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Old Mar 13, 2011, 03:04 PM   #1
jim.ryan
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Messenger bag recommendations for a 13" MBA?

Hey everyone! This is my first thread, I've been lurking these forums for a while, and finally bought a 13" MBA earlier this week. I recently made the switch to macs (was a long time Linux user) with a Hackintosh a month or two ago. Anyway, now that I've got my new MBA, I need a bag for it. I have a messenger bag and a backpack that I've been using for a while for my old Thinkpad, and need to replace both, but am focused on the messenger bag at the moment, as I need it the most. Hopefully I'm posting this in the right forum.

I was wondering what bags you guys had or would recommend. Here are my requirements:
  • Needs to fit a 13" MBA (obviously)
  • Should look somewhat casual, and not be damaged by a little rain. Given those requirements, I've been looking a lot at canvas bags.
  • Should be as small as possible. It needs to fit my MBA, the power adapter, some pens, maybe a few papers or a pad, and that's basically it. A pocket for a bottle of water would be nice, but not a requirement.
  • Preferably one buckle/strap to close, two is annoying.
  • Cost isn't really a concern, preferably under $200, because I don't think a bag should cost more than that lol.
  • Should be durable, I don't want this to break in a year. I don't put very much stress on it, though, and it will not be used daily, maybe two or three times a week.

Here's a list of bags I've found and liked, some may not conform to all of my requirements above, but had the general style that I liked, so I figured I'd include them to give you an idea of what I'm looking for:
Even just recommending a brand or store/site would be really helpful. Or any input on a backpack would be great too, as I'll be looking for one next.

Thanks!

Jim
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 04:04 PM   #2
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Ogio

I have had 2 OGIO messenger bags for over 7 years. They still look new, and the shoulder strap pad is a big plus when you carry it for a while. They do not make the same bag that I have but I like this one. Size seems good for a MBA, I would stay at our under the 4 inch width. I have a 4 inch width and a 6 1/2 inch. The air swims in my larger bag. I carry my laptop, bi-fold tablet case, cables, pens, memory sticks,plenty of room in the 4 inch width. After using these bags for years. I would not buy one that did not have a good padded shoulder strap.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 04:06 PM   #3
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i don't understand why buying a very portable laptop like a MBA and than want a big messenger bag !!!
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 04:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by IngerMan View Post
I have had 2 OGIO messenger bags for over 7 years. They still look new, and the shoulder strap pad is a big plus when you carry it for a while. They do not make the same bag that I have but I like this one. Size seems good for a MBA, I would stay at our under the 4 inch width. I have a 4 inch width and a 6 1/2 inch. The air swims in my larger bag. I carry my laptop, bi-fold tablet case, cables, pens, memory sticks,plenty of room in the 4 inch width. After using these bags for years. I would not buy one that did not have a good padded shoulder strap.
Thank you! I had never heard of this brand, but I'm looking at their product lines, and I like it. They all have a casual/professional look, and seem well built - exactly what I was going for. Thanks again!

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i don't understand why buying a very portable laptop like a MBA and than want a big messenger bag !!!
How else is one supposed to carry it to work?!
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 04:17 PM   #5
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You are welcome Jim. I learned of them from the quality of their Golf Bags. Gym Bags.

Art, not everyone can get away with a laptop in a sleeve. I use mine for sales calls at my customer locations. I keep all my product literature on the laptop but I also need other items with me as well. Not to mention a few pieces of fruit
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 04:21 PM   #6
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You are welcome Jim. I learned of them from the quality of their Golf Bags. Gym Bags.

Art, not everyone can get away with a laptop in a sleeve. I use mine for sales calls at my customer locations. I keep all my product literature on the laptop but I also need other items with me as well. Not to mention a few pieces of fruit
Yup, exactly. I'm a web developer and an IT consultant. I may be able to squeak by with a sleeve if I'm going to a meeting, but if I'm spending the day on-site at a customer, I need a power adapter, pens, paper, maybe a bottle of water and a snack, etc. Personally, I have uses for a sleeve, messenger bag, and a backpack.

I've been stuffing my MBA in my current messenger bag - and I have to say, my only complaint about this macbook thus far is that I can't tell if it's in the bag or not!
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 04:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by artivideo.nl View Post
i don't understand why buying a very portable laptop like a MBA and than want a big messenger bag !!!
It's quite easy to understand why an ultra light computer goes well in your bag and along with carrying other items some people need/want to carry.

