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Commuter offerings from Crumpler Bags

by Commute by Bike

Crumpler BagsA lot of my photography friends swear by Crumpler Bags so I was looking forward to taking a look at their bike commuter offerings.

I looked through several of their bags and also picked up one to review which I’ve been using since I returned home. The upsides are plenty of pockets and storage space. One of the annoyances I’ve had with other messenger packs is the lack of options to organize. Many of the Crumpler messenger bags have upwards of half a dozen different pockets to store stuff with plenty of room in the main compartment for your big needs. One thing to keep in mind when checking out Crumpler is most of their bags are labeled water resistant instead of water proof. If you get caught in a lot of downpours or like to go for a snorkel with your packs, they probably aren’t the choice for you.

Crumpler Bags Messenger Pack The Barney Rustle BlanketCrumpler Bags Messenger Pack Soupansalad

Crumpler Bags School Hymn computer case

The Barney Rustle Blanket is a messenger bag offering that will hold 14 liters worth of stuff. That translates into a couple six packs or, for you more responsible types, plenty of room for laptop, notebook, wires, etc. The main compartment, one zippered external pocket and three internal front pockets do the storage and the retro reflective stripe, shoulder pad and stability strap does the safety. Looking for the same features with a bit more room and less hassle? The Soupansalad could fit you nicely. One tie-down instead of two but 4 extra liters of room totaling out at 18.

The School Hymn is a semi-rigid laptop sleeve that was one of my favorite products I saw in their booth. My computer is my livelihood and I’ve seen very few commuter options that offer a harder casing to protect. If you ride with your laptop, take a close look at this… could be the best $45 you’ve spent in awhile.

Continuing with the accessories, the Bundle comes in sizes Small, Medium and Large. Each has two zippered pockets for storage and will easily carry your digi cam, phone and other small stuff. Use your imagination.

The bag I got my hands on for a review is the Part and Parcel. A 10 liter pack built with the daily commuter in mind. The laptop sleeve is built in, heavily padded and suspended up from the bottom of the bag. So when you drop the bag to the floor your computer doesn’t take the brunt. It fits up to a 15 incher. The six organizer pockets are a dream come to true. I have individual places for the ipod, biz cards, wires, etc. Look for more info to come as I get some more use under it’s belt.

There’s more bag offerings from Crumpler and you can see more at their website or ask questions here. All in all, it looks to be good stuff and built by people that actually use their products.

 
Burley nomad 269

9 Responses to “Commuter offerings from Crumpler Bags”

  1. LosFelizRider says:

    I’ve visited London several times this year [for work], and while there I checked out some local bike shops.

    They all carried the Crumpler bags. The bags are sweet. I like them better than the nearly ubiquitous Timbuktu bags you see in all the shops here in the U.S.

    But i didn’t buy one because with the exchange rate they are EXPENSIVE. A regular ol’ messenger bag would’ve run about US$200 ! Compare that to a Timbuktu bag and, well, I’m not made of money.

    But they are nice bags.

  2. Louise says:

    I have a Barney Rustle that I commute with and it’s perfect for everyday things like lunch, a sweater, my PSP or DS, and then some. It has enough room for small grocery runs, but today I had to squeeze in a PSU as well as a big lunchbag and it was a bit tight.

    The bag does feel very sturdy so I don’t feel bad leaving it on the ground or anything. The reflective stripe is also a plus. I just wish they included some kind of tab or strap that I can attach a rear blinkie to.

  3. keith wikle says:

    Ok, my work life has been interfering with my enjoyment of web sites for some time. I may have to step onto the pulpit here to proclaim the importance of usability on the web.

    My daily work consists of working on corporate consumer sites, designing usable interfaces for the web. In this work I look at a lot of web sites and I have a mental list of quite a few that really irk me. But nothing irks me more than when I am interested in a product, a product I may purchase I might add, and then I am presented with a user experience that is so poor that my desire for the product is totally killed.

    Crumpler Bags is just such a site and a product. I was reviewing one of my favorite blogs, commutebybike.com and found a cool image of the Crumpler hard laptop case. Wow! Cool product. So I go to the web site. Low and behold, it is possibly the worst consumer product web site I have ever seen. Ok, that is a stretch, there are worse. But it is pretty bad. Let me give you a few reasons why.

    * Navigation

    All Flash sites can be done well, or poorly. Typically the failing is in how the information is laid out, (or the information architecture), and how the navigation is handled. On the crumpler site when I finally receive the home page after watching their none too clever flash loader, I receive their home page. The home page has no text navigation present on the page by default. The user has to roll over each item to reveal it’s meaning. Clever, but pointless some text above or below each item to indicate to the user what each item is would instantly allow the user to see what they wanted to click on. All of the navigation is non-standard and tells no story the user is familiar with when the page finally loads.
    User’s don’t care about your clever artists, they want your information. If they don’t find it, they will go somewhere else, so why make them guess.

