Monday, December 5, 2011

Review: Crumpler Laptop Messenger Bag

I thought i'd start my reviews with a piece of kit that is near and dear to me. My circa-1999 Laptop-Messenger Bag from Crumpler..

I believe it is a Considerable Embarrassment but time and use have made it hard to tell. This is a great bag. Roomy, many pockets, rugged. Its been carry-on, a day-pack, pillow, lunch-box, and part of my EDC almost every day since it was gifted to me, Xmas 1999 ( I think) . This bag has taken some pretty serious abuse over the years, and is still going strong. Not only does it hold my rather ludicrous swag of gadgets and disaster supplies, (which i'll get to in due time) but it also regularly carries my lunch, my document folder and iPad, my kendo clothes and other assorted needfuls. 

So whats inside?

The bag is made from 1000D Cordura, with a 300D rip-stop liner, beg chunky zippers for the three pockets (lid, front and internal) along with twin internal hook-and-loop fastened pockets. The padded laptop pouch also has a hook-and-loop fastening flap. The front pocket contans two more (open) pockets and a third zippered one as well as beeing deep and spacious in its own right, as well as having an eyelet for cords.The main strap is heavy stiff webbing, with a wide padded shoulder-piece that slides, and a "Third Leg" sternum strap. The buckles are also nicely sized, and placed handily for opening when the bag is on your back, or when swiveling it around to the front (a specialty of this bags design, being able to open it without taking it off.)

The outer material is waterproof and stays that way, according to the manufactures instructions,  which I have not always adhered to, due to some pretty serious exploded-lunch-curry soiling, several times. This has lead to the coating (on the inside of the bag) to come away, but hasn't overly affected its durability. It's collected some serious staining over the years too.  I get rained on pretty heavily, fairly often and my goodies haven't suffered. Over ten years, the only faults I've noted with it are that the "hook" sides the hook-and-loop of the upper lid have come un-stictched at the tops. That and ten years of accumulated hair and fuzz gumming them up. This is however no great loss, as I don't like it as a closer, preferring the buckles.

This is a brilliant bag, and has survived being rained on, kicked under countless desks, jammed into over-head airplane bins, filled to straining point again and again, fitted with accessories and generally tough-loved and has never once failed me.  I was sad that I passed on my original, plain black Crumpler messenger bag when i got this one, but really, I couldn't really ask for more in a bag than this has given me.

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