Here’s an honest review of a great messenger bag…I spent a long time thinking about whether to go for this,the tried and true Chrome Citizen or the exquisite Trakke Mule. I decided to go with the Mission Workshop Rummy in Wax Canvas mainly due to its slightly more elegant design and price point. The Chrome Citizen was too ubiquitous and the Trakke Mule was far too expensive. So here are my thoughts…First off, I wanted to show this bag in its element, being an everyday carry that’s capable of withstanding the elements. Yes this bag does look pretty sleek in Mission Workshop’s official product photos because they probably lined it with filling to make it look more rectangular than it is.
This is a cotton bag, much different from its nylon “normal” Rummy counterpart. The waxed cotton is softer and much more supple. Because of that, it’s also less structured than the VX fabric or Nylon Rummys so it will pretty much take on the shape of whatever you put into it. In the above photo, it’s loaded to the brim with groceries, toiletries and some beer so now it looks more like Santa’s gift bag instead.
This bag can definitely hold a lot of stuff , 27 liters worth but it can probably hold more due to its roll top design. Simply unroll the top flap and you can literally fill it to the brim as I did here with laundry, books, etc, anything that you can think of. To keep it all secure and water tight, the VX hardware buckles that come with the Waxed Canvas Rummy can extend via 2 elastic bands that can reach all the way to the top of the unfolded flap as you can see here.
Yeah…not really what you see on Mission Workshop’s site anymore right? Well, this is the functional side of the bag. It can look quite snazzy with just a few books and a lap top inside, but it is equally functional with a load of dirty laundry when you’re making a bike trip to the cleaners. Oh, did I mention that it’s also a water tight bag? I’ve ridden through snow and heavy thunder storms and the waxed cotton combined with the inner waterproof liner managed to keep everything inside completely dry.
In its compact form, this is a handsome bag where you can use it in roll top mode or flap down mode. Aesthetically I like how it looks when the flap is rolled up and also because it allows for quick access to my bike lock, pen and notebooks located in the inner compartments. This was one of the big reasons why I chose this bag over the Chrome Citizen and Trakke Mule/Wee Lug. Instead of using a normal plastic clip to secure the flaps, the Rummy Wax Canvas shares the same hardware as the VX Rummy. It uses a metal buckle fastener which simply slides on top of a tab, this only requires a simple one handed motion to attach and detach the buckles.
Here is a closer look at how the buckle attaches onto the tab. It is a lot quicker to operate than the standard plastic snap fasteners used on most bags on the market, not to mention it looks really cool as well with its brushed steel.
I would say that the bag is quite comfortable, but that depends on how you load it. Because this bag isn’t as structured as the “heavier and thicker” nylon and VX fabrics, it takes the shape whatever you put into it. It also isn’t padded as well as the other Rummys for some reason…I think the ballistic nylon and VX fabric used in the other Rummy is also thicker. The best thing about the Mission Workshop Rummy bags is their strap. It’s very well designed such that it attaches to the outer edge closest to the rear of the bag. That causes the contents of the bag to push away from you when you begins to fill it up INSTEAD of INTO you which is painfully uncomfortable. The Chrome Citizen does that and that was another reason why I chose the Mission Workshop Rummy over it. So even if you put a big square box into this bag, it is still comfortable to ride with it because it’s resting on top of your back instead of digging into it. Another great thing about the Rummy is the fact that it can be worn over the left or right shoulder with the simple switching of sides of the strap.
Because this is a cotton bag and therefore not scratch proof, this bag will wear compared to its VX and Nylon Fabric counterpart. That is wholly up to you to decide whether you want a bag that looks sleek all the time, or a bag that will eventually look well worn, beat up and full of character…I chose the latter because I like how waxed cotton develops a certain patina, as it ages, that is unique to how you use it. I do have a gripe about how the top flap is wearing though…
There are some very wrinkly spots that developed after running the bag through some heavy rainstorms. I wasn’t expecting the cotton to wear like that and personally it’s a bit unsightly. I think it might have to do with how the black pieces were sewed onto the cotton. I’ve tried ironing them out but to avail, it stays wrinkly. If any readers have any advice about getting them out please leave a comment below.
Overall, it’s a great bag that can hold a ton of stuff. With all that shown in the above photo, you can also still fit a whopping 17inch laptop and charger in there as well. At that point though, it gets pretty heavy on a single shoulder so I’d recommend only doing that for short 1 hour or less rides or using the bag as a weekender. It keeps all your contents dry in heavy rain and even dust storms as there is no gap between the flap and the opening of the bag. It’s comfortable as much as a messenger bag can be with all that weight on one shoulder. The Mission Workshop Rummy tries to make it easy for the user by using a wide strap that can help disperse the weight. The only big gripe I have about this bag are the wrinkly parts that have developed on the top flap and the lack of padding or a laptop compartment. That makes carrying a laptop a bit dangerous as it is susceptible to bumps and drops as the cotton and inner liner, despite being waterproof, is actually very thin. I would also not recommend putting a small laptop or a tablet (unless it was in a protective sleeve) in the front compartment either since the fabric is also very thin there. I hope you enjoy this review, please leave any questions or comments you have below. I know choosing a premium messenger bag can be quite a process especially since these can get quite pricey so I am more than happy to answer questions or even take more photos for anyone who wants to know more about this bag.