V-Line Custom Messenger Backpack

by dpm | 07/25/2011

V-Line Custom Messenger Backpack


Urban bags have been at the forefront of design for the last several years.  Climbing companies have all tried to create and brand a bag to take from the city to the crag and vice versa.  Every year companies have come close but, no one has hit the concept on the head, until now.  V-Line climbing is in the process of perfecting and releasing their latest line of messenger bags in a line specifically designed to meet the needs of the climber/ city goer and DPM got a sneak peak at one of their new creations.



V-Line climbing sent over a “custom prototype” of their latest messenger backpack called the Urbanite and we tested it out over a long period of time to see if it performed as good as it looked.  The bag is a medium haul bag that can expand to fit a good size load of gear.  The brim is fit with a basic fold down that is secured by a large velcro patch and a sturdy reinforced metal buckle works to close the bag.  The shoulder straps and back plate are padded offering the wearer a break from strange shaped objects in the bag poking through and thin strap that cuts into the chest/shoulders when the carrier is hauling a large load.  These two pieces are great, especially if you are hauling while riding your bike.



The bag is designed of a strong sturdy material.  It survived being tossed from the trunk to the living room floor, after which it was covered in chalk at the gym, dusted off and then filled to the brim for a day in the city.  After this we gave the bag to a bike messenger and let them rip it through the city for the day delivering packages.   To date, the material has shown no wear, including the stitching which has a great thread tension.



The interior is simple, but it does come with a stitched inner pocket that closes to secure your wallet, keys, and cell phone.  The rest of the bag is open which allows the user to fill the bag with the bulk of their grocery run or pack it for a day trip.


Where the bag excels:  

  • Solid  exterior/interior construction and materials
  • Reinforced shoulder straps and  a padded interior back plate
  • Good load capacity
  • Quality visual design that transfers from the crag to the city without appearing out of place
  • Customization allows for a unique fit/design for each individual bag and its wearer



Future Improvements:

  • A thicker chest strap would allow for more weight distribution
  • Increasing the amount of pockets on the exterior/interior of the bag could help future pack rats
  • An additional cell phone component attached to the chest straps would take this bag to the next level


Overall, I'd recommend this bag to anyone who is looking to find a medium/large duffle that can work at the crag and double in the city.  This bag really does stand out and could easily stand side by side with several bike messenger company designs.  The concept works well for those who are a minimalist at heart, so if you are looking for zippers and pull tabs, this may not fit you.

If you are looking for a durable, high-quality design that you can *customize to fit your needs then contact V-Line Climbing and ask about the Urbanite.


The bags will be available for preorder during the summer and can be found by visiting www.vlineclimbing.com

* Customization of color and stitching has additional associated costs.