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Drive By

Tucker Bloom North To South Messenger

Drive By :: Tucker & Bloom North to South Messenger

by , November 25, 2014

If I asked you to name the bag company that is family owned, has been in the bag industry for over thirty years and uses some of the best materials around, what would you say? Well, after this article, you’ll have an amazing answer: Nashville’s own Tucker and Bloom. I was able to put their North to South Messenger through the paces and, let me tell you, it’s one solid and versatile bag.

ucker & Bloom North to South Messengerucker & Bloom North to South Messenger

Who it suits

Well, it’s kinda flexible: it suits the professional who works downtown and wants a stylish, functional and durable bag, that’s very work appropriate, and also a cool urban cat who’s after an understated bag to swallow his swag of sweet vinyl.

Who it doesn’t

Someone who’s not so keen on a messenger that’s just as comfortable lugging your laptop as it is keeping a 6-pack on ice.

Tucker & Bloom North to South Messenger

The Good

As this picture from the Tucker and Bloom site shows, this thing can haul all of your files, records (pun intended) and electronics to survive the work week. I found myself able to throw in an extra layer with ease. Even the front pocket is cavernous with small pockets to hold your headphones, pens and other small miscellaneous items.

North to South Messenger Internals

You can’t talk about the North to South Messenger without highlighting the fabric and materials. The 1980 denier ballistic nylon has a waterproof coating, which is a great touch. I’m happy to report that on this bag, the shearling shoulder strap is incredibly comfortable no matter how weighed down the pack is. The interior 4-ply Taslan nylon is soft, while the vegetable tanned leather gives the bag a refined look.

North to South Messenger StrapNorth to South Messenger Strap 02

The styling on this thing was pretty rad. I previously used my Timbuk2 Classic Messenger, which I loved for important meetings, interviews, etc. I was happy to have a true work appropriate bag in the North to South messenger that looks just as natural dressing up or going business casual or even street (which is not really my thing, ha!).

The Not so Good

While I love the personalized touch on the Batz Alu-Max® buckles, I found them to be beyond sensitive. Opening them is easy as you would expect but closing them was an entire other story. I constantly found the right buckle to jam or “fight back” as I would attempt to close it. It reached a point where I would limit the times I accessed the bag because I didn’t want to deal with it.

North to South Messenger Buckle

North to South Messenger  Buckle

There were definitely a few quirks to the bag. I tend to wear mine at the hip and it took a long time to get the length and positioning of the bag to sit on my hip just right. It’s a bit nit picky but there is an exterior back pocket big enough to fit a couple of manilla folders which is great but unnecessary.

I hope you love the logo because well, it’s everywhere! There are four rubber logos between the double ring sliders and exterior accessory pocket, one etched on each buckle and one final one on the removable bike strap. It’s a cool logo but a bit of overkill.

Others to Consider

If you’re on the hunt for other nylon work appropriate bags, be sure to check out Timbuk2’s Proof Messenger, Rickshaw Bagworks’ Commuter 2.1 or Token’s Quilted Lorimer Lite. All three are great choices for work appropriate bags within a similar price range.


The North to South Messenger is a great professional work bag. It’s comfortable, stylish and most important, can carry whatever you needed to and from work. At $235 (and lifetime warranty) it’s definitely justified if it continues to prove the test of time.

The Breakdown

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Geek (Performance)

Space & Access

Style (Design)

Look & Feel
Build, Materials & Hardware

Stoke (Experience)

Warranty & Support
Brand experience
X Factor

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