Reviews of bags for your weekday commute and for your weekend adventures


#1 Stupid Design Decision

Manhattan Portage is one of the more popular choices in messenger bags.  They are a bit more expensive than the equivalent Timbuk2 bag and this might have something to do with their popularity. (Apple takes advantage of the same kind of premium cache pricing with their products.)  They are not TUMI-like in their pricing, so I don't want to be too critical.


I have had a reckoning regarding Messenger Bags

There is a big difference between this:

Patagonia Half Mass a typical MB (Messenger Bag)

and this:
Patagonia Transport 26L a typical SSB (Soft-Sided Breifcase)

Maybe you don't see it at first glance, but upon closer inspection there are some key differences that have me moving more towards the latter design.


STM Velo 2 (Medium) Video Review (Features Score: 21; Access: 7/10)

STM Velo 2 (Medium) Review

With pros = 30.5 points, cons = -9.5;  The STM Velo 2 (M) earns a Features Score of 21.0 and an Accessibility Score of 7 out of 10.


ecbc Lance Executive Daypack Video Review - $150 ($75)

ecbc Lance Executive Daypack Review

Video Review:

This is one great crossover daypack.  If you have read this blog, you know that I have a specific set of criteria that I am looking for in a "CDP."  As a professional, I need a bag that can carry electronic devices and files for work and yet, as a dad, I need a pack that can carry my gear for urban and natural adventures on weekends. If you are like me, then I think your search may be over.

ecbc Trident Messenger Video Review (Features Score: 19.0; Access. Score: 8/10)

ecbc Trident Messenger Video Review


With pros = 27.5 points, cons = -8.5;  The ecbc Trident earns a Features Score of 19.0  and an Accessibility Score of 8  (see details below).


Well built, with a durable  Cordura-like outer material and ripstop nylon liner and pockets. +3

Superb hardware that exude quality (waterproof zippers, nicely designed zipper pulls) +1

The bottom of the bag has a reinforced heavier nylon to combat abrasion. +1

A handsome, professional (as opposed to sporty) look. +1

External access to laptop compartment. +3

Front flap large zip pocket contains a small fleece-lined slot for iPhone 5S. +2

A side mounted, velcro secured pocket that could contain your iPhone 5S - though it is a bit tight and fussy.  +1


STM Trust (M) Review (Features Score: 27.0; Access. Score: 9/10)

STM - Trust (M)

Overall: With pros = 29.5 points, cons = -2.5;  The STM Trust earns a Features Score of 27.0. Accessibility: 9 out of 10. (Read about the accessibility ratings below)

Recently, I compiled a table that placed the bags I have reviewed so far in order based on the Overall Score and then on the Accessibility Score.  To my surprise, I noticed that the STM Trust (M) bag came up as the second ranking bag in both rankings.  Given this, I wondered why I had not given the bag more thought as a keeper.  While it is a bit bogus to justify something after the fact, I do think explaining to you why this bag did not measure up and become my keeper (so far, the Patagonia has been the bag that is the keeper) despite having such high scores in both metrics.

Patagonia Transport 26L Review (Features Score: 24.5; Access. Score: 9.7/10)

Patagonia Transport 26L 

Overall:  With pros = 32.0 points, cons = -7.5;  The Patagonia Transport 26L earns a Features Score of 24.5 and Accessibility Score of 9.7 (see details below)


ful Out-N-About Video Review (Features Score: 0.5; Access. Score: 7)

ful Out-N-About Review


Well made with stout materials and hardware +3

Ultra cushy back with ventilation channel +1

Lash point in convenient place for keys +0.5

The bottom of the bag is flat and perpendicular to the sides so that it stands solidly without tipping over. +2

Bottom made of an ultra durable material +1

Great deal (right now). +2


Mountainsmith Hoist Messenger Bag Video Review (Features Score: 11.0; Access. Score: 8/10)

Mountainsmith Hoist Messenger bag


Well made with stout materials +3

Two side mesh pockets big enough for a 750mL bottle +2

External access to laptop compartment. +3

Top zip pocket on the flap for glasses. +2

The bottom of the bag is flat and perpendicular to the sides so that it stands solidly without tipping over. +2

Great deal (right now). +2


Timbuk2 Dashboard (M) Video Review (Features Score: 6.5; Access. Score: 7/10)

Timbuk2 Dashboard - Medium


Well made with stout materials +3

Love the mix of materials - ballistic nylon with a polyester felt.  Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. +1

Both a laptop and a tablet pocket. +3

Side zip pocket on the flap is fleece lined for protecting glasses. +3

The bottom of the bag is flat and perpendicular to the sides so that it stands solidly without tipping over. +2

Great deal (right now). +2

Patagonia Half Mass Messenger Bag Video Review (Features Score: 5.5; Access. Score: 7.3/10)

Patagonia Half Mass Messenger


Well made, with good fabric and hardware choices. +3

Large front pocket on the outside flap (cover) is useful. +2

The gusseted outside pocket for a water bottle is a nice touch - it's big enough for a 16 oz. water bottle!  +2

Great shoulder pad design.  Comfortable, grippy, functional.  +2

Lot of pockets in the organizer and all over the bag that allow you to really...umm...organize your stuff. +3 

No Velcro to hold down the flap.  I wish more bag companies would realize that Velcro is unnecessary as long as you have a Fastex buckle.  How much time does it take to secure a flap anyway?  +1

Substantial handle that would be comfortable if you needed to carry the bag in this way for an extended period.  +1

Handy open top file pocket on the back.  +2

Sometimes I need a messenger bag...