Cheeseburger Gothic

Hey man, it’s my bag

Posted December 16 by John Birmingham

I’ve been using the same beaten up shoulder bag for just under twenty years. I picked it up for a trip to the US back 2001, and it’s served me well ever since. Indeed it it gave yeoman’s service just recently in Korea and Hong Kong.

I fear those days are coming to an end though. A couple of small holes have opened up in the corners and I can easily imagine my very expensive Apple Pencil slipping right through one of them.

I’m having a surprisingly difficult time replacing it.

There’s a few things that come come together to make a Goldilocks bag; as in - just right.

It’s not too big, or heavy, and yet in a weird Tardis-like fashion you can fit a lot of stuff into it. My big arse iPad Pro, for instance - with the Smart Cover and bunch of other things. Notebooks. Phone. Wallet. Headphones.

For a wonder there’s also, for such a small, simply designed bag, a surprising number of little pockets and hidden slots for documents, keys, coins, AirPods, Kindles and suchlike.

Stitched together from soft but durable canvas and cut just so, it’s very light and when empty moulds to my side so that I forget I’m carrying it. The strap is wide and fixed directly to the main body of the bag. (Buckles are an abomination, and thin straps the tool of assassins). The main flap seals with Velcro, making it difficult for pickpockets and direct marketers to gain access to the inner volume without my knowing.

I’ve got a new Crumpler coming for Christmas, but I doubt it will replace my much loved and far travelled old companion.

15 Responses to ‘Hey man, it’s my bag’

jl puts forth...

Posted December 16
Do they still make this bag? Then it's no problem- order the exact same bag. I did this recently with the wallet that lasted through three tours and retirement- a SpecOps T.H.E. wallet. The best, toughest ever with a lifetime guarantee that actually means something. So I get it about being attached to a good piece of gear. Nothing beats the best.

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andrew ducks in to say...

Posted December 16
That's a nice looking satchel! If you're fishing for alternative suggestions, I offer my well-worn Peak Design messenger bag. Not twenty years old yet, but hanging in there admirably. Has one feature that I particularly like: it fits exactly under the airline seat in front when standing up, even when full of camera gear and tablet and what-not. That means that you still have room for your feet. No velcro, except to hold the internal partitions in place. Lots of interior pockets and places. Canvas. Wide strap.

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted December 16
I will check out both of these fine product recommendations.

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insomniac reckons...

Posted December 16
Have you thought about getting it repaired, or at least get an Apple Pencil pocket installed.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted December 16
Oh I would be totally up for repairing it with gaffer tape and using it another twenty years. But unfortunately the flaw has been noted by Jane. And she is made of sterner stuff. The bag must die.

Bondiboy66 asserts...

Posted December 16
Surely a good tailor, bootmaker, backpack fabricator or some such could effect a decent repair. Perhaps enquire through a better camping shop for referral to a pack and tent repairer? Clearly this bag is worth keeping and repairing!

she_jedi mumbles...

Posted December 16
Yeah maybe they can reinforce the corners with leather corner wrap thingys? Like on a book bag? It seems a tragedy to summarily execute such a faithful workhorse...

FormerlyKnownAsSimon is gonna tell you...

Posted December 16
i also suggest asking at a shoe repairer. Leather and canvas being their . . . . bag

jl puts forth...

Posted December 16
It is exceedingly difficult to find a real, honest to God repairer. My wallet, for example. I learned when I purchased a new one that SpecOps had a lifetime guarantee. So I sent the old one back, wanting a repair. Me and that wallet had a history, you see. Did they fix it? No. They pitched it and sent me a brand new one. Can't complain, brand new wallet. But the old one could have been saved. No one repairs anymore. A real shame.

spankee is gonna tell you...

Posted December 19
JB there is a luggage repairer on Vulture St, West End. We've had great success with cricket bags and the Boy's school bags. Could be an option while you wait for your Crumpler to wear in. Just past Kim Thahn bakery, where they do those meatloaf sized sausage rolls.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted December 19
Noted. Thx mate.

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted December 16
Good luck on your hunt. I would like to think that in 20 years bag technology would have improved better materials, better designs and of course cheaper- however, that has not been my experience. After using the same bag I picked up on an overseas trip well over a decade ago I have gone through three bags in the same period of time.

Currently trying to find an old grizzled merchant in a cursed store to purchase a replacement.

Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted December 18
'the Froghurt is also cursed'

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 17
Personally I am a bit of a traditionalist and believe in waiting to make one with leather made from the leather of the first climate denier I kill and skin in the post-apocalyptic wasteland.

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Leftarc swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 17
Crumpler are worth a look. I have a Crumpler messenger bag that is 18 years old and been to Norway and back. Black and responsible on the outside, orange and loud on the inside. It is starting to fray on the top of the inside pocket where my laptop goes, but I think that is from putting too much in that slot.
Good luck with your search.

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