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What's in YOUR bag?

25.05.2013 (26.05.2013)

Hard - wearing, attractive range of colours, built to last

The plastic clips are a weak point and it's a bit bigger than I really wanted

Detailed rating:


Weight of bag itself



Value for money

No of compartments5


33 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (12%):
  1. Nar2
  2. newprideexperiadj2
  3. mi_wa
and a further member
very helpful by (88%):
  1. supercityfan
  2. marymoose99
  3. emmad5689
and 26 other members

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Getting the Message

My Eastpak Delegate messenger bag is something I bought to make life easier when Iím travelling and since Iím off somewhere nearly every week, good bags are important to me. The main reason I fancied a bag in Ďmessengerí style was that I like to have at least one hand free when Iím dragging my suitcase around or messing with an umbrella, buying a train ticket or waving my passport at a passing official. I donít want to have to keep stopping, putting a bag down and ferreting around for things. The reason I chose Eastpak was that I have one of their wheeled cabin bags which I adore and I know their bags are built to last.

I find it comfortable to have a bag that lies across my body rather than one which can slip off my shoulder. The Eastpak is one of several bags I use to carry my computer and work gear around. I have a particularly small one which will slip inside my cabin baggage but it wonít hold much more than a computer and a notepad, a cute one with a great picture on the flap but an uncomfortable strap that tries to strangle me, and this one Ė the one I choose when Iím flying with an airline that wonít let me take both a handbag and a computer bag. I either use the front pocket of the bag as a pseudo-handbag since itís easy to access and things donít fall out, or I put a small handbag inside whilst I pass through the boarding process.

How will you use yours?

Whilst I use it for my computer, many people will not consider it suitable as it has absolutely no padding. Perhaps Iím more blasť when carrying a company computer than I might be if it was my own but I thereís plenty of space inside if you want to put your laptop in a neoprene sleeve before putting it into the bag. I donít think youíd struggle for space with any laptop as this is a rather big bag and if I had my time again, I would probably have gone for the smaller Ďjuniorí version of the messenger bag. My full sized one is 15.2 inches across, 11.8 inches high and 4.7 inches deep (with an option to make that bigger if you undo the zip that goes all the way round the outside and makes it several inches fatter if you need the space. The junior is a couple of inches smaller on height and width but is almost as deep at 4.2 inches. However, the junior weighs in at just under 400g compared to nearly 600 for the Delegate. (You can tell, canít you, that I got this mix of metric and imperial measurements from the Eastpak website Ė they seem to be pretty confused on such things). I would strongly advise to pay no attention at all the measurements on the amazon.co.uk listing as they are utterly bonkers. They claim the bag weighs 599 g but when itís in a box it weighs 299g. It must be a magic weight-loss bag.

Will I still be using it when Iím old and grey?

One of the key attractions for me with Eastpak is their massive 30 year guarantee. Whilst I cannot imagine that anything I buy now will be something I want to still be using in 30 years time, itís pretty reassuring to know that the company trusts its materials and workmanship to make a promise of that kind. The fabric used is a heavy-duty, hard-wearing, rain-shrugging-off type of canvas. Mine is in a turquoise blue Ė exactly the one in the photograph because I submitted a link with my particular colour shown. It was not chosen because I liked the colour (I donít hate it but I donít particularly love it either) but because it was the cheapest available colour at the time I bought it. Amazon list dozens of different designs and the prices vary a lot according to the popularity of the colours and mine was clearly not a popular colour. They have fabrics with funky designs such as sushi, boiled sweets and comic strips and these tend to make the bags more expensive. List price for mine on the Eastpak website is £45 whilst Amazon offer the same bag for £38.85 and I paid a much more reasonable £17.99 on boxing day 2012 in the Amazon sale. I would suggest that if you are flexible about the colour and willing to wait for a deal to come along, you can really save on one of these.

Built to last

On to the structure of the bag. It has an adjustable strap which can be made extraordinarily long if thatís what you like. The strap can be shortened or lengthened from both ends and itís important to make sure that the padded shoulder/neck strap is in the right position to be comfortable for you. If you like to carry on your shoulder, the under-side of the strap is designed with a slip-resistant fabric. The straps are attached at each end with plastic clips and these are probably the only thing I donít like about the bag as Iíve had the clip flip open a couple of times, once sending my bag onto the floor. Iíve asked my husband to look out some cable ties next time he dares go into the garage because Iím looking for a bit more security to stop that happening again so I plan to attach the strap a bit more securely.

The bag has a flap which fastens securely with two clips, like those you find on daypacks. If you donít want to do these up, the contents are still secure because the main compartment has a zip across it. The flap has a large pocket that runs the width of the bag and I use this as my surrogate handbag, dipping in to find my passport, wallet or phone as Iím walking around. The main compartment is just a great big space without any structure or divisions except for a large flat zipped compartment at the back. I hadnít even realised it was there until I had a look at it closely for writing this review. On the front of the bag, on the outside of the main compartment are two large open-topped pockets, each about half the width of the bag Ė basically thereís an extra strip of tough fabric running across with a seam up the middle to divide it into two pockets. These are Ė by pure fluke Ė exactly the size I need for my Kindle fire, my diary, an average-sized paper back or whatever I want to be able to access quickly without having to go into the main dumping ground of the big compartment. There is also a Velcro-sealed large pocket on the back of the bag.

On the road

Whilst I use it for work, these bags are easily big enough for an over-night or weekend bag for someone who packs light. For work I can stuff so much into it that I can barely lift if and it undoubtedly encourages me in bad habits. When Iím in the office Iíll roll up with my computer, several files and notebooks, my lunch in a thermos, a couple of cans of drink and a load of fruit. Things can get lost for weeks because itís just so capacious. The one downside for me is that the interior is black and I find things harder to find in black-lined bags.

If you can get one of these for the bargain price that I paid, Iíd say grab whatever colour you can and pocket the change. If youíre willing to pay more, take your time and find the colour or pattern that expresses your personality. I would probably have gone for the sushi or the coffee cup design if I wasnít such a tight-wad and if Iíd been surer I was going to love the bag. Also consider whether you need this much volume and check out the Junior messenger which may be more suitable if you donít want to lug quite so much stuff around.

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Comments about this review »

Nar2 24.08.2013 12:19

Superbly reviewed!

newprideexperiadj2 26.05.2013 03:47

Amazing review :)

mi_wa 25.05.2013 20:50

You're no bag lady.

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Product Information Ľ

Product details

Manufacturer Eastpak
Genre Travel Bag
Subgenre Expandable

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Review Ratings Ľ

This review of Eastpak Delegate Messenger Bag has been rated:

"exceptional" by (12%):

  1. Nar2
  2. newprideexperiadj2
  3. mi_wa

and a further member

"very helpful" by (88%):

  1. supercityfan
  2. marymoose99
  3. emmad5689

and 26 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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