Backpacks… Apr 6, 2009

Rapha’s Fixed Backpack

I can’t wear messenger bags for a number of reasons. Mostly because I’m not a messenger and I don’t need a massive shoulder bag to carry what I take with me on the daily commute. Also because resting all that weight on one side of my body results in reoccurring pain in my neck and shoulder.

It’d be nice if I didn’t have to ever wear a bag, but with all the crap I have to carry around with me on weekend rides, it’s necessary.

Rapha’s Fixed Backpack

A few weeks ago I was on the search for a backpack that was smaller than my big messenger backpack and easy to access. The thing that sucks about the deeper bags is that shit is always getting lost inside. A back or side access is key!

That being said, Rapha has introduced their Fixed Backpack.

Check out a few shots here, including details. Since it’s Rapha, the quality will be impeccable and well worth the $200 price tag. But what if you don’t have $200 to spend?

Manhattan Portage’s Ballistic Backpack

Here was my solution to the smaller backpack problem; the Manhattan Portage Ballistic Backpack.

What first struck me as awesome about this bag was the general shape. It’s not a typical schoolhouse Jansport like their other backpacks. It’s been designed by someone who knows what they’re doing.

Manhattan Portage’s Ballistic Backpack

It’s got a large encompassing flap that covers the top. A number of pockets, access from the side and is treated to be water-resistant. I’ve been caught in enough rainstorms to vouch for it’s water-resistance. Keep in mind though, it’s not a messenger backpack, so I’m sure if you’re outside all day in the rain, it’ll leak. Then again, messengers usually need more space than 2500 cubic inches!

Bottom line, if you’re looking for a good backpack under $100 with details that work for most commuters, check it out!

[yes I paid for mine too – including NYC tax. It’s well worth it!]

  • lvd

    that MP bag looks awesome, thanks for the tip

  • Sean

    did you pick up that MP backpack in the city? if so where? looks great.

  • prolly

    Token Store
    258 Elizabeth St
    New York,
    NY 10012
    United States
    View map
    (212) 226-9655

    there… I went to just about every dealer below 22nd st until I found one that had them. I shoulda called first, but it was so nice out, didn’t care.

  • folby

    Just so y’all know, Manhattan Portage stuff sold at and the Token store isn’t made in NY. The company sort of split in two as the result of a settlement and the Token/.com half moved production. If you want an MP bag that was made in NY the store on West Broadway is one of the few places you can get one. The inventory is a bit different and if I had to guess I’d say they wouldn’t have that bag. But if made in USA is important to you, avoid Token or

  • vive

    Many companies have to move production due to demand and cost increase, is this anything new? I actually rock this bag and regardless of where it was produced the quality is on point and well worth the trip to TOKEN or! Two more points, the TOKEN shop carries an assortment of Made In the USA products and the West Broadway store closed its doors last month.

  • Tony Balls

    For $110 the Ortlieb Velocity is pretty unfuckwithable.

  • kevin

    I’ve been an avid backpack supporter for a while now because of the benefits to your shoulders + back.. and if you’re in Canada something from Mountain Equipment Co-op will always give you a well-made (and cheap) option. however, I think I’m headed over to the messenger side soon, simply because taking your bag off every time to get at gear is a huge pain in the ass..

  • david

    how are the shoulder straps on the manhattan bag? well padded?