The M-24 Messenger Bag is a well made, innovative bag that does everything you need such a bag to do. It doesn't have the frills and tech of some others, but it more than makes up for it with its strong and environmentally friendly construction.
Like some others we've tested, M-24 has used recycled lorry tarpaulin for its bags, which has a few positive points. First is the robust nature of the material – it's waterproof, wipe-clean and very difficult to rip or tear. Secondly, because it's recycled it is environmentally friendly, minimising waste and giving you that warm feeling. And finally, it means that every bag is unique, as they are just bits of tarpaulin cut from a branded lorry.
It is also well made, with the entire bag being made from a single piece of material, simply folded over and sewn along the bottom and up the back. One of the real benefits of this is that weight isn't put on any of the seams – there's no stress put on them that can wear them over time.
The strap is made from seatbelt material, with a buckle at one end to adjust the length. This buckle is simple but effective, simply creating a larger or smaller loop of excess down the side of the bag, and can be adjusted on the go without too much fuss. It seems robust and, like the rest of the material on the bag, unlikely to wear too easily. The only thing I would change is to maybe have a little more grip, as I found that when I was wearing it on smooth materials (think puffer jacket material) it would sometimes slip around slightly, but this wasn't an issue with most jerseys.
The bag is opened and closed by a flap that is secured by Velcro; this holds it in place well and also allows for a good amount of adjustability. For instance, I managed to easily use it to transport a couple of vinyls from work without any issues.
Storage is made up of one main area, a sleeve for laptops/tablets and a small pocket at the front for smaller items. It isn't big enough for carrying huge loads (its 38 x 28 x 11cm) but as a daily commuting bag or something to take around town, it is more than adequate.
It comes with an RRP of £50, which for something that is robust and likely to last for several years, isn't especially steep. When you look at the other main recycled lorry tarp bags, it's about right. Upso's Cambridge bag is £5 less but smaller, and Freitag's Messenger Classic is £75 more (even the Jamie hip bag, which we tested a couple of years ago, is £80).
Overall I really like this bag. It is simple, stylish and, most importantly, robust and well made. It would be nice to have a little more grip on the strap when you're wearing something made from a smoother material, but this shouldn't take away from a strong performing messenger bag.
Really well made, stylish and environmentally friendly messenger bag
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road.cc test report
Make and model: M-24 Messenger bag
Size tested: 38cm x 28cm x 11cm
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
An environmentally friendly, stylish and robust messenger bag.
M-24 says: "Perfectly designed for everyday use, carrying stuff to and from the workplace/college or university. There's enough space to store a 15inch laptop or smaller. It has two separate compartments inside to keep you items organised. The velcro fastening on the outside allows for vertical expansion to load additional items. Adjustable shoulder strap with quick release."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
M-24 says: "M24 bags are designed from recycled truck tarpaulin. Each bag we make is totally unique because of the variety of lorry curtains (truck tarps) we collect."
Very well made, good fabric choice, well placed stitching.
Performed very well, doing exactly what I needed it to, and adjustable enough to carry even strangely shaped items.
Amazing durability (I'm tempted to give it 10...), as you would expect from a fabric used for lorries.
You could pay more than double for a very similar product, but there are a couple around the same price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well – carried everything I needed, comfortable and good looking.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The durability. I think I could drag this behind my bike without breaking it.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Perhaps a little more grip on the straps.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
It's a tough, well made bag with a reasonable price tag. The fact that it looks good and is environmentally friendly boosts it up to a 9 in my opinion.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.