Manhattan Portage

White Line
White Line Posts: 887
edited May 2009 in Road buying advice
Instead of studying I have been browsing online shops. :) it's a curse really.

Anywho, I was thinking that since I'll be getting a new bike soon (there's a thread about it down there some where) I'll be needing a new bag for when I'm commuting, and of course a new helmet - already got my eye on one.

While browsing for said bag I came across this Manhattan Portage bag.

Just wondering if any people have one, or any other Manhattan Portage products. Are they as waterproof as they claim? Does the vinyl make it look tacky?

This would be a switch from my backpack which, quite frankly, makes my back feel like it's covered in baby oil. I take it there is more ventilation with these bags as they can move around a bit, right?

So, yes. Views and opinions please.


  • jimmcdonnell
    jimmcdonnell Posts: 328
    Manhattan Portage bags are great, if heinously over-priced. The problem with messenger bags is the range of potential movement they have on your back - I prefer a secure rucksack, sweaty back or not. And anyway, all you're really doing is moving the sweat patch from your upper back to lower back, surely? And the vinyl would make that worse. When they say 'waterproof' you'll note they only refer to the vinyl, so the seams won't be taped or sealed - fine 95% of the time but in heavy downpours it would probably leak.

    If you're hell-bent on a courier bag, then try to stick to ballistic nylon, at least that can transport a small amount of the sweat away from you rather than just wipe your sweat all over you like vinyl. Crumpler bags are similarly over-priced but arguably better engineered - I think their messenger bags have a secondary side-strap that stops the bag swinging around, and although they aren't waterproof I think they have a built-in sealed rain cover you can pull over the bag if it rains. They're indestructible too, as proven by a Crumpler camera bag I have which survived almost completely unscatherd after it fel off the back of my motorbike on the M1 and spent 20 minutes being run over by lorries and cars. The £2000-worth of camera gear inside was ground to dust but the bag looks nearly new...
    Litespeed Tuscany, Hope/Open Pro, Ultegra, pulling an Extrawheel trailer, often as not.

    FCR 4 (I think?)
    Twitter: @jimjmcdonnell
  • andyp
    andyp Posts: 10,300
    If you're serious about a courier bag then head over to and search out some of the threads there on them.

    FWIW, the best ones are;


    Don't make the mistake of buying a cheap bag like a Timbuk2, the straps don't work well and they move around too much.