Product test: Banjo Brothers Messenger Bag and Commuter Backpack


Product test is just a nice way to say "try to break". And that's what I did with the Commuter Backpack $90. From throwing it around my house, to dragging it through the shop and loading it to the brim with ice and beer. Fact of the matter is, I couldn't even get a rip out of it.

At first glance I wasn't sure if the large was going to be big enough to fit everything I commute with, but the fact of the matter is it's way more space than I even need. The inside easily fits a 12 pack with all my clothes.

The red is a really cool color and for people like me that have an extensive black wardrobe it makes you feel a little safer at night. And the light clip strap is evidence that this bag is made by people who ride bicycles, bringing the question to mind, why don't all bike bags have one? My only issue with the clip strap thingy (you don't know what it's called either) is I feel it should be on the other side of the bag where cars are more likely to see it, but there are reflective lines over there so I should just shut up.

With a roll-top and a flap that goes over that, you'd have to ride your bike underwater to get your clothes wet. Even then I'm not sure they would get wet, but I don't know as I've never ridden my bike underwater because that's something a crazy person would do.

You will hear complaints about the roll-top obstructing your view when checking behind you for cars. I found it easy to adjust the way I look back, and if you can't do that I'm not sure you should be riding a bicycle.

My only real complaint is that as heavy as I can get the bag I don't feel like there's enough support. I took the waist straps off immediately because they just didn't hit in the right place for me. And while you're bent over riding the chest strap doesn't really seem to take any of the pressure off your back. Although the chest straps can be moved up and down on the shoulder straps, I might just be too short them to work for me.

All in all, this is a killer, killer, killer bag. I would suggest this bag to anyone commuting and carrying all their clothes to work with them. Or anyone who likes to show up at the party with the most beer.



We got the medium and have been using it for commuting to work, the grocery, running errands, and hauling beer for the last few months. Link

As with every Banjo Brothers product we've tried, the bag just works. At $60, you can not go wrong. Strong, durable, and comfortable. The padded laptop divider works as a pad against pointy things, and the overwhelming number of pockets and places to store things keeps you organized more than you could ever need. Clothes for the day, shoes, lunch, and all your daily needs fit just fine. If you need more room, we would suggest going for the large.

Pockets. I am still finding them. If you are OCD, organizing chaos is a breeze with places for everything and anything you want to haul. The straps are ambidextrous, so no matter what side you like to wear your bag on, it'll work. Light clip thingy, reflective stuff, and all the other things that are supposed to be on a bicycle bag are there, and they work. Adjustment is a breeze and it is actual quite easy to get into while riding (we do not recommend this for everyone).

Waterproof? Never had anything get wet, though after it happening to me with other bags, I routinely use a dry bag or plastic bag if it's raining... just in case. Wet underwear sucks. A lot.

The only issue is one of the Velcro pieces has torn loose, simply because the Velcro used is kick ass and the stitching just didn't hold up. No prob. The clip buckles work better anyway, and the Velcro is secondary.

The only thing to fail is one little piece of un-needed Velcro, and that should have no bearing on your decision to getcha one. (personally, I've never liked Velcro on a messenger bag - never made sense)

All in all, after months of daily use and beating the absolute crap out of this bag, we give it a hardy thumbs up.