25 October 2010

... got a brand new bag

some time ago, i think in the early 90's, i picked up a purple backpack at Uncle Dan's by MEI. at the time, i had no idea who MEI was, what kind of fan base they had, or how they would almost disappear as a company (now they only sell direct).

earlier this year, the good people at MEI were (or is it good person at MEI was?) incredibly kind to repair two broken straps on the bag, completely free of charge. this is a bag i still use every day to/from work.

however, the time had come to upgrade, for two reasons:
1. i'll soon be at a client site, and need a more professional looking bag
2. i need this new bag to be waterproof

after a lot of looking around on the web, especially at messenger bag sites, trying out a few bags at stores, going back and forth between one-strap and two-strap bags, and nearly pulling the trigger on a Chrome Pawn, i finally settled on a two-strap bag from small Philadelphia manufacturer Reload.

it's a bit of a splurge, as every bag is custom-made, but that did allow me to put together some colors that i found professional (enough) but still had a bit of personality. the model i picked is the minipack, and it arrived today, 3 weeks after ordering. (their production times are running slightly longer than that, but CS rep damian kindly moved mine through a little faster, in time for this coming weekend).

i think it looks great, and i love the craftsmanship. it's actually a little smaller than i thought it would be, but no worries as i thought it would be slightly larger than i needed.

i definitely jammed it full for tonight's commute, as i needed to haul not only my normal bag contents (including lunch bag and containers), but a rain jacket and my purple MEI bag. it did so no problem.

my only concern is that, towards the end of commute, the straps were digging into my pecs a little bit. granted, this was under a load larger than i'd normally expect, and under lighter loads the pack felt very comfortable. it rides high, but when strapped tight i don't feel myself straining to carry it.

initial impressions are very positive, and i look forward to the first time i'm caught in a downpour. okay not really, but it wouldn't take long for my MEI to soak through...


pyker said...

Looks nice. Hard to tell how much stuff it can hold or how big it is from that shot, though.

zim said...

uploaded additional pic.

it's holding my lunch bag and a rolled-up rain jacket, plus misc with room to spare.

it has room to expand up a little bit, and in depth if i loosen the compression straps.

zim said...

also added pic of it with my 15" macbook pro inside. it doesn't completely fit into that pocket, but it causes only an inch or two of that upwards expansion i mentioned. the bag still closes fine, and still in a waterproof fashion.

pyker said...

Son on a trip, this would not be your only piece of luggage?

zim said...

it's too small to be anything more than a weekend pack, really. i think i'm still in the market for something a little larger for biz trips.

probably red oxx sky train.