Mainly for Ultralight Chores
This bag is fantastic if you recognize that it is designed to be ultralight. Patagonia offers a lifetime warranty, and is usually wary of offering products that are not overbuilt to the point of near-absurdity, so cheers to them for taking a chance and using modern, ultralight materials to put out the great Lightweight series. I have one of each item in their lineup (except the "sling" pack) and they have all been great. This Lightweight Courier is one of the lightest in the series (7.3 oz). It is also one of the lowest volumes (slightly over 1000 c.i. currently, compared to 1600 for the pack and tote, and 2100 for the duffel; only the Travel Sling is smaller) but that helps it fill a useful niche instead of duplicating the existing items. When Patagonia started making these bags a few years ago, they used Silnylon, which was the rage back then and is an excellent material - tough and light. A little crinkly and noisy, but the water repelling quality is built in and never wears out. I purchased several of the original Silnylon items, including this Courier, and also purchased the Courier in its first coated nylon release. This most current edition has a silicone "finish" that mine lacks, but otherwise has the same dimensions and features. The original Courier was a whopping 1600 c.i. I think Patagonia did the right thing to downsize the Courier, given that its sling is very thin and twists easily, and given that most people using a single strap bag for travel (as opposed to bike messengering) want something more compact for fitting closer to the back. For a messenger style bag in light materials like this one, I feel 1000 c.i. is just about right. (That having been said, in the past I have used my original 1600 c.i. Courier to carry bulky, but light, items like my "take off" winter clothing, and it was ideal for this type of use. The fact that the bag added practically no weight to my luggage and packed down small made it perfect.) Even in the current reduced capacity, you have to be aware of the Lightweight Courier's limitations. In order to get this super light weight, but excellent capacity (7.3 ounces for 1000 c.i. in a zippered bag with two zippered slot pockets is EXCELLENT), something had to give, and that "something" is fabric thickness, padding, and thickness of shoulder strap. The fabric is REALLY strong but be wary of "sharp hard edges", like the corners of a hardcover book, a clipboard, etc. They won't poke through, but the potential for accelerated fabric wear at any persistent points of contact is there (please note, however, that the bottom of the bag is made of much tougher/thicker material, and the ends are double thickness of the side materials, so part of the problem is minimized). Also, the thin fabric of the shoulder strap (which is squishy and ventilated, not just a "seatbelt" material) is prone to twisting in the buckle closure where the length adjusts, and can "pinch" your shoulder because it does not have even as much inherent structure as seat belt webbing. I modified both of my existing LW Couriers - one by adding a length of 1" seatbelt webbing to the "buckle" region so the buckle would have something meatier to clamp onto, and the other by doing the same and also adding a length on the underside of the shoulder portion of the strap, so it is less prone to twisting and pinching. These modifications cost less than $8 for the seatbelt webbing and sewing. They make the bag much easier to use for me, but I can no longer fit it into the bag's built-in stuff sack. Note that there is NO padding in any part of the bag itself, so I am at a loss as to how the user carrying SLR camera gear got away with that. Carrying hard, heavy gear is not something I would recommend given the strap limitations and material thinness, although I had no qualms about carrying 3-4 1.5 liter bottles of water back from a 7-11 to my hotel while overseas. I just wouldn't do it all day. To the reviewers who extol this as a diaper bag: You are absolutely right, it is outstanding for such uses. Diapers and change of clothing are bulky but light and there is plenty of room in the main compartment, lotion will fit in one external mesh pocket and a bottle in the other. None will slam your back. The whole thing is light and water repellent. Over the shoulder, this looks like a lady's tote, so if you aren't gender confident, keep in mind that this is NOT a rugged bike messenger bag. On the other hand the design details are not by any means "feminine" (though some of the colors are). It's just that lighter materials tend to look less "rugged." When worn across the back messenger-style, it's less of an issue. Back carry, messenger style, is the best way to carry this Courier for more than appearance reasons. The sling is not antislip, and due to its light weight and flexibility is prone to "binding" up and pinching These issues mostly go away in cross body carry. This bag would make an adequate overnight to 3 day carryon luggage item if you have a small daypack as your "personal item" with your EDC (everyday carry) items. It is especially well-suited for "bundle wrap" style packing (Google Doug Dyment and go to his "How to Pack It" page). You can put your TSA liquids/medical liquids Ziplocs in the external zipper pocket; you can stow an empty Gatorade-sized water bottle in one external mesh pouch, and some Clif Bars in the other external mesh pouch. My favorite use for this bag is stowing it in my carry on luggage (sorry, I can't travel THAT lightly) for overflow use, and for local use to carry a warm jacket, cap, and water bottle during urban exploration.
Great lightweight travel bag
I am currently about 3 weeks into a 3-month roadtrip around the USA, and am totally in love with this bag. I wanted something lightweight, discreet, and big enough to carry the essentials - this bag totally fits the bill. Purchased it in black, so my husband will also use this when he wants a discreet bag to carry his DSLR around, and can see it coming in handy for foreign travel in the future for that very purpose. It is super comfortable cross-body style as long as you don't overload it. Usually I'll have a guidebook, journal, water bottle, phone, point-and-shoot camera, wallet, and an extra layer or two. My only suggestion would be to put a drawstring cinch on one of the external mesh pockets - I like to stash my phone or camera there when I'll be grabbing it frequently (ie. in the city), but they will fall out if I bend down. It is pretty water resistant, also - the dog knocked over her water dish in the truck creating a pool of water on the floor, and everything in the bag was totally dry. Thanks Patagonia, this is one of my favorite products.
