Being strapped for cash happens. We get that. But should that mean you can’t have the finer things in life? Hell no! The word ‘strapped’ isn’t always synonymous with ‘stripped’. Take the BMW 1 Series for example; it has the same basic underpinnings as the 3 Series. The 1 is a spectacular thrill ride. Introducing the Strapped Series. Strapped is the same rugged US Military contractor sourced M35 'Deuce and a Half' 22 oz vinyl/canvas truck tarpaulin material and construction as our First Class, Recon, and Dope series. In fact, the Strapped was designed to keep cost down by colliding the best of the First Class and Recon features, and simply subtracting the AustriAlpin Cobra quick release buckles. Are those buckles amazing? Of course they are, we love them! M35 Military truck tarpaulin vinyl/canvas is the same heavy duty tarpaulin used to protect US service members in theater today. It's thick, matte, rubbery feel makes for an incredibly durable bag material which with use over time starts to soften & wear nicely taking on a different patina and character. While it's tougher than the vast majority of tarp material used by other bag companies with enough beating, use and life it can eventually show signs of wear. Those wear marks are a badge of honor! It's military tough as hell for sure, but nothing's indestructible even though it may look it! The Strapped is hand-crafted on the gritty west side of Chicago using industrial machines and techniques learned from disassembling vintage military bags. Inside you'll be greeted by a 15" dedicated computer section with a couple of ample sized pockets for added gear and gadgets. You’ll notice an extremely comfortable handle on Strapped that extends the length of the bag for added support. In fact, it extends down both sides as well giving added strength, structure and character to the bag. And under the flap Strapped has a great piece of well thought out strapping for added organization. The 2” plastic quick release buckles are the same buckles other great bag brands use, as they’re easy to operate and sturdy. Course if you wanna add Cobra buckles we ain’t gonna stop ya! Strap one on for size and welcome to Defy.
PROUDLY HAND-CRAFTED IN THE UNITED STATES.
(Posted by Mark on 24th Oct 2013)
I like the bag better than any other bag I have tried, the craftsmanship is amazing very sturdy and shows the quality from being hand made.
The only gripes I have are the shoulder strap tends to bend the corners of the top flap and gets twisted easily.
Also there is no protection in the computer sleeve other than the canvas material so the computer may get damaged if it is set down harshly or dropped.
Also the two small pockets on the computer sleeve cannot have thicker items in them because it causes a 15" MBP to not fit in the sleeve.
Other than that the bag is great, and I am very pleased with my purchase especially at the discounted rate.
(Posted by Christopher Motta on 15th Feb 2013)
I found defy bags by chance, and with much consideration went with their Strapped product. Only a few short weeks, and it's been one of the best purchases i've made in some time. Outside of the ipad, which fits nicely in the front pocket by the way, this bag has provided convenience and style that is difficult to track down these days. I believe in design for life, and this bag feels like it could be a life purchase, assuming I care for it and such. I'm Very happy, and as an art professor with youthful appearance, this bag offers me a credible adult aesthetic that my faded orange courier bag couldn't quite manage!!
(Posted by Dave on 12th Nov 2012)
I picked this one up as my work bag and it's pretty close to perfect. It easily holds my MacBook Pro Retina, Nexus 7, phone, charger and assorted papers I'm too lazy to file. Plenty of pockets to store my gear and rings to hang keys and IDs. Love the materials and textures. The Cobra buckles finish it off nicely. As others have mentioned, the strap is a bit shorter than I would like, but that's not a deal breaker since I mainly carry it by the handle. Highly recommended....
(Posted by jackie rapp on 5th Oct 2012)
I have two DEFY bags. Love the fact they are made here and with recycled materials. I get lots of compliments. Bought a beautiful white messenger for my daughter. She loves it too.
(Posted by Lord 8-Track on 29th Sep 2012)
It's my new work bag. Need the work notebook (Moleskine), a 11-inch Alienware m11xR3 laptop, my Nexus 7, and all possible cables/chargers... Fits. Need a change of clothes (jeans, polo, flip-flops)... In. Still holds its shape, and plenty of room for more files.
For maximum carry and durability, this bag is hard to defeat.
(Posted by Mario Vejlupek on 25th Sep 2012)
I love the bag from the first time I saw it, and I don't regret single penny spend on this simple, but very comfortable and stylish bag.
