The fastest, most comfortable, versatile and easy to way to carry stuff on a motorcycle, scooter or bicycle. Triangular in cross-section, messenger bags wrap around your back and stay in position when riding. The original ‘Courier’ size holds a small briefcase, a few magazines and some files…plus a tablet and notebook computer with room to spare. It is the most versatile and best selling size.
All are constructed of 1000D PU-backed Cordura nylon, with a seamless bottom for maximum strength and durability. All also feature a bright yellow reinforced PVC waterproof inner lining. Also inside is a usefully-sized organizer pocket (two on the Parcel size) and ‘clip-on’ key loop.
After long use they’ll develop an ‘experienced’ patina that reflects your individual patterns of use and wear. The 2" military-spec nylon shoulder strap adjusts quickly and easily via a cam lock buckle for a secure, comfortable fit. For heavy-load all-day comfort, there is an oversize, removable, load-spreading shoulder pad with a grippy Ultrasude surface (it’s optional for the Letter size).
The flap closes with a wide strip of hook and loop as well as adjustable side-release buckles to accommodate oversized loads. There's also a useful carrying handle on the top center. Visibility is assured with a wide strip of 3M Scotchlite™ reflective running across the flap.
These bags are as simple to put on as a guitar, and easier to learn. Red, black, grey, hi-viz lime yellow, or blue (or limited edition pink in letter, dispatch, and courier sizes only).
Four sizes: Letter (9"×3.75"×9"/12"), Dispatch (12"×7"×12"/18"), Courier (12"×7"×18"/23"), Parcel (14"×9"×18"/26").
Read the review of the Aerostich Messenger Bag by Abhi Eswarappa on bike-urious.com.
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Customer Reviews (9)
- Another great Aerostich itemReview by Uncle Dave
I also have an Aerostich Dispatch Bag that I use when I'm riding. It's great. I have the strap length set so it "sits" on the rear seat behind me.
I picked up a Letter Bag at a great price that was on-sale on the "factory seconds" list. I use it as a "man purse" on the weekends. I can peal my organizer pocket out of the Dispatch Bag and stick it to the Letter Bag. And it's just the right size to toting around town.
My only complaint: This is a fairly small bag... I think the 2" shoulder strap is over kill. It's too stiff and takes a long time to break-in for a small "purse" type bag like this. I would down-size to a 1" shoulder strap, 1.5" max. But since it's sewn-in for strength, I can't change it at home.
So, 9 out of 10 points! (Posted on 8/21/15)
- Good, but...Review by Pat
I purchased this bag to use on my motorcycle commute. Unfortunately a medical issue halted riding, However, my letter bag is used as a "murse", as such it has some drawbacks. It could be about an inch or so wider, that way files will fir without bending. It could be a tad wider so the occasional bulky item will fit better. Velcro, Velcro, there is a yard of the stuff on the front of the bag, it could be re-positioned or reduced in width so it's both easier and quieter to open,
(picture a loud ripping sound in a theater or church). Finally, despite its quirks, it is a beautifully made item,quality materials and workmanship throughout. I am not using the bag on my bike, but I am sure it would perform flawlessly in its intended application. Well done Aerostich. (Posted on 8/13/15)
- My "old" letter bagReview by Tom
I've been using a hi-viz letter bag for years....before I retired, it hauled my work-related stuff. Now it hauls my personal stuff (a book, a mini-iPad, and some sundries).What a great way to have a bomb-proof "man purse"!
I noticed that the lining had cracked /peeled in one spot, so I smeared some clear silicone on it. Voila! Waterproof again!
I recently purchased the waxed cotton version (LOVE the feel!), and am holding it in reserve until I need to abandon my faithful hi-viz. Hell...that may not occur within my lifetime! Guess my son will get both of them when I fall off the perch!
