Top positive review
207 people found this helpful
Very good, but could be improved
on May 16, 2009
I've just bought myself a new bag because the two that I've been using in heavy rotation for some years--the Eagle Creek Sidekick and another Eagle Creek bag whose make I haven't been able to identify--don't quite fit the bill. The Sidekick is too small for my purposes; the other bag is too large under many circumstances. My new bag, the Urban Explorer Canvas Shoulder Bag, which measures 12"x10"x4", is in between these two, size-wise.
It's a very nice bag, and I think it will suit my purposes well, but it's not perfect. I can't add pictures here, but I've added three to my account on Flickr and annotated them with on-screen notes. In particular, I point out where all the pockets are. The pictures are public, so if you search for "Urban Explorer Black Canvas Shoulder Bag" you should find them.
* I got the bag for about $20 delivered from Amazon, which you really can't beat.
* The bag is, to me at least, quite attractive.
* I haven't run it through any stress tests, of course, but it feels very sturdy.
* It's the perfect size for me. Large enough to carry a composition book and a couple of hardcovers at least, yet not so big that it feels empty or sags if you're not carrying any big items.
* It feels comfortable wearing it. This is presumably a function of its size and fabric, but also of its strap....
* The strap--which is adjustable but cannot be removed--is the perfect thickness for the bag. More importantly, it doesn't slip off your shoulder.
* The bag has a lanyard for keys, which is convenient.
* The bag has 12 pockets (for details of which, click through to the Flickr pics), but not all of these can be counted among the bag's pluses. The two side pockets, with velcro closures, are handy, however, and seem secure.
My various objections to the bag can be summed up by saying that the pockets, though numerous (12!), are neither as convenient (many of them) nor as secure (many of them) as one would like. To wit:
* The ID card holder (again, I refer you to the Flickr pictures) may be convenient for some, but I certainly have no need for it, so it's wasted space.
* There are no pen slots (but one of the three narrow, deep pockets can be used for the purpose).
* The two small velcro pockets on the front of the bag would be great for carrying something like a cell phone, but the velcro doesn't stay closed! So you can't trust the pockets for anything of value. They're essentially useless.
* The main interior pocket is not zippered. There is a zippered compartment within the main compartment, and another in the bag's flap, but neither's very convenient for grabbing a wallet from, for example. I'd want the main compartment to be zippered so that when, inevitably, the bag is tossed around or it falls from the bleachers at a softball game, everything won't fall out of it.
SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT
* Most importantly, add a zipper to the main interior pocket.
* Put snap closures on the small pockets instead of velcro. (Perhaps replace them with one larger but more secure pocket.)
* Get rid of the ID pocket and replace it with something more useful--perhaps another small pocket with snap closure.
-- Debra Hamel