Gender Neutral Travel Daypack/Xtra Bag
We purchased it to use a travel courier bag, for a three week trip to Vietnam to use as a light weight cross over bag for strolling around town and shops. It was perfect. When not it use it self-stows into itself. It was gender neutral, we got the natural color, so it wasn't so bright. The strap adjusted for either of our heights easily, and for desired fit depending on the contents of the bag. The extra strap length is stored in a little pocket, which was a pleasant surprise. The strap and material was cool, great for a hot humid climate. The strap being a breathable mesh/net like construction. The key ring with removable clip was really handy. Liked that is zipped top closure for the main bag with synched top feature. It is not an everyday bag, but is durable for its intended use. Material is smooth, silky, extremely cool and can be easily washed.
Love this bag!!!
This bag is usually used as my purse, with water bottle, wallet, gloves, cell phone, camera, and reading glasses. Easy to carry on the shoulder and light weight. I have mine in mango and so I can see it easily. Has an inside zippered pocket and an outside zippered pocket. When I leave the car, I hook my keys to a little part on the shoulder strap with a carabiner so I have my keys in easy reach. At the grocery store I just put the small purchased items inside instead of using a grocery bag. It is an amazing multipurpose bag. Sometimes I just use it for my jacket, gloves, and hat when it gets warmer and I don't want my items loose in the car. I use it all the time and it never shows wear. Bought 3 for gifts and they use theirs all the time.
Great "second suitcase"!
I think I am reviewing the new version of this bag - if I recall correctly prior complaints about the bag's strap slipping - I did not have that issue. I took this with me along with my MLC bag for a 10 day trip to Burma. I wanted a discreet looking bag large enough to stash my DSLR and lens but not carry around a camera bag. Not only did I fit my Rebel XTI and 18-200mm lens, I fit a second lens, my flash, my lonely planet, my point and shoot camera, my wallet, my sunscreen, a water bottle, my travel pillow, and long pants. And on my flight home - this bag also held my toliteries. So I'm not kidding when I say this was my "second suitcase". Did I have any gripes? Hm. Not really.
Can't tell you how many times this bag has saved me. It is very small when stuffed, less than half the size of the duffle/backpack equivalent--yet I swear it carries about 80-90% as much. In the city, I keep it with me always inside a smallsh attache case and it never gets in the way. It fits very comfortably across the chest--even with a suit on. Highly recommended as an emergency carry-on for duty free purchases or in the event you are forced to check in a wheeled carry-on bag (regional flights, overweight, etc.). That way, your valuables/fragile items stay with you always--even if gate personnel are being fickle that day. There are probably 50 other practical applications for this bag....so go find them!
awesome extra bag
love: folds into pocket, but also simultaneously acts a pouch for small items, so not just taking up space in my carry on. great for hot days, beach. fits a lot without being bulky.
less than perfect: the key clip is the opposite of the one my mlc wheelie, so can't easily switch the keys between the 2 bags. dk iif that was a manufacturing mistake but it's really annoying.
this bag is not ideal for heavy items as the strap slips gradually - but no disasters with my camera yet, and don't expect any.
drawstring is nice, but it is in the way of the front zipper pocket as there's no place to tuck it away and it is longer than needed when not cinched.
Lightweight and Great!
I found this bag shortly after my Merrell courier -- nearly identical to this one -- fell apart. The Patagonia courier is light weight and has several improvements from my former Merrell model. First, the strap very comfortable and is adjustable with a nice feature that hides the excess strap inside the bag. The stitching is sturdy and interior waterproof. There is a nice exterior pocket for quick access and a similar sized inside pocket. The two water bottle pockets on the outside have come in very handy. I purchased this in black, which passes for "dressy enough" with work clothes. It collapses completely when empty and is easy to pack. Overall, if you're a practical person this bag is practically perfect.
My new purse
I love this bag. I haul around a lot of stuff for work and travel on the weekends, so this is perfect for me. Fits my lunch, jacket, books, water and other random stuff I need every day. I love that it's so lightweight but has a great padded strap and good pockets. It's a little weird looking when its not that full or has something heavy in it, but not too bad. This bag will also come in handy for other trips-I can just stash it in my backpack and take it out if I need another bag. I was debating between this and the mini messenger, but I'm glad I got this one. It fits my needs a lot better.
Perfect travel bag
I tried the previous version of the lightweight travel courier, but it was too big for what I needed. I wanted a small, lightweight bag that I could stuff into my suitcase for trips and then pull out as needed for walking around town. This one is absolutely perfect. It would fit my small laptop if I wanted, but it's not ideal (not enough structure, but it's not a laptop bag, so I'm not worried). It is just what I need, however, to throw in my phone, wallet, keys, jacket, a guidebook, etc. and carry very comfortably. I bought it in black, so it would be gender-neutral, and now my husband keeps asking to borrow it. Great job, patagonia!