Messenger bags are my favorite style of gear bag to carry. I like them best because they usually have one large compartment that I can dump all kinds of gear into. I also like that they are typically designed to sit flat on the floor or desk, instead of flopping over. if you’re looking for a messenger bag that has ample storage, but with a small price tag, you might want to check into the Drift messenger bag from Ice Red Designs. I had reviewed their UNI cargo tote bag a few months ago, and found it to be a good value for the money. Let’s see if their messenger bag is a good buy too.
The Drift messenger bag is available in two sizes: Large (17â€x13â€x7â€) and Small (13â€x11â€x5.5â€). You also have your choice of seven colors (Black/Red, Black/Blue, Brown/Orange, Brown/Yellow, Blue/Lime, Gray/Blue, Black). I was sent the Large in Blue/Lime.
The exterior of the bag is made from heavy-duty 1680D ballistic nylon, with an industrial-grade tarpaulin bottom.
The main flap is held closed by two cinch-down plastic squeeze clips and two long strips of Velcro. In the picture above, you’ll also notice a metal spring clip. You can use this to hold your car keys. It can either hang on the outside of the bag as shown, or you can tuck it into the main compartment.
The flap has a built in flat zippered pocket, that you can use to carry flat objects.
If we look at the back side of this messenger bag, we’ll notice that it does not have any pockets. I like my messenger bags to have a large flat open pocket on the back, that I can tuck mail and magazines into. Too bad the Drift doesn’t have have this feature. It is also lacking a grab handle, which is another gear bag must-have for my favorite bag. It does have an adjustable non-removable shoulder strap, with a removable stabilizing strap for bike messengers.
You might also notice how the top of the bag extends past the sides. This helps to keep any weather (rain, snow) from seeping into the interior of the bag and onto the items stored inside.
Each side of this bag as an elastic topped open pocket. The elastic is convenient for holding a water bottle, but not so convenient when you need to find a small object at the bottom of the pocket. It’s hard to quickly get your hand/fingers to the bottom of the pocket due to the elastic band on top.
I do like that this bag stands up when you put it on the floor or on a desk. Even with a laptop and other items inside, it does not easily topple over.
Opening the flap reveals the two strips of Velcro that hold it in place, as well as two generously sized pockets that the Velcro is sewn onto. These two gusseted pockets are approximately 6.5 inches wide by 7.5 inches tall and can hold quite a bit of gear. I like to use them to hold my wallet, PDA, phone, checkbooks, small Miquelrius notebook, 3×5 cards, etc.
The interior of the Drift messenger bag lined in a brightly colored waterproof material. The style is in keeping with the way most messenger bags are designed with one large cavity that has pockets sewn into the front and rear walls of the bag.
On the back wall of the bag, is a large zippered pocket that can hold documents and notes. The width of this pocket is large enough to hold a regular sized magazine, but not deep enough to actually zip the top closed when a magazine inserted into it.
The front wall of the Drift messenger bag has a collection of ten different organization pockets. These ten pockets include three pen / pencil slots, a clear ID photo pocket, two open topped narrow pockets that can hold a smaller items such as candy-bar style cellphones, small flashlights, lip balm, etc. There are also two zippered pockets. One of the zippered pockets is larger and holds two more open topped pockets. All in all, this messenger bag provides a lot of storage.
What this bag doesn’t provide is a dedicated laptop pocket or padding of any kind. I used it during the review period to carry my day-job Dell laptop back and forth from the office to home. I didn’t have any problem getting it to fit in the bag, but the lack of padding did bother me a bit.
While the Ice Red Designs Drift messenger bag doesn’t offer a couple of my must-have features (grab handle and large outside magazine / mail pocket), it certainly does provide lots of gear storage with a price tag that won’t make you flinch.