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Techie Messenger Bag

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by The_Terg, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hi Guys! (or long time no see for those who know me) I havent been on here in AGES. (work, and a moderator position at anohter forum have brought me down).

    A question has been burning in my mind. I really want a messenger-style bag to hold all my sound tech stuff for the upcoming year (by "Messenger-bag" style, i mean something like this:http://www.cambriabike.com/SALE/accessory/Images/sun-ringle_messenger_bag.jpg, but much larger, and with enough pockets for the common techie.

    Basically, I normally used a pocket in my backpack for that kind of stuff, and it got to be a huge hassle once I got more equipment. Among the larger things I would like to keep in there, are a soldiering iron/gun, battery powered mixer, 50/100Ft cables, binders for scripts... ETC. This is in addition to the tools, and multimeter, and zipties, and tape, and other smaller things.

    Ive seen several professionals with similar bags. I would like one with as many pockets as possible, that is as durable as will be needed for a techie.

    Unless the store is located in the Westchester NY area (Yonkers, white plains, Ardsley...) I am looking for an online retailer. I dont mean to sound like i am being too picky, its just that I would REALLY love an ideal tech bag (I may even buy 2, and keep one just for my computer repair stuff).

    Thanks in advance for giving it a looksee.
     
  2. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    This past winter I was involved in a competitive theater series. The each production had to transport all of their gear, sets, etc on (a) truck(s) to a hosting school. I was on sound for my schools production. We used home made road cases for all the gear. Unfortunately, I did not have snake to work with. Luckily, it was all CD playback, so we did not have to receive any inputs from the stage to FOH. Since there was no snake we had to make long runs of XLR from the FOH console to the powered speakers on stage. Since we were at different venue for each performance the lengths always varied, we had to bring tons and tons of long XLR to make sure we had our distances covered and backups incase we ran into bad cables. Our solution for all of our cables, connectors, maglites, scripts/cues, tape, power cables, surge protectors, tools, etc was a simple nike athletic duffle bag. Worked fantastic, such durable bags. It's so distinctive and you can pack so much into them. We probably almost had an eigth of a mile worth of XLR in that bag. Along with a talkback, a full line of pro audio adapters/connectors, clipboard, several mag lites. Best of all, we took stored all the tape used in the show. We had glow, masking, and several rolls of gaff. The auxilary compartments on the sides of the bag worked great. We managed to throw in our surge protectors and a few extention chords. If you wrap the extention chords tightly you can really a lot of room. We stored extra extention chords just in case on the lighting racks which all the lighting insturments were clamped too. Duffle bags work great because they're much more distinctive than other bags, which is a plus for security. Right when we unloaded the truck I knew that blue duffel bag belonged to the crew and I. I could easily tell if someone were to even touch the bag by FOH. I saw some other schools in the competition were using plastic grocery bags for cables, it was horrible. When I was sitting in the lobby, a man asked me if the grocery bag he was holding belonged to me. I peaked into it, and there a handful of SM58s and some adapters. The bag wasn't labeled, not even the mics or adapters. No tags or anything, I could have easily walked away with the stuff. Luckily, I responded back naming a school explaining it was the only production I noticed using SM58s. I don't like a messenger bag too much, it's too much of a casual bag for audio equipment. The security factor is missing. However unless it's around you or secured constantly, go for it. Many people store their laptops in messenger bags, I probably would to for the ease of comfort and portability. I just don't know about it holding long cables.
     
  3. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    Location:
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    Perhaps i should have rephrased my first post. I actually dont carry THAT many long cables. I have one 50 FT XLR cable for emergencies, and the rest are 25 FT headphone extentions, 10FT male/male 1/8" ETC....

    I dont do any road trips at all here. The reason why I was going for a messenger bag is because it looks better to be dragging through school, and because I dont even think I could fill a duffel with my stuff. Im not concerned with security, because it isn't acting as a road bag. It's my personal bag, to be held on person.

    In fact, now that I think about it, the whole idea behind the "messenger bag" is as an orgizational tool, rather than a serious carrying device. Normally I throw everything into a pocket in my backpack. This means that it takes a good 15 minuts to find what i need, or to untangle the cables and adapters. Not to mention, I find stuff broken.

    I appreciate your suggestion tho, it's duly noted. I have plenty of duffels lying around, and perhaps there is SOMETHING at the school I can use them for. (We dont have that many long cables to begin with... actually...)
     
