Messenger bags offer comfort for guys toting books, computers

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Say goodbye to that pesky backpack, guys. Many men on campus are trading in their bulky backpacks for a more stylish and convenient tote – the messenger bag. Though there are different reasons they think an over-the-shoulder bag is better than one worn on the back, these guys agree they’ll never go back to the pack. Tyler Whetstone, junior in industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, said he is an avid cyclist, and he first bought a messenger bag seven years ago for riding. His bag is called a Chrome bag and is specially designed to be used on a bicycle. “I’m always riding my bicycle,” he said. “It uses the messenger-bag style – as the name implies – and it was designed for bicycle messengers to be able to carry all their stuff around in.” The Chrome bag swings over the left shoulder, fastens with a buckle much like a seat belt and has what Whetstone called a “stability strap” to hold all of his belonging still while he’s traveling. “When you carry a backpack, there’s nothing to hold the stuff in your bag in place, so it moves around a lot,” he said. “A messenger bag keeps it all still, and it works really well.” Whetstone said he uses his bag to carry his books, pens and pencil, a first-aid kit, wallet, MP3 player, Nalgene bottle and a jar of peanut butter and honey, just to name a few items. “I carry it everywhere,” he said. “It’s like my big purse. I can’t even use a backpack anymore.” Daniel Graf, senior in marketing, said he also has a messenger bag. However, he said he just has a notebook and any books he needs for class in his bag. Graf carries the bag just to his classes in place of a backpack because he “got annoyed by backpacks and just wanted something different.” Andy Gigstad, junior in agricultural economics, said he carries his fold-over messenger bag everywhere because the bags are so versatile. Gigstad first got his bag because his fraternity, FarmHouse, had them custom made. “I like mine because it doesn’t look like a purse or a man-bag,” he said. “It just looks like a messenger bag, and it’s really handy so I would definitely advise other people to use it.” Gigstad said he either carries his bag across his body, on his shoulder or in one hand, brief case-style. “It looks more professional than a book bag if I’m going to a meeting, but it still works to take books to class,” he said. If you don’t necessarily buy into the messenger bag look, but still want an alternative to a backpack, other carry-all bags can be used as substitutes. Luke Sims, senior in accounting and finance, said he traded in his backpack for a computer bag after he received one as a Christmas present. Sims said he doesn’t have anything against the backpacks, but he always takes his laptop to work and classes and said it would get scraped up if he carried it around on his back. “It’s supposed to be used as a computer bag, but I use it as a book bag, too,” he said. “It has its own little compartment for my computer, but it has room for books as well.” So guys, if that loose weight on your back is becoming too much to handle – or too impractical for your lifestyle – try picking up a messenger bag. It will keep your belonging s still and safe on campus while looking more professional at work – a perfect solution for the on-the-go college man.

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