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Mobile Edge ECO Review

This is a great bag for the office or school, as it's highly organized and fun to use.
Mobile Edge ECO
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $50 List | $33.66 at Amazon
Pros:  Great organization, light, easy to use, durable, soft
Cons:  Smaller, less versatile, utilitarian look
Manufacturer:   Mobile Edge
By Penney Garrett & Lyra Pierotti  ⋅  Jan 15, 2020
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 13
  • Comfort - 25% 5
  • Packing & Organization - 25% 8
  • Electronics - 15% 6
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9
  • Wear & Tear - 10% 4
  • Volume to Weight Ratio - 10% 4

Our Verdict

The Mobile Edge ECO is the winner of our Best Buy on a Tight Budget Award. We were impressed by the organizational features and ease of using this bag, not to mention the stellar price point. This is a casual-use messenger, great for school or an informal workplace and comfortable enough for short bike rides and some walking on your daily commute. It isn't the most technically-minded bag, nor is it the most durable if you have inclement weather or rough use on the horizon. It's also not the best for serious bike commuters. It is stylish but not formal, so it's appropriate for nicer occasions or offices that are lax about business attire. It sports a good design that stands apart in regards to how intuitive the layout is — all for a bargain-basement price.


Compare to Similar Products

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.

Performance Comparison



Comfort


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.

The Edge ECO is decently comfortable  though there are some places where we wouldn't mind seeing some improvement.
The Edge ECO is decently comfortable, though there are some places where we wouldn't mind seeing some improvement.

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.

The ECO messenger bag doesn't hold a lot  but it does what it's able to with ease and style.
The ECO messenger bag doesn't hold a lot, but it does what it's able to with ease and style.

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.

The ECO messenger bag is a mastery of organization. We didn't find much use for the ID holder  however.
The ECO messenger bag is a mastery of organization. We didn't find much use for the ID holder, however.

Electronics


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.

The ECO kept our precious electronic devices and papers secure and safe  even in the rain.
The ECO kept our precious electronic devices and papers secure and safe, even in the rain.

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.

The Edge ECO offers ample organizational features - seemingly a pocket for everything!
The Edge ECO offers ample organizational features - seemingly a pocket for everything!

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.

The ECO messenger bag wetted out in the rain but kept our gear dry due to the waterproof liner.
The ECO messenger bag wetted out in the rain but kept our gear dry due to the waterproof liner.

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.


A higher number is better for this ratio, which is a simple equation of volume divided by weight. The higher the number, the more space you get for each ounce of weight on your back.

The ECO messenger bag doesn't have a high capacity. Instead  it is more focused on the organization of office and school supplies.
The ECO messenger bag doesn't have a high capacity. Instead, it is more focused on the organization of office and school supplies.

Value


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 ECO messenger bag has two Velcro straps to hold books and electronics  like your iPad  securely in place.
The ECO messenger bag has two Velcro straps to hold books and electronics, like your iPad, securely in place.

Conclusion


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!

The ECO messenger bag  a model of organizational features.
The ECO messenger bag, a model of organizational features.


Penney Garrett & Lyra Pierotti