A review of the Eastpak Kruiser Messenger Bag.
Usually, when commuting I use panniers. I don’t like cycling for long distances with a messenger bag. But, despite preferring panniers, I do often end up using a bag like this. So I was happy to test for the past few weeks.
It fits around the body fairly easily. The strap is quite wide and comfortable. To adjust the length is fairly easy, though at first it the locking mechanism slipped, leaving me with a long strap. It took a bit of fiddling to keep the strap at the length that I wanted for riding.
I used the bag yesterday to climb box hill with my digital camera on the back to take photos on the way. Overall, it didn’t interfere too much with the cycling it hugged the bottom of the body fairly well, and it was fairly easy to get out the digital camera with the bag still on the shoulder. That is what I look for in bags – ease of use, stuff it in – get it out. The cover of the bag is very easy to use, just flick on or off and the velcro takes care of the rest.
As well as using to carry stuff around, I also used it as a kit bag. I could throw most of my racing stuff and shoes in and took it to a recent time trial. It’s not specifically designed as a kit bag, but it got most of my clothes and shoes in there.
Sizing of Bags
I was testing a medium size. I thought this was pretty big for a messenger bag. If I was buying I would get a small bag. Unless, you really carry a lot on the bag, you will pay more for space you will be unable to use.
Small – Height: 10.2 in Width: 12.6 in Depth: 5.5 in - Volume: 11.5 l Weight: 505g- £60
Medium – Height: 11.4 in Width: 15.7 in Depth: 6.7 in - Colume: 22 l Weight: 695g – £70
Large – Height: 13.8 in Width: 17.7 in Depth: 5.9 in - Volume: 31 l Weight: 835g – £80
Many different compartments and pockets for the organised. To be honest, my packing philosophy is stuff it in and hope for the best, I’d be unlikely to be organised enough to use these pockets and pen holders. Good idea though.
Inside the Eastpak – room for metro pass and other stuff.
Medium size would easily fit a 15 inch laptop. Space for metro card, if you need to use. Would fit a few A4 folders, if carrying.
Different colour choices available
Would I buy the Eastpak?
I wouldn’t have spent £60 for a messenger bag because I’m not in the market for buying a specific messenger bag. But, now I have it, I’m quite pleased; it makes a very useful bag for taking stuff to races and cycle rides. There are times when I’m carrying a bag at races and events, and it’s convenient to have this messenger bag for that purpose. I haven’t tested too many messenger bags, but this seems to be practically quite good.
I’m not a great fan of the pinkish colour, though I’m not too fussy what it looks like. If I was buying I would choose the blue. I imagine black will be popular. I didn’t test out the visibility strips in the dark, but they look limited.
Who Would buy the Eastpak.
Well obviously someone looking for a top end messenger bag, which places utility above the height of fashion. There are definitely more cool messenger bags out there. This is more to the utilitarian range. Though this is all individual choice.
Note to Manufacturers.
What would really fill a niche in the market is a pannier bag which doubled up as messenger bag. i.e. can attach to bike rack, but also easily sling over the shoulder.