Which Messenger bag?

Chrome? ReLoad? Crumpler? what should i get… have had a look at reviews and chrome Kremlin seems to be a good one… if anyone can help??

I have a Chrome Citizen, it’s a bit small but very comfortable and hard wearing. I’ve had it for a couple of years and use it every day, still looks brand new.

I love it, but if I was going to buy another one I’d definitely go the Kremlin instead.

I use the Crumpler Wonder Weenie… great bag

i’m using a crumpler BeesKnees. i’ve had it for about 3 years. it’s the bag i use for work, and i wear it about 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. so far the only way you can tell it isn’t new is the smell, and the fact that there is a little wear on the inside flap.
that being said, it was the last one made in australia. the new ones made in asia are nowhere near as durable.
the fuxdelux is a good mid size bag, but again the durability is somewhat suspect. messengers up here have been killing them in about 12 months, whereas my 6 year old seedy is still like new.
one problem with crumpler is that they have no real inside organisers. one big main pouch, one big zip pouch, thats basically it. if you want lots of pockets and pen pouches and stuff, not for you.
messengers have been having a few issues with the crumpler warranty recently. in days gone by, crumplers warranty was simple. if the bag shit itself, you took into a crumpler shop and they sent it away to be fixed. no questions. if they couldn’t fix it, you got either a new bag, or a heavy discount on a new bag. now you have to expect to pay for the repair, and answer a lot of questions about how the bag is used. not as good as it was.

don’t bother with timbuk2. since they started manufacturing in asia they have turned to crap. a lot of people really hate the angle the top of the strap is attached. it tends to sit at an angle and dig in a bit if you aren’t careful.

the very best bag, bar none, is made by Pac designs of canada. it’s the next bag i’m buying. problem is that the one o want is going to cost around $600aus by the time it gets here. pak have a total warranty on the bag. if it EVER fails in any way, stiching, materials, whatever, let them know. they will send you a new bag. when it gets here, you send the damaged one back to them.
i wore one for a week at CMWC in sydney and it is the best constructed bag i have ever seen. the best fitting, and the most comfortable, as well as having some brilliant design features. but you are going to have to wait since most bags are custom built for each buyer. you can find them at

so if you’ve got the money, Pac. if you don’t, crumpler is ok. chrome is cool except for people keep pushing the release and making the bag fall off. it’s funny to do to other people tho :slight_smile:

Yeah someone else told me about pac… to rich for me rite now… i just tried to order the chrome bag off of their website and it seems the only post they can do would cost me the same price as the bag… $158 us for postal??? maybe im doing it all wrong… has anyone got them over cheaper? otherwise i am going to try and see if a friend can bring one back from the states for me when she returns next week… fingers crossed…

Are you looking for a bag for work, or just for commuting and the like?

If you’re looking for a work bag, go for a Chrome Kremlin or a Backbone (because they’re decent bags, and relatively cheap), or a Pac Ultimate OS (because it’s the best). I’ve worked with a Backbone, with no complaints. My housemate works with an Ultimate OS. The Chrome is good; the Pac is amazing.

If you’re not a courier, I’d say a Chrome Metropolis or Citizen would be your best bet, if you must have a single-strap bag. Personally, I prefer a double-strap bag, so I’d probably recommend the Chrome Ranchero. Unless you carry a shiiiiitload of stuff all the time, the Kremlin or the Backbone would be overkill. In terms of value (quality) for money, I reckon Chrome are it right now.

Like Lupine, I wouldn’t touch anything Crumpler make today. I have an old Crumpler Seedy, which shits me to tears. Though it’s well-built, it’s poorly thought-out. The new ones are not only poorly thought-out, but also poorly built.

FYI, Chrome are distributed in Australia, so you needn’t buy from OS. If, however, you don’t have a decent LBS, chainreactioncycles.com typically have good prices on Chrome bags.

The wonder weenie has 3 pouches inside it. 1 has velcro to keep it closed. the other 2 are smaller, just the right size for a sunglass case. both my crumplers are made in Vietnam and don’t show any wear signs but i’m only using them a couple hours a day to and from work for the past 5 years.

Here’s another vote for longevity of old crumplers, but that isnt much help. anyone used the ortlieb backpacks with the thick rubber ridges at your back? i’ve seen lots of picks of euro type riders/couriers with em and they seem pretty tough. i’d guess super durable and waterproof too.

i think spending a month tying plastic bags of you crap to your bike is worth it if it means saving a bit more and buying a solid bag right off the bat, otherwise you might end up thinking “what if” just a few months down the track. i’m going home to research pac now :slight_smile:

Green coles shopping bags with old road tyres as straps.

One word for you - timbuk2.

I bought one in london in 1997. It is still waterproof. I watch many friends crumplers go the way of the gods, but my timbuk2 has lasted right through till I bought a bigger one from them last year.

It was about $230 AUS shipped I think. Cheaper than the Crumpler, and much hardier.


Nuff said

do NOT buy a new timbuk2.
i had one that lasted 4 weeks of work.
3 others of the new ones have lasted less than 2 months.
if you can find the old ones, grab one, they are great, but the new ones are complete junk.

yes the old ones are great - But i’ve had not problems with my new one after a year of use!

Many years have passed since this topic was started, but I thought this the ideal place to ask for opinions about what is now available and can be recommended.

Basically I need a bag for commuting. I normally use a 26l daypack, but having finally just been given the okay to ride from my surgeon have found the scar from the collarbone surgery is being rubbed raw by the daypack shoulder strap on my commutes this week! So thinking a messenger bag over the other shoulder would give the scar more time to heal.

Daypack usually just carries a folded ironed shirt, packed lunch and brewed coffee in a sealed thermos mug, waterproof jacket during winter and a few other items so wouldn’t need anything bigger than 26l.

So what to buy and from where will be much appreciated. In store Melbourne or quick postage would be ideal as I am sick of taking train!

I’m happy with my BOgear papermunky, check the reviews section for my write up on it (also quite a few years old).

tough as & the usual great service from Dave.

get the padded shoulder strap.

edit - here’s the review - http://www.fixed.org.au/forums/f40/bogear-papermunky-15239/

What side is the scar on? I have a chrome citzen messenger bag I could lend you til you’re back to normal.

Thanks for the link to your review Rolly.

Left shoulder Lorday. Appreciate the very kind offer but I was thinking it is about time I got a new bag for commuting anyway.

I agree with Rolly on the Papermonkey. I’ve got that and the Dub (next size up). Dub would be overkill for what you said you’d be carrying but the papermonkey would be right on.
As Rolly said, they’re tough as. I’ve had my Dub for two years now and have commuted with it, taken it camping, on flights etc. and there’s not a tear/scratch on it. A bit dirty but other than like new.

Ive been using a Crumpler Complete Seed for my commutes, its the older solid colour version, not the more recent circus tent ones.

26L, with which i use to pack

polo shirt
business pants
pair of work shoes
lunch box
keys, wallet, phone, pass, charger

26L i find is a perfect size for commutes, not too big and not too small.

Truth is ive been looking for an excuse to buy a new backpack but after each commuter it just reminds me i really dont have a reason to, its pretty perfect for the job.

Only down side is the ugly faded brown its become.

I have a brown complete seed also, but since I need to lug my laptop around, I use a laptop backpack instead :frowning:

I’ve had a Cocotte Alfredo for a number of years, and it’s been great.
Small, one-man show, based out of Montréal, still made locally.
For $149.95, plus a paltry $12 for international shipping, it’s one of the best deals I think you’ll find.

Cocotte Equipment • Alfredo / Pro Messenger Bag