Rated 3 out of 5áby NJtoVACamper OK, but Frustrating
I bought this to replace a similar bag from another company, that they no longer make. It has been damaged to the point that it's difficult to fix.I bought this bag myself after shopping on the Bean web site, the retail store, and another national outdoor chain.
This bag has some good features:
1. Basically functional
2. Laptop sleeve is good protection for small laptop or tablets
3. Large main pocket is sometimes useful when carrying larger items
That said, it has several features I don't like:
1. Pocket Organization. My previous bag had lots of space to keep small things organized under the flap: cards, stamps, list with passwords, tissues, memory sticks, phone/iPod (or calculator back in the day). The Bean bag has some pockets, but they're too flat and don't hold much. Most of my stuff ends up in the main pocket of the bag and just gets jumbled up.
2. External Pockets. The external pockets are too small (and one too flat) to be really very useful. I see other bags that let you carry a water bottle, or small coffee thermos or sealed cup. Not this one. Some bags are good for carrying a folding umbrella (I don't carry them, but I see others with them). Again, not this one. The bigger cases for wrap-style sunglasses don't fit either. I usually carry mine loose now, but this is starting to show.
3. Flat External Pocket. The flat external pocket on the back is useful for flat stuff you want to get at without opening the main flapped pocket (magazine, agenda, tickets, I sometimes carry an iPad in there if I'm not worried about security) . This one has a velcro tab that keeps stuff from falling out. This is nice, but can be annoying -- slipping out those papers in a meeting or on a crowded train is not easy to do without two hands, or some fumbling. The handle also has a tendency to fold down into this pocket, which makes getting things out more difficult. Also, my old bag had a zipper along the bottom, that let it slip over a rolling bag handle. This was also very useful for cleaning -- my Bean bag got some crumbs or powder down inside, and it's virtually impossible to get out without unpacking the entire bag and using a sponge.
4. Carrying Strap. My previous bag had a stap that was attached to D-rings that rotated freely. That worked well. The quick adjust buckle on the Bean bag sounds like a good idea, but it isn't. I've adjusted it 1-2 times in the year that I've had it. Most of these bags are used by one person -- you get it at the height you like and you don't touch it again. The cost of this quick-adjust buckle is that the strap gets twisted, and can only be un-twisted by taking off the bag. My old bag I could just turn the clip 1-2 times and it was done. Also, the sliding shoulder pad doesn't work well either. The bag is naturally going to hang at the mid-point of the strap. The only effect the sliding pad has, is that it makes it easy for the ends of the pad to get doubled under against my shoulder. Not fatal, obviously -- but just another annoyance when you've already taken the bag off to un-twist the strap. When the strap on my old bag was too worn, I could replace it -- not easy to do on this bag without major surgery and sewing.
September 13, 2016
Rated 2 out of 5áby cc0525 loved it....but disappointed
My husband has this bag and has been using it everyday for the past 1 1/2 yrs. I recently got a new job and now need to carry about 5 inches of binders with me . I put all my stuff in my husbands bag just to see if it would fit and it did. So I ordered a bag for myself. I did not realize what I was ordering was much smaller. So all my work stuff did not fit. Of course the larger size is not available. I did love everything about the bag. I especially like all the pockets on the front where I planned on keeping pens, pencils, sticky notes, etc. I returned it and I am still looking for a new work bag.
July 10, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5áby LLBeanLover4 So far so good!
I just purchased this messenger bag for a trip to Alaska coming up. I purchased the Turbo Transit backpack in the same color and wanted to get this also to use for my "personal item" in addition to the backpack for carry on.
The backpack will be mostly packed with items for my toddler for the flight, so I bought this to carry all of my essentials and purse-type items.
I haven't used it yet, but I do love all the little pockets and the best part -- a zippered main compartment! It is rare to find a messenger bag that zips!
Can't wait to use it!!
May 13, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5áby cc0525 ideal for everyday use
My husband was looking for a bag to hold his laptop, LL Bean personal cooler, newspaper, travel mug, a little paperwork. The key was to find a bag that was deep enough from front to back that would fit the cooler and laptop. This bag fit everything perfectly. He has a short walk from the parking garage to the office and wearing this bag cross body works for him. He has been using it over a year now and no complaints.
