Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jandd Andrew Messenger Bag

I've wanted a good messenger bag for quite a while. I don't make my living zipping packages all over town and for most day to day cycling I prefer to travel light or carry stuff in luggage on my bike. But if you park your bike in the city and don't want to leave a bunch of luggage hanging on the bike or if you've got the occassional big random load, a messenger bag is a handy thing to have. So I've always been eyeing bags and quizzing my messenger pals. So yeah I've seen the really cool bags from Chrome and R.E.Load and folks like that. And it seems like every hipster and his brother has a Timbuk2 bag (not that there is anything wrong with that) and they seem to be pretty decent as well. And the good folks at Aerostich make a couple of messenger bags as well and when I was back in Minnesota in November I almost bought one.

But I'm fussy and frugal and I kept looking, figuring out what I wanted in terms of size and features. Around Christmas time I was looking at the Jandd website and saw that they had their Andrew messenger bag on sale for $60. Even at the regular price of $80 it looked like a good deal. Over the years I've bought various Jannd bags and everything I've ever gotten from them has been really nicely designed and well-made and on the web it looked like the Andrew bag passed my "Goldilocks porridge test" (not too big and not too small) so I ordered the bag.

I've been using the bag for a couple of weeks now and I like it. It's not too heavy but really solid. Mine is black so I added a reflective yellow triangle and a blinky to make it show up better in traffic. The rubberized strap pad is something that a lot of other companies charge an extra ten bucks for and it really is comfy and combined with the cross strap it keeps the bag right where I want it. I've worn the bag in some really heavy rainstorms and everything has stayed dry.

If I was a pro messenger and taking the bag on and off dozens of times a day, I'd want a quick release buckle on the main strap. And if I was going to make this bag perfect, I'd probably design it with a lighter colored lining (Timbuk2 does this with their bags) instead of the inky blackness that seems to swallow up small items. But in general I'm pretty happy with the Andrew bag.

I don't have any great links that kick back any money from sales of any of the Jandd stuff. They are just a good company that makes good stuff like the Andrew bag. They also make a very handy frame pack and a really big seat pack. I've had those bags for years and they're still going strong.

12 comments:

R said...

Does it have a stabilizer strap? I found the internet description and photos a little lacking...

Kent Peterson said...

Yep. Jandd calls it a cross strap. It connects from one corner of the bag to the main strap via a fastex buckle. The bag really stays put on my back.

And yeah, you're right about the photos and description. I kind of felt like I was taking a bit of a gamble when I ordered the bag, but I took a shot based on my previous good experiences with Jandd. And I'm really happy with the bag, so I guess things worked out.

Anonymous said...

personally I don't understand the facination with messenger bags. A small backpack stays in position much better. I guess it's just a hipster thing.

R said...

Thanks, Kent. As for anonymous, its about access for me, not being a hipster. Have you ever tried fishing for something in your backpack fast while holding onto the bike? Personally I dont like setting my bag on the ground, so...utility is the name of my game. Just because some people buy them for hipster cred or whatever does not mean I am not going to buy it. Otherwise I would not ride a fixed gear either. No one would ever confuse me with a hipster whatever I ride and or have on my back!

Cellarrat said...

The frame bag from jandd is really handy Its amazing how much well fit in that bag =)

Mess bags are a handy city tool!

Rob said...

I know what you mean about messenger bags.
While I'd prefer to carry things elsewhere, sometimes it works well to have 'extra' space somewhere for more. I got my bag at a swap meet for $15. It looked like
it was a swag item for some function, and it's made by Timbuk2 and done well. I
bought it with my daughter in mind but she
seemed lukewarm to the idea of using it. Well, I decided it wasn't going to sit there and I've gotten a lot of good use out of it, certainly > $15 worth.

Anonymous said...

I guess that makes sense about grabbing something fast out your messanger bag. I guess I avoid that by carrying everything I might need quickly in my handlebar bag. I just don't like to have weight resting on just one shoulder. I could see the utility if the messanger bag for short rides where immediate access to the bag is required. My rides mailny consist of commuting on my crosscheck with a Arkel small handlebar bag on the front and a wald basket on the back. I must carry alot of gear to work so this arrangement works well for me.

Jurgen said...

Dude,

Do you have any photos of your bag? I'd love to see what it looks like in the Real World (and not just from Jandd's website).

Thanks.

Kent Peterson said...

Unfortunately, mine's black and it doesn't photograph well. With the reflective triangle and and the stock reflective tape it just looks like a black blob that hangs (comfortably!) on my back.

Jurgen said...

Hmm. Other than the black blob-ness, does it look like the Jandd photo? I assume there's no diagonal stripe like the blue one?

Kent Peterson said...

Yep it's all black, no contrasting diagonal. The stiched Jandd logo is there and a little strip of white reflective tape (that I hang the blinkie and the reflective triangle on) but all the rest is black, black, black. Black straps, black lining, black fabric. Think Ray Charles in a coal mine at midnight on a moonless night and you're on the right track. But yeah shape wise it's just like the picture on the Jannd site. But if you take that picture, put it in photoshop and make all the color (except for the logo and the reflective strip) black and you'll see why they show the contrasty one on their site. But I really do like the bag. But it's really black!

Free of any useful content! said...

the best thing about messenger bags to me is their off the bike function. seems they are shorter and wider and easier to get to stuff in