Philadelphia. Bagmaker-in-training. Obsessed with backpacks and messenger bags.
Sorry, mate. Sounds like you got a lefty by mistake.
A “lefty” bag is a bag worn over the right shoulder so that you can access stuff with your left hand. EVERY bag company defaults to “righty” because so many people are right-handed.
I would be useless with a bag on my right shoulder. I bet that contributes to any belowground awkwardness.
If it wasn’t properly indicated in the sale (check your receipt), I would actually try to return the bag and swap it for a “righty.” If it WAS indicated, I’d see if you can return it anyway. Trust me, you’ll be much happier.
Tips on using a huge bag?
1. first off, after it breaks in a bit it’ll stop being quite so structured (as the fabric relaxes). That will help with running into stuff.
2. You will learn to place things in the bag to minimize size - I keep big and flat things closest to my back, so that smaller things sort of settle and “fill out” the remaining space more efficiently.
3. Wear it high. I don’t know how you wear your bag, but I keep the bulk of it as high up on my shoulder as I can. This results in more of my body being “in the way” of the bag, which means when walking forward less juts out to cause trouble (sometimes trouble is yet caused).
Hope this helps!
Hey, thanks for the question! I might not be the best person to answer it, in some respects, because I wear an unnecessarily large bag all the time.
I love having a huge bag. I mean massive. It gives me the ability to carry things I might not have anticipated carrying - like a bike stand, or two weeks worth of groceries, or a shipment of fabric sent to my office. It’s not uncomfortable when it’s empty, really. Your mileage may vary, naturally.
I have not had a chance to try Timbuk2’s new Classic Messenger design. I was sad to see they discontinued the XL, but I imagine it wasn’t a big enough seller for them. The large looks to be about the size of a large duffel bag but because it’s a flaptop you have the opportunity to stuff the heck out of it. So the capacity is actually larger than that, and great for awkwardly-shaped items.
Some of Bag Collector’s Tips for Finding a Perfect Bag
Your best bet is really to try one on before you decide if it’s going to be big enough/too big.
Get out your current bag. Make a list of the stuff you carry daily. Think about the stuff you carry at max capacity (groceries? Kid stuff? etc.) and at minimum (do you mind riding around with a giant empty bag on your back/by your side? Some people that drives them crazy).
Think about where you’re gonna use it. Are you taking it to work? Are you riding with it? Walking? Carrying your child while wearing it? Will you need quick access to it in case of an accident or emergency toy situation?
Find a store that has them, and bring all your stuff there. Ask someone at the store if you can test loading the bag up, and try it out.
I probably sound crazy right now, but if you want the bag to be perfect this is what I suggest. If you absolutely must, you can always return it (unless it’s a custom bag, Timbuk2 has a no takebacks policy on their custom gear).
Hope this helps!
Hey, thanks for the question!
There’s definitely some crazy awesome stuff coming out of Japan. Fredrik Packers, Beruf, Resistant, Guu Watanabe, the list goes on.
Unfortunately, you’re right - there’s no easy way to get it. In fact, I only got my Resistant bag because I went to Japan for my honeymoon.
Bag Collector’s Guide to Getting Stuff Out of Japan (and other countries)
My first recommendation would be to see if any of these brands are carried in US shops. I bet most US shops would be willing to ship within the US. Beruf, for instance, has a dealer in California. If they don’t carry what you want, they may be able to special order it.
You might also call around to bike/fashion shops in your area. For instance, Omoi Zakka in Philadelphia (where I am) carries Baggu and SAG (although perhaps not SAG, anymore). Likewise - Chari & Co NYC sells Brown RC, (also used to carry SAG).
You can check eBay and Craigslist, although be on the lookout for fakes or product in poor condition.
Some overseas brands, like Resistant and Guu Watanabe, actually offer overseas shipping. You’ll probably get dinged with the USD/Yen conversion, and shipping, but that’s an option, too.
If you’re feeling adventurous (bonus points if you know someone who speaks Japanese), you can email either the brand or the stores from the brands’ dealer lists and see if THEY would ship it to you. A longer shot, but that could work if you found a piece you absolutely had to have.
My final advice, if all else fails - you can use a proxy to buy for you. Either a professional service or you can join a community like superfuture (although I recommend against going on to the site and just asking for a proxy - that’s the sort of thing that takes trust, so it can be tough - build relationships, and make sure the people you’re asking have high rep as well).
It’s difficult to get stuff from other countries, especially if there’s a language barrier. But on the plus side, if successful you’re guaranteed a truly unique piece that no one else will have. Sometimes that’s worth it.
Hope this helps!