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New Bags! (Part 1 of 3)

BBP - Front

Recently got rid of my old Waterfield medium Cargo and Timbuk2 Commute bags to make room for larger replacements. First up is this medium Biz collection hybrid messenger/backpack from BumBakPaks. I had been eye'ing their bags for awhile now and finally decided to pull the trigger on one. Their claim to fame is their Bak2Pak carrying system that lets you convert quickly and easily between backpack and messenger modes. As a backpack, the bag itself also sits down on your lower back instead of starting near your shoulders which is supposed to help put less strain on your back. Since I'm not getting any younger unfortunately, I figured this would be ideal, even if it looks kinda funny.

The front of the bag is pretty nondescript with a zippered pocket, 2 plastic latches and their logo. Having a zippered pocket in the front flap is key for me; one of the reasons I got rid of the Timbuk2 Commute bag. There's also a handy carrying loop on top.

BBP - Closed

BBP - Open

Two of these plastic disc-shaped clasps hold the front flap closed. Extremely easy to open, a little tougher to close with one hand but not hard by any means.

BBP - Front Pocket

Just a brief glimpse of the front pocket that's nicely lined in bright yellow. It's deceptively deep, running all the way down to the bottom of the flap. The only ding on it is that since I sling bags over my left shoulder instead of my right, the zipper in the closed position is to the rear which makes it inconvenient to open on the go.

BBP - Open Flap

Flipping open the flap reveals the meat of this bag. It's got a ton of pockets. More pockets than I currently know what to do with. But it's nice to have so many options. The front-most section contains 4 pen/pencil holders, a vertically-zipped pocket and then a deeper pocket that runs the width and height of the front section and also contains an interior clip. You can also see a regular pocket on the right edge of the bag along with two mesh pockets on the left. Very nice.

BBP - Middle Pocket

Situated in between the front section and main compartment is a slightly shorter pocket that also runs the width of the bag. This pocket is also lined in bright yellow and within it's further segregated into two more potential half-pockets. Good area to store computer peripherals like external hard drives or ac adapters and such.

BBP - Main Pocket

The main compartment of this bag is completely lined in orange for easier visibility of the contents and is quite large. There's another zippered mesh pocket on the rear wall. I've fit my 5D and lunch bag next to each other in this area without a problem. And this isn't even the area you put your laptop in either.

BBP - Zipper

The separate laptop compartment is actually located behind the flapped area covered by its own zipper. I found the zipper to be interesting cause it's the first time I've seen a laptop bag use this type of material for the zipper. Makes it pretty much water resistant. If rain ever got into the laptop compartment I'd be shocked. Inside, the compartment is velour-lined and also comes with 2 padded stabilizers in case your laptop is much smaller. I had to remove one of the stabilizers to fit my work laptop in (15" Thinkpad) and I had to remove both to fit my MacBook Pro.

BBP - Under Flap

Going back to the flap for a second, the underside of it is also orange and has these loop straps to hold a small, compact umbrella. Tried it once and it actually works very well. Just a nice touch although it may be easier to cram your umbrella (if it's small enough) into one of the side pockets instead.

BBP - Back

As for the back of the bag, first there's the obligatory magazine/papers pocket that's about three-quarters the height of the bag. At the bottom of this pocket there's another zipper that you can open so that you can push the handle of your carry-on luggage through the bottom and out the top. I tend to use this pocket a lot on any bag so I was a little annoyed with this one because when the straps are in backpack mode as it is in the photo above, they get in the way of this pocket entrance so you have to first flip the straps up and over out of the way first. There's also two rather substantial padded parts on the back. This is for when you're carrying it as a backpack and the bag tends to rest closer to your lower back/waist. There are also two D-rings here for the removable straps that you can use to secure the bag to your waist for extra stability.

BBP - Strap

And this is what the strap looks like in messenger bag mode. Converting from backpack to messenger mode is pretty easy. However, I'm not currently a big fan of the strap when its in messenger bag mode. First off, the straps aren't no-slip. Since I tend to not sling messenger bags across the chest most of the time, this is a problem. It's also a problem when in backpack mode and you're one-shouldering it. Secondly, because of its transformable nature, you have an extra button strip and plastic clasp (used in backpack mode) just flapping around. It's not a huge deal, I just dislike having extraneous stuff sticking out especially if there's no way to tuck them away somewhere.

Backpack mode works pretty well I must say and is quite comfortable. The side pockets are also easily accessible. Overall I give the bag high marks. It's got a ton of compartments that are well-laid out and easily visible and accessible. It's also built quite ruggedly and should last for quite some time. The Bak2Pak system works great as a backpack, not so much as a messenger bag. But that's probably just me though. If you sling your messenger bags cross chest most of the time, then you probably won't have much of an issue.


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» New Bags! (Part 2 of 3) from Absurd Singularity
Next up is my new large Waterfield Cargo bag with Celeste Iridium trim and para-gliding buckle (instead of the previous aircraft buckle). I got rid of my previous medium sized Waterfield to make way for this one. The medium's... [Read More]

Comments (4)

nice! Hadn't heard of that company. Gotta check'em out. I just got a new bag and have some pics ready to be blogged about too! :)


Bring on the bag pr0n!

How many bags does everyone else have, and what's in them? I need to come up with a bag strategy. I've got too many bags that aren't necessarily good fits for how they're used.

bag shopper:

Thanks for a thorough review. I'm very interested in this specific bag from bbp.

However, I have one question. Do the edges of the flap curl outward with use? I feel if the flap had curved edges instead it would avoid that potential issue and look better as well.

what do you think?


I just checked my bag and the edges of the flap do curl out just a little bit. Not that noticeable but I guess if you were looking for it you'd see it. But yeah if they had rounded the edges that probably wouldn't happen. You can probably send their customer service an email with your suggestion.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 4, 2007 11:00 AM.

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