I was sent over a Cargo messenger bag from Waterfield Designs for review recently. I will start by saying this type of messenger is not the typical “look” I review here at RMK however, after the review it was a welcomed newcomer to my messenger lineup. The blend of leather and ballistic nylon was a joy to use and I can tell will last a lifetime while looking good doing it. This is true to all Waterfield Design bags as they all share the same look at the Cargo. I felt the bag was not too business looking while just carrying to my day job and even on shift at the Fire station with studying material. The bag completely exceeded my expectations. Below I will add some background of Waterfield.
WaterField Designs is a San Francisco original. We have been designing and manufacturing bags and cases in our own backyard from the start. This lets us turn prototypes to production very quickly and ensure products are made just right.
TOP GRADE MATERIALS
We use top grade materials to create your bags and cases. We cut from sturdy ballistic nylon, durable waxed canvas, and premium full grain leather. We use the more expensive self-locking zippers that don’t break easily, strong D-rings, and oversized magnets to keep flaps in place.
Dimensions & Weight:
16 x 12 x 4 inches; 3.4 lbs
Volume: 12.5 liters
Authentic paragliding buckle closure
YKK waterproof zippers
Camlock to adjust strap length
Double-sided full-grain leather flap
Padded, built-in laptop compartment
Padded, built-in tablet pocket
Gold, water-resistant liner to light up interior
Front angled, moon-shaped pocket with interior smartphone pocket. Fits up to iPhone XS Max
Two-inch comfortable, adjustable shoulder strap
Includes removable, non-slip bottomed, shoulder pad
Two, deep interior hand pockets + pen holder pockets
Full-sized backside open pocket
Backside slot for putting over wheelie handles
Now that I have that out of the way I can get to my use with the bag. On the front of the messenger you have a quick access pocket that is perfect for any small items you want on the outside of the pack. I normally carried my phone, keys, wallet, and Airpods. This zipper is a sealed YKK zipper to make sure no water will be finding its way into the pocket. The interior of the pocket is a bright orange fabric to help with visibility which is an amazing feature. One every Waterfield bag comes with. The pocket also had great organization as well.
Also along the front of the bag the Cargo uses a Cobra-style buckle to keep the flap secure. This feature is amazing on a bag like this and it gives it a little more attitude to go with the leather front. Not only does it look great but these style buckles are dependable as your grandpas post thanksgiving day nap.
Upon lifting up the front flap instead of a normal bag showing you the main internal compartment the Cargo has one additional pocket that has some more organization and can be used for anything you don’t want on the outside of the pack but is also not in the main compartment. Here I normally carried my sidearm when not carrying on body while at work or transport. In this pocket I also stored my small charger/cable pouch and my EDC kit with basic odds and ends inside.
Now on to the main compartment. The main compartment is accessed by a top zipper, unlike most messenger style bags. This allows the user quick access to the main pocket without having to unbuckle the buckle and open the flap. This was a huge plus for the Cargo. As for the inside of the pocket, I can easily say this is some of the most well-thought out internal organization in any messenger I have used. There is a perfect place for every one of my EDC items and it worked exceptionally well. I could easily hold my 12 inch Chromebook in its padded laptop sleeve, all of my small EDC tools, my Med kit, and more. The interior is also lined with the same orange fabric and allows for super easy viewing of the compartment. This pocket at first looked much too small but after using the bag and utilizing the storage of the whole messenger it was perfect for my EDC items.
The Cargo is carried like a normal messenger bag with a shoulder strap. The strap on the Cargo is just fine for the weight and style of the bag. The strap can also be easily adjusted just by unlocking the strap buckle and sliding the strap in or out. This was a great idea by the team at Waterfield. Most straps are a pain to lengthen or shorten.
Made in the US
Tons of organization
High Strength Buckle closure
Padded Laptop Sleeve
3 Color options
Not cheap at $350
The Cargo from Waterfield Designs is one of the most slick, practical, and well-thought out bags I have come across in a long time. Everything from the leather face down to the stitching of the handle is perfectly executed. The bag can fit in with almost any scenario and look great doing it. Definitely a bag I will continue to put into my rotation for a long time coming. Purchase the Cargo Laptop Bag HERE