just-big-enough messenger bag recommendation

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mopppish, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. mopppish macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    I just got an 11" Air.
    I'm looking for a messenger bag to carry/protect the laptop while also being able to carry a moderate amount of stuff.
    Primarily, I want to be able to fit a book, the charger, my iPad, and an audio interface that's about, oh, the same dimensions as the laptop but 2" deep.
    The only reason I'm posting here is that some bags that I like (Crumpler Skivvy S, STM Scout XS) seem like they might be too tight to fit any more than the Air and a few magazines, then maybe the charger in a smaller front pouch. Some others seem like they're excessively large.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm looking for a couple of extra inches of depth but not extra in the other dimensions.
    Booq Taipan fit this bill?
    Something well made and responsibly manufactured is important, under $100.
    Would love hand made!
    Looking forward to suggestions!
  2. jcg878 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2011
    I just bought a Timbuk2 Commute laptop messenger bag for $80 at ebags. The small is more than enough room for me and would carry the stuff that you mentioned without too much bulk. I am new to messenger bags (used to briefcases), but so far I like it. It is well-thought out and the construction is sturdy. It's also TSA friendly.

    I should mention that I have a 13" Air and it fits it well. It has a separate laptop area, so I don't think a 11" Air would slide around much though the fit wouldn't be snug.


  3. minnus macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2011

    That is what I own. It is very small, yet can hold a pretty ridiculous amount of stuff.

    In it, I carry around:

    13" Air in the padded laptop sleeve
    11.6" x120e ThinkPad + HP TouchPad Tablet right outside the sleeve (same 'pouch' - this bag has two pouches more or less).
    Charges and cables for the above in the second pouch + an external hard drive.

    I normally have an eBook reader shoved somewhere in between.

    All this makes it a fairly tight fit, but its a very nice compact bag.
  4. glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    I second the timbuk2 and own that bag and the waterfield cargo. The cargo is "stiffer" meaning it stands up better but I use them both. A small cargo is perfect for the 11 air I have.

    sfbags.com - comes in 12 diff colors

  5. yongren, Sep 13, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011

    yongren macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2011
    I have this and the size is perfect. The bag can easily hold my 11" MBA, even when I have the laptop in a corduroy sleeve for a little extra protection, together with up to maybe three inches of other stuff.

  6. mopppish thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    Hmm. Intriguing options. Thanks.
    I've decided to go the separate sleeve + regular messenger bag route, as this seems somewhat more flexible for about the same cost. Ordered a colcasac this afternoon.
    Considering the Timbuk2 EULA. I've always liked Timbuk2 as a concept, but to me, most of their bags were too busy and ugly until I saw the EULA one.
    Also, going with a separate sleeve made it possible to consider MANY more of the handmade options on etsy.
  7. Jordan9 macrumors member


    Aug 30, 2011
    Sounds like a good plan, I just got an 11" Air and the Booq Viper sleeve case. Which I can easily carry the Air, SuperDrive, and external HardDrive.
    Then I can put this and my iPad2 in my Coach messenger bag. Or I can put it in my Timbuk2 bag I use for school on the days I need to carry a few textbooks along with my Air and iPad2.
  8. mopppish thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    Hello again.
    So, I very nearly went with the Timbuk2 small classic messenger.
    In fact, I probably would have if I could have found one of the $60-70 ones online (Amazon, ebags) that wasn't a lame color combo. As it is, customizing it with your own color scheme is over $100.
    So, instead, I got the Zagora colcasac and was debating between a Manhattan Portage DJ bag and the Timbuk2 EULA.
    The medium Manhattan Portage would have been nice and roomy, but I saw a video review of it on youtube, and the thing looked massive (relatively speaking)!
    Their small DJ bag, which I was really digging, was about the same size and exactly the same price as the Timbuk2 EULA, but the fact that the EULA is made in San Fran and doesn't have that big red tag on the flap like the Manhattan Portage one won me over. Also, being able to have different flap/body colors was neat (though I'm boring and went with navy and gunmetal).
    Anyway, I'm just writing this response to give folks some more options!
    I generally thought that the Manhattan Portage options were very good and reasonably priced. Even though they're not made in the US, MP goes out of their way on their website to talk about their manufacturing practices. The DJ bags are under the "shoulder bags" section, so most people might not find them right away, but I think they look perfect for an Air in a sleeve.

    EDIT: Forgot to add that my Colcasac sleeve and Timbuk2 EULA combo came in right at $100. Not bad for all handmade, responsibly sourced materials. Still less than most Tom Bihn's or a Muzetto.
  9. glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    I would hope so - nylon vs hi grade leather...
  10. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Post back how it's working out for you?

    Any photo's?

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