After having owned the Baileyworks Citizen Pack for almost 6 months now, I thought I would write a more in-depth review of how I liked this bag while riding or just using it on a day-to-day basis on foot.
Let me just start by saying, I really love this bag. Prior to this bag I’ve owned a Chrome Roll-top, a Freight Baggage medium sling messenger bag and I still own a Ortlieb Velocity backpack and the Baileyworks Medium SuperPro messenger bag and this one tops most of these in almost all aspects.
Let’s start with the quality of the of the interior lining. They are using their new Flashpoint lining which differs from the older SuperPro messenger bag I have from them. The lining they used to use on those messenger bag was already waterproof, but the advantage of that lining compared to the lining of Chrome bags or Freight Baggage bags was that the it was not so stiff. It feels more like a sack sitting on your bag than compared to my Freight bag where the corners of the lining actually were so stiff that they would make too much of a corner which would not be comfortable on your back. With the new Flashpoint lining, it’s just as bendable as the lining used on their messenger bags, but it feels almost like satin to the touch – it’s really smooth. It is still just as waterproof so the goods inside never get wet.
The Cordura used on the exterior of the bag is not only water repellent, but it’s also only thick on where it needs to be. The bottom of the bag is thicker than say, the top flap where it doesn’t need to be. Seeing how most items will be sitting at the top of the bag and the bag would sometimes be sitting on the ground, they reinforced the bottom to sustain the friction and weight. The top flap not only as a really heavy-duty zipper pocket, but it has the Flashpoint lining on either side of the flap so rain trickles down away from the inside of the bag and more onto the sides.
The bag itself is not terribly complicated, but it has pretty much the essentials. For starters, it has the big main pocket that can stretch out very wide using compression straps at the top. In front of the main pocket, there is another smaller pocket and inside the smaller pocket there are pen holders and a smaller pocket for wallet/mobile phone/what have you. I typically keep my phone in this compartment.
On either side of the Citizen Pack there are U-lock holsters for easy and quick access. The U-lock holster is wide enough to carry bigger U-locks and not just the mini U-lock. On top of the U-lock holsters there are two net pockets on either side. I find this is a good space for water bottles or a coffee thermos. The last of the pockets is on the flap itself. The flap pocket is closed using a very burly zipper.
At the bottom of the backpack next to the Baileyworks logo patch, there is a reflective strip that shines for visibility when car headlights shine on it. Reflective strip with a light on it looks like what is pictured below:
On top of the reflective strip is a clip for your rear blinkie light for those times you are riding at night.
One really well-thought-out detail are the little loops that are attached to the strap buckles on the shoulder straps and the compression straps as seen below. These little guys help you to quickly release the straps to be looser on-the-go and they work really well.
At first, I found the shoulder straps a bit too wide for my liking. When I biked with them they would dig a little bit into my arms, but after about a month of owning and using the bag on a day-to-day basis, they broke in. The only times now that I find the shoulder straps too wide and restrictive is when I cross my arms, otherwise I am glad they are the width they are.
Overall, I’ve been really happy with the bag. I use it a lot more than my SuperPro now because I like the balance two straps gives compared to one single strap. I will say the SuperPro (and messenger bags in general) have a really good way of balancing the weight on your back so it feels like you’re not carrying as much. This Citizen Pack is great on and off the bike. The Large size has volume capacity of 1764 cubic inches and the small size has a capacity of 1008 cubic inches. The Two-Strap workpack has a whopping 3780 cubic inch volume capacity! Bags are all handmade in their workshop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Please visit my Flickr to see more photos: Baileyworks Citizen Pack Large.
UPDATE! Below are two photos per request for sizing. For reference, I am 5’8″ tall.