View Full Version : need help finding over shoulder bag

Nov 12, 2004, 09:15 AM
i need help finding a messenger style bag (over the shoulder) that will not move around too much on a scooter. i've seen some that "hug" the back, avano, i think thats how its spelled, makes them, but i don't know what their website is.

if anyone has a recomondation on an over the shoulder bag that can fit 1-3 text books, 1" binder, 12" ibook, and accessories, listem up.


Nov 12, 2004, 10:04 AM
some companies you might want to check out are, timbuk2, brenthaven, and booq. timbuk2 sounds like what you want. they design the professional messenger bags, and have special laptop cases. might want to check them out. have you thought about a backpack?

Nov 12, 2004, 11:37 AM
Timbuk2 makes great bike messenger-style bags for laptops. If you go with one of those, look into getting a model with the stabilzing cross-strap; great for when you're on a bike (or scooter).

Also check out WaterField bags...great looking, easy access and durable as hell. Pricey, but I have not been disappointed.

WaterField: http://www.sfbags.com

Nov 16, 2004, 11:55 PM
hmmm...a back pack...

yes i have, currently have a jansport one, but its from HS. zipper is not catching, need more pockets, straps are worn, ect.

Nov 17, 2004, 12:15 AM
Here's a few that I like, very laptop-friendly too:

(I have one of their bags, very nice design, not too pricey, gazillions of styles and colors to pick from, but the shoulder strap on my bag is essentially a thin seat belt -- that makes whatever you're carrying seem a little heavier)

(I have one of their bags too -- EXTREMELY tough, excellent shoulder strap, I've put it in our clothes-eating washing machine numerous times, and it hasn't so much as scuffed ... you can really abuse their bags)

(I don't have one of their bags, but from playing around with them they seem well made ... I've seen them in Apple stores ... very pricey, around $70+, but they are customizable and you can get one with a built-in sleeve to fit the 12" Powerbook ... they also have a "cross strap" to stabilize the bag across your body when you're on a bike)

Westside guy
Nov 17, 2004, 12:21 AM
Crumpler (http://www.crumplerusa.com) makes some great messenger bags. For what you have described, you'd want any of the ones that have the "third leg" - that's a stabilization strap.

I am a bit skeptical, though, on your likely success in finding a messenger-style bag that'll hold that many books and binders. It's a thickness issue. I think a backpack is more likely to meet that requirement.

Nov 17, 2004, 12:47 AM
http://www.standardtm.com.au :D

Nov 18, 2004, 06:27 AM
I have a Tom Bihn Empire Builder (http://www.tombihn.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=TB0730&Category_Code=200&Product_Count=4). It is certainly one of the bigger shoulder bags available. You may want to look into a backpack, though.

Nov 18, 2004, 08:51 AM
go with the timbuk2 www.timbuk2.com

you can design your own so it looks ultra cool. and they are EXTREMELY durable and strong. ive had one for three years and you can hardly tell ive used it. i use it while biking across campuss at my university, so it could certainly handle a scooter. there are different sizes so you can decide how many books you want to cary. mine is a medium and i can fit my 12"pb two one inch binders and two texts (though that gets tight). (plus powercord/mouse palm and other accesories) i usually only carry PB + 1 binder and 1 text but thats cause im to lazy to cary more weight. a large might be good if you want more room. then an X-L is HUGE!

Nov 18, 2004, 09:32 AM
I second the Crumpler bags. If you find one the size you want, they are great. The thing I like the most is that they are completely waterproof, so I don't have to worry about my laptop getting soaked.

Nov 18, 2004, 09:54 AM
timbuk2 all the way. i couldn't live without mine.

Nov 18, 2004, 10:52 AM
My Timbuk2 looks as good as the day I bought it.

I'm not especially tough on bags, but I also don't pay any attention to what i do with it. It's protected my powerbook quite well over the last year plus. I would go with the Cordera over the Canvas if you're going for durability.

It's a great bag (I have the XL size formerly known as DeeDog).


Nov 18, 2004, 01:38 PM
Patagonia makes a very nice bike bag. I use it on my bicycle commute every day to work. It is very comfortable, easy to use, versatile, and comes with a lifetime warrantee. Check it out at www.patagonia.com. They make a variety of shoulder bags, but my favorite is the Critical mass bag.

Nov 18, 2004, 01:44 PM
Get a Brenthaven Backpack - sturdy, lifetime warr., doesn't scream "I'm carrying $5K" in gear." I've had one for over a year now under heavy use and it shows no wear at all.

Nov 18, 2004, 01:51 PM
i took a dive and paid for the Timbuk2 Commute and it is the best bag i've ever used. i have no idea how i ever lived without it. (same feeling as when i switched :) )

Nov 18, 2004, 03:29 PM
hmm, a lot of talk about the timbuk2 bag. i looked around on thier site, playing around with making your own, ect.

is there anyplace, or any of you that have taken inside pics of the bag? i'd like to see what compartments there are.

Nov 18, 2004, 06:40 PM
I have a Tom Bihn Empire Builder (http://www.tombihn.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=TB0730&Category_Code=200&Product_Count=4). It is certainly one of the bigger shoulder bags available. You may want to look into a backpack, though.

I've got the Empire Builder as well. My wife uses the Tom Bihn ID messenger bag which actually has a strap meant to secure the bag around your waist for people on bikes.