  4. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Location:
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    I gotch ya, so it's more of casual thing, to be used daily in the auditorium after school. I thought you needed something for transporting cables and audio accesories with something a bit road worthy. I think the messenger mag will do the trick.
     
  5. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    My suggestion would be go to a Target or similar store, or maybe even a hard ware store. I use my dads old brief case that he put in the garbage for just that. Its a soft case, with two large pockets and a few smaller pockets (pens/adaptors and other small things that I keep in that).

    I believe that my dad got this case at some target type place a few years ago, and its still fine.
     
  6. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Another option (following on from Zac's suggestion) would be the generic laptop cases that (in Australia) almost all stores are now stocking. The laptop space could be used for cables, the file section for scripts/notes etc and then there are several compartments of differing sizes that will accept adaptors/disks/pens/tapes etc. Most will also have a front pocket which expands so you can put fairly bulky items in there.

    There has been a shift recently to go from the standard zipper style, to the 'flap' style (like to postal satchels).

    They have a standard carry handle and removable shoulder strap and many have eyelets on the zippers so that a small lock could be used.

    I have had both but I now actually use one of the 'flap' style ones when I go to conferences and I always manage to pack a fair amount of things in it. I find that you can open it up more easily when standing up. The one that I have also has an additional divider in it. So there are three separate A4 (Letter) size pockets, plus the smaller compartments and pockets.

    Another thing that I use for carrying those "just in case" items are the clear plastic multi compartment boxes. I have two that always travel to shows with me. One has all the different size and type of fuse that my equipment uses. The other has batteries, connectors, adaptors, optocouplers and some money (just never know when you will need some and it is always when you left your wallet at home)
     
  7. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Location:
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    Somewhere around exists “The Little Black Bag” company, they are a good source for grip tools along with
    Setware bags and Bucket Buddy. In any case, you are probably carrying too much gear considering a static location. Have to balance what you really use with your game face on, verses what a gofer or you can get within a few steps and lost time. Otherwise if you have it all with you, you gain the name of roving tool box and others will seek you out to work with, not because you know your thing necessarily, but because they then don’t have to travel as heavy. For a static location, loose the 50' cable etc. unless around your arm and think about your feet at the end of the day beyond the ready for battle with the equipment face. By the way, 10 years plus later, I still have my cool thing in college shoulder bag from Jans Sport bat. It not only fits a lot of gear but also zippers to double in size. Given it's about warn out.

    In any case, here is a few sources I would start looking into.

    Black Hawk .com (Tool Belt/Accessory Dist./Mfr.) www.blackhawk.com
    Duluth Trading Co. (Tool Distributer) http://www.duluthtrading.com/
    Electrical Deals .com (Tool Dist.) Www.electricaldeals.com
    Estex Manufacturing Co. (Tool Belt/Bucket Mfgr.) http://www.estexmfg.com/utility/main_utility.html
    Galls (Tool/Rigging/Safety Distributer) http://www.galls.com/index.jsp
    Grip Tools.com (Tool Distributer) http://www.griptools.com/index.html
    Grip Stuff .com (Soft Goods, Sandbag, Grip Tool Dist.) Www.gripstuff.com
    Jensen Tools (Tool Distribuitor) http://www.jensentools.com/
    Klien Tools (Tool Mfr..) http://www.kleintools.com/index.html
    Light Tools.com (Fixture Baffle/Egg Crate Mfr..) http://www.lighttools.com
    Mitchell Instruent Co. (Tool Distributer) http://www.mitchellinstrument.com/
    Occidental Leather (Tool Mfr..) http://www.bestbelt.com
    Roadie Tools.com (Tool Distributer) http://www.roadietools.com/
    Seat Wear (Tool Belt/Gear Mfgr) www.setwear.com
    Specialized Products (Tool Distributor) http://www.specialized.net/ecommerce/shop/frameset.htm
    Stage Hand Tools.com (Tool Mfr..) http://stagehandtools.com/main
    Studio Depot (Fixture Mfgr/Distr.) www.mole.com
    Tek Supply (Misc. Industrial Supplies & Tools) www.teksupply.com
    Tool Dudes.com (Tool Distributer) http://www.tooldudes.com/index.html
    Tour Supply Inc. (Replentishables, Audio, Cases & Tools) www.toursupply.com
    Tools for Stagecraft (Tool Distributer) http://www.toolsforstagecraft.com/
    Tool Crib of the North/Amazon (Tool Distributer) (800)635-5140 http://www.amazon.com/
    Total Tool (Rigging Supply Distributer) http://www.totaltool.com/
    Techni Tool (Tool Distributor) http://techni-tool.com/
     