    * Annoying Music Ok this is more of a pet peeve than a usability issue, but why would you put annoying/blaring music on your site by choice in 2007? Why”. And then to make it worse, the shutoff for the music was the music symbol in the lower left. Why not make the music off by default and if the user happens to find your icon they can turn it off and on at will, rather than coming to a page with annoying music that is controlled by non-standard navigation that is not labeled.
    * The diarrhea button Ok I have a sense of humor, the diarrhea button was pretty sweet. However the chain pull where you have to click and drag to clear the poop from the screen was a drag, it took me a while to find it and know what it was for. Maybe a little text to explain it would help? More non-standard controls that interfere with finding information, no matter how much it appeals to my juvenile sense of humor still makes a poor impression.
    * The shopping experience Ok so I finally find the computer bags link on the bottom and go to the shopping experience. All of the products are listed in a scroll bar frame at the top. Not great, in terms of being able to see all of the offerings at once on one page that scrolls, (yes user’s scroll), but it’s ok. The computer bag is selected on the page, I do have some clear default options that are labeled. If all I wanted to do was go with the default option and click to add the item to the cart I would be fine. But let’s say for now I wanted to look at the tech specs first. The tech specs display below the product area, and are displayed on a color background that is hard to read, not organized very well. As red/green color blindness is the most common amongst men, 7% of most adult male populations, why, oh why would you do this?….

    Ok so let’s say after not being able to understand the nav, or shut off the music, or clear the diarrhea from the screen you chose to purchase this computer bag. Once on this screen, I have a page where I am being asked to make a purchase decision on a colorful product, with no picture of the product. I have to select the product with the tiny drop down box, with no color sample from a color abbreviation name. So let’s say I can’t remember what color red/dk red is, how do I go back and look at the color on the last page? Oh sh#t I can’t. This page has no navigation to go back to the previous page to look at the color selection. So I hit my back button to look at the color selections. Now I’m pretty sure I like red/dk red, so now I am going to go back to the cart, oh sh#t how do I get back to the cart? Hmm there is no navigation to do that. I can either click add to cart, or use the forward button in my browser. Ok I’m pretty savvy, I hit the forward button. Oh terrific, it adds another bag to my cart, now I have to remove the second item from my cart.

    Guess what, no I don’t! I’m leaving the site and buying another Chrome Messenger Bag product because their site kicks ass.

    User testing and thinking about how someone will actually use the web site you make will sell your products.

    You can still have your diarrhea button, but you gotta get the basics down first.

  4. Mike Myers says:

    Price Point has Crumpler bags on sale right now.

    http://www.pricepoint.com/thumb/2-Accessories-649-Commuter-Essentials-False.htm

    Looks like a pretty good price on the Barney Rustle, and it’s a LOT cheaper than the Chrome Metro I use. The Chrome is a lot bigger, but I do like the seat belt buckle fastener. My bag is pretty plain looking. Just grey.

  5. Quinn says:

    Thank God there is an alternative to Chrome! they are Good bags, but their price is a BIG deterant!

  6. Nick says:

    I have been using a crumpler laptop bag for years and I loved it. I just had a problem with the strap not cinching up quite tight enough for my taste. Earlier this year I got myself a new bag from twinsix that was made for them by crumpler and I absolultey love it. I would recommend it to anyone that might want it. It holds anything I might want to carry and then some … plus it looks cool on me.

    I much prefer these to anyone else. Here is the one I currently ride through the streets of Vegas with:
    http://www.twinsix.com/gear/gear_t607s07b.htm

  7. Beeks says:

    What do you like about the T6 by twinsix? Does it have storage/pocket options?

  8. xcskimt (Robert) says:

    It is really great to have a choice of different types and styles of messeger/commuter bags. I really like a company called Osprey and the bag Transit. I commute too and from work with my laptop. The bag has a seperate compartment for the computer w/padding and a 1/2 dozen other pockets, pencil holders, and mesh areas to store a good number of things. The straps work well and easily adjustable. The bad is semi hard so it keeps it shape which is good/bad thing depending on preference. I commute 8 miles one way and carry my breakfast, lunch, snacks, computer, work clothes and my afternoon running gear in the bag. I have to be careful not to pack too much stuff. Have a great day.

  9. Beeks says:

    anyone remember a bag company named Sun? or something like that? From the east coast. The bike bags were totally tricked out, well though-out with great pockets, key holders, a strap with material that didn’t slide down your shoulder, etc.

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