Great product! Great value! (Posted on 3/27/14)
- Letter BagReview by Conchscooter
As with all things Aerostich this bag is designed by people who ride so you know it works as intended. It was easy for me to buy the smallest bag because I have been living with the next size up (Dispatch) for years and the bag has become indispensible wherever I go. I don't like tank bags and I hate sitting on my overstuffed wallet so my life is in my messenger bag. The arrival of a mini iPad in my life made the downsizing to the Letter bag possible.
When I ride, the bag usually rides in my pannier but if I need to use the pannier to carry purchases etc.. I can slip the bag over my shoulder no problems. Also while riding and stopped at a light I can easily get into the bag unlike a back pack which is inaccessible while riding (and uncomfortable).
I cannot say enough good stuff about these over the shoulder bags. I don't use the stabilizing strap nor the shoulder pad and you will never see me without my Dispatch or Letter bag. Planes, trains automobiles, motorcycles, movies, at work, in motels tents or on ferries, I have my bag within reach. You will too. You can't go wrong. (Posted on 10/11/13)
- A Manly - Ohhhh, Lovely Red, Too!- Man PurseReview by Smilin' Kev
- I've gotten REALLY tired of trying to find enough jacket pockets - especially in warm weather riding - to hold all the "stuff" that an old geezer needs to have along on a dualsport ride: cell phone; wallet; bottle of water; pillbox; snack bar; a few wrenches and screwdrivers; a compass; a small flashlight; sunscreen; maps; etc. I've got one of the new (2013) Honda CRF 250L "goes-just-about-anywhere" machines and I love it . . . but the accessories market hasn't developed much for it yet and there aren't any small tank bags that fit it well. I was considering "borrowing" one of my wife's old purses and using a belt to sling it as a cross-body bag, but then I spotted this "letter bag." I've used it just once, but that was enough: I love it! It holds an amazing amount of stuff; especially with the help of the accessory shoulder pad, it stays very comfortably in place (even without the extra "stabilizing strap" that I bought with it) on the highway, on washboard dirt roads, and even bucking along forest trails. I picked the red Letter Bag and it complements my 250L and my gear wonderfully. The only downside is that - even though I've shown her the web site and the invoice to verify that it is a "Letter Bag" - my wife won't let me carry the darn thing everywhere! (Posted on 4/9/13)
- Great BagReview by KrystalBlue
The letter bag is great. It has allowed me to put alot of what I was carrying in my tank bag into the letter bag and carry them with me.
Letting me use the tank bag for othr stuff besides wallet keys sunglasses etc.
Great purchase really well built (Posted on 4/2/13)
- ExcellentReview by MotoGal
- This bag has met all of my expectations from such an outstanding company. I bought this bag for use as a purse. When purchasing it, I thought it may be slightly big but I love the size. The quality is unmatched and I can feel good that it's made here in the states. My only teeny tiny complaint is that the key holder on the inside is really strong and sometimes difficult to remove my keys from. I suggest it with the organizer pocket if you're going to use it as a purse. It gives you lots of organizing options. Best of all, it looks great with a motorcycle. (Posted on 8/1/12)
- Tough indeedReview by Kim
- I carried this bag almost exclusively for about a decade. The lining cracked after a while, but it's otherwise held up very well. I'm not sure you can say that about many other textile bags of this size. (Posted on 6/23/12)
- Let me be the first...Review by Kourt
- Nobody has reviewed this bag yet?? Let me be the first: I am a long time owner of the Aerostich Courier bag in hi-viz yellow. For a recent trip to eastern Europe, I needed a smaller bag for use as a day bag, carrying a water bottle, food, guide book and extra papers. I purchased the Aerostich Letter Bag for this purpose and was not disappointed. In addition to serving admirably as a day bag, on several occasions this bag also literally saved my ass when I slipped and fell in ice and snow--the bag broke my fall and I was able to continue without injury. Throughout the snow, ice and wet train compartments, the Letter Bag kept my items dry. With the substantial Velcro attached flap I was never worried about the pickpockets on the Budapest subway--it would have been too noisy to try to open the Letter Bag. Now that I've returned, the Letter Bag is the go-to bag for small trips--it even hauled a bottle of wine to a party earlier this week. (Posted on 1/4/11)
These are the Original Modern Messenger Bags
The first ‘Courier’ size Aerostich messenger bag was introduced in 1985. This was a few years before other messenger bag companies like Timbuk2, Chrome (and others) even existed. Other outdoor fashion companies such as Patagonia and North Face also introduced their messenger bags many years later.
