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Old Jul 1, 2011, 08:14 AM   #1
wacomme
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Daily Bag For Work

Perhaps this question is beyond the scope of the forum, but I'm seeking a daily commuter bag.

I have the Chinao case and a STM Jacket for my Ipad. Now I need to tote the ipad and case back and forth to work (school - I'm a teacher). Currently I'm using an Eagle Creek duffle bag for my daily transport. While it's big enough and carries all of my stuff (including gym and cycling gear), I really need a bag for the following items:
  • Ipad with case
  • Lunch (often microwavable leftovers)
  • Large 40 oz. stainless bottle for morning smoothie
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Notebooks
  • A few files
  • Apple wireless keyboard
  • A couple of books
  • Misc. small items - glasses, pens, earphones, cell phone, other.

I'm considering the Waterfield Cargo bag (probably medium), but I'm open to suggestions. I want something nicer than my duffle bag, but not a briefcase. I'd like to sling the bag over my shoulder, so perhaps I want some sort of messenger bag. I'd like to stay away from a daypack. I would prefer a bag where if my waterbottle or lunch container leaked (it does from time to time), that the leakage wouldn't damage the Ipad.

Thanks for your help!
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Old Jul 1, 2011, 08:57 AM   #2
maverick86
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If you want a messenger bag, check out timbuk2, they make good quality bags. Pretty much every part of the bag can be customized, including the inside. You can put in an area for a laptop (which would also fit the ipad) that is separated from the main compartment in case any liquid or food leaks.
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Old Jul 1, 2011, 09:55 AM   #3
jsh1120
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Coincidentally I have both the Cargo bag from Waterfield Design and the Timbuk2 small messenger bag mentioned in the first response. I'd recommend both but they fill very different needs and as you probably already know are at very different price points.

I've used a Cargo bag from Waterfield for almost five years and half a million miles of travel. It is very simply indestructible. Looks as good and works as well as the day I bought it. In fact, the only wear is a few tiny paint chips worn off the "aircraft" quality buckle. Subtle differences like no exposed stitching and strap connections on the sides of the bag rather than the top make all the difference in a bag if you want to carry it day in and day out for years.

My Cargo bag holds my 15" laptop (in a Waterfield sleeve with its own strap) as well as my iPad in a Waterfield Travel Express case (that holds the Apple Wireless keyboard in the Incase Origami Workstation) along with power supplies, notebooks, pens, keys, cell phone, water bottle, etc. etc. etc. I couldn't live without it. If you go for the Cargo bag and want to protect the iPad, consider one of Waterfield's "sleeves" with or without its own strap.

One additional point. Five years in and I still marvel at some of the subtle design features of the Cargo bag. The slanted zipper compartment on the flap and the single buckle means you can open the flap or the bag with one hand with the bag on your shoulder. The grippy pad on the strap means it won't slip off your shoulder if you bend down and reach. All in all, it's a superb design.

Finally, Waterfield Design (sfbags.com) has excellent customer service and if it matters to you the bags are built in San Francisco. I used to live there and like to support folks who are trying to live in a very expensive city.

At the other end of the (price) scale, I also have a Timbuk2 Small Messenger Bag. I believe they now call it the "Freestyle Netbook Messenger" model. I originally bought it for an 11" netbook I used when I didn't need my larger laptop. Bought it on sale for about $30. It now sells for $44-$65 depending on the color. Unfortunately, my netbook didn't quite fit in the interior pocket. Fortunately, when I got my iPad I found it was perfect. The interior nylon exterior/felt interior pocket with a velcro flap is well designed for the iPad with a SmartCover and polycarbonate back case.

Frankly, I'm not sure you could fit everything you mention in the Timbuk2 model I have. You might have to go up a size or two. But it would come close. (The 40 ounce bottle is questionable along with everything else. You might have to cut down on those smoothies. ) Otherwise, it will easily hold everything you've listed including the Apple Wireless keyboard.

The Timbuk2 is also extremely durable and well designed. Again, no exposed stitching (an especially important point if you're looking for long-term durability), strong dernier fabric, and though not "waterproof," pretty water-resistant. (The cover doesn't quite cover the entire width of the case so in a deluge, it can take in some water.) Like the Cargo bag, the Timbuk2 has a light colored interior. (That's a great feature if you're trying to find something buried at the bottom without a flashlight.) Has lots of dedicated pockets that work well (if you can remember what you put where.)

You don't seem to need a bag that is "TSA friendly" and neither of the bags I have is. I have to pull my laptop and iPad out of the Cargo bag when I go through airport security and that's a pain. But Timbuk2 does have a design that is TSA friendly in a larger size.

All in all, each of these bags is a winner. The Cargo bag travels extremely well and I can take additional cases for both my laptop and my iPad when I need a more professional look for meetings. And believe me, you can pack more in it than you can comfortably carry. The Timbuk2 is a more casual bag but for everyday commuting it's a winner.

You can't go wrong with either choice.

Last edited by jsh1120; Jul 1, 2011 at 10:00 AM.
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Old Jul 1, 2011, 09:58 AM   #4
ksmith80209
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Check some of the stuff by Tom Bihn (www.tombihn.com). I have their Super Ego, Checkpoint Flyer, and Aeronaut all are amazing quality. Incredible attention to detail, made in the USA, and great customer support.

