Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bag Review

El Presidente de China recently loaned me a piece of schwag he received in his new role as unofficial Xootr/Manhattan Portage outreach guy. The item is an orange NY Bike Messenger bag from Manhattan Portage.

This bag is tough and waterproof. The toughness is obvious from the significant weight of the bag and a glance at the stitching. The ingenious part of the design is that the waterproof membrane is the inner lining of the bag, so it is protected from abrasions and rips by the cordura exterior. You could lay your bike down and skid to stop and this bag stands a good chance of remaining waterproof.

The closures on the bag are also tough, with strong velcro and buckles to close the flap on the main compartment. The shoulder strap doesn't come with a pad, but it will last for a long time as long as you don't let it get moldy or something.

I enjoyed using this bag, but I prefer my old knapsack. I don't understand how bicyclists prefer over-the-shoulder-type one-strap bags. It usually ends up swinging down off my back onto my side, where it throws my balance on the bike for a moment and gets in the way of my leg. Also, I like my knapsack because it has some closure-free exterior mesh pockets that I can access without taking it off my back. Most messenger bags don't have pockets like this. I know that these pockets might take away from the sleek, bombproof look of the messenger bag, but they are handy.

Overall, if you want a messenger bag, you can't go wrong with this NY Bike Messenger bag from Manhattan Portage.

And here is the rest of it.


Karma said...

Have any of the bags you've ridden with had ches cross straps. I've never had a bag where this didn't reduce the bag's ability to swing around and cause problems. Even with my Timbuk2 totally loaded its never swung around to where it could hit my leg. Ill give you one thing a couple mesh bungie pockets ala dapack would be clutch on a mess bag. Im interested to try this one.

El Presidente de China said...

Also, it helps to cinch the ol' messenger bag strap so it's nice and tight - back when I had a Manhattan Portage bag (when I was an actual, real-life messenger), it never slip around 'cause I kept it strapped tight enough to almost constrict my breathing, which feels oddly soothing, like a constant, loving hug.

So who's going to review the bag next? Brendan?

Brendan said...


and like joel, I have a backpack bias.