In 1985 only two similar bags were available. Both were produced in small numbers for professional bicycle messengers only. (Everyone else who carried things by bicycle or motorcycle wore small back packs.) We patterned the first Aerostich Courier bag closely after the ‘proven-by-messengers’ bag.
Both of the early commercial-use messenger bags were made of cotton canvas, and they had no hook-and-loop (Velcro) on their lids, no reflective material anywhere, no strap-length cam adjusters and no side-release flap buckles for oversize loads. Aerostich was the first to incorporate these features and also to apply modern materials like Cordura nylon, hook-and-loop, 3M reflectives, plastic buckles and strap adjusters to this style bag.
Aerostich messenger bags still remain more strongly made than common bags sold at bicycle shops, outdoor stores and college bookstores. Because they are made for commercial users they are tougher, so they last a lot longer.
The construction details are different, too. An example of this is how the top flap is constructed. Common messenger bags connect the inner flap's fabric to the outer fabric with an inexpensive 'binding' stitched around the outside edges of the flap. This is fast and easy, but not especially durable. Every Aerostich messenger bag flap is first sewn inside-out, then turned right side-out and edge-stitched the same way a dress shirt collar is made. This looks 'right' and lasts much longer.
Another example is the Aerostich oversize shoulder pad. It is oversized to better spread your load better, and is highly detailed and carefully constructed of several materials, too. If you carry a messenger bag every day, you’ll want this pad.
Aerostich messenger bags are also all made in Duluth Minnesota by a motorcycle rider named Jim. He has been at Aerostich hand-making these bags start-to-finish for more than fifteen years. And rides a black Kawasaki Concourse, too fast sometimes. There really is a difference…
A Mr. Subjective History on Aerostich Messenger Bags
The Aerostich messenger bags are one of my most-favorite Aerostich products. We have been making them for over twenty five years, and they differ substantially from all of the other kinds of similar bags. Essentially, ours are a lot heavier-duty...
I like messenger bags so much because they are so easy to use for urban and utility motorcycle riding. They go on-and-off quick and are versatile. One of these bags hangs empty, near my riding gear so I can 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 routine daily commute, too. Messenger bags are a key technology for motorcycling personal mobility…An invaluable tool.
Our bags were the first ones ever 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, and to have any 3M Scotchlight reflective, and 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, mainly for working bicycle couriers.
About a year after introducing Aerostich Messenger Bags, I remember being at the Motorcycle Dealernews trade show standing before Motorcyclist Magazine Editor-in-Chief Mitch Boehm, and several other editors, all of us in a small conference room in one of the hotels there,…giving a presentation. And the internet was years in the future still.
“The daypack is dead!” I began, trying to sound as declarative as possible. “The era of the messenger 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 Messenger bags, other companies like Timbuktu (and many others) were started, and they made lighter-weight versions of messenger bags a common college bookstore commodity. About a decade 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 messenger bag line (by size: 'letter', 'dispatch', 'courier', and 'parcel') remains the real-deal and ‘the original’ in terms of function, utility and durability. They are still the very best of this kind of bag available anywhere.
Recently we introduced a wax cotton variation in several colors. And 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 Aerostich messenger 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. Recently he’s been riding a black Kawasaki Concourse. And he’s already been to North Carolina to visit his daughter and grandchildren on it a few times.
When you buy an Aerostich messenger bag, you are getting a hand-made classic American product, and an incredibly tough, practical, good bag.