Are Messenger Bags For Everyday Use?
I loved my messenger bag. It is a Timbuk2 Covert Large bag (link) and I bought it for my motorcycle. The capacity of this bag is approximately 35 liters. This bag has a wide reflective strip running along the center band. It makes me very visible when I ride my motorcycle at night.
I do not use this bag on my bicycle at all. If I need to haul anything larger than a grocery bag, I use my Xtracycle.
I have traveled with this bag before. One, a leisure trip for six days and one business trip for four days. In both cases, the bag was tremendously capable of holding my clothes. The single shoulder strap bothered me though. I travel light but lots of walking in airports with all the weight on one shoulder is taxing. It feels especially silly when there are bags available that distribute load to two shoulders and the hip, namely a hiking back pack.
Moreover, when the bag is filled with many little items, the load does not always sit right. Corners and edges of different contents realign when you slip the straps on and poke your back unevenly.
The only benefit I see of messenger bags is the wide opening for larger packages. I have transported two cases of dog food in them. Since then, I have found a local vet who carries the brand and flavor of dog food I buy. I use the Xtracycle to fetch it. All my everyday motorcycle rain gear and lunch will fit nicely in the back pack.
I was talked into buying this bag by a friend who has an identical bag for over 15 years. He obviously likes his bag. I wanted a bag that would stay far above the hip so as to not interfere with the rear seat of my motorcycle. I need to find a backpack that does that. I have stopped seeing the practicality in a single shoulder strap messenger bag.
The messenger bag also loses out on being a good camping/backpacking bag. Karol Gajda demonstrates that here: link. A 30 litre backpack will serve that purpose easy and is in line with my goals this year.
An object needs to have a functional and an aesthetic value for me to enjoy it. I will be selling the messenger bag once I get a back pack. There is no need to keep two bags.