Patagonia MiniMass Messenger Bag

I recently bought a Patagonia MiniMass messenger bag. I have a couple of bags already, so why do I need a new one? I don’t need one, but it is nice to have a new one that fills a specific purpose.

Multiple Bags

The other day I listened to a relatively new photography podcast called “Your Itinerary” whose focus is travel photography. In that particular episode, the host interviews a VP of a camera bag manufacturer. During the conversation, the thought that no one camera bag is perfect for all situations kept coming up. I agree with this thought, and am happy that I can now feel less guilty about satisfying my love of messenger bags and backpacks.

The Current Lineup

Before I bought my new bag, I had two main bags. The first is my REI Messenger bag, with a padded insert for carrying camera gear. The second is a North Face Router backpack, also with a padded insert. Both are good for carrying my dSLR and lenses, the messenger bag being more nimble since I can get the camera out of the bag quickly. The Router holds a lot more and since it’s a backpack, the heavy load is distributed between both shoulders. If I get really tired, there is also a waist strap so I can use it as a pseudo backpacking pack.

The Missing Link

The problem with both of these is that thye are large. Lots of times I don’t want to carry them. I mistakenly thought that I could carry either of these wherever I went and have access to my beloved dSLR (actually SLT, for you purists). But now I realize that a smaller bag would be better for an “everyday carry” and since I have my Fujifilm XF1, I don’t need to carry the dSLR for general walkabout photos. The XF1 and RAW can produce some great photos.

The New Bag

I did some research online, watched video reviews, and then went to REI to check out the bags they had in person, specifically looking for a small messenger bag. The Patagonia MiniMass stood out as the best one, and REI had it on clearance! What great timing! Unfortunately, they didn’t have the color I wanted in stock, but I ordered it online and had it shipped to the store. After a week, I had the bag in my possession.

Patagonia MiniMass
Patagonia MiniMass

So, how is the bag? In a word: Great! It’s small, but not too small, comfortable, the pockets and storage are for the most part well-thought out. I can fit everything I need into it, and in fact if I wanted to squeeze the dSLR and an extra lens in there, it could do it.

Here’s a list of stuff I currently carry in it:

As you can see from the list, there’s a lot that I carry! But in reality, it does not weigh that much. It’s a nice little kit and I can even shoot RAW, edit on my Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet, and post to Instagram all while on the go. One useful feature of this bag is that the two cover-straps also double as compression straps, so you can expand or slim down the width of the bottom of the bag. I wish I had this on my larger messenger bag and backpack!

My Daily Carry
My Daily Carry

Of course with any bag, there are a couple of things that I’d change. Well, just one in fact! There is only a single outside pocket for a water bottle. This pocket is perfect for carrying the Fujifilm XF1 compact camera, but I wish there was another pocket on the other side so I could carry my 12oz. Liberty water bottle. Since that bottle has a handle, there may be some way to attach it.

All-in-all I love the Patagonia MiniMass messenger bag. It fits into my life perfectly!

My Bag Collection
Photo info: SLT-A77V, 35mm, f/2.4, 1/350 sec, ISO100
My Bag Collection

10 Replies to “Patagonia MiniMass Messenger Bag”

  1. […] be a nice addition to my small collection of bags. Its 28-liter capacity seems right between my Patagonia Minimass messenger bag and the cavernous 41-liter capacity North Face Router. I like the Router backpack, but it does get […]

  2. […] It’s has a 28-liter capacity which I’d consider a medium-sized pack, bigger than my Patagonia Minimass messenger bag, but smaller than my North Face Router (41-liter) backpack. Not only is it smaller than the Router, […]

  3. […] light” concept by this time! I decided to leave the backpack at home and just bring my small Patagonia bag and my Fujifilm X-F1. Also, I took my Kindle, Tablet, keyboard, various cables, card readers and […]

  4. […] searching for the perfect backpack. I pretty much found the perfect (for me) messenger bag in the Patagonia Minimass, but I haven’t found a backpack that I really love. I think I am going to sell my North Face […]

  5. Nice bag!!! I came over via your link you posted on my blog! I also have a 2DS, what’s your favorite game? Love the Ghibli accessories, best movies ever. My favorite movie is The Secret Life of Arietty, have you heard of it?

    1. Yeah, I saw Arietty in the theaters when it was here. Great movie! My favorite Ghibli movie is Spirited Away, closely followed by Kiki.

      My favorite DS game is Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I haven’t played in a while, but it’s so relaxing and fun.

      1. I love animal crossing!!! It’s also my favorite game, for any console! Kiki’s delivery service is great! Have you seen Castle In The Sky?

        1. Yes, I’ve seen Castle in the Sky. What made the biggest impression on me from that movie was that egg-toast that they ate. It looked really delicious. 🙂

  6. […] small, it’s still just a tad too wide to fit comfortably in the water bottle holder on my Patgonia Minimass bag. It’s a really tight fit, and since I keep my spare battery in the interior pocket on the […]

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