What, if you want a big messenger bag you shouldn't buy a portable laptop like an MBA?

I don't get it.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 04:34 PM   #8
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That's true. I have only had mine for about 3 weeks. Prior Macbook unibody. I was in with a customer on week one of the new machine. I had it out looking up some product for him when a call came into his office and I got rushed out.

I did not notice any thing different but when I was putting my bag in my trunk I did not recall putting the MBA back in the bag. I looked and sure enough I left it on his desk in the big rush out of his office. lol. You gotta look because the weight is not there.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 11:43 PM   #9
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That's true. I have only had mine for about 3 weeks. Prior Macbook unibody. I was in with a customer on week one of the new machine. I had it out looking up some product for him when a call came into his office and I got rushed out.

I did not notice any thing different but when I was putting my bag in my trunk I did not recall putting the MBA back in the bag. I looked and sure enough I left it on his desk in the big rush out of his office. lol. You gotta look because the weight is not there.
lol exactly! Glad you didn't forget it somewhere else, where you may not have gotten it back!
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 07:06 AM   #10
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i use the Booq Taipan Shadow S.

http://www.booqbags.com/All-Products...essenger-bag_2

i'm a total bagwhore, and extremely picky about my bags and their utility and this is by far the absolute best messenger bag i have ever owned at any price, even compared to my previous Crumpler 8 Million Dollar Home.

despite being straight, i am the type of guy who has a different bag for every day of the week and every occasion. i MUST be organized and i can go from a simple bag to overnighter, and up to something that can accommodate all of my camera gear as well as computer gear so i can process and upload while on location.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 08:08 AM   #11
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That is one nice bag Oakie. The size is slim, Looks like it would suite the MBA very well. If I did not already have 2 new looking ones, I would consider.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 08:24 AM   #12
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+1 for the Tom Bihn Ristretto bag.

I just ordered one ofthese and it really is a nice bag. Compact and small yet big enough to fit all my stuff.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 09:35 AM   #13
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I have a Targus "unoffical" messenger bag that fits up to a 14.1" laptop so it gets used for my whitebook, my HP DM4 and either of the MBA's I've had
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 10:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim.ryan View Post
... had the general style that I liked...

You have good taste, I like pretty much everything you've posted. I'm looking for a backpack in a similar style, post up what you find.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 10:50 AM   #15
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Check out the Incase Coated Canvas Shoulder Bag. I have one and absolutely love it. It is designed for the 15" MBP though, so it will be a bit big, but the protection inside is really good, so I never worry about it. And for the stuff you listed, it'll have plenty of room, while looking good.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 11:21 AM   #16
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I have one of the Case Logic Canvas bags like the link you posted, but mine was from before they started putting the graphics on the flap (which I don't really like the look of, personally). I really like it and it has held up well as I carry my 2008 13" Aluminum Macbook back and forth to work. Plenty of room for the power supply, and there is a zipped pocket where I keep a thumb drive and an adapter for hooking it up to a projector.

For a MBA the laptop slot will be plenty roomy, and might even slide around a bit as it holds up to a 15". Not sure you would want to go with just the bag without some type of sleeve too.

Last edited by jazzbo; Mar 14, 2011 at 11:25 AM. Reason: Removed a redundant redundancy.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 11:44 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by oakie View Post
i use the Booq Taipan Shadow S.
Great recommendation! I think this bag is at the top of my list now, it'll fit my MBA perfectly without too much room, it looks nice, casual yet professional. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by J&JPolangin View Post
I have a Targus "unoffical" messenger bag that fits up to a 14.1" laptop so it gets used for my whitebook, my HP DM4 and either of the MBA's I've had
I really like Targus, I wasn't crazy about that bag though.

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Originally Posted by slapguts View Post
You have good taste, I like pretty much everything you've posted. I'm looking for a backpack in a similar style, post up what you find.
Thanks - will do

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Originally Posted by DeusInvictus7 View Post
I found this, which is similar, but for 13" MBPs, which are I think almost exactly the same size as 13" MBAs, except they're thicker. http://www.goincase.com/products/det...sleeve-cl57736 I really like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzbo View Post
I have one of the Case Logic Canvas bags like the link you posted, but mine was from before they started putting the graphics on the flap (which I don't really like the look of, personally). I really like it and it has held up well as I carry my 2008 13" Aluminum Macbook back and forth to work. Plenty of room for the power supply, and there is a zipped pocket where I keep a thumb drive and an adapter for hooking it up to a projector.

