There's the most basic, utilitarian, 'Russian' design aesthetic possible in each of these products. For example, the lack of many little subdividing pockets in all of the Courier bags is a real contrast to the complicated inner-spaces of other externally similar bags available elsewhere. Ours, with only a single inner pocket, is the most durable and versatile because of it's simplicity, sewing and materials. One can carry anything from a watermelon to a change of clothes for working out, to the typical books-and-a-lunch, inside one of these bags. The versatility is greater because the bag is simpler. An empty and well-worn courier bag hangs on the closet doorknob by the back door of my place and I grab it and go, filling it with whatever the mission requires. Some days it's groceries. Other times its books and papers. It's never exactly the same cargo twice.
A Mr. Subjective History on Aerostich Courier Bags
The Aerostich courier bags are one of my most-favorite Aerostich products. We have been making them for over twenty years, and they differ substantially from all of the other kinds of courier bags commonly found. Essentially, ours are a lot heavier-duty...
I like courier bags so much because they are so easy to use for urban utility motorcycle riding. They go on-and-off quick and are versatile. One hangs empty near my riding gear and I grab it whenever the destination involves picking up something, or when I need to carry something fast, without using bungees. Many of our customers use them for their daily commute, too. Courier bags are a key technology for motorcycling personal mobility…An invaluable tool.
Our bags were the first ever to be made of a synthetic material (Cordura Nylon and reinforced vinyl). When we began, there were two or three others made of coarse canvas. Ours was also the first courier bag to employ Velcro (hook&loop) anywhere, to have any 3M Scotchlight reflective, to have a handle on the flap, and to use ITW Fastex side-release buckles. What was available elsewhere was crude -- bags made in small numbers in cities like New York, for working bicycle couriers.
About a year after introducing Aerostich Courier Bags I remember being at the Motorcycle Dealernews trade show standing before Mitch Boehm and several other editors of Motorcyclist magazine, all of us in a small conference room in one of the hotels there,…giving a presentation. “The daypack is dead!” I began, trying to sound as declarative as possible. “The era of the courier bag is now beginning.” I then explained why these still largely-unknown types of bags were so great for motorcyclists. And why they’d rule in the future. And why the Aerostich courier bags were made they way they were. It felt as though we were pioneering something entirely new.
A few years after we started making Courier bags, other companies like Timbuktu (and many others) were started up, and they made lighter-weight courier bags a common college bookstore commodity. A decade or two later Chrome -- another company – added some contemporary hipster style and an automobile seat-belt buckle to the shoulder strap. And today there are countless other varieties from dozens of companies.
But the Aerostich Courier bag line (by size: 'letter', 'dispatch', 'courier', and 'parcel') remains the real-deal in terms of function, originality, utility and durability. They are simple, tough, and still the very best of this kind of bag available anywhere.
This year we just introduced a wax cotton variation in two colors (4 sizes x 2 colors = 8 wax cotton models). A few years ago we added pink to the available colors of the Cordura models, and developed an optional internal organizer pocket system (available for the three larger sized bags).
Many specific patterning and stitching details set ours apart from the others. (One example - the lid-edge is turned and then hand topstitched. This is how a button-down shirt collar is made. It's neater, stronger and more expensive to do it this way. It makes a better flap. Almost everyone else's bags use cheaper machine-bound edging.)
Lastly, a special feature of our bags that I think is pretty cool is that for over fifteen years all Aerostich Courier bags have been made by one individual here at Aerostich. And this person is a life-long motorcycle rider. During the years he's been employed here he's owned three or four different bikes. Last year he bought his first-ever new motorcycle -- A black Kawasaki Concourse. I think he's already been to North Carolina or somewhere on it.
When you buy an Aerostich courier bag, you are getting a hand-made classic American product, (sewn start-to-finish by a very talented fellow who is a real motorcycle rider)…And an incredibly tough, good bag.