April 23, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5áby LLBLovers Nice messenger bag
I got this bag to serve as my "man purse" for work. I had a similar LL Bean messenger bag a few years ago that I returned because it was a little too big and bulky for what I needed it for.
This bag is the perfect size for me. It's just large enough to carry what I need every day (umbrella, lunch, etc.) and very lightweight. It also seems very sturdy and well-built. I love the "Midnight Blue" color and the reflective qualities. The main strap adjustment is nice. It's an adjustable clip that can lock into place.
I have a few criticisms, which are not deal-breakers, for me at least:
1.) As another reviewer mentioned, the main storage compartment is large, but some of the other little compartments are not big enough or just in the wrong places.
2.) There are no water bottle pouches, however, the velcro side pouch does hold my Nalgene water bottle just fine.
3.) I love the main strap adjustment, however, when you make it shorter, the extra strap just kind of hangs there. There is no place to tuck it in.
Overall though, I think this is a great bag. It's exactly what I needed, and I think it is exactly as advertised.
April 8, 2016
Rated 3 out of 5áby FredinHealdsburg Adequate Not Great
The main compartment is large. That's good. The smaller pockets do not seem to be well thought-out. Having no small pukkas for pens is a real shortcoming. I bought this to replace my old chart and navigation tools bag. Shoulda looked farther.
March 13, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5áby melloyello Using as a Gym bag...
I purchased this bag to use at the gym. It is the large messenger bag. Various zippered sections hold my exercise clothes, shampoo, etc. This bag works for me! I am glad that I purchased it !
November 8, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5áby Alyssa Awesome Bag
Last year, I bought one of the lightweight totes as a work bag. It was great, except that the handles were short, and the weight of my paperwork was causing some serious shoulder pain. I needed a cross-body bag for more even weight distribution. Enter this messenger bag. I have used this bag every day for about six months, and I love it. It holds all of my paperwork and various other little things I carry around, including hair ties, make-up, tissues, cell phone, and a (small) first aid kit. The shoulder pad is comfortable for when I need to carry it for longer periods of time, and it is also comfortable when I'm in a rush and slinging it over one shoulder. The only complaint I have is that the strap is perhaps a little TOO adjustable--I've caught the switch on doors, my desk, etc. and not realized it until the strap is suddenly six feet long.
The medium I ordered is the perfect size to fit a 1" binder, a full-sized planner, pocketbook, and has room for several more folders and even a reading book if I'm so inclined. I love the size; it's big enough without being too large and unwieldy. I don't use the laptop sleeve, since I usually carry a tablet instead of my laptop. The red color looks very sharp, and I think I like it more than the purple I originally wanted (sold out when I ordered).
June 24, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5áby OutdoorsyBusinessPro Good bag, too much of a good thing?
Good bag, has a lot of great features--I like the zippered main compartment and all the other little pockets and cubbies all over the bag. One suggestion I have is to add a few small inner pockets to the main compartment. I tried both sizes--the medium was actually the ideal size for me, and I would have kept it and been satisfied, but the computer sleeve was too narrow for my 13" wide laptop (it would be good to include the max width that can be accommodated in the product description). I exchanged it (great customer service) for the large, and that's where the "too much of a good thing" comes in. My laptop fit fine, along with all the other stuff that I usually carry, but then the bag just ends up being way too big--and when I'm not carrying a max load, it ends up being way too "baggy", for lack of a better word, and just too much unused space flopping around and hanging from my shoulder. Unfortunately, I am going to send the large back too in favor of a more compact, medium-sized bag from a specialty messenger bag maker, but I just wanted to leave a good review saying Bean's bag is a quality item and probably will work for a lot of people, just not me.
October 13, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5áby nathomas Previous One was Better...
I recently purchased this messenger bag to replace an older one that I had which was the same bag just 8 or 10 years old. The bag itself is just the same and is Great! But the strap is much flimsier and not as sturdy as my older one. The strap seems cheaper. It doesn't stay up on my shoulder like previous style strap did. The bag is just the same and I like it a lot! But, the strap kind of ruins it all for me...
September 17, 2014