- Buyer's Guide
I used to like having a larger bag so I could fit in the extra bits and pieces that might be collected during the day. I have come to realize though that excessive amounts of load over a single shoulder isn’t the best way to go about carrying my life [Ed note: yup].
So thoughts lead to searches, which hopefully lead to actions, and in this case, to Mission Workshop’s medium sized roll-up messenger bag – The Rummy. It seemed to fit my criteria of a smaller bag, single strapped, lightweight, and with the ability to absorb my lifestyle. So here’s what I found…
- Name: Rummy
- Brand: Mission Workshop
- Format: Roll-top messenger
- Measurement: 18'' x 11'' x 5.5''
- Capacity: 1,650 cu. in. (27 L)
- Weight: 3.25 lbs (1.45 Kg)
- Zippers: Urethane-coated
- PriceUS$ 185
Who It Suits
Commuters, students and travelers looking for a versatile and weatherproof messenger that can accommodate larger and smaller loads alike. Cyclists will also enjoy the secure load stabilization the Rummy offers.
Who It Doesn't
Due to the construction of the main compartment, I think that working couriers would have better options available to them. There are also better bags out there for carrying a laptop.
The Rummy is a great take on messengers, reinventing the format with a flexible design that can alternate between roll-top and flap closure. The understated style suits a range of work, play and travel environments.
First impressions have been great. Continuing on from its backpack brethren, The Rummy is constructed from similar hard-wearing nylon on the exterior and a soft, light-colored waterproof liner on key internal areas.
The bag features custom aluminum hardware, with a variety of buckle colors to choose from (seven in total). This is the Orange option.
"The Rummy is a great take on messengers, reinventing the format with a flexible design that can alternate between roll-top and flap closure."
One of the key features of the Rummy is its roll-top design. I really only use the roll-up option when it’s raining, but it works a treat for this. The downside is if you want to access the compartment whilst still wearing the bag, it is not as convenient as a standard messenger bag with a flap and tub construction. For this reason I don’t see this as a good choice for a working messenger, but as an urban commuter this bag is great. I described it to a friend as “the briefcase of the messenger bags” with its easy-to-manipulate storage and organization areas and size.
"I really only use the roll-up option when it’s raining, but it works a treat for this. The downside is if you want to access the compartment whilst still wearing the bag, it is not as convenient as a standard messenger bag with a flap and tub construction."
Another feature of the bag is the fully reversible shoulder strap. The idea behind this is foolproof; one piece of webbing with Velcro either side with the hardware being locked in place that way. Flipping the strap direction can be done in a matter of seconds and will hold. The padding has two setbacks, the first being the underside is airmesh which makes me feel that this is the weakest point on the bag. And the end of the flap that sits over your shoulder can get folded backwards and double up when you put the bag on. Maybe some small Velcro patches on the back of the padding and back of the bag could work to fix this.
Whether you want to fold or roll the main compartment closed, it can still swallow a surprising amount of stuff. The interior of the main compartment opens up quite nicely once you get past the narrower cut mouth. I’ve been able to fit my laptop, A4 organizer, toolkit and rain jacket in the compartment and not worry about trying to close it. The compartment is lined with a light grey color which is a blessing coming from a bag with a black liner. It is not something you really think would be an issue, but the lighter liner makes it easier to finder those objects that get pushed into the corners and somewhere turn invisible in darker bags.
"Another feature of the bag is the fully reversible shoulder strap."
Pockets and Organizing
I was pleased to find the zipped compartment opens up with a section as wide as the opening and as deep as the bag that has two more zips inside the length of the compartment. This area is also big enough to use as a dedicated laptop sleeve for laptops up to a 15" MacBook Pro (or PC equivalent), but you might want to get a neoprene slipcase if you wish to do this. Larger tech will fit in the main compartment which accommodates a 17" laptop.
The first zip on the back of the compartment opens to a slimmer compartment than the original but with the same width and depth. The second zip opens to a compartment that has been sewn into thirds to help with organizing. A great note about these compartments is that due to the bag not being particularly deep, it is difficult to lose items in there (even with the black liner).
"Whether you want to fold or roll the main compartment closed, it can still swallow a surprising amount of stuff."
The front pockets work great for my daily work routine – being able to put a small notebook pen, headphones and reading glasses in one, and depending on the situation, a back-up tape for work or spare t-shirt to change into after I ride in to school. The gusseted cut of the pockets keeps out the rain, and also allows for expansion when loaded. The flap has female buckles on the underside to attach the straps if you have the main compartment rolled up. Check out this video to see the various compartments in action.
The Rummy is very comfortable to use. In addition to the well-padded reversible shoulder strap, there's also a detachable cross-chest stabilizer strap that comes in handy when cycling with the Rummy.
The Rummy delivers solid weatherproofness. The design avoids Gorby Gaps and the urethane coating on the lining and exterior zip improves water resistance.
Alternatives to Consider
Also in the Roll Top Messenger Range from Mission Workshop are the large-sized 35L Shed and the small-sized 21L Monty, both worth considering if you like the Rummy but would prefer a different size. Timbuk2 and Chrome should also be on your radar. If you're after work-friendly aesthetics check out these messengers too.
- Flexible roll-top design accommodates a variety of loads
- Reversible shoulder strap and useful cross-chest stabilizer strap
- Weatherproof design and durable construction
Not So Good
- Not particularly well suited to carrying a laptop
- Roll-top design hinders fast access to the main compartment
The Mission Workshop Rummy is fantastic for the daily trudge of the urban commuter and students. The bag can carry the essentials plus some extras when required with ease and not feel like a task. The construction and materials will last you a lifetime, which should help you get the most out of this great-looking bag.
Post by Johnson
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