Both have served us very well.

However, to the original poster: The list of items you want to carry might preclude the use of a messenger bag. 3 textbooks would have a tough time fitting into my Empire Builder along with my laptop case depending on the size of the books you are talking about. I know my textbooks were way too big when I was in school. A backpack might be a better option for you, particularly if you will be doing a lot of walking around with your stuff. Messenger bags are great for short distances, but if you have to do some serious hiking you'll want the more even weight distribution that a backpack provides.

While I was in college I used a Tom Bihn Monolith case for my TiBook. It was $40 and slid into my existing Kelty backpack. Great protection for the laptop, the Monolith got a little dirty and banged up on the outside, but the inside was still perfectly soft and clean when I gave the Monolith to my dad for the rare occasions he needs to take his school's iBook on the road.

If you would like a more complete backpack solution Tom Bihn also makes the Brain Bag, which actually is set up to be able to carry TWO laptops (who knows why) while still having plenty of room for books, cords and cables, cell phone, iPod, and still have more room to spare.

Good luck with your choice.

Nov 18, 2004, 07:25 PM
Timbuk2 makes great bike messenger-style bags for laptops. If you go with one of those, look into getting a model with the stabilzing cross-strap; great for when you're on a bike (or scooter).

Also check out WaterField bags...great looking, easy access and durable as hell. Pricey, but I have not been disappointed.

WaterField: http://www.sfbags.com

Pricey - but in this case, you get what you pay for.

I'll second on the Waterfield bag. I have the sleevecase with optional D-rings and flap. I carry my 15" powerbook to the office and home with me every single workday. The sleevecase is well cushioned with a neoprene lining inside and has handled getting knocked about with aplomb, and the rugged ballistic nylon outer casing holds up extremely well. The carrying strap has some elasticity and is soft at the shoulder without digging in, so it's comfortable to carry for long time periods. I also have the optional piggy-back which attaches to the D-rings for accessories; it holds the powerplug, a mouse, and occasionally an iSight camera. The iPod goes in my purse so it doesn't need an extra piggy-back pouch, but there's nothing stopping me from getting one.

Bender also has a Waterfield Cargo Bag for when we're traveling, which can accomodate extra pouches, pens, magazines, business cards, more accessories, and even a small ladies' purse - airports sometimes get huffy about how many carry-on bags one can bring onboard, and occasionally count a purse as a carry-on bag. By hiding the purse in the cargo bag, suddenly I only have one bag again.

Anne Marie

Nov 18, 2004, 09:58 PM
I have to bump the timbuk2 again, its a great company making a great product. I actually have one from my business in the cycling industry (I race mountain bikes with a local team) and timbuk2 is our "team bag", not sponsored though :P. They make wonderfully durable and pretty bags. Mine looks wonderful too, even though its over 3 years old. The three customizable strips is pretty cool, you can through country flag colours or anything else you think looks neat, but the country flag is usually pretty sweet.

I believe they now make a computer-commuter bag, which is designed around carrying a computer with you. Check that one if you have not already. Great product though, I highly recommend it.

Nov 18, 2004, 10:17 PM
again, im in the same siutation. I need to be able to carry textbooks and a powerbook. Ive decided on the bp.3 system from booq. it can hold the laptop, up to 6 inches of books, and all your accessories. it comes with a removable hard laptop sleve, that slips into a special pocket in the bag. its also resonably priced at 159 bucks

Nov 18, 2004, 11:53 PM
anything over $100 is "ouch" for me.

anyone had any experiences with REI hiking packs?

Nov 19, 2004, 12:48 PM
I can make an observation about REI hiking packs, here goes:

REI Hiking packs = HIKING PACK

They will probably carry your things fine, as most shoulder-strap bearing bags do, however if you want a custom laptop bag or at least a system that supports a "book" close to the size of your laptop I would look elsewhere.

I have not looked at REI personally, just my first impression when you say hiking bags, so don't kill me if I am wrong and they make some kick-arse laptop getup.

Nov 21, 2004, 02:59 AM
Crumpler bags should be the only bags on your shopping list :-)

Nov 21, 2004, 05:04 AM
I have to say all those bags mentioned above are nice, especially the timbuk2, but I have to say none of them come close to the Freitag bags. My brother has one and it looks awsome. It is very sturdy, functional and still unique. He has the Freitag Classic Medium Size and that's already pretty big. I know they are pricey but I am looking into buying one for christmas.

Worldwide page

Europe page

Oh I just noticed that they are indded very pricey in the states. So I guess this is more for the europeen crowd on the forum.

Nov 21, 2004, 05:56 AM

Check out their Chevron Bag. I have one and love it. I think it's won various mountain bike magazine group tests.

Nov 22, 2004, 09:32 AM
I am sure you will be able to find a quality product in any of these companies. The trick will come down to finding a personally pleasing aesthetic. If you can find any of these in a local retail store or just on persons around your area that you can personally inspect, I am sure whichever you see will seem like the "highest quality bag out there" because you have seen it personally.

All of them should do just fine. If you end up deciding on one and then a week later your friend gets one that is "better"", always remember this:
Your back is years better than a plastic shopping bag...which could be your free alternative to carrying your books and mac :P

Nov 22, 2004, 10:31 AM
If you're near an Apple store - have a look. I seem to remember way back on Saturday through the crowds of people, seeing some nice looking bags.