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What's your favourite Manbag?


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#1 tim atherton

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 03:21

So what type of Manbag do you use?

You are heading off out to a cafe to hand write the next chapter of your great American Novel or write notes about the passing tide of humanity? Or off to a park bench or riverbank to make a few notes about the joy of nature. Maybe you are heading to a lecture at the art gallery... Wherever you are going you want something to keep your essential supplies in (I'm not talking an accountant heading off to the office we 20 files for work, or a student heading off to the first of five lectures of the day).

You know what I mean: two or three trusted fountain pens (with perhaps one of them full of some new weirdly named and coloured ink); a pencil; perhaps a highlighter; then maybe some cartridges and a nalgene bottle full of your favourite emergency ink; a Molskine; a larger Clairfontaine notebook; a Rhodia pad; a small novel or book of poetry; your cellphone; perhaps a newspaper and a couple of small snacks.

As you head out of the door, what kind of manpurse is holding all your treasured stuff?

As a longtime photographer, I have what my wife refers to as my camera bag mountain. While some of these bags are very handy and great for cameras they are usually a bit boxy to be repurposed (and now that I tend to use either a 4x5/8x10 or a teeny little Canon digital, they tend not to get out so much). Mind you, I've always been partial to the original khaki Billingham Packington - though it is a bit large and you may be mistaken for Michael Palin (it also looks better with the tail end of pheasant sticking out of it...

And I've used a couple of different messenger type bags - most are rather too floppy, though I quite like some of the Crumpler bags. Though they tend to look a bit better if you are hanging around Campus with your hip young grad students.

So lately I've been looking around for something a little more distinguished, while still being somewhat cool looking. (shiny black or brown saddle leather briefcases with straps and brass buckles or the like are out - far too anal as well as heavy)

I saw a great looking black oiled leather bag in a funky local shop - but it turned out to be an actual "designer" bag from France and cost $540...

Then I saw this bag - somewhat similar but just a tad too Dutch schoolboy on his way to class having to stick his finger in a dike, though a little more affordable.

And then there was the kind of organic looking Swiss army (the actual Swiss army, not the ubiquitous penknife people) canvas and leather bread bag - usually already worn in - but kinda funky.

But still looking for now.

So, what's your favourite Manbag?


tim a

P.S. Ladies are, of course, welcome to contribute - although my take is you have far far more options open to you...

Edited by tim atherton, 10 August 2009 - 03:26.


#2 BerneseMtDogEatsArco

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 03:37

Jansport backpack in classic black! I'm a guy, and it's a backpack, so = manbag?
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#3 chancew1

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 03:40

I have too many packs and bags for different purposes. For what you describe, an Army Surplus Engineers Map Bag is perfect. Cheap, light. Has a place for pens. Does look a bit too much like a purse, but deal with it.

http://www.armysurpl...?productID=1133

#4 ArchiMark

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 03:47

Not sure if this is applicable to what you're looking for, but this is my daily manbag that I use for work...very good quality, great service from US Luggage/SOLO and reasonable price considering the quality.

US Luggage/SOLO Bag

Bought mine at a local Staples store....
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#5 tim atherton

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 05:39

BTW, I'm not just asking for ideas. I'm also interested in what other people are actually using

tim

#6 win3xp

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 05:58

Depends on what you like, of course, but my daily carrier is the "Organizer Handle Tote" by Tumi. Mine's about 10 years old now and goes to the shoe repair shop now and again to be spiffed up --polished, like shoes -- and it comes back looking great. When you consider how long they last and how fine they look, well, YMMV ;)

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#7 Arobow

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 09:33

I actually have that third bag you posted, two versions of it. One with the leather cover and one without. That cover is actually really heavy--waterproof, but heavy--and it makes getting in and out of the bag sort of difficult so I stopped using it fairly early on. (Without the cover, only a metal hook keeps the bag closed, so That didn't work either)

These days I'm still looking, but my penchant for loose canvas messenger-type bags gives me a lot of options. The stogy leather briefcases make me feel like I'm taking myself too seriously and tends to dam up the creative juices. It's finding the right balance of floppiness and protection that makes the search difficult. And, yeah, I guess I need something that looks mildly presentable just in case.

#8 sgireland

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 11:51

My manbag, murse, etc. of choice is a Maxpedition Fatboy Versipack. http://www.maxpediti...mp;idproduct=31

Minus the gun! Very handy, though it doesn't carry very large items....I wish it was big enough to cram a netbook into it.

#9 Paddler

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 12:20

So what type of Manbag do you use?

