Customer Reviews

131
4.1 out of 5 stars
Rothco Vintage Explorer Messenger Bag (Black)
Color: BlackChange
Price:$38.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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106 of 109 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2012
I was in the market for a new, everyday messenger bag for my laptop and various things I carry with me throughout the day. I decided to go with this vintage canvas bag for its simplicity and clean appearance.

Pros:
1) Very nice looking. The bag is a nice clean color accented only by the leather straps and belts. It's simple, with no overly decorative garbage like many of the messenger bags I see today.
2) Zippers closed. I like the fact that the bag zippers on the inside. My last bag did not, and I didn't appreciate the value of the zipper until this bag. I feel much more secure on my bike knowing that my stuff isn't going to pop out at any second.
3) Plenty of compartments. At first, I thought that this bag didn't have that many compartments, but in truth it's got a perfect amount. Two small ones inside with no closure or flaps, one medium pocket inside that closes with a zipper, one medium pocket outside that closes with velcro, one large pocket outside that closes with zipper, and then the large main compartment inside. I can comfortably throw my stuff in all of these pockets and feel safe about all of them staying put as I zip around the city.
4) Really cool/useful leather attachment strap on the outside of the bag. This is tough to explain, since this is the first time I've had this feature on a bag, but this bag has a very simple leather belt attached to the side of the bag that you can secure things into. For example, I commonly use it to hold my coffee thermos, water bottle, or newspaper. It sort of cinches an item to the side of the bag, and then it just dangles off the bag, rather than take up space in a pocket or compartment.

Cons:
1) Leather straps aren't actually functional. The bag closes using a zipper, and then the flap attaches to the bag via velcro. My velcro is already beginning to wear out, and I'm considering sewing in some high-power magnets to compensate. Be aware that the leather straps on this bag are decorative only, and don't actually serve any purpose on the bag.
2) The external leather strap that is on the side of the bag does not feel very strong. The leather belt feels strong, like it will hold up over time. However the part of the bag that the leather belt connects to feels like a cheap leather patch that is ready to tear the first time I attach something heavy. For fear of this tearing, I never attach anything heavy. I only ever attach my empty coffee thermos, empty water bottle, or newspaper/rolled-up magazine.
3) On receiving the bag, before I ever used it, there were a couple (maybe 4 or 5) small nicks in the canvas material of the bag. Nothing that compromises the structure of the bag, just small little imperfections in the weaving of the canvas. No defects in the stitching or seams.

Overall, I feel like this is a great bag, and the canvas makes it pretty resilient to wear and tear. This makes a great every day bag that looks clean, functions very well, and still has that classic vintage feel to it. I highly recommend if you're in the market for a new shoulder/messenger bag.

*UPDATE (5/26/2013) - after more than a year of daily use of this bag, it's recently (past three months) started to deteriorate. As I previously stated, the outside canvas is holding up like a CHAMP, however the inside cloth that lines the varying pockets/compartments has all but completely come apart at the seams, literally. Now, regardless of which compartment I open, there's just one big place to put all my things inside the bag, as a result of the loss of the fabric that once separated the pockets. To the bag's credit, the leather straps, zippers, velcro, and every other part have held up like brand new, however that inside cloth separation has fallen apart completely. Bag is still 100% functional, just not as organized.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2012
Just took this bag on a 8-day tour of Peru, and it was great! Used it as a carry-on bag for flights and had enough room to hold the necessary items. The large, zippered outside compartment held paperwork and other thin items. I used the small, zippered inside pocket to hold little things like pen, keys, hand wipe packets, etc. Sturdy, rugged construction so I didn't worry about it falling apart on the trip.

Like others who reviewed this bag, I thought the two buckled straps on the outside were only decorative. But one day on the trip it became too warm to wear my fleece jacket. I took off the jacket but did not want another item to carry around. I didn't have enough room inside the bag to stow it. It then occurred to me to roll up my jacket and use the straps to fasten my jacket to the bag. It worked perfectly! The adjustable straps tightened enough so my jacket was secure. Since this is vintage style bag, my boyfriend suggested that the straps were used in the old days to carry a bedroll. Whatever the reason, the straps on this bag have a practical purpose - just need a little imagination to figure out how to use them!
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2012
The item itself is nice. I like the design , the size is a little smaller then i expected it to be defiantly not for carrying allot of things. I could fit about 2 notebook and a binder with some room to spare. I wouldn't recommend this for any student I wouldn't try to put any books (textbooks) in there.

As for the service, i love amazon and all that it is. But i got this bag without a strap, i don't know how could someone get sent a bag without a strap especially since it's not removable... now i have find time to visit the post office, while having to pay for the shipping back.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2013
Every day I wake up, put my lunch, my tablet, my water bottle, my wallet, and my keys in my bag and it works great. The bag is stylish and very functional. Go ahead and get it, it is definitely worth it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I use this bag to throw stuff like food and snacks for my work day, or a book, or anything else. I like it for it's vintage and durable style, and as elsewhere noted, the straps are just for show. Which when I first read in another review before purchase, disappointed me. However, as often as I open and close this thing, I'm glad it is velcro! and in terms of securing the contents, it has a durable zipper close under the flap, so nothing has spilled out of this thing for me, and I have taken it everywhere.

And received compliments on it from both straight man and woman alike. So it has a nice universal appeal.

I definitely recommend. Also, as one might fear of foreign made cloth products, this item has no dinginess to it, or odd odor. It's great!

And coming from me, that says something, because I'm very picky. I'd originally wanted a leather satchel but that turned out to be more expensive than I could afford at the time, so I went with this, and I think I like it better!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2012
While I definitely like the simple, clean look of this bag, I really wish that the main internal compartment was a bit bigger. Once you get a laptop with sleeve in there (I have a 13" Macbook), there really isn't a whole lot more space. It could also benefit from two external pockets rather than just the one in order to help with organization of small items.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2013
I love the bag, but with light to medium use the material started coming apart before three months had gone by. Of course that's just a little too late for amazon to allow a return, and far, far too soon for anything that might be considered quality made. Shame on the Rothco company for putting something out there that looks good, functions well, but has a two and a half month window for usability.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2012
The bag came in on time and in good condition, minus a few loose threads here and there. The styling is great - it looks and feels vintage. The zippered compartment is well-designed and gives you an extra sense of security about your stuff. The canvas is fairly rugged and doesn't tend to stretch or tear, even though I usually load a lot of books into it.

The leather "straps" are completely decorative and feel kind of cheap (one of the buckles on mine gets turned around a lot), and the shoulder strap tends to bunch up where it connects to the bag, but otherwise I have no complaints.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2013
I fell in love with this bag the moment I saw it. It's super stylish and vintage looking...I also use a lot of pockets, this bag has just that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2013
perfect size to carry my laptop. I got the olive color but it looks more like a grey, which i like better!
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