Working Tools -13. Baron Fig Messenger

Baron Fig Messenger

It’s been over a month since I changed bag. Perhaps a record? There must a syndrome name for this obsession. Now, I’m into a Baron Fig Messenger. This latest change was prompted by a super-short trip. Sunday last, Nero’s Notes had a table at the WES London Spring Show. Tuesday just gone (yesterday, as I write this), was Mrs L’s birthday.

Therefore, the confluence of these two events meant that I was flying to the UK on Saturday afternoon and returning to Cyprus on Monday morning. I could choose either to live out of one bag for the duration of the trip, or, as I ultimately chose to do, have one bag for the hotel, and one for the show and “out and about”.

New criteria. New bag.

The Pacsafe

The PacSafe is an excellent bag and for a commute, I would definitely recommend it. However, there is a lot of it. It’s big. I wanted something lighter and smaller. In my mind’s eye, I expected to be doing a fair amount of walking about town – not necessarily with a destination in mind. On my last trip, when I went for a wander, I left both my bags in the hotel, I think, because of size concerns.

I have recently acquired a Messenger bag from Baron Fig. It’s small, the opposite of tactical and a pleasing shade of baby-blue. To be honest, spec-wise, it is not in the same league as the PacSafe. But, its small and cute.

A Messenger bag by Baron Fig

Pros & Cons

A real advantage of “small” is that it places constraints on what I can carry, forcing me to keep things light. From that point of view, this definitely worked. However, there was an issue: My DSLR. I have, on 1857, been talking about getting more into photography and wanting to carry a camera, other than my phone, around with me. I had been toying with the idea of buying a new mirrorless camera and prime lens, giving me a compact form but a huge sensor. Whilst an attractive idea, I had rejected it, in favour of a new lens on my existing Nikon. It is only a little bigger and heavier. The trouble is, that little counts. A camera and lens is a bit boxy, and boxy is anathema to Messengers, at least in my mind. As a result, the camera ended up around my neck, or in the wheelie bag. Food for thought.


The Baron Fig is a lovely bag. It is well-built, looks good and does the job. I believe that the newer version has some water resistance, however I suspect that the person carrying this bag is not hiking or cycling through a storm. This bag might jump into a Lyft or an Uber when the rain came. The zips are tough and heavy duty, but they are metal. Metal doesn’t always play nice with things being pulled in and out of the bag. As a smaller model, it doesn’t offer the versatility of the Pacsafe, although it would be a mite unfair to criticise a small bag for being small.

I suppose the real question that I face is, bigger bag or smaller camera? The search continues…

Working Tools 8 – Messenger

“A Messenger bag. That’s what I need.”

The ink had barely dried on “Briefcase” and I was already second-guessing the decision. Neuroses apart, an element of my decision was use-case. I explained that a backpack and or a messenger, although my favourite bag style, didn’t work for me when I’m suited and booted. True enough, but actually, this trip, I’m not going to be in a suit. I’m corporate on Monday, but the two scheduled meetings are informal, and it’s winter. I’m likely to be wearing lots of layers and a warm coat.

This changes the calculation. Without the need to look formal, I’m looking for a bag that’s comfortable to carry both in conjunction with a wheelie bag and when manoeuvring through public transport. In both London and Bristol, I’m likely to be walking a fair bit.

So now, my key concerns are carrying the bag around town and in-flight performance. My eye dropped to the Pac-Safe Carryology collaboration. It’s out of stock now, but there are alternatives on the site, and some great images too.

This will be packed light, with the majority of my kit going into the wheelie. Therefore, the messenger will sit easy across the body and have space for any shopping that I might pick up at any point. Somewhere to stow scarf, gloves and hat will be useful too, England in February can be many things, but colder than here seems a safe bet.

The PacSafe’s security features are useful. Living away from the big city has eroded my street-wisdom very quickly. Being able to anchor the bag to the table/counter is a comfort.

The Pacsafe is more capacious than the Tumi and less rigid. It’s therefore more flexible. The bright orange lining is a real feature too. Finding things in the bag is a breeze.

I carry my iPad in the pocket designed for it, and my notebooks sit where the laptop would live, if I carried one. There are a host of useful internal pockets and the large external, protected by a security zip, is a great spot to drop my passport and mobile phone when navigating the airport. This feels a good solution for my travel bag – and currently serves as my daily commute here in Cyprus.

Commute? Allow me to explain, while Spice is still in training, I take the early-morning shift – so I work upstairs from 0530 until around 8, and at various times during the day while Margaret makes our home-life work. Even though the commute is literally a flight of stairs, the Pac-Safe is flexible enough to act as my remote desk.

I’m happy with this change of direction – although that may well have moved on before this even gets posted. To borrow a catchphrase from the PenAddict – “There are worse addictions to have, right?”