Cannondale Urbapod Messenger Bag - Gear Review

June 5, 2007

Yes, I am a working stiff who spends waaaay too much time each day on the computer. And since I travel a fair amount, I was recently in the market for a new laptop bag. Now, I do like to do a little bike commuting when I can make it happen...but the messenger bag I was looking for needed to double as a briefcase. You would think that would be a simple thing to find, but frankly I looked at Timbuk2 messenger bags and several other brands, but nothing was exactly hitting it. That's when I found the Cannondale Urbapod messenger bag and it seemed ideal. It was large and roomy, had an easy-to-access velcro over-flap, an eye-catching but understated look, and a very reasonable price. The Cannondale Urbapod messenger bag also has a velcro-enclosed sleeve sown into the inside panel of the messenger bag to hold a laptop, which was really requirement number 1 for me. Also, that sleeve did not cost extra like Timbuk2 charges for all their little accessory features like laptop sleeves. The Urbapod also comes with a big, cushy, adjustable pad on the shoulder strap, whereas other brands make you pay an extra $10 bucks for it separately. Why is that? I think it is ridiculous to to have to throw down a fair amount of coin for a bag, and then have to pay extra just to get a hunk of foam on the strap. The Cannondale Urbapod is not only less expensive than the equivalent Timbuk2 bag (by 25%!), it came standard with some of the features you have to pay extra for on a Timbuk2. For example, it has a nice cross-body strap to hold the bag stable across your torso, which most Timbuk2's don't include. BTW, I don't mean to be picking on Timbuk2 --- killer stuff, I like their bags. Just calling it as I see it. If you feel differently, or if I've missed something here, please comment below! The Cannondale Urbapod has your standard extra pockets and pouches for wallet and ID card and pencils, etc. But one glaring omission was the apparent lack of a good cell phone and/or PDA pocket. The main compartment is also, with the exception of the laptop sleeve, totally devoid of extra pockets. It makes it tough to keep your extra ethernet and power cords organized when it's jumbled in there with notepads and your work shoes. But all of that is liveable, if it weren't for the lack of a briefcase-style handle on the top of the bag. If you want to carry the bag, you have to sling it over your shoulder. You can't just grab a handle on the top and run. That's a real pain. However, considering the price you may not care. It would work well for a student because you may not have to jump, grab the bag, and run...and you may not miss the extra compartments for PDA and stuff that I miss. But for me, I ultimately would have been willing to pay a bit more to have the briefcase handle and some more dividers in the main compartment. But those aren't the sorts of things you could add on post-market very easily, so you just have to take it as it is. BUY NOW: Cannondale Urbapod Messenger Bag at REI search for messenger bags

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