Bag Reviews

Bag Reviews
Another bag review

It’s about form, form and function. It’s about the stuff we use day-to-day. It’s also about good grammar, or, at least, knowing when to splice a comma.

It’s one of the brands that sparks insane loyalty from me, Timbuk2. I have, maybe three or four of the company’s bags, and to this day, the oldest is still the best. It’s a canvas messenger bag (style), which has held up for more than a dozen years. I even gave it away only to have it return less than a year later. I keep swearing I’ll move to just using a backpack, but that hasn’t manifested yet. I did, for a while, same brand, and I can’t let go of that pack because it went to Europe, not to mention countless Texas excursions.

Unpacking at the coast one time, I recall, week’s groceries, and me, with that bag across my back, as I squatted, the accumulated weight just pulled me over backwards in the parking lot. I got laughed at.

Wasn’t a big deal, much mirth.

I’ve tried, over the years, to replace this bag. So far, nothing has come close. I did use, same brand, backpack for a year, as an interim solution to back problems, but it comes back to value, portage ability, and adjustable volume. I can carry enough for a week, or just enough for a day at work. A weekend of working travel, or a week of fun. Works well all the way around.

Canvas “feels” warmer than nylon, the preferred, more waterproof, pack material. Essentially, though, “nylon” is plastic, right? And plastic is all derived from oil-petroleum-based products, long strings of polymers blended and fitted together. While strong, resilient, waterproof, the nylon lacks that feel of canvas.

Back in the day, the best of the best in rain gear for motorcyclists was British, waxed canvas over coats. Rain gear. Buttoned then zipped all the way up and over. The waxed “Egyptian” cotton was rated as the best for both thermal, waterproof, and emotional considerations. Riding motorcycles in the rain is not my idea of fun. I recall sitting under an overpass on the interstate, waiting on a summer squall to pass over. Water on the roadway had a detrimental effect on the coefficient of friction.

Sitting on the airplane, the little magazine with its insipid catalog of ridiculous travel goodies, I tend to see an ad for a “notebook computer” backpack, briefcase, messenger bag. My bag is usually in the overhead rack, that same canvas shoulder bag, and I keep thinking I need a new one. Why replace something that isn’t broken, isn’t anywhere need the end of its useful life, and has more miles than most cars?

That old and worn bag, I own two pieces of luggage that are older, one is a briefcase made by saddle maker from Montana, and the other is a hard-side, classic Halliburton suitcase.

Love that warm, worn look.

The shoulder bag takes a beating, and still continues to serve. It has numerous pockets for various accoutrements, still, the fundamental package is a large space where I can drop cables, connectors, a laptop, a jacket, books, tablets, other crap. Groceries, on occasion.

That old, worn bag? Useful. Works. Outlasted several other bags. The soft, worn look, rugged and useful? The only serious wear and tear is fraying on the shoulder strap.

Language is like that old bag. Archaic, out-dated, old and yet, still useful. The bag is designed to carry up to a 16-inch laptop, but as laptops get smaller and lighter, the bag is almost overkill, but not quite. It still accommodates a winter load or summer stash. Rigged and worn, still functional.

Language stretches to accommodate changing circumstances.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • sherry Feb 3, 2014 @ 22:00

    Makes me want a bag like yours! I too much prefer canvas to nylon especially in my motorcycle gear. And I also prefer being under an overpass to riding in the rain although I have been grateful for the rain I have had to ride in this year! lol

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