So far bag did proof that it's the #1 for me for traveling and I had discover that no matter how much beer or other beverages you spill on the bag it still looks awesome, guess that material was created to look perfect either dirty or perfectly military clean.
Thanks Lotus Cowboy to ask Defy to add Cobra Buckles which are perfect for opening and closing and looks just great and thanks to Defy to make such master piece.
(Posted by Lotus Cowboy -UK on 17th Sep 2012)
When I first saw the launch pictures of the Strapped bag- it was almost the ideal bag- it was just missing the Cobra's- so after a couple of emails with Chris- the Upgraded version was born (yes that's MY bag in the upgrade picture!)
When the bag arrived through UK- Customs I was suprised at just how big the bag was- and thought that I should have ordered a smaller bag. I was delighted with the styling of the bag overall and especially the comfort of holding the bag with the new revised handle (more of later).
The combination of the materials works very well and the look is distinctive and yet not overly so. The green inside really works for me too.
On first thoughts the only things that I wasn't expecting was:
The Strap is a bit to short for me- I'm 5'11" -this was also pointed out in another review.
The Cobra's were a bit hard to adjust (compared to another bag I have with Cobra's on)
Fast forward- three weeks of hard use and I'm now used to the "riding postion" of the bag when worn over my shoulder and I now quite like the effort of adjusting the straps when the bag is really stuffed.
The Clunk of those Cobra's is also reassuring and tactile.
I have used the bag for important Board meetings and as my only bag when flying off for 3 days of business meetings (this is when the size really comes into it's own). It passes with flying colours and I really want to thank Chris for this Bag.
I mentioned the handle- I just wanted to mention that the design is really good on this bag for those looking to use as a Briefcase (or just to carry into meetings). The Seat belt material that runs the full length of the top of the bag really helps give definition to the bag when carrying this way. As mentioned - even when fully loaded the handle is comfortable and does not dig in to my hand.
Another pleasant discovery is that the bag will happily sit up when it is open. This may be because of the weight of the Cobra's on each side- so I am not sure if this would be the same on the standard version.
In summary- as the title suggests- the more I have used this bag- the more it has grown on me. It now goes with me on every business trip and daily to the Office.
Scince purchasing Chris has launced three new bags- so I can't wait to see what he comes out with next. For me I am perfectly happy with my strapped - but will probably add to my collection further in the coming months.
I hope this helps any potential buyers.
(Posted by John (Perth) on 14th Sep 2012)
To most of the visitors who stumbled across this website initially, (myself included) the price tags on the messengers for sale may have seemed to be outrageous. In comparison to the prices of other handmade messengers that I have came across online, the bags made by MR. Chris Tag are at least double if not thrice the amount. However, I was tempted by the vintage outlook of the bag and the buckles (*drools*) and decided to email DEFY for more information. To my pleasant surprise, I got an email reply almost instantly though it was about 9pm in Chicago. I have to compliment the team for their thoughtfulness and enthusiasm in answering my queries even at that hour and of course they even offered a 10% discount to offset the overseas shipping fees! Some issues cropped up when I tried to place an online order but the team at DEFY handled the problem quickly and professionally once I emailed them.
I just received the bag today and I must really say it has exceeding my expectations. The pictures that the DEFY team put up on the site did not seemed to do the bag justice though but I thought maybe the team would like to give customers like myself a surprise upon receiving their order, haha.
The bag looks really indestructible yet the material has a very nice touch to it that resembles the feel on my ALIENWARE laptop. No complains about the workmanship on this bag, every stitch that I have scrutinized was done perfectly to the extend that it almost seemed like a factory made item.
All in all, I am very satisfied with my purchase and the wonderful service that the team has provided. The premier price tag on the bag is well justified by the quality, amount of effort and passion that the team puts into making such a excellent product. I am sure DEFYBAGs will go a very long way.
(Posted by Jason Paul on 31st Aug 2012)
I've had this bag for only a few days, but I'm very impressed with it so far. I imagine a lot of people considering a purchase here are likely new to Defy Bags, as I was when I placed my order, so I'll try to keep my review focused around questions I had before but couldn't find answers for online (as I'm not from the Chicago area).
The materials are of course exactly as described: the vintage truck tarp is of a stiffer form than I expected. It is seemingly unused, and is not quite as textured as it seemed from some pictures of other bags on the site. I think that may change with use over time, as this bag is definitely intended for years of use.
