|Arc'teryx Mistral 16 Side Bag||$138.95|
|Arc'teryx Mistral 16 Messenger Bag||$138.95|
Just bought this thing. It took me half a day to figure it out, the design is so unique. Let me tell you, this thing is the coolest bag I have ever owned. I am not sure why this isn't getting rave reviews. The quality is top notch, looks overbuilt, which I like. The closing mechanism is super cool, as it opens up super big, but allows you to cinch it down on the sides with the two side straps. This helps the bag not be big and unwieldy, but streamlined. It also fits on the shoulder like a glove. I am going to use it as a gym bag, overnight bag, and a travel bag (flying) to hold books, headphones, ipod, laptop. I personally think this thing is fine for a laptop, so I don't understand the bellyaching here. I have always hated it that bags never quite fit properly over my shoulder, and that things can fall out the top. Both of these problems are fixed with this thing. I got the red and it looks really cool. It is not as red as what is in the image. It is so stylish looking my wife is actually pissed I got it.
Pros: many pocketsâ¦I mean everywhere, outstanding craftsmanship, organization.
Cons: lack of padding (there are some padding at the bottom and back, but no frontal or size impact protection), shoulder strap is not well padded, and 15â laptop barely fits.
The design is really genius, fold down closure is really nice to protect the contents from element, HOWEVER, itâs so slow to open it and takes two hands. I would prefer zipper opening for computer bag. Also size is somewhat not- so-perfect. I tried Mitral21 and it was waaaay too big for my 15â laptop and a few files that Iâd normally carry on business travel. Mistral16 can take my 15â laptop barely (with PC sleeve on), then only one file can be stored. Thereâs a vertical pocket in main compartment, but if you intend to store a laptop, chances are you wonât put anything in there. If you have those mini-laptop this bag is for you.
Overall Iâm skeptical about this bag series. Call me an old fashion, but I still prefer a messenger bag with big flap and zipper opening (But thatâs not Arcteryxâ¦I know)
I have a lot of Arcteryx gear. I like most of it but often slight details are off. With the Mistral bag, they got most of it right with an insightful design but one simple blooper. The handle strap on the bag that you are going to be using when it's not on your shoulder is not padded and when the bag is full and heavy, the strap is not comfortable. Come on Arcteryx, for the price of this thing, pad up the handle strap.