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Help Me Choose a New Bag

Believe it or not, that's exactly what this post is about.

For much of my life, I commuted to school with a standard LL Bean Back Pack. A few years ago, I switched to the LL Bean Deluxe Book Pack.

But now I've decided I want to switch to something else. I'd like something smaller, but still roomy, and more comfortable to carry. I'm looking for an over-the-shoulder bag with zippers, kind of like a messenger bag, but not quite. I want a bag that can hold a few books (hardcover and paperback), a notebook and pens. So I do want something roomy, but also not as incredibly large as the Back Pack I'm now using.

Basically, I want something I'd feel more comfortable carrying with me if (let's say) I have to go to the theater after work. Something I can tuck away a little better, but not too small either.

Yesterday, gnomi and I had lunch with rikchik and M. rikchik had a nice bag from Ameribag, which M. told me was the medium size HelixX DNA bag. Is that what I want, or do I want something else? And if I want it, do I want it in medium or large? (The problem is that I can't examine their bags up close, as the nearest store that carries their line doesn't carry the ones I'd be interested in.)

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Comments

That looks really nice, but it just doesn't, um, "feel" to me like what I want.

However, Levenger does have great stuff.
Levenger does have nice stuff, but the brand name tends to carry a premium...
Hmm, bags like that aren't really my area, so I will just suggest LeSportsac:
http://www.lesportsac.com/guys/

Very lightweight, smooshy bags but still durable.
Thanks for the suggestion!
I've got a bag from Timbuk2 which I like a lot. The standard messenger bags are very heavy-duty and actually water-proof, which was one of my main criteria after having a number of books get ruined in bags which claimed to be water-proof (which, astonishingly, seems to mean something other than "proof against water" when bag manufacturers use it; and of course "water-resistant" simply means that water will not flow through it unimpeded).

There are a lot of different styles and sizes available, though the bags tend to be a bit expensive. On the plus side, I would be surprised if you could swing a drunk grad student in Boston and not hit a store that sells them, so you can see one up close and determine which size would be right for your purposes.
I came across Timbuk2 in my search, but it's hard to tell exactly what the bags are like from the website.

You have a good point about Boston, though. I'll see if there's a store that carries them.
Timbuk2 makes good stuff. You might also want to check out the bags from Tom Bihn. Their bags are waterproof, and they offer several different sizes, styles and color schemes. I have friends here in Seattle who swear by their stuff, and every Tom Bihn bag I've ever seen is sturdy, lightweight and very handsome. I would suggest specifically looking at their briefcases and messenger bags.
Thanks for the recommendation!
Seconded! I love my Tom Bihn bags. Sounds like one of the Cafe bags might be up your alley. Ridiculously useful and indestructible products.

(also, the whole company has a good attitude.)

(also, also, see http://www.snopes.com/business/hidden/tombihn.asp - I have this bag/tag, and can attest to the truth of this)
Cafe bags? I'll go take a look. Thanks!
Oh, good luck.

I've never managed to find one that I like and am happy with long term. Of course, i also can't pick a desk, so . . .
I appreciate the wish for good luck on my latest quest.
I own two bags. My everyday bag is an Ameribag, which I quite like. Then I've got a messenger bag from CourierWear, which I bought back when they were in Harvard Square, which is a lot of years ago now, and the bag looks brand-new.
Which Ameribag do you have? I think I've seen you carrying/wearing it.
I recently discovered Kipling. I love their bags. Theya re very sturdy.
http://www.kipling-usa.com/home/index.jsp
Kipling, hm? I'll take a look. Thanks!

funny you should ask...

I just picked up a bag for myself at the Burlington LLBean (and bags for Sam and lunchboxes for both big boys): the Heatwave Messenger Bag, the medium size. Have been looking for something just a little bigger than my little tiny diaper bag, now that I need to carry more stuff. (Carry more stuff as the kids get older? Yeah, now that I no longer need to be on top of the kids all the time there's actually a purpose to my carrying a book with me!)

If you join us tomorrow night you can check it out then.

Re: funny you should ask...

I will definitely want to take a look at the bag; thanks!

Choosing a Bag

I am a big fan of the Ameribag. However, I do not think the Helix is the bag you are looking for, as it would not be big enough to carry hardcover books. Ameribag is wonderful for a few reasons. They are ergonomically designed so that the stress on your neck and shoulders is reduced by 30% and they are extremely organized inside. These are the 2 reasons I absolutely love this bag.

To carry hard cover books I don't think you are going to find what you are looking for. The messenger bag is probably the best option for you. If you where only wanting to carry one hard cover book the wide body ameribag might work.

You can visit my website to look at some of there other products they offer. I do plan on adding some video this weekend to show the different bags I own so that people can get a better feel of what the bag looks like in side and such.

http://www.healthy-back-shoulder-bag.com/

Re: Choosing a Bag

Thank you for the recommendations. It's been over a week and I'm still not sure what I want to get...
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