Review & giveaway: HMG creates best lightweight messenger bag

Gear ReviewsAmy Hatch

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Best Lightweight Messenger Bag

Back in August, at Outdoor Retailer, I saw a prototype of Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s new lightweight messenger bag. It immediately caught my attention.

Partly because I love all things Hyperlite Mountain Gear – both the products and the people behind the scenes. (I got to hang out with founder Mike St. Pierre at the Packraft Roundup this summer, and he’s one of those down-to-earth, friendly guys.)

And partly because a messenger bag seems like a natural extension from Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s line of ultralight backpacks and shelters.

We worry about how much weight we’re carrying when we head into the hills, but why not also pay attention to what we’re lugging around in day-to-day life. Do I really need a spiral notebook, 3-ring binder, paper calendar and small stack of miscellaneous printouts – in addition to my laptop, power cord, external mouse and headphones? Throw in snacks and a water bottle, and ...

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Best Lightweight Messenger Bag

A few years back I was interviewing Mike and he noted that lightweight backpacking does not begin with buying one of Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s backpacks. First, take a look at everything you carry to determine if it’s needed. After cutting down your base weight, then it’s time to get a Hyperlite Mountain Gear backpack.

It seems that same approach applies to the new messenger bag. Hyperlite Mountain Gear set out to create the best lightweight messenger bag on the market, and in my opinion, it succeeded. It's a streamlined, comfortable and durable bag that easily hauls your around-town essentials while on the go. 

And, heck, you could even take it into the mountains too.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Best Lightweight Messenger Bag Garage Grown Gear

Pros of Hyperlite Mountain Gear's messenger bag:

    • Surprisingly comfortable to wear. I’m always weary about having all the weight on one shoulder. For example, when my daughter was a baby, I disliked slings that rested entirely on one shoulder. But that same design on this messenger bag doesn’t bother me at all.
    • Ample room for a laptop, notebook, power cord and a few miscellaneous items.
    • Lightweight. Lightweight! It weighs a mere 1.13 pounds (aka 18 ounces).
    • Built with Dyneema® Cuben Fiber – durable, water-resistant fabric. The bag closes with buckles and a Velcro, so in a true downpour, water might seep in, but (without testing it) I’d think this bag would hold up to light rain, no problem.
    • USA made in Maine.
    • Makes a great gift – think Christmas, college graduation or congrats on a new job

Constructive cons:

    • The white fabric shows dirt. Of course, you could just buy the black version.
    • The full-length Velcro strips on the front likely will collect fuzzies over time.
    • Even through there is padding on the back and bottom of the bag, I felt a little weary about dropping in my laptop sans sleeve.
    • The shoulder strap is fixed, designed to go over the left shoulder. If that side gets tired, there’s no switching it to the right shoulder.
    • At $275 it’s on the expensive side for a messenger bag. But, it’s right on par with the cost of a backpack. And, let’s face it, many of us spend more time toting a messenger bag than we do a backpack. Plus that super amazing Dyneema® Cuben Fiber fabric doesn’t come cheap.




Hyperlite Mountain Gear messenger bag features: 

  • Fits a 15 inch laptop
  • Wide, padded shoulder strap with a daisy chain and quick-adjust and release
  • Internal zippered pocket
  • Key clip
  • Front loops for attaching bike lights
  • Removable cross-body strap
  • Inside compartmental divider
  • Padded bottom and back panel
  • Reflective binding and straps
  • Top carry handle
  • Wide Velcro strips for fast, easy closure
  • Available in black or white


Hyperlite Mountain Gear Best Lightweight Messenger Bag

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Best Lightweight Messenger Bag


Gear reviewsHyperlite mountain gear

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