- Buyer's Guide
Third Annual Carry Awards :: Best Active Messenger Results
The Active Messenger category has traditionally been dominated by bike messenger bags. Not only did the two wheelers reinvent the modern format, but the layout’s improved access on the go just makes great sense in an urban setting.
In the last few years, outdoor brands have started to play in the messenger space, but often with incongruous results. If you take backpack details straight over to the single strap format, it often looks lost in limbo, with carry comfort compromised, and the fast access less useful.
So why is the Lunara such a great outdoor messenger? Because it suits outdoors, and looks like it does. The capacity is small enough that you won’t be tempted to stuff heavy loads into it. The aesthetic is very ‘water-resistant’, with taped seams, coated nylon, and designed with rain shedding curves. The layout is simple and without excess, avoiding large flaps or heavy features. And the overall vibe is that of lightweight, without compromising durability.
The Lunara is larger than a waist bag, but simpler than most messengers. This finds new space in a way that suits travelers and adventurers who want to take some basics and a jacket, without being weighed down. It’s a great addition to the active messenger space.
These are the pieces that just missed out, and in most cases, by the smallest of margins. To them, we award a High Commendation. The below were of outstanding quality, displaying fine craftsmanship and design flair. With honour, we bow our heads in the upmost respect and kudos. If this were a dias, they’d be biting their teeth into silver medals, while their flags were hoisted into the horizon – a feat not to be overlooked. And I’m sure they’ll be back, to take it one notch higher, next year.
If you like your messengers understated, functional and versatile, the Crafted Goods Carrera is a worthy choice. There’s plenty of interior and exterior pockets for keeping gear organised, with space for a 15-inch laptop, while the water-resistant fabric will keep out the showers as you dash for shelter. The stabiliser strap and padded shoulder strap enhance comfort and stability while wearing the bag and the hard-wearing buckles take their job seriously. One of the highlights is undoubtedly a feature that isn’t immediately apparent – have a look at the bottom of this piece and you’ll find a recycled inner tube tire base which is ready to rough it with rugged terrain, dirty surfaces and sharp objects that want to take a bite out of your bag.
A smaller version of Mystery Ranch’s Outsider Pack, the Invader is conveniently sized for EDC. Thoughtfully placed pockets provide handy quick access along with efficient use of space. If you need to haul tech, the bag contains a padded section that fits 15-inch laptops. Rounding it all off is Mystery Ranch’s attention to detail and rugged construction, ensuring the Invader is ready to charge forth into whatever adventures may come your way.
It’s a pannier. It’s a tote. It’s a shoulder bag. All in one tough, waterproof package. The Chrome Saddle Bag Rolltop Pannier features a laptop sleeve, daisy chains for external attachment of gear and watertight construction thanks to knurled RF welding. The versatile nature of this bag means the action doesn’t need to stop when you get off a bike, plus the rack hardware is designed to remain on the bike so you don’t get an uncomfortable reminder of its presence when you’re out and about on foot.