About a month ago, I bought a Freitag Dexter Messenger bag to serve as a daddy diaper bag/camera bag. I have to admit that I bought it mainly because I thought it looked cool, and less for it’s functionality.
Now that I’ve had the chance to use it for awhile, I have grown to appreciate it’s usefulness even more than it’s cool factor. I did complain before that a vinyl messenger bag got awfully hot on your back while biking, but truth be told, I don’t use it for biking, I’d rather a backpack in that situation. The vinyl is of course waterproof, which when you’ve got your dslr and your favourite film camera of the day, is mighty useful with Paris’ rainy spring days.
As you can see above, it holds my copy of Reponses Photo, my D300, my Bessa R, and my copy of Le Monde with room to spare (the diapers still could fit in there too!). The one drawback I have noticed is the lack of padding. I generally put something between the two cameras to keep them from bumping each other (diapers), but if you put the bag on too quickly, a D300 in the back doesn’t feel too nice…
With our upcoming trip to Paris I was in need of a daddy diaper bag. I wanted something that would serve the purpose (carrying diapers) yet look cool and last me for years to come. I’ve always wanted a Freitag, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity.
What’s a Freitag you ask? Freitag is a company in Switzerland founded by Markus and Daniel Freitag that makes various bags out of recycled vinyl truck tarps. While they started with messenger bags, they have more recently expanded into a variety of bag styles and even most recently, iPad sleeves.
The bags are cut out of vinyl truck tarps, and the trim is made from inner tubes. All the straps are made from actual seat belts! While this all sounds like a real mess of a bag, they are extremely well made and look great too. They even have something called F-Cut that allows you to pick the exact part of the truck tarp to cut your bag from. These tarps range in a wide variety of colours and designs, while also making all the bags unique and individual.
I bought my bag from Shed as I didn’t have time to wait for a custom bag from Switzerland. I chose the Dexter model which is a mid size messenger bag that holds the diaper caddy as well as my Xpan camera. It could also hold my recently acquired Macbook Pro and a few magazines instead of the diaper/camera combo. I had figured the bag would have one big compartment but it actually has a few little compartments with places to hold pencils, a notebook, even a cell phone. It’s incredibly well made and I can see it holding up to a lot of abuse.
As with all great companies, Freitag is a bit quirky. The box that the bag comes in is designed to look like a tv. It even has instructions of how to punch out parts of the box so that you can wear the box over your head and pretend to be live on the airwaves…
I’ve had the bag now for a few weeks and it’s really impressed me. It holds just enough stuff that I don’t collect extra unwanted junk, and if it were any bigger I think I’d find it to heavy on my shoulder with the unpadded strap. I should mention that it does have a waist strap which is awesome to keep it out of the way when cycling. While the vinyl makes the bag durable and waterproof, it does get hot cycling with a piece of vinyl on your back….