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...