I'd recommend either the Ego or Super Ego with a "Brain Cell" laptop insert for what you describe.
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Old Jul 2, 2011, 02:01 PM   #5
wacomme
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsh1120 View Post
Coincidentally I have both the Cargo bag from Waterfield Design and the Timbuk2 small messenger bag mentioned in the first response. I'd recommend both but they fill very different needs and as you probably already know are at very different price points.

I've used a Cargo bag from Waterfield for almost five years and half a million miles of travel. It is very simply indestructible. Looks as good and works as well as the day I bought it. In fact, the only wear is a few tiny paint chips worn off the "aircraft" quality buckle. Subtle differences like no exposed stitching and strap connections on the sides of the bag rather than the top make all the difference in a bag if you want to carry it day in and day out for years.

My Cargo bag holds my 15" laptop (in a Waterfield sleeve with its own strap) as well as my iPad in a Waterfield Travel Express case (that holds the Apple Wireless keyboard in the Incase Origami Workstation) along with power supplies, notebooks, pens, keys, cell phone, water bottle, etc. etc. etc. I couldn't live without it. If you go for the Cargo bag and want to protect the iPad, consider one of Waterfield's "sleeves" with or without its own strap.

One additional point. Five years in and I still marvel at some of the subtle design features of the Cargo bag. The slanted zipper compartment on the flap and the single buckle means you can open the flap or the bag with one hand with the bag on your shoulder. The grippy pad on the strap means it won't slip off your shoulder if you bend down and reach. All in all, it's a superb design.

Finally, Waterfield Design (sfbags.com) has excellent customer service and if it matters to you the bags are built in San Francisco. I used to live there and like to support folks who are trying to live in a very expensive city.

At the other end of the (price) scale, I also have a Timbuk2 Small Messenger Bag. I believe they now call it the "Freestyle Netbook Messenger" model. I originally bought it for an 11" netbook I used when I didn't need my larger laptop. Bought it on sale for about $30. It now sells for $44-$65 depending on the color. Unfortunately, my netbook didn't quite fit in the interior pocket. Fortunately, when I got my iPad I found it was perfect. The interior nylon exterior/felt interior pocket with a velcro flap is well designed for the iPad with a SmartCover and polycarbonate back case.

Frankly, I'm not sure you could fit everything you mention in the Timbuk2 model I have. You might have to go up a size or two. But it would come close. (The 40 ounce bottle is questionable along with everything else. You might have to cut down on those smoothies. ) Otherwise, it will easily hold everything you've listed including the Apple Wireless keyboard.

The Timbuk2 is also extremely durable and well designed. Again, no exposed stitching (an especially important point if you're looking for long-term durability), strong dernier fabric, and though not "waterproof," pretty water-resistant. (The cover doesn't quite cover the entire width of the case so in a deluge, it can take in some water.) Like the Cargo bag, the Timbuk2 has a light colored interior. (That's a great feature if you're trying to find something buried at the bottom without a flashlight.) Has lots of dedicated pockets that work well (if you can remember what you put where.)

You don't seem to need a bag that is "TSA friendly" and neither of the bags I have is. I have to pull my laptop and iPad out of the Cargo bag when I go through airport security and that's a pain. But Timbuk2 does have a design that is TSA friendly in a larger size.

All in all, each of these bags is a winner. The Cargo bag travels extremely well and I can take additional cases for both my laptop and my iPad when I need a more professional look for meetings. And believe me, you can pack more in it than you can comfortably carry. The Timbuk2 is a more casual bag but for everyday commuting it's a winner.

You can't go wrong with either choice.
Thanks. Are you referring to the medium cargo bag?
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Old Jul 2, 2011, 02:30 PM   #6
glen e
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Originally Posted by wacomme View Post
Thanks. Are you referring to the medium cargo bag?

Everything jsh said,,,I run a largo cargo for my extended trips with my LCD projector and a med for non- projector trips, They are simply the best bags I have ever owned...
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Old Jul 2, 2011, 04:22 PM   #7
TC25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacomme View Post
  • Ipad with case
  • Lunch (often microwavable leftovers)
  • Large 40 oz. stainless bottle for morning smoothie
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Notebooks
  • A few files
  • Apple wireless keyboard
  • A couple of books
  • Misc. small items - glasses, pens, earphones, cell phone, other.
How about a suitcase?

Send this list to customer service at Waterfield. They are the experts and will suggest the right product.
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Old Jul 2, 2011, 04:58 PM   #8
jsh1120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacomme View Post
Thanks. Are you referring to the medium cargo bag?
Yes.
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Old Jul 2, 2011, 05:17 PM   #9
wacomme
Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by TC25 View Post
How about a suitcase?

Send this list to customer service at Waterfield. They are the experts and will suggest the right product.
Thanks for the suggestion. I've emailed Waterfield.

I'm also looking into Timbuk2
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Old Jul 2, 2011, 05:40 PM   #10
glen e
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I emailed watefield almost the same list a month or so ago. They came back with the Cargo and Cozmo bags - med and large. I went cargo becuz of the flap and slant pocket - very accessible. Bought a few cable bags to match the lead gray color. Extremely happy and lots of comments when I unpack for a presentation. I agree with the little surprises in design, found an inner pocket the other day I had no idea it was there.
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Old Jul 2, 2011, 10:47 PM   #11
3goldens
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"The daily grind" by Pataonia
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Old Jul 2, 2011, 11:12 PM   #12
wacomme
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Originally Posted by 3goldens View Post
"The daily grind" by Pataonia
Nice looking. Perhaps I can actually see it at REI.
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