The bike tubes are exactly as one would expect; my concerns that in person they might look out of place or 'cheap' were unfounded however. They look and FEEL great being used for this purpose. I made sure to give both the ring and snap (inside the flap, on each side of the front pockets) a good tug; the rubber is naturally stretchy, but thick and solid, and the stitching seems as strong as can be.
The repurposed seat belts work quite well, even more comfortable than one might think. They do look quite nice, and the liberal use of them on this bag was a selling point for me. I was worried that they may be uncomfortable for such a purpose, and I do have to say that they are probably not the best material in the world for carrying pounds of weight around by. The strap on top of the bag meant for hand-carrying is perfectly sewn to make it easy to grab quickly. I can't speak to its comfort level on longer distances however, but I don't think it's really intended for such a use.
The body strap is perfectly comfortable for a full day's regular use when the bag is not weighted heavily. However, with too much in the bag it would not be well-suited for long distances or long days with constant use. That should be no surprise though, as this is of course a messenger bag and most agree that messenger bags are simply not designed for long distance treks. The strap is not quite as long as one might expect from a messenger bag. I doubt tis is a problem for most, but it could be for someone who likes their bags shouldered loosely, are wide around their torso, or are particularly tall (I'm about 5'11" and it sits just right extended almost to the longest length)
The carrying capacity of the outermost pocket was surprising to me. I'm using it for 4 medium-large sized notebooks (5 x 8 1/2 in.) and there's about an inch of room between their tops and the top of the pocket. This height is of course due to wear the bottom of the pocket is sewn; in the case of the outermost pocket, its bottom extends to the bottom of the bag. However, the inner pockets are quite different; they were smaller than i expected, height-wise. A small 5 in. tall notebook sticks out of the top about 1/2 in. The pocket bottoms on these are purposefully sewn higher up than they could be, I assume so that small things don't get lost in the bottom of an inner bag where one can't easily see or feel. The laptop pocket seems a generous size that would easily fit most modern laptops with a 13" or thereabouts screen size. I don't have a laptop at the moment so I can't say anything else concerning that.
The main inner pocket is very large, I can't imagine who would need a larger space than this. I can fit a few text books in it comfortably. One thing I noticed in regards to this is that there is no 'solid' bottom to the bag...the tarp material from the front simply wraps under and that's it. One used to an off-the-shelf bag may expect some kind of flat insert imbedded here, but that's not the case. The bottom of the bag is still shaped squarely, but it does make the bag not 'sit' upright on its own, especially with books or whatever else in the bag. Not a problem, just something else I hadn't thought of before my purchase that readers may care to know!
The business card/pen/etc. holder is positioned perfectly. When folded closed, the outer flap covers the pens/pencils I use perfectly (it seemed otherwise at first, luckily I was wrong). I did find one flaw here, however. Of the three pen slots sewn into the seat belt, one of mine is a touch too small. I can fit a bare wooden pencil here, but all of my preferred mechanical pencils and pens are entirely too large to use it. Like I said, just a small issue that may only be the case with my particular bag (these are handcrafted, after all!) . I will also point out something obvious here too that I failed to think of; I use the business card holder/misc area for keeping extra binder clips and paper clips handy (I'm a student, no use for business cards currently!) and I'd just mention that the seat belt straps do catch on sharp edges and such. This isn't a problem at all, just something I noticed that others might care to consider, depending on what they may use their bag for.
The Cobra buckles are as great as they are said be. They are smooth and secure, and look and feel great. I can't speak to the generic buckles, but if you are planning on keeping this bag for a lifetime, I'd suggest at least considering the upgrade.
Overall I'm very impressed, and can't wait to put it through the years of use it is seemingly begging me for. As I'd hoped before receiving it, it seems to be a bag that will get better in every way with time and wear, one that will get 'broken in' and become an indispensable tool, and that will last me a lifetime.
(Posted by Matis on 5th Aug 2012)
Just got my Strapped bag and love it. I was torn between this and the First Class, as I saw so many positive reviews on that. But I'm a college student and I liked saving on those buckles. This thing feels and looks like high-end luggage. Comfortable handle for grabbing and tons of storage. I stuff a few decent sized school books, MacBook Pro 15" in the section for a computer and love the pen organizer. I don't think this'll be my last Defy bag! Nice job Defy!