You are heading off out to a cafe to hand write the next chapter of your great American Novel or write notes about the passing tide of humanity? Or off to a park bench or riverbank to make a few notes about the joy of nature. Maybe you are heading to a lecture at the art gallery... Wherever you are going you want something to keep your essential supplies in (I'm not talking an accountant heading off to the office we 20 files for work, or a student heading off to the first of five lectures of the day).

You know what I mean: two or three trusted fountain pens (with perhaps one of them full of some new weirdly named and coloured ink); a pencil; perhaps a highlighter; then maybe some cartridges and a nalgene bottle full of your favourite emergency ink; a Molskine; a larger Clairfontaine notebook; a Rhodia pad; a small novel or book of poetry; your cellphone; perhaps a newspaper and a couple of small snacks.


If you are going to do all that, I suggest the Duluth Trading Company's "Field Bag". It has 16 inner compartments and pockets, including three pen pockets. It is made of tan "fire hose canvas" (two threads over one) and has brown leather reinforced stress points and accents. The inner lining is heavy, slick Nylon. The seams are finished. The main compartment is gusseted so it can't flop down after you unzip it. It will easily hold a steno pad, but is too small for letter size books. It can just barely manage a Mead composition book. The rear pocket is open on top but has a leather strap for holding in an 8.5" X 6" book (dictionary? thesaurus?). There is a shoulder strap and a leather carry handle.

This bag is very sturdy and large enough for the conditions and uses you describe. I have one and carry it quite often.


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#10 tmenyc

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 12:42

I also have been searching this one for awhile, and folks here have given me excellent suggestions. I also saw the perfect bag in a wonderful leather store in Soho (Manhattan's Soho, that is...), but it was $490. My search is for large enough to carry a full-size book and a small quantity of extra stuff, the fewest extra pockets, least hardware, and no magnet in the clasp.
these have been recommended, and I like them all but since none of them is perfect I haven't bought yet.
this one
look for medium and small satchel here
also see their recession satchel...

I'll watch this post too!
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office:  Wality 69L, Esterbrook 9668 nib/Noodlers OMB


#11 tnmike1

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 13:19

my father-in-law's World War II messenger bag. Olive canvas, says US Army on the front, has a flap with little side pocket for pens and cellphone. Canhold a book or two and a couple Rhodia pads. On the back=--the part that lays against your side--it has his name and the date 1942,

Perfect condition and a cool conversation piece as well
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#12 Wolverine1

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 13:19

My main ManBag is a NorthFace Backpack, which is about 10 years old,and no longer made. For more formal occasions, I use a Lands End canvas briefcase, which is also about 15 years old, from when they were still American made.
My main ManBag needs to be retired, so I am looking at leather bags made by this company:
Custom Hide Bag Co.
Also this: San Francisco Bag Co.

#13 AndyHayes

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 16:20

Maxpedition Colossus in black. I carry around a couple of large reporter moleskine (spits!) notebooks and 3 Danitrio pens plus camera, torch, meds, folding knife, blah blah blah

Here

Edited by AndyHayes, 10 August 2009 - 16:28.

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#14 I am not a number

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 17:05

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#15 BeachBum

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 17:19

The only time I really carry anything like a manbag is when I am traveling for work (which is becoming all to frequent). Didn't want to spend a lot of money on one, so I found this one at Target SwissGear Vertical Travel Bag

The only problem I have with it is that it is a very tight fit to be a composition sized notebook in, but that may be due to my trying to fit noise-cancelling headphones in the same pocket. It has a front pocket with a headset cord feed for my MP3 player; a pocket that has three pen loops (won't hold larger FPs) and pockets for cell phones, business cards, mesh zipper pocket, etc.; and the main rear compartment. Just bought it on Sunday and made my first trip with it. So far I like, but we will see how it stands up.
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#16 ethernautrix

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 17:41

I've been using a Fossil Sutter Crossbody lately:

Canon PowerShot camera goes in the left pocket, lip gloss and cell phone in the right, Moleskine-lookalike notebook and four-slot and two-slot pen cases in the main compartment, wallety stuff in the zippered compartment in back with the Travelling Inkpot.
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#17 PaulT00

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 18:27

My current kitbag is a North Face 'Megamouth' 19 litre hydration pack, although I rarely use the hydration facilities. It's *just* big enough to hold all the bits I need for a typical workday, and ensures I don't carry things I don't need because there just ain't room. Most of the stuff I'm carrying isn't directly work related anyway, either impedimenta like spectacles, sunglasses, pens, headache tablets etc, or things I'll use after work like a yoga mat and a change of clothes. There's room for a macbook in there as well if I need to.

I used to use an Oakley Icon backpack which was about twice the capacity, but (a) it got old and the straps started to go and (b ) too much temptation to load it up.

