Is this the best messenger bag? It’s hard to find a bag that’s both comfortable to carry and capable of meeting your actual daily needs. I’ve relied on messengers and backpacks, slings and camera cases, some bad and more worse. There’s often a light at the end of the tunnel, but how the hell do you find it.
Yet here we are.
The Clyde St. Messenger is one of the few bags I’ve used and reviewed that has been an absolute pleasure from day one until the point of this writing. It’s thin, thin enough for a laptop and a handful of accessories, papers, cables, writing utensils, and whatever else the everyday fashionable individual carries. At the same time there’s plenty of space to squander, enough for a 15.6” laptop, tablet, several notebooks, a binder, papers galore, and even clothes for a one-night trip. I’d know, I just did it. If you’re more looking for a place to keep your camera, take a look at our Timbuk2 Snoop Camera review.
And the best part is, it still feels thin. It’s still comfortable to carry. It doesn’t flutter about wildly like some messengers, thanks to a secure strap system which locks the straps in the place you want, and never falters. Even better is how the front flap, with a sizable pocket on the front included, straps in place and doesn’t slap the bag with each new step. Tie those straps down and suddenly the Clyde St. is one whole piece, delivering peace-of-mind that your things aren’t going to fall onto the hard pavement the second you look to see what that terrible, terrible slapping sound is.
What’s more, the Clyde St. has two methods of carry: by shoulder strap and hand grip. Too many messengers have forgone the hand grip believing it too business-like, too similar to the briefcases of yore. Nay I say, the hand grip is a gift from heaven. I can actually exit any vehicle, be it train, plane, car, whatever, and carry my bag out like an adult. Or, at the very least, pick it up like humans were intended to.
What sets the Clyde St. apart isn’t that it does all this well, which it most certainly does. It’s that the Clyde St. Messenger looks damn good doing it. Rarely do I see a bag that actually doesn’t sacrifice form for function, and this one does. Black matte and leather with nothing more than a single Acme Made logo on the front makes the Clyde St. look professional, crisp, clean cut, and ready to make a million bucks.
Even slinging it about makes me feel more like Harvey Specter than Mike Ross, the former of which would never wear a bag because there’s nothing he could put in one to make him better. Not that he’d wear a bag ever, anyways, but Mike Ross wouldn’t dare spend the money on a messenger.
For messengers bags, the Clyde St. is definitively and most certainly a winner. The only thing that would hold me back is the price, $140 clams. But after wearing it with me daily for several weeks, and taking it on more than a handful of trips, I have to remind readers that oftentimes you get what you pay for, and that’s certainly true in this case. The Clyde St. is an absolute winner.
Update: Acme Made has lowered the price to $120, which is a far better deal than $140.
Bottom Line: The Clyde St. Messenger is a great bag. It looks, feels, and functions excellently. Nearly all traditional problems associated with messenger bags are gone. Unless you’re packing wolves and pizza boxes, you can’t go wrong with the Clyde St. Messenger.
The Clyde St. Messenger can be purchased directly from Acme Made for $120.