Mobile Edge ECO Review
Cons: Smaller, less versatile, utilitarian look
Manufacturer: Mobile Edge
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Mobile Edge ECO
|Price||$39.72 at Amazon||$179.00 at Backcountry|
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|$53.40 at Backcountry|
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|$140.00 at REI||$127.20 at Backcountry|
|Pros||Great organization, light, easy to use, durable, soft||Waterproof laptop sleeve, weather resistant, easy to use, great features, ambidextrous, brightly colored interior||Durable, comfortable, simple but thoughtful storage, customizable||Waterproof, comfortable, lightweight, highly durable, ambidextrous shoulder strap||Incredibly durable and weather resistant, ambidextrous strap, spacious|
|Cons||Smaller, less versatile, utilitarian look||Exterior water bottle pocket is small, shoulder padding can get bunched up, tips over easily when set down||Minimal features for electronics||Tips over easily when set down, doesn't have very many pockets, expensive||Stiff when new, boxy shape, buckle on shoulder strap is bulky, very loud to open|
|Bottom Line||An organized and affordable option for running to classes or the office||This well-featured bag is feature-rich, fully ambidextrous, and highly weatherproof||This tried and true design continues to be one of the best simple messenger bags on the market||With thoughtful features and burly weatherproofing, it's comfortable, lightweight, and ready to be your go-to bag||Checks all the right boxes of what makes a great messenger bag, including looking super stylish|
|Rating Categories||Mobile Edge ECO||Timbuk2 Especial Stash||Timbuk2 Classic||Arc'teryx Granville 10||Topo Designs Messenger|
|Packing & Organization (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Wear & Tear (10%)|
|Volume To Weight Ratio (10%)|
|Specs||Mobile Edge ECO||Timbuk2 Especial...||Timbuk2 Classic||Arc'teryx...||Topo Designs...|
|Measured Weight||2.09 lbs||2.18 lbs||2 lbs||1.15 lbs||2.66 lbs|
|Measured Volume||12 L||20 L||21 L||10 L||13 L|
|OGL Volume/Weight Ratio||5.74||9.17||10.50||8.70||4.89|
|Dimensions||18 x 13.5 x 4.25 in||17.5 x 12.2 x 4.72 in||14.6 x 12.2 x 7.1 in||16 x 10.5 x 5 in||17 x 12 x 6 in|
|Shoulder preference||Either||Either||Either but optimized for left||Either||Either|
|Number of Compartments||1||3||2||2||2|
|Number of Large Pockets||6||5||3||1||3|
|Number of Small Pockets (i.e. sleeves for pens, thin items)||8||4||5||1||1|
|Number of Zipper Pockets||1||3||3||2||3|
|Reflective Material?||No||Yes||Yes, on bottom straps||No||Yes|
|External Side Pocket||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Sleeve For Laptop?||Yes||Yes - 15"||Yes - 15"||Yes - 12"||Yes - 15"|
|Stabilizing Cross Strap||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Available Sizes||One Size||One Size||XS, S, M, L||10L and 16L||One Size|
|Size Tested||One Size||One Size||Medium||10L||One Size|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Mobile Edge is excellent for those that want their bag to offer a lot of organizational components in an easy-to-use format.
The Edge scores low in the comfort category compared to the other messenger bags in this review for a couple of reasons. One, the bag has no cross strap, and its boxy design makes it much less secure when biking. Second, it's difficult and time-consuming to adjust the length of the shoulder strap; the adjustment buckle cleverly slides and stows inside the shoulder pad with the intent of protecting shoulder irritation. However, the padding is insufficient for long-distance carries, resulting in an annoying lump on your collarbone.
Improving the comfort, however, is the soft and supple cotton canvas this bag is made from. It's a lot like wearing your favorite sweatpants — with similar style points.
Packing & Organization
The Edge does have an edge in the organization category. At 12 liters, it is not a large capacity bag, but it holds a lot of useful items for the office or school. It keeps your electronics secure, and the pockets make for a fun and functional organization system.
Under the flap, there is a large mesh pocket that is quite useful. It is accessible when the lid is flipped open, and the open lid also helps to balance the bag like a bicycle kickstand when setting up on your desk or a table. The plethora of pockets that this bag offers was a favorite feature for many of our testers.
A couple of things left a bit to be desired, though. When the bag is really full, the pen holder pokes out from underneath the main flap, and, during one transit test, we had a pen get broken — something to be aware of when packing to the gills. There's also an ID holder that attached to a Velcro patch; it's not secure enough for us to trust with our valuable identification cards, though perhaps useful in a school setting where credentials have to be shown often.
This bag is great for toting around electronics. It has excellent padding for a laptop or tablet with Velcro keeper straps to secure the internal sleeves. There are lots of pockets to stash cords, and the main compartment accommodates a 17-inch laptop.
In the driving rain, we chose to stash our tablet in the sleeve on the back of the bag, which has a more confidence-inspiring, weatherproof flap. However, this may not have been necessary — the whole bag does well in the rain, thanks to an internal liner. Just be sure not to overstuff, as the fabric on the sides doesn't overlap.
Ease of Use
Imagine wearing your favorite sweatpants — soft, supple, easy to move around in — and you have an idea of what it's like to use the Edge messenger bag. The flap opens easily, and the soft and supple all-natural cotton canvas is pleasant to use.
The main flap flips over to the back, helping the bag to stand upright on a desk or the floor. This makes the front "workstation" organization panels easy to access, and it also provides access to the mesh pocket hidden under the flap. The pockets are excellent and fun to use, but they don't inspire a ton of confidence for long bike commutes or chaotic airport travel.
Wear & Tear
The Edge ECO looked like it got soaked in our weather tests, but due to an internal liner, all of our contents stayed dry. However, the soft and supple fabric is far less durable than most of the other more expensive models in this review.
This bag does not have overlapping fabric on the sides of the flap when closed, which can be a concern when rain is pouring down. However, it also cannot be carried vertically like a more bike-specific model, so this is less of an issue. Usually, the top of the bag (i.e., the main flap) is what will be exposed to the brunt of the rain. So long as you don't overstuff when packing, there is little-to-no gap on the sides to elicit concern. This design is adequate for sprints from office to coffee shop, but not ideal for rainy bike commutes, but as we have detailed already, this is not the best bag for a bike commuting anyway.
Volume to Weight Ratio
The Edge is reasonably light, measuring just 2.09 pounds, but at 12 liters, the volume is not very large. This makes it a great office or school bag, but not something that you'll want (or be able to) overstuff.
This is a durable and nicely priced messenger bag, though it's not the most versatile. If we're being honest, the Edge is fairly limited in its scope of application. However, when you consider the price, combined with the fun pocket design and overall likeability, we had to give it a Best Buy Award.
The Edge is like your favorite pair of bargain-basement sweatpants: comfortable, functional, and soft to the touch — but in some people's eyes, not much to look at. The materials were chosen strategically, though. Mobile Edge promotes its line of ECO bags as eco-friendly due to the minimized carbon footprint of all-natural cotton canvas. While perhaps a bit limited in versatility, this bag is also very well-designed for its niche. It is a great casual office or book bag that will keep electronics safe and secure for someone traveling mostly on foot.
Fun Fact: the Edge ECO was featured on the Big Bang Theory show. Watch it!
— Penney Garrett & Lyra Pierotti