in a low road position, backpacks have a tendancy to move side to side. Comfortably do the North Road Ride with a set of work clothes in.
  • Can fit stupid amounts of stuff in at times and just keeps expanding (including 4 six packs - I sixpacks as they can pack better than jambing the whole slab in)
  • Strongly made, still kicking on after 8 years.

Yes you do need to take slightly more effort in packing because the back of mine is not padded.

I wish someone had told me when I bought it that this was the wrong thing to buy!

Heres my flame mate!! :wink:
I totally agree with what you’ve said except the above quote.
I’ve owned a Timbuk2 since 1997.
Bought it in England. Didn’t buy it coz it was Cool infact, I didn’t even know it was a courier bag. I bought it coz it suited what I was doing at the time. A lot of riding (including touring where it sat on top of my panniers and kept everything - I mean everything dry).
I find it sits bloody well on my back, is very comfortable and lets me carry as much and more stuff than I need when a day often includes leaving home at 5:30 and not getting home till 11.
It lets me switch shoulders (which I do monthly) and it does keep everything dry. (I will say, that the one I purchased a year ago isn’t as tough as the one I got in 1997, but it is still a quality bag)
Now it might not be made for couriers, but it certainly allows someone who has a very busy life to carry everything they need for a day or two on their back. In fact I did carry a new DVD player home in it one day.

Now, I think a bag is all about personal preference. What you want to sit on your back, what your going to use if for etc is up to you. I dare say that Chrome would go out of business if only couriers bought them. They are tough and a courier would purchase a new one, what every 3-4 years? I don’t think people are buying them to look like a courier. Thats a pretty generalistic and rough call.
Next thing you’ll be saying we are all riding fixed wheel bikes to look like couriers and well, we know that isn’t the case.

Now I’ve given my 2 bob, send some back.

I always say if you want to give it, you gotta be able to take it!! :smiley:

I’m riding fixed so I can look like you Lats - why do you think I got the blue jersey? :wink:

brooke bought a deuter pack at my suggestion for college.
laptop, change of clothes, textbooks adding up to around 3 reams, lunch, shoes, pens, pencils, wet weather jacket, banana holder, tools, 2 tubes, spare water bottle, mp3 player, phone, two novels, pack of tampons, last weeks lunch, knife, some weird metal thing i don’t even know what it is and four dvd’s. thats what i’ve just emptied out of the bag onto the floor. it wasn’t completely full she assured me.
cost her $110, and has a built in padded sleeve for the laptop. she rides about 30K’s round trip with it.
super comfy too.

and to the person who mentioned the chrome backpacks, yes, yes they are THE shit. one of the best designs for a messenger backpack i have seen. brilliantly made and strong as hell. but still not the value for money or comfort that a cheaper back pack with dual stabilizer straps will give you.

bottom line tho, get the thing that will WORK the best for what you are doing. and in almost all situations that won’t be a messenger bag.

Hang on, I got the blue Jersey, coz you got the blue jersey! :?