The backpack vs messenger bag debate has been going on for quite some time. Backpacks usually offer more capacity and utility, whereas messengers are more “grown up” and easier to access. In this installment, we take a look at the Triple Aught Design Parallax Messenger Bag, which I think does a great job at meshing the strong suits of both bag types into one cohesive carry option.
The Parallax is composed mainly of a proprietary ripstop nylon produced by Dimension-Polyant, a major manufacturer of professional grade sailcloth. You know those boats that are skimming halfway out of the water piloted by dudes with Rolex watches? Yeah, that kind of sailcloth. It’s essentially a combination 200 Denier Nylon with special X-Ply Polyester tafetta backing, a .25 mil PET Film, which is described as “BOPET (Biaxially Oriented Polyethylene Terephthalate) is a polyester film made from orientated polyethylene terephthalate (PET). BOPET is used because of its high tensile strength, chemical and dimensional stability, transparency, reflectivity, gas and aroma barrier properties and electrical insulation.” So, we’re talking about some serious hardware here. The material is inherently water and abrasion resistant.
Measurements come in at 18” (45.72cm) W X 12” (30.48cm) H X 5” (12.7cm) D and the Triple Aught Design Parallax weighs just over 2 lbs empty. TAD spared no expense with the YKK zippers, Fidlock/Duraflex buckles too, the feature list on this pack goes on and on.
Typically messenger style bags fall just out of my usage range, often being too narrow to carry bulkier items. The Parallax Messenger hits that sweet spot of being just big enough without being obtrusive. You can easily fit a water bottle, light sweater, laptop/tablet and bagged lunch in this pack. If you ride a motorcycle you’ll appreciate the underarm supplemental strapping that keeps the bag secure and stows away when not in use.
This bag has tons of pockets and ways to organize your things. It’s definitely fun tweaking it to your needs. The material used for the bag is somewhat loud when handling, vaguely comparable to opening a bag of fiery cheetos. The buckles utilize a magnet to snap into place, then must be slid out – this makes shutting your bag easy but opening it a little more involved, which is what you want – your gear secure.
Triple Aught Design has a very clean, signature aesthetic. No unnecessary embellishments or gimmicky style ques. The bag is a purely functional tool, which happens to look great. This could work in a number of situations, allowing you to transition pretty seamlessly from casual to business. All of the quality components down to the stitching just give the bag a classic appeal that still manages to be under the radar.
Triple Aught Design is one of the few apparel and gear companies that keep American manufacturing ahead of the competition. Their designs are iconic and have been replicated, duplicated and sometimes downright ripped off by other brands. The real McCoy stands out. Triple Aught Design’s Parallax Messenger uses cutting edge materials and every facet of design has been meticulously thought out. All of this innovation commands a premium price, so it consider your budget and end uses carefully.