Commute Bag

by Dunluce   November 5, 2013  

Now that my old Argos bag has finally bit the dust I'm looking at getting myself a new bag for my daily commute. Now that winter is coming I want it to be waterproof. I'm thinking about a messenger type bag as I've heard you get a little less back sweat with them; any suggestions? (don't tell me to get panniers, it just won't happen!)

18 user comments

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The Timbuk2 messenger bag. I bought mine around 2001 and have used it pretty much every day since. I've had to replace the reflective tabs a few times, and one of the closure buckles after an accident and I tarted it up with their new strap pad a while back. It is however basically the same bag and since I'm not likely to need another one any time soon I'm hoping other people will buy them so I can keep using their excellent after market support.

posted by johndonnelly [54 posts]
6th November 2013 - 16:33


This is one of the ones I looked at and if they have good after sales service as you say I think I'll go and have a look at one this weekend.

posted by Dunluce [78 posts]
6th November 2013 - 19:17


Get one pannier. Sorted.

Unless you wear Rapha, in which case, you simply buy their tweed cap and stash all your gear under it. Probably.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

Jack Osbourne snr's picture

posted by Jack Osbourne snr [357 posts]
7th November 2013 - 22:49


I used a Cannondale messenger bag for over 10 years but have just moved over to a DHB one.

Padded back, nice wide strap and I haven’t had any water inside it yet and it comes with a waterproof cover.

Very happy with it.

posted by corkadillo [8 posts]
8th November 2013 - 14:39


Has anybody used one of the Henty Wingman suit carriers? I like the concept but they look a bit unstable. And enormous.

Swami Dave's picture

posted by Swami Dave [58 posts]
8th November 2013 - 17:43


I use a waterbrook rucksack from OverBoard, really good gear and generally a lot cheaper than something like Ortleib. I got my bag for about £30 in the sale 2 years ago and it's still going strong and fully waterproof. Can't recommend it enough.

posted by MarcMyWords [72 posts]
11th November 2013 - 13:39


You don't say what you intend on taking with you - if it's a fair amount of clobber, how about a drybag like this -
There's a hi-viz version if you prefer -

(probably similar to that mentioned by MarcMyWords, above)

Both will give you a sweaty back, I'm afraid; you'd need a pack that's held off your back by a frame to avoid (most of) that experience.

posted by Dr_Lex [171 posts]
11th November 2013 - 13:52


I just bought a chrome messenger bag. Not cheap but very well made indeed. Inside is lined and I have used in a few storms now and nothing got wet.

posted by dobby156 [1 posts]
11th November 2013 - 14:55


I have a Timbuk2 bag which I think i've had since about 1990.
I've used it pretty much every day since then as well.
Apart from a couple of minor marks and a tiny bit of fraying on the straps it still looks amazing.
Highly recommend them!!

posted by tomski [3 posts]
11th November 2013 - 19:57


Have you got one yet ! "a messenger bag". If you haven't don't get one without a sternum strap/stabilising strap or the bag will drive you mad moving around with the potential to slip around to the front of your body when you stop at a junction at the bottom of a hill. Don't get one that when the strap is pulled up tight, your left with a big loop of strap at about waist height that somehow has to be tucked away somewhere. If you can find one with a one pull strap, to secure the bag to your chest and one pull for release, in my opinion its the best move. If you think any decent sized "messenger bag" is going to cause less sweat at the areas where the bag and straps hug ones body, forget about it it aint going to happen. I sweat as much with my "messenger bag" as I do with any back pack. Its just a matter of surface area over body, iv even taken the padded sleeve out of mine in the summer and it don't make a lot of difference unless the bag is empty, which sort of defeats the object. Mine is very good for commuting and shopping, iv used it extensively. If I had to go any distance for a good length of time I'd go for a back pack that sits square on, if not panniers but that's another thing .

posted by rojre [21 posts]
24th December 2013 - 19:20


Crumpler (see above comment re extra strap)


posted by Goldfever4 [172 posts]
24th December 2013 - 22:28


If, like me, you have an eye for a bargain, try Edinburgh Cycles rucksacks. Their Revolution brand, which is actually made by Vaude in Germany, offers different sizes to suit your needs.

Some come with pack-away waterproof covers, a mesh frame to keep the pack off your back and a dozen other useful features. I've used my medium-size for at least eight years of all-weather commuting and it still scrubs up well. No broken zips, no scuffed corners, no frayed edges.

I am a sceptical old sod but deeply impressed by this piece of kit and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another.


mike the bike's picture

posted by mike the bike [272 posts]
25th December 2013 - 18:48


Iv seen some of the Edinburgh Bike Coop own brand stuff "Revolution" and it looks pretty good, particularly the red panniers. In general from what iv seen it gets good write ups. I have infact bought stuff off them online and they've been a good firm to deal with. They must struggle a bit competing against a couple of the other big online sales players.

posted by rojre [21 posts]
26th December 2013 - 8:50


This thread seems to have taken off again after my initial post. I ended up going for the Timbuk2 classic messenger bag and I have to say that so far I am very happy with it. Well made with lots of pockets to hold everything I want and although it's winter it does seem to give a less sweaty back.

posted by Dunluce [78 posts]
28th December 2013 - 5:02


Try "overboard" they make good waterproof bags of all types, the rucksack I have has not let me down and was very well priced. They say it's so waterproof it will float, haven't tried that but it sure keeps everything dry on my wet commutes into work.


posted by Nat Jas Moe [55 posts]
28th December 2013 - 23:16


[[[[[[ Get little Stewie Griffin and his Time Machine to take you back 20 years, and visit Stratton's Cycles, in SW London, and for £15 you get...wait for it...a "Bonk Bag"! Adjustable strap, 'natch, and a dayglo rear panel, and two side-pockets. No, they don't sell 'em anymore (plus ca change), but mine's still going strong....


posted by PhilRuss [317 posts]
29th December 2013 - 1:00


i struggle with bags generally. they hurt my back, move around, make me sweaty etc. having tried several, i now only use a small rucksack with a sort of webbed frame that holds it away from my back. it has a waist and chest strap. it came from a camping shop. i only use it if i have to, preferring my post bag. i cant see the point of messenger bags, although i have tried them. By design, they are bound to slip around more than a rucksack.

posted by philtregear [84 posts]
30th December 2013 - 15:46


I use a The North Face Camp Messenger Bag. They come in various sizes, have laptop sleeves and just the right number of other pockets. The closure is a flap with strong velcro and plastic buckles for extra security. The strap is wide and comfortable and there is a waist belt which keeps it on your back even on a road bike. Never had a leak and I use it in all weathers. Not too much reflective on it but plenty of scope to add reflective stripes or lights as you see fit.

posted by Cantab [64 posts]
30th December 2013 - 17:02