Home Tech WaterField’s Shinjuku Messenger Bag is just what your iPad needs

WaterField’s Shinjuku Messenger Bag is just what your iPad needs

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Brown cloth bag on its side with open top flap showing inside filled with a tablet, portable mug, books and more

I often agonize about the size of the bags. Part of me always wants to grow, just in case. But then I end up with messenger bags and backpacks that seem too bulky to carry every day. If I go for the smallest one, it is often also small to fit the things I need and ends up overloaded. The item I carry with me often that seems to compound this problem is the 11-inch iPad Pro. It’s lightweight but stiff, and in small bags it can feel like carrying a wooden board flapping against your leg. Smaller bags may also be too narrow, making them a tight fit for any other items you want to carry. WaterField’s Shinjuku Messenger aims to solve some of these problems with a design created specifically for the iPad.

Daily transportation

When I took it out of the box it seemed too small. There was no way this would fit comfortably on my iPad, water bottle, chargers and other things. He seemed doomed to be one of the little messengers who couldn’t make it.

Until I started putting things inside. The iPad slid easily into the padded tablet sleeve and a narrow water bottle fits comfortably at the bottom of the main pocket. The other inward-facing pockets were spacious and expanded a bit when I put a charger, my wallet, a pair of headphones, and a sunglasses case. There was room for everything and the bag wasn’t even full. Her outer form still felt soft and supple, not taut and full to the brim like an overloaded messenger can feel. Opening the lid revealed everything and every item could be accessed without moving anything, a must for any bag as far as I’m concerned.

Photography: Water field

Slung over my body, it didn’t even look like a messenger bag. Even fully loaded, it seemed smaller: more of a purse or just a small shoulder bag for the phone and a few other items. I also noticed how evenly distributed the weight felt. The straps attach to the bag at a slight angle, rather than being sewn up and down; It’s enough of a direction for the bag to fall flat against your body no matter where you’re hanging it: on your hip, on your lower back, in front, across your chest, slung over one shoulder. It’s the kind of quiet, intuitive design that tells you this bag was designed by people who know what they’re doing.

Adjusting the strap is also easy as you can lengthen or shorten it without removing it. The strap itself is a thick fabric, almost like a car seat belt. It’s a little thinner than the straps on other WaterField bags I’ve used, and the edges are a little hard and can rub against your neck uncomfortably, although like other WaterField straps, they will probably soften over time.

The top flap seals with a magnetic closure. He is strong and agile, but not so strong that you have to fight him. However, as with all magnetic closures, I am concerned about its durability over time. I have a couple of other WaterField bags that I’ve tested, and the magnetic closures still work well on them, but I’ve lost so many bags due to wear and tear from the magnetic closures coming off the canvas that I’m inherently leery. . I didn’t notice any unusual wear on the canvas where the magnets are located during testing, which is always a good sign.

The interior is bright orange with a textured pattern. That’s one of my favorite things about WaterField Designs. I no longer like bags with dark colored interiors; It’s too easy to lose things in the dark. Against a bright color, I can always see a scrunchie missing.

Photography: Water field

Canvas, but different

I tried the black canvas version with leather details on the flap. I was a little wary of its material construction; Canvas can be delicate and wear easily, or get soaked at the sight of a rain cloud. This canvas, WaterField assured, was different. It’s a material called X11 Cotton from X-Pac, a spin-off company from Dimension-Polyant, a manufacturer of high-performance sailcloths. According to X-Pac, the material is a specially treated canvas with an inner layer of diamond-woven fibers to improve durability and weight distribution, and it’s also water resistant. That waterproofing is achieved through a PFAS-free DWR coating. X-Pac makes other DWR materials that do use PFAS, but I confirmed with WaterField and X-Pac that X11 Cotton does not contain PFAS.

Photography: Water field

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