  8. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Location:
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    Generic laptop bags work fantastic. I actually store all my guitar cables in accesories in a older Compaq (actually a Targus but with the compaq logo on it) laptop bag. It was actually the old case for my father's old laptop, an ancient compaq presario from the early 90s w/a 486 processor. The bag used to be my old pedal board. In the bag I store almost 100 feet worth guitar cable, along with, guitar slide, extra picks, wire cutters, alan wrenches, string winders, capos, surge protectors, and tons of extra string packs. Works great, they're cheap too. Chances are your parents may have a spare bag from an old laptop from work. IT departments are always upgrading and old stuff lying around. Messenger bags are basically the modern laptop case. They have pocket sleeves for laptops and all that, so basically you're on track. I highly reccomend Patagonia, they make fantastic messenger bags, as well as everything else. I love the half mass bag.

    http://www.patagonia.com/
     
  9. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    Location:
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    I appreciate all of your suggestions!

    The only frustrating thing when shopping online is that none of the retailers have pictures showing the insides of the bags, or the pockets! Perhaps i am being too picky.......
     
  10. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Yep you are too picky. Roll the dice or build your own. On building your own, I'm sure your local taylor shop might be appropriate in pricing given you than get what you want and even get the reinforcements necessary. This or making best buddy with the local costume mistress can also be of use.

    AutoCadd out what you want, give the parts you wish to store plus the drawings and go custom. Should it work and be normal for what's needed, drop a E-Mail to the other suppliers in offering to sell them plans to the most useful puch for your and similar people's needs. Such profit could balance out the cost of manufacture.
     
  11. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    Ha, I would rather just grab a good looking one online. I dont value perfection in the bag THAT much, I just had something of a vision...

    I found a neat one from my favorite webcomic, megatokyo.com that looks great. Its a Yak Pak Medium Tech Flapdoozy. It's either that, or the patagonia stuff which looks pretty darned good. I am eyeing the Critical Mass bag, but the Half-mass one looks great as well.....

    Gah, I make a horrible web shopper.
     
  12. seanb

    seanb Member

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    the tools for stagecraft bag looks decent. I'm currently using the Mountain Equipment Co-Op Brenta Courier bag. It's meant for cyclists, but it's fantastic for what I need (carrying my basic school stuff)

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_...37&PRODUCT<>prd_id=135361&bmUID=1092281835133

    While it doesn't offer a million pockets, it does offer a very large interior compartment with an extra place for my laptop/loose papers, pens, MD player, Cell phone and some smaller items. MEC is great for quality (lots of people have MEC packs that are 10+ years old) You don't always have to lift the big flap, either. There's a quick access zipper you can use to grab the small stuff out which is good for meetings too as you can avoid the loud RIIIP as you pull up the velcro and undo the snaps.

    If you like the looks of the outside, I can take some photos of the inside of mine and send them along. I tried about 6 different bags in the last year or so, returning or abandoning each until I found this bag. It's a keeper!
     
  13. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Probably too late now but someone else may find it useful. I was just looking at Sapsis Rigging's web page and whilst browsing their catalog I noticed they offer a "TD's Briefcase" for $23.00.

    From the illustration and description, it looks pretty good. The description they offer is:

    "A place for everything. The exterior cover flap locks closed so your stuff wonÕt fall out. There's a zippered flap pocket and a nifty top zipper which gets you inside without opening the cover flap. On the business side are two jumbo flapped cargo pockets, smaller pockets for calculator, business cards, pens and pencils, a zippered security pocket for your checkbook. On the tool side are a quick access transparent cell phone pocket, and 14 other pockets including one for your 30' tape measure. The interior is large enough for clipboards and legal pads and there's an elastic keeper on the rear flap for prints and plans. 16" L x 6" W x 12-1/2" H"

    Their URL is http://www.sapsis-rigging.com and just head into the catalog and look under "Tools, Knives & Gadgets"
     
  14. SuperCow

    SuperCow Active Member

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    Location:
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    I would recommend a Strong Bad Messenger Bag.They're cool, and they're pretty well priced at $30.
     
  15. SuperCow

    SuperCow Active Member

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    Location:
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    I would recommend a Strong Bad Messenger Bag.They're cool, and they're pretty well priced at $30.
     
  16. ccfan213

    ccfan213 Active Member

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    cool, another homestar runner fan! my friends sister has the strongbad messenger bag and it works fine for her. but shes just using it for papers, not tech so i dont know how well it will fit tech stuff
     

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