Vaya Bag

Vaya Bag

I’m enormously fond of messenger “style” luggage, especially as a laptop tote. Twice in my life, the over-the-shoulder carrying style has caused pain. Once was in the university, as I had, still have, my first “purse,” and a hot young blond labeled it just that.

“Like I’m going to listen to some guy who carries a purse,” with an exaggerated roll of the eyes.

I think she was upset that I was attracted to her friend and not her. Pre- “Man Purse” era, and the first time I was told I had a purse, yet, it didn’t bother me. More like it amused me. It wasn’t a purse; it was a book bag.

Probably more than two-dozen years ago. I still have the leather bag, and in it, there’s a tag from the saddle-maker who was making the bags at the time. Cursory web search shows he’s retired, and his father was a famous saddle manufacturer, at some point. Leftover from undergraduate in the desert.

My style hasn’t changed, although, for one semester, the Riverside Complete Works of Chaucer and the Riverside Complete Works of Shakespeare did un-center my spine, or neck, or something. I switched to a backpack and switched back when I was no longer toting two totemic tomes, together.

My second “back” blowout was caused by a long, somewhat sideways meander through old downtown Austin, when the warehouse district was warehouses, and a single coffee shop dominated the landscape. Keeping my trusty messenger bag, I started a succession of backpacks to carry the load of a laptop, a book or two, change of clothes, and toiletries. Dating a woman in San Antonio at the time, and the train ride back home to Austin always concluded with a hike to the old trailer park.

That one leather shoulder bag, briefcase, that one is close to three decades old, the other is a warm care-worn canvas messenger bag that’s maybe – last time I checked – I had a receipt from 2001, I think.

While I’ve held that brand in high esteem, over the years, I was in a recent quandary. I wanted a new bag, similar style, and after my last experience with canvas, like the old advertising suggested, that canvas weathers well with age. Softens, seems more pliable. Certainly water proof enough for short dashes, should that ever occur again. I’m sure it will rain again, but doubt I have to traverse much more than a parking lot. In the rain.

I wanted something slightly different. The messenger bag design, made from canvas, just large enough for a new iPad Pro?

So I’ve been searching for a black canvas messenger bag, preferably handmade. “Made in the USA.”

What I figure I’ll carry, iPad Pro, perhaps some type of keyboard, probably just an Apple Keyboard, pen, ink, maybe a real book, perhaps ointments, lotions, and a tidy little tarot deck. It’s a work thing.

The company advertises that it’s “Woman owned and operated,” which, to me, just adds value. The problem being, in this day an age?

“Delivery can take up to four week.”

It’s made, by hand. In Queens, NY. That’s part of the United States? That far east, I get a little confused, but yeah, that’s in America, right? They did take dollars, so, it’s not Canadian or anything. My confusion is understandable, right?

Vaya Bags

This bag is made from recycled sail canvas, and its bottom is some kind of rugged rubber. I think that’s recycled bicycle inner tube – or something.

The small size is a perfect fit for an iPad Pro, which was an educated guess. I have yet to sort out anything more than the pen pocket, as I’d like to limit some of the crap, just a charger and wires for a phone, iPad, &c. There’s a small paper notebook, more out of habit than expected use. Reading glasses, and certainly, room for a book. Although, the iPad Pro is a perfect reader for me.

New Vaya bag.

Hasn’t been many places yet, couple of short flights, and a couple of coast trips. So far, it’s the right size, although, the strap adjustment takes a little getting used to. If I were cinching down to ride, especially a single-gear, I’m sure that would’ve sorted itself out by now.

The attention to detail, “Made in the USA” by an urban manufacturing company, certainly a selling point. That it’s just a good, durable product? So far, all indications are excellent.


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