For a MBA the laptop slot will be plenty roomy, and might even slide around a bit as it holds up to a 15". Not sure you would want to go with just the bag without some type of sleeve too.
That was my major problem with these bags, they hold much larger laptops, and I'd like my MBA to fit snug in the bag, if possible. I really do like the canvas though...


So currently, here are the bags I'm considering:
  1. http://www.booqbags.com/All-Products...essenger-bag_2
  2. http://www.goincase.com/products/det...sleeve-cl57736
  3. http://www.ebags.com/product/fossil/...uctid=10000209
  4. http://ogio.com/work/negotiator

I'm still hung up on the canvas bags, but I think the booq really suits my needs while looking the best, but it lacks a handle, which the incase has. Thoughts?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 12:15 PM   #18
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I went over those bags again, and ended up getting the booq (http://www.booqbags.com/Taipan-shado...essenger-bag_2), I think it's the best balance between style and function. They're also giving away first-gen iPad folios for essentially free. When you check out, it'll tell you about the offer, which is $40 off and free shipping if you add one of four iPad folio cases. Their "Boa Folio" (http://www.booqbags.com/All-Products...red-iPad-folio) is $49.95, and shipping for just the messenger bag was $9.95, so adding that folio gave me $40 off and free shipping, so I was paying the same $9.95 I would have been paying for shipping without the folio. Cool deal!

Thank you all for your input!

Jim
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 12:39 PM   #19
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It might be too late for Jim, but here are two casual looking bags from Timbuk2 that fit the MBA 13":

http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/...ptop-messenger
http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/...ptop-messenger

And there' always the Muzetto, but it's quite expensive:

http://sfbags.com/products/muzetto/muzetto.php

Last edited by alexandero; Mar 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 01:45 PM   #20
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Fits perfectly in my Jack Spade bag, not sure if they make that size anymore though.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 02:13 PM   #21
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It might be too late for Jim, but here are two casual looking bags from Timbuk2 that fit the MBA 13":

http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/...ptop-messenger
http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/...ptop-messenger

And there' always the Muzetto, but it's quite expensive:

http://sfbags.com/products/muzetto/muzetto.php
Yep, I had come across the Timbuk2s before, and wasn't crazy about them. I ran through a custom one, and designed one that looked pretty nice, but I still didn't like it as much as some of the other bags. The Muzetto is very nice, but I was looking for a horizontal bag.

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Fits perfectly in my Jack Spade bag, not sure if they make that size anymore though.
Those are some very nice bags! They're quite pricey though. I'll keep that brand in mind for the future. The materials on those bags are beautiful.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 04:30 PM   #22
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I found this, which is similar, but for 13" MBPs, which are I think almost exactly the same size as 13" MBAs, except they're thicker. http://www.goincase.com/products/det...sleeve-cl57736 I really like this.
I have one of those as well. They're very nice, I just like the styling of the Coated Canvas better, and I like flaps better than zippers. Of course all of that is just personal preference. Either one is great though
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 07:43 AM   #23
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I prefer the Solo Vintage leather Bag.
I can carry my MBA, iPad and the rest of the accessories. Such an awesome leather quality.
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 10:33 AM   #24
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I guess by now it's safe to say that if you dislike black bags, your options still are pretty limited.

Last edited by alexandero; Mar 15, 2011 at 01:59 PM. Reason: spelling (I need some sleep)
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 01:00 PM   #25
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I have one of those as well. They're very nice, I just like the styling of the Coated Canvas better, and I like flaps better than zippers. Of course all of that is just personal preference. Either one is great though
I didn't realize that the one you posted had coated canvas, that bag is gorgeous! I wish they made one that fit the 13" MBA perfectly, although I don't doubt that it would protect it just fine.

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I prefer the Solo Vintage leather Bag.
I can carry my MBA, iPad and the rest of the accessories. Such an awesome leather quality.
Nice bag! I'll put that on my backpack list, which I'm just getting started on.

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I guess by now it's safe to say that if you dislike black bags, you're options still are pretty limited.
Sort of. I ended up getting a black bag, but came across many that were not. Timbuk2 will let you customize their bags, so you could build a bag that has almost no black on it whatsoever. I came across a lot of green (canvas), tan (canvas), and brown (canvas/leather) bags.
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