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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Review: Patagonia Half Mass Messenger Bag

It might surprise you, but until Quora gave me a Patagonia Half Mass, I'd never owned or used a bicycle messenger bag. Yes, despite all the swag frequently handed out at Google, I never managed to swing getting so much as a Timbuk2 messenger bag as swag.

I hate carrying things on my body when cycling. Backpacks suck, with the REI Flash 18 the only bag that I consider tolerable, and even then only for light loads. The Half Mass is pretty standard as messenger bags go: you have a shoulder sling, and a hip belt that attaches in one of two locations to sling the bag low on your back or high on your back depending on whether you're riding or walking.

There are multiple pockets, including a laptop specific pocket, side pockets for a bottle, a top zipper pocket, and a couple of compartments. My biggest complaint about this bag is that it's way too big. If you load it all up, even walking around is a major pain, and I'd have a tough time considering it handy for anything more than a local milk run.

Riding with it, it does swing a bit, even with all the attachments and buckles buckled in the right place. It's not a great carrier.

Ultimately, none of the "carry on the body" bags can hold a candle to the traditional English style traverse saddlebag. If you commute or carry stuff on a regular basis on your bike, I suggest you get one of those instead. Save bags like these for your bus/train/driving commute or the occasional milk run with your racing bike.

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