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Tag Archive: messenger bags

Kona Project 2 Messenger Bag Review

Photo Credit: LSJ Photography

It’s long overdue but it’s time for the final review of the Kona Project 2 Messenger Bag! The folks at Brenthaven and Kona teamed up and created the Kona Project 2 Messenger Bag and were nice enough to send us one to test! I wrote my first impressions of the bag awhile back and gave an opinion of it. After some time, my impression has stayed pretty much the same—I like it.

Style meets function

The first thing I noticed about it is how stylish the bag is. To my hipster friends who treat bicycles as an accessory like some who purchase cars that “fit” their personality, this messenger bag is a good complement to their everyday life. Like I mentioned before, it’s got a very streamlined design—nothing looks out of place from the trapezoidal shape of the bag to the inclusion of metal buckles and emblematic light in the middle.

It’s quite a spacious bag. Even the two zipper-pockets (shown below) were quite roomy; in the larger zippered compartment I was able to put in two medium-sized shirts unfolded without a problem. In the smaller compartment, a wallet, cell phone, toothbrush and toothpaste can fit. The bag’s main compartment is kept closed by three things—Velcro, two buckles and two side magnetic flaps. Inside, the bag is separated into three compartments with the middle being a “pouch” that can be closed via Velcro.

15.4 inch Laptop, Size 10 Shoes, 34x30 Jeans, 2 Shirts + Book (not shown)

Cellphone holder + 2 Adjustable Straps

Turned around, the bag maintains its functionality. The wide adjustable strap is held together by a big metal buckle. The strap also has a pouch for a cell phone. The bag also has an additional smaller strap that buckles onto the main strap to keep the bag stable while riding.

Here are the specs (again):

  • Name: Kona Project 2 Messenger Bag- Blue
  • Model #: 6102
  • Weight: 3.2 lb.
  • External Dimensions: 21.5″ W x 16″ H x 8″ D
  • Fits laptops up to 16″
  • Built in safety light with replaceable battery compartment
  • Bomber, water-shedding 1000D Cordura fabric
  • Waterproof internal compartment for laptop, electronics
  • Comfortable shoulder strap with quick release phone pocket
  • Large capacity, expands to 1300 cubic inches
  • 100% lifetime guarantee and then somePatent pending magnetic Hydro FlapsTM keep your gear dry

Very much a cyclist’s bag

Static/Intermittent Light

“Okay, okay, we get that it looks good and functions like any other bag but how is this a cyclist’s bag?”

When I first received the bag, the first thing that I wanted to know was how this bag was any different when compared to my current laptop-backpack. This meant: did I notice how uncomfortable I was with the bag on during my commute? Or is it such a good fit that I don’t even notice that I have it on? I did a couple tests to find out. One test was to overstuff the bag, and the other test was to only put in essentials for work.

For the first test, here’s what I put in the bag (about 30 pounds):

  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • Pair of Shoes
  • 5 shirts
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • Toothpaste, toothpaste
  • Bike supplies: oil, degreaser, naval jelly, chain-tool, Allen keys (I know it’s overkill)
  • Laptop + charger

And then I was off for a short ride. During the ride, I found the bag to be so heavy that I had to stop to give my shoulder a break. With each bump in the road, the pain I felt increased. I had to stop and switch shoulders three times in order to finish the ride despite the well-padded strap.

Loosely Worn

Even though the bag is durable enough to withstand over thirty pounds of load, I would only recommend a lighter load equivalent to a laptop + charger, a change of clothes and a pair of shoes. In other words, try to keep the bag’s weight under fifteen pounds.

That said, I think my opinion on how much load I would carry with the Kona Project 2 would change if the bag had two straps that distributed the weight better like a backpack.

On a side note, I used the bag much like a duffle bag while spending weekends at a friend’s and it served me well. Since it could hold more than my backpack, I found the Kona to be much more useful than my backpack.

So, in short, the Kona Project 2 Messenger Bag is well-designed and quite suitable for the commuter on a bicycle. The guys at Brenthaven designed the bag with storage, visibility and style in mind and it shows. For the commuter who does not have to carry that much stuff and can afford a hundred dollar bag, this bag is worth a look.

Please click here to read our review disclaimer as required by the Federal Trade Commission.

5 year long term review of the Banjo Brothers Pocket Messenger Bag

I’ve had the Banjo Brothers Pocket Messenger Bag since the first year they opened, so if my calculations are right, around 5 years. I believe this item has to be the longest that we’ve reviewed any product.
Banjo Brothers

For starters, the Pocket Messenger bag can be purchased from Banjo Brothers for $7.99. It comes in one color, black. In the past few years I’ve used this bag to carry just about anything that would fit in there, from keys to groceries and beer. I’ve never had it tear at the seams nor the straps fray and break. In fact it’s so convenient that I use it on a weekly basis as my lunch sack.

It’s perfect for short quick trips and because you can fold it up, you can store it in your back pocket or your seat bag and not worry about it. When you’re ready to use it, just bust it out and BANJO, you’ve got a bag!
Banjo Brothers

Having the Pocket Messenger Bag is super convenient and I recommend to everyone that they get one. It’s easier to bring this little bag rather than having to bust out the panniers or other bags just to bring home something small. Besides at $7.99 the cost of ownership breaks down to $1.60 per year…not bad if you ask me!

FTC Disclaimer

I’m seeing RED

One of our biggest supporters of BikeCommuteers.com is Banjo Brothers. We’ve know Mike and Eric since they first started many years ago. Every time we see them at Interbike, we make sure to meet up with them so we can feature their new products. For the 2011 Interbike show, Banjo Brothers is planning on releasing red colored bags. Not only do they look sharp, but it helps with overall visibility because it stands out quite a bit while you’re on the road.

The freshly re-designed 01090 saddlebag panniers from Banjo Brothers. $59.99 at your local bike shop.
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“The freshly redesigned #01085 Banjo Brothers Market Pannier is the James Brown of Panniers – the hardest workin’ pannier in the bike biz. Groceries. Hell yes. S24O or light touring. Damn Straight. It’s takin’ what your givin’ ’cause it’s workin’ for a livin’. $49.99 Retail at your LBS.”
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“The 2000 Cubic Inch Banjo Brothers Messenger Bag retailers for $79.99 and includes a padded laptop sleeve and a phone holster. You can look good and not break the bank.”
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Make sure you check out The Banjo Brothers Facebook Fan Page for more info.

Win a Messenger Bag from Outlaw Earth

BikeCommuters.com and Outlaw Earth have teamed up to help you win an authentic Outlaw Earth Messenger Bag!

Here’s what you can win!

We’re looking for the correct answer to a question, that Ashley Hudson (big cheese) of Outlaw Bags came up with. If there are multiple correct answers, then naturally we’ll have to pick one out of the hat. Oh and multiple entries will automatically disqualify you from the contest. Staffers as well as immediate family members of Staffers do not qualify. That means if Jack’s son enters, it won’t count. But if Jack’s cousin’s best friend’s brother’s great uncle, twice removed…well I guess he would could…you get the drift.

Ok so here’s the question…

Who is Ashley Hudson’s favorite US Pro racer?

I’ll give you a hint…”go to their website”

This contest will expire on midnight April 19th, 2009. We will then announce 1 winner the following day or two. But if it was a long weekend, give us up to 3 days to figure out the winner.

Send your entry HERE.

Good luck!