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Sep 28 2013

Altego Polygon Messenger Review

Last year I got the chance to run Altego’s Coated Canvas Backpack through the paces. When they reached out to me to look at their newest Polygon Messenger I asked them to send it on!

While the Polygon is similar to the Altego Padded Messenger, it has some benefits that will become obvious as I run through this review.

The Polygon is a flap over messenger bag with a rear, padded laptop pocket. The zippered laptop pocket is lined with orange and gray plaid to make your inner hipster smile. This pocket will hold up to a fifteen inch laptop in well padded style.

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The strap is a seat belt style with a removable shoulder pad that velcros around the strap. This works pretty well but it could use a bit more padding.

The flap is sealed with two Fidlock magnetic sliders. These are clever buckles that combine magnets and clips to make for a very secure closure. These actually have a tendency to close themselves. It is somewhat spooky to pull something out of the Polygon and let the flap fall and have them seal themselves. Although it does not happen every time, merely getting them close makes them snap into lock. Secure and very cool.

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The flap has two zippered pockets on the front flap, one of which runs the width of the flap. Great for stuffing quick access things like pens and power supplies.

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Lifting that flap reveals another vertically zippered pocket on the outside of the bag.

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The inside of the bag is big on capacity. The base of the bag is almost 5 inches deep and it expands slightly as it travels twelve inches up to the top of the bag. The back of the bag has a zippered pocket that runs the entire width of the Polygon. This pocket is wide enough and padded enough that you could easily put a second laptop in here or use it if you want a little extra security for your machine. I typically used it for paperwork in a folder and it would even fit A4 sized paperwork.

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The back panel of the Polygon also feature four pen/stylus slots and an open top pocket for a tablet and a phone. The tablet pocket is lined with the same material as the external laptop pocket and is sized so that a full-sized iPad will fit in portrait orientation or an iPad mini will fit in landscape. I love that this keeps either from rattling around in this pocket.

The front wall of the bag has two tall pockets that seal with velcro. These are actually big enough to hold an iPad Mini but are better suited to smaller odds and ends that you don’t want rattling around in the bottom of the bag.

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In use

Altego had done a nice job on the Polygon. The orange and gray and angular cut of the bag give it a cool tech look. The bag is comfortable to carry and it will hold a LOT of kit. I do wish that it had a quick adjust cam for the strap as this is the kind of bag that I like to shift from at my side to up high on my back, bike courier style.

The Polygon has a nice blend of organizational pockets and big, open space. I could actually pack in this bag for a weekend if I needed to and still have places to tuck all my electronics.

Comparing it to the Channel Stitched Ruