Customer Reviews: Rothco Canvas Map Case
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Price:$14.99 - $21.96
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on August 22, 2006
It's not too small, not too big. Holds several books and notebooks comfortably as well as other items. Has a small and very useful pouch on the front with two smaller pouches on either side of the front pouch, for pens, pencils, highliters, and markers. It's also got some slots that appear to be designed exclusively for pens and pencils, but they're too small so I don't use them. The inside of the bag is divided by a flap in the middle, creating two compartments. The back of the bag has a hard back that I don't like, and the back tends to make the bag fall forward if you try to stand it upright. The strap is adjustable. I take this bag pretty much everywhere with me. If I put the books in sideways, I can also comfortably fit in my sunglasses, a lint roller (we have a dog), my girlfriends hair brush and both our cell phones. The only way it will be replaced is if I stumble upon a bag of similar material and dimensions that doesn't have a hard back. But I'm satisfied enough with the bag, that I'm not actively looking to replace it. The bag is more than adequate, and I am very satisfied.
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on June 8, 2012
Bought the Rothco Canvas Map Case Shoulder bag recently for carrying my iPad2 around, and here are some thoughts:

1. Cheap. for 15 bucks you really can't find a bag that's sized like this.
2. Size. The bag is almost perfect for what I need it for. It can accommodate an iPad2 with sleeve easily, not too snug and not too loose.
3. Interior divider. There's a single panel divider inside the bag that helps with organization. Usually I put my iPad in the back section, sun glasses and a windbreaker jacket in the front.
4. Looks. The bag has an understated design and it doesn't stand out in public. Which is a good thing considering what its carrying.
5. Hardware. The various buttons, loops and hooks on this bag is above average, with the 2 loop connecting to the strap placed on the backside of the bag, it also pretty comfortable.
6. Made in India. (Is this really a Pro? haha)

1. Strap. the shoulder strap used here is, for some reason, very narrow. Most pouches and messenger bags use 1.5 inch to 2 inch straps, here it's under 1 inch. If you overload the bag with too much stuff, the strap will cut into your shoulder. Buying a new strap to replace the existing one sort of defeats the purpose since most straps alone will cost you more than this bag.
2. Handle, or the lack there of. No other way to hold this thing other than by the strap.
3. Front pouch / pen holder. These are essentially useless. The pen holders are too small and you have to really force a pen into it. The front pouch doesn't have zipper / valcro on top and whatever you put in it can and will spill out easily. Cell phone is out of the question even though the pouch is perfectly sized and positioned for it. I ended up putting my pens in this pouch.
4. "Wings'. You can look up pictures of this bag on the internet, and there are 2 oddly shaped 'wings' on either side of the flap. They are pretty unsightly and honestly I have no idea what they are for.

1. For what I use this bag for (holding iPad) it doesn't have enough padding on the bottom. But since this isn't being advertised as an iPad bag I can't hold that against it. In any case, this is an easily fixable problem.
2. The bag I got came with two BLACK buttons instead of what's shown on the pictures here on (silver). I don't mind it, but it should be noted.
3. The bag has a hard (cardboard?) backing, so you can't roll this up when you are not using it. It also create some balance problem if you want to stand it up on a flat surface. Not a big deal, but again, worth mentioning.

I've been searching for an understated iPad carrying bag for quite some time now. Almost went with STM Scout before finding this Rothco. For 1/3 of the price this really isn't a bad choice, and it even has more carrying capacity. Not a great bag, but certainly you can do worse.
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on February 7, 2007
I'm a guy and I needed a bag that I could use to carry some items when I going on short hikes... things like a GPS, camera, bug spray etc. I didn't want to use a backpack or even those pseudo one strap backpacks... too big, too bulky. This map case has worked out PERFECTLY. Good price, seems to be well made, I like the color and fabric, and the price was reasonable.. I would recommend.
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on July 31, 2008
This bag has served me well for over a year! You can fit SO MUCH in it! I did alter it a little. I've re-sewn the straps on either side of the bag instead of on the back and i removed the board from the back to suit my needs. This has been to several countries including hiking in israel with me and it has yet to fail me in some way! It is losing it's dark olive color, but after more than a year who can complain about that?! The hardware is in really good condition, still. Very stable, reliable bag. The stitching is a little uneven in some places but I still recommend it without any limitations!
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on February 18, 2012
As I'm sure most guys out there know, if you go looking for a decent day bag, pretty much all you are able to find in most stores are ridiculously huge messenger bags meant to hold all sorts of laptops and computer parts and tools and guns and knives and god knows what. Women's bags usually come in more sizes and are way more flexible, but tend to be very feminine in their design and fit. There are very few minimalist, streamlined bags out there for men not filled with 80 zippered pockets and 10 iPod slots and this and that. So when I stumbled across the idea of getting a military-style map or ammo bag, this one looked to fit the bill, and I heartily recommend it to other guys out there with the same predicament as me. Now, right off the bat, anyone looking at this bag needs to know that apart from one divider giving you two compartments, this bag has no zippered or segregated compartments, except for a small pocket in the front. But, because of that, the bag is HUGE. The design is clever in that making the back of the bag solid (there's a plastic plate woven into the rear part to give it suspension) it means the rest of the bag (which is all soft cloth) hangs off the suspension, so you can use every square inch of the bag without it folding inwards and losing space. But, on the same token, if you don't have much in it, it collapses into the suspension in such a way that its profile shrinks and you'd never know just how big it is. Also (and this was the selling point for me) the bag is longer than it is wider, which I have been searching for FOR AGES. It's so much easier to carry a shoulder bag around when it's going downwards rather than jutting out at the sides.
Right now I carry all my basic daily needs in it without issue, and this includes a winter hat, gloves, and scarf in addition to a bunch of other stuff. My only gripe when I initially got it is that the little pocket under the fold-over part doesn't close so things tend to slip out of it, but I solved that pretty easy by putting some fabric-grade velcro strips inside the pocket so it closes. I've been using the bag now for something like 6 or 7 months and it's still holding up well. The strap feels like it might not be as durable as the rest of the bag, though, but luckily the strap is not sewn into the can be detached and replaced with a strap you prefer, if necessary. This is pretty much a no-nonsense, basic bag that I think anyone who wants straightforward minimal functionality will appreciate. Oh, the only real flaw of the bag is that it has no handle by which to pick it up. If the bag is heavy enough or bulky enough, trying to grab it without grabbing the strap and hauling it up can be annoying. I solved this in a very silly, but functional way. I bought a small size cat collar and attached the collar to the two metal lash points where the strap meets the bag. By doing this, I gave it a little "handle" that you can carry the bag with really easy and it doesn't look odd or anything.
UPDATE: February 2013: The bag is still going strong. It's fading a little bit (not quite the jet black when I first got it), but otherwise not bad. One of the bag's corners where it meets the plastic panel sewn into the rear started to get frayed a little bit because of the way it rubs on the plastic, but a dab of super glue sealed the hole and stopped it from getting worse.
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on January 14, 2014
I am really pleased with my bag, and it arrived much sooner than expected. I am starting my first semester of college, and this bag is perfect for what i wanted to use it for. It use it for holding my notebooks, pens/pencils, a snack or two (such as granola bar or something), cell phone, mirror, chaptstick, basic make-up, hair brush. I use the notebooks that are 8.5 x 11 in and they fit perfectly, but any notebooks bigger than this and any binders will not fit. Other reviewers noted that the pen/pencil holders were too small to fit anything into, but it holds my mechanical pencils perfectly, i guess it just depends on what kinds you use. Only issue with this bag is that there are to wing-like things on the top left and right sides of the bag that are kind of funny looking because they stick out when the bag has things in it, but I plan on just cutting them off to solve this problem. Other than this, its a perfect bag for what i needed it for :) I will try to upload photos of the "wings" before and after i cut them off.

I also saw a couple of reviews commenting on the thickness of the shoulder strap being too thin and uncomfortable, but i think as long as your not carrying anything super heavy that it works perfectly well.
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on January 11, 2013
I've been looking for a simple gear bag, preferably a shoulder bag. The map case seemed to fit that bill. It's a simple canvas bag with a shoulder strap - that's it. Don't expect ergonomic styling, tons of pockets and efficiency. Although not waterproof it seems to be fairly rugged.

The case will hold my 13" Macbook Pro, but not comfortably. My iPad and little netbook fit in it with no problem. However, I would only use this as temporary transport for these devices. There is a thick support board in the back, but no padding. This could be remedied by using a neoprene sleeve.

I bought this to hold a small set of binoculars, a small camera, an audio field recorder, and perhaps a notebook. It does that perfectly. While I will be using it outside, I don't plan to take it in overly adverse situations. I wish it had a mesh outer pocket for a water bottle, but for this price I'm OK with it as it is.

I did make one modification to mine, though. I took 5' of 550 paracord and did a cobra weave braid between the loops for the shoulder straps so that I also had a hand strap. That made it a bit more versatile.
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on May 21, 2010
I basically use it as a purse. My wife cringes when I call it that, but whatever. It carries my wallet in the small front pocket. I use the rear main compartment for whatever book I'm reading, and a couple cd's. In the forward main compartment I put chapstick, hand sanitizer, ipod and stuff like that. I attached a cell phone holder to the strap and its good-to-go. Its the perfect size for what I use it for, its extremely durable and I like the way it looks. I've read some reviews on here about the snaps being too difficult, but I have found the snaps to be just right. Absolutely no complaints - great bag.
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on September 18, 2012
I've carried the same one of these for almost 30 years. It was the perfect size for carrying a notebook, selection of pens, a paperback book, and a bottle of water; around town here, or with passport, and a few other essentials overseas. Not too big, but big enough to carry the essentials.

Now after all these years my original OD green bag is sun bleached, and worn (but still in good shape other than the shoulder strap which it getting pretty tattered) from being soaked uncountable times in the rain, carried more miles that I can count. I am finally replacing it with a new one that arrived today. I opened the package and it looks like the same tough duck canvas (although in the original dark, unbleached OD color). It's great! And it fits my new 10.1" Android tablet which has replaced the notepad and the paperback book.

You can't go wrong with this bag!!
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on November 6, 2012
I too purchased this satchel in the past, but not from Amazon. About three or four years ago I purchased this satchel from the Montgomeryville Army-Navy store in Montgomery Twp., PA. Priced at a mere $8.99, I grabbed it up right away. This bag is actually a lot more useful than one may give it credit for. I bought it in olive green and removed the shoulder strap, sliced two small holes in the upper rear portion, and sewed in two small olive green loops to blend in with the original material. I then attached it to my rear bicycle rack to be used as a first aid kit. I adorned it with the proper Red Cross emblem and Cadaceus. I liked it so much, I went back and bought another one and likewise did the exact same thing.

Sadly to say with other reviewers is that their bag did in fact break, however, (I, usually in question would like to know just what the devil did the user put in it in order for it to break)? Generally, if an individual is wise, they will see the size and dimensions, and the general assumed weight capacity. In other words, don't put a laptop or a bowling ball inside unless you wish for the satchel to collapse on you.

I personally recommend the olive drab color, (that is if you're a military enthusiast or historian like myself), but, that of course is just me. The bag is indeed constructed well, the thick canvas supports everyday, necessary items, books, snacks, binoculars or other interesting gear of small size. The rear board inside is thick cardboard and cannot be broken. I did learn from the army-navy store I bought mine from is that some bags are actually constructed with particle board believe it or not.

Overall score: (A+)
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