Sunday, November 09, 2008

Alchemy Goods Urban Messenger Bag - 8 Month Review

You can read my initial impressions of the Alchemy Goods Messenger Bag here.

Alchemy Goods Urban Messenger Bag - manufacturer's info

I've been using this messenger bag for 8 months and thought I'd report how it has been performing. As I noted in my initial review this is my first messenger bag so I wasn't 100% sure how I'd like it compared to the backpacks I'm used to using. As it turns out this bag has become one of my favourites and sees a lot of action.

The two things it does very well are:
  1. doesn't look as dorky as a backpack when I'm about town socializing.
  2. is a very practical way to carry stuff you need to access a lot.
As much as I like this bag a backpack is a better way to carry heavy loads. A backpack is also a better way to carry stuff you don't need access to often. However, a backpack can be a real pain when you want to get at the stuff you are carrying frequently. This messenger bag swings around to the front and you can root around in it easily without taking it off.

Although I said a backpack is a better way to carry heavy loads I've been surprised by how much stuff this bag will swallow when needed. I've carried multiple bottles of wine, a suspension fork and two sets of fenders [strapped on outside] at the same time. It will hold a 17" laptop for those of you who need to haul your computer around. One thing I did add to this bag is a padded shoulder strap as it doesn't come with one and the bare strap isn't comfy if your carrying a decent load.

Still looking good after 8 months.

The bag has proven to be very durable as you can see from the photo above it looks like new. The design is well thought out and you'll appreciate all the small details when you use it such as the easy to pull zipper, reflective stripes and internal pockets.. I really like the fact it's waterproof and made domestically largely from reused materials [bicycle inner tubes, car seat belt, etc...]. It's big enough to be useful, but doesn't flop around when you it isn't filled.

The whole style thing may strike some folks as superficial, but I definitely appreciate gear that functions well on the bike and lets you transition to other aspects of your life without screaming "I'm a cyclists!" I've used this bag when taking my laptop to business meetings and when meeting friends for dinner at a nice restaurant. It blends in without attracting a lot of attention which I like. It's particularly good as a carry on bag when flying because you can get at the contents easily when you need to dig out your passport or grab your Ipod.

I'd happily recommend this bag to any one looking for a messenger bag - Alchemy you make a great product...=-)


  • Wicked-durable strap made from a RECYCLED seatbelt strap
  • 100% waterproof exterior constructed from RECYCLED inner tubes
  • Waterproof zippered flap pocket for easy access to phone or MP3 player
  • Multiple internal pockets for books, packages and other items
  • T-strap stabilizes load while cycling
  • High quality reflective tape for added safety
  • Internal key clip for bike lock keys or house keys
  • 13 x 8 x 11 inches (and expandable)
  • Accommodates laptops with up to 17” screens
  • Priced at $148


Gene Koo said...

Well, you convinced me with your post... just picked one of these up today. I was torn between the "Urban" and the "Haversack" versions (the Haversack is half the size) and ultimately went for bigger. I wish they had something somewhere in between.

Anyway, I do still notice a slight rubber odor on my hands after handling the bag, but I'm assuming this will fade, and might store the thing in cat litter for the weekend, which I understand is good for removing rubber odor.

Anyway, great (and persuasive) review!

Tucker & Bloom said...

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Tucker and Bloom said...

Organization is key. Check out our bags urban messenger bags.
All bags are domestically hand made, and are built to last.
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