If I needed to, I've got a nice Samsonite briefcase - a gift from my partner when I got a new job about 15 years ago - but I haven't used it in over 5 years and it would need a good clean off first.

Edited by PaulT00, 10 August 2009 - 18:28.


#18 alkman

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 18:33

Re Load messenger bag. It's a local company in Philadelphia, and the bag is about as waterproof as you can get. Before that, it was a Baileyworks bag; another small group. Look mostly for a container that won't render paper and ink into a smudgy set of pictograms...

#19 David III

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 18:56

Levenger occasionally sells versions of their "Livingstone Traveler." Some years back, they had one that would not fit a laptop computer (I think their current version does) but it still had the two pockets on the front. All light brown leather.
I couldn't afford it - they discontinued it - and I found it on their ebay store for a lot less money. It works very well for me. I have room for journals, a calendar, it has a cell phone pocket - some unusable pen slots since they are too small for my fountain pens... an extra pack of cigarettes, and (ok, so I am strange but I work in a strange industry) I always carry a small bible and a small sap, which is like a blackjack but flat.
All that and there's still room for two pairs of glasses and I've crammed an extra shirt in there, too. It goes just about everywhere with me.

#20 Robert Hughes

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 19:02

I use one of those cloth swag bags that you see at hotel trade shows; I get them for free after the show leaves. Some of my favorites: Minnesota Morgan Horse Assoc, Conservative Political Action Campaign, any of a variety of drug companies. I can put anything I want in one of those bags, of great or no value, and people leave them alone, because they wouldn't be caught dead with that bag!
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#21 ralphawilson

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 19:06

I still frequently use a great old (like 25 years old) black Tenba camera bag that was designed not to look like a camera bag. Quite slim. Closest I can see on their current product list is the Skooba: Sidekick.
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#22 stevlight

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 20:22

I have used the Domke digital satchel for 4 years and it still looks brand new. Perfect size and understated.

My wife wanted me to be a little more refined and spent alot of money on this Tumi bag [in black of course!!]. {it was to congratulate me on selling another children's book--god, I love her} It is a REALLY nice bag. I am not used to carring something so nice but do love the soft leather.--and I would never spend that kind of money on a bag. but if you have the $ it is worth it--very well made.
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#23 davisgt

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 20:27

Louis Vuitton briefcase. Yeah, I know, I'm an elitist snob. I embrace it. :roflmho:

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#24 kps

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 20:30

I use jackets with many pockets; at present, ones from Duluth Trading.
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#25 voop

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 20:34

It feels like I keep repeating myself: this is my purse, loved so much that I've acquired a couple of backups for when my current one is worn out.

#26 Silvermink

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 20:54

I like shoulder bags, though I'm less fond of what they do to my shoulders. Currently I have a black Kensington laptop bag (issued by work) and a black... I think the brand is Freeways or something... shoulder bag that I got at an Office Depot in Puerto Vallarta. The Kensington, especially, has lots of extra pockets.

I also have a grey-and-black Dell laptop backpack which is the only way my 17" DTR laptop travels (man, that thing is heavy).
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#27 Ted H

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 21:11

I've been using this EOD utility bag from County Comm. Nice for traveling light, cheap, and functional.
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#28 Scooterman

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 21:32

My favorite is a Mountain Hardwear "Project" backpack. It's fairly small, carries a laptop or notebooks, and has lots of inside compartments. My other "toy" bag is a small one by Maxpedition. I don't recall the model name. It's about a foot long and six inches wide. It also has a hip strap so it can be worn like a small lumbar pack. Mine are all in "Manly Black", of course!
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#29 joexray

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 21:35

I use a Wilson's Leather Oak Sling Backpack. It is a combination between a backpack and a messenger bag. not quite large enough for a 14"" Apple iBook (because of the triangle shape), but plenty big enough for my Nikon D50 and 105mm lens and pens and paper and iPod and ... well you get the point.
I bought this 4-5 years ago at a local Wilson's retail store, but when I went to look for a link to include here, I discovered that Wilson's does not sell this product any longer; however there is one currently for sale on eBay for more than I paid for mine (retail).
I like the fact that it does not "sit on my hip" (like a messenger bag does) and it has a shoulder strap that separates/connects with Velcro (unlike a messenger bag or backpack), so I don't have to take it over my head if I don't want to.
Apparently this bag was so ugly that the one and only time my car was broken into, they ignored this bag with my camera and mega-iPod in it, and went for the mini-iPod in the center console instead; so now it is a good luck charm :)

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#30 DAYoung

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 21:50

Louis Vuitton briefcase. Yeah, I know, I'm an elitist snob. I embrace it. :roflmho:

Todd


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