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N. Hollywood, CA
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754 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Sure the messenger bags win on style alone - and I want one. But when carrying a laptop computer, are the m'bags really strong enough for daily or weekly use?

I'm asking because my work laptop has a Dell nylon briefcase that is failing at the zippers. Its construction seemed pretty good as far as heavy fabric and seam/stitching, but the zipper is failing since I overstuffed the bag with notebooks and such. So can a messenger bag really carry all that stuff for the long haul? Seems most m'bags use lighter/thinner fabrics, and of course all the laptop accessories (such as power supply) would likely rattle around in the m'bag? Any positive experiences?
 

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Cowboy up
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3,886 Posts
The messenger bags seem to be well made. They are also waterproof, an important characteristic for commuting with a laptop. I think a messenger "pack," such as those made by Chrome and R.E.Load, is a better option because it will distribute the weight of your load over two shoulders instead of one. If you are going to be using the bag off the bike, especially to carry larger loads, then this might help prevent shoulder/neck pain from an off center load. The messenger packs also have a flat padded back wall which may be better for carrying a laptop. All the bags and packs come in various sizes. Padded sleeves are available to protect the computer inside the bag.

Jandd and Ortlieb make panniers that could carry laptops and are either waterproof or have a waterproof cover. Jandd makes a laptop briefcase that attaches to a bike rack.
 

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duh...
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9,658 Posts
ispoke said:
Sure the messenger bags win on style alone - and I want one. But when carrying a laptop computer, are the m'bags really strong enough for daily or weekly use?

I'm asking because my work laptop has a Dell nylon briefcase that is failing at the zippers. Its construction seemed pretty good as far as heavy fabric and seam/stitching, but the zipper is failing since I overstuffed the bag with notebooks and such. So can a messenger bag really carry all that stuff for the long haul? Seems most m'bags use lighter/thinner fabrics, and of course all the laptop accessories (such as power supply) would likely rattle around in the m'bag? Any positive experiences?

several mfgers make messenger bags made to carry computers now (padded compartments) and messengers use their bags daily, prob more so than businesspeople use their Dell briefcases
 

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N. Hollywood, CA
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754 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
clarif

Guess I should clarify. While I do enjoy bike commuting, the laptop issue is more of a non-riding thing. It doesn't travel to/from home by bike (I leave work at work), but lives in the office and goes on auto/airplane business trips. So basically the briefcase is the most common solution - but I hate it because it seems overly heavy, under sized, and reeks of corporate mentality. So I'd prefer to carry a stylish messenger bag (walking/traveling, not riding).

Either choice involves hanging a bag on the shoulder, and for my needs a backpack or pannier would not be appropriate. So it's just a question of whether a messenger bag is really built strong enough to regularly and securely carry the weight of a laptop. And I'm curious if any m'bag will suffice as long as a "padded laptop insert" is used - or are the built-in varieties really better at securing the load?

FatTireFred's note implies that messengers perform their daily duties with a laptop in the bag? Guess I'm a bit ignorant on that issue - I thought they'd be more likely to carry other peoples' things such as packages, oversize document tubes and such?
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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3,156 Posts
Well my guess would be that there is nothing that a business guy could expect to encounter that could wear out a Chrome bag any time soon. When I go back to the salt mine, the laptop is going in a Chrome bag just so that everyone can wonder how come my briefcase has a seatbelt. Priceless.
 

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Chromes are bombproof

I second the opinion that the Chromes are the deal. Pretty much bombproof, and they make a variety of sizes. If you're just carrying the laptop I wouldn't go to big. I went with the Kremlin as a commuter bag, and it franky is a bit to big. I wish I'd got with the metropolis. For what you're getting they are the best deal going.

Just my two cents.
 
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