BagJack: Berlin's handmade courier-bags

Conversations with William Gibson are always a treat. Yesterday we sat down for a chat after our joint appearance at the Vancouver Writers' Festival, and talked about everything from how dead people use the Internet to the existential dilemmas of hipster time-travellers. Somewhere in there, Bill mentioned BagJack, a German messenger bag manufacturer that supplies some of the biggest (and most expensive) Japanese brands, and from whom you can buy at much lower prices (though the bags still run &eur;150-300).

The handmade bags really do seem lovely. I've ordered one to try out, and I'll let you know if it turns out to be the winner it looks like. In the meantime, have a look for yourself (Bill mentioned the extremely clever tablet holster that swivels around to prop your tablet open against your chest, which is awfully martian in the very best way).

BagJack (Thanks, Bill!)


  1. Some of those do look rather stylish. I have a waterproof Banjo Brothers that’s 3 years old and wearing through so I’m sorta in the market…

  2. Hmmm.  I don’t really understand this bag love.  I have a “Swiss Gear” laptop backpack that I absolutely love, and it had a nice handle on top with a stainless steel cable running through it for strength.  Plenty of pockets, and built like a tank, and I grabbed it on sale for $50. If you want a laptop bag that turns into a backpack, why not just buy a backpack in the first place?  I certainly appreciate quality, and a nice bag is really necessary if you compute on the go.  I just never understood the “messenger bag” craze.  Can somebody explain it to me?

    1. For me, backpacks don’t work well with jackets, and courier bags ride lower on my back, which is great, since my primary transports are bike and motorcycle. They’re also a little easier to get into than a backpack. You can just swing it around, or, if you’re not carrying it crosswise, you can just dig into it. But I suspect faddishness also has a lot to do with it.

    2. I just never understood the “messenger bag” craze.  Can somebody explain it to me?

      As a daily commuting cyclist a decent messenger bag is important.  I’m putting everything in there from loads of groceries, a big lock (of course) to a car battery (once).  Can’t speak for anybody else, particularly people who are walking and carrying laptops on a daily basis.  I only put mine in my messenger bag when I’m on a trip.

      1. I never understood it either, and I am also a ‘daily commuting cyclist’. I tried one, didn’t like the sideways movement and low position, so stuck with a backpack. Now I use a rear basket and I can’t understand why I persisted so long with carrying loads on my shoulders and back. 

        None of the other commuting cyclists at my workplace use messenger bags, either- they all have backpacks.

  3. Dead people using the internet? Reminds of how someone (probably a family member) was using the AIM account of a friend from college who died of CF complications for a month or two after his passing. Scared the shit out of me the first time it happened, but was vaguely comforting afterwards.

  4. I’d be curious to know how they compare to the Waterfield Design bags in San Francisco: I got a laptop sleeve from them for a Lenovo X220, and while pricey the quality is over-the-top. I suppose their messenger bags are just as good.

  5. for those of you who don’t want to pay for overpriced imports, there are a number of messenger bag manufacturers in the states that make top quality waterproof backpacks like this. Companies such as REload, black star bags, freight bags, seagull bags, and chrome.

  6. Nice but as others have said, a bit pricey. 

    In our household we have carryons, briefcases and backpacks from Red Oxx and Tom Bihn.

    Both brands about 2/3 the price of this German gear. American made, ingeniously compartmentalized and built hell for stout.

  7. i have had my bagjack bag for 7 years and it looks as good as the day i bought it. what cory does not mention is that the system is also modular, but on the inside. it has a velcrowed liner that acts as an anchor to add in other pockets. water proof and really, the slick design of the strap seals the deal. LOVE.

  8. I’m quite happy with the Osprey Flapjack ( ), which is of a similar design and is somewhat waterproof.  From their website, it looks like they’re no longer making them, but they’re still for sale all over the net.

    Edit: No, looks like they still make them, I just didn’t look on their site at the right place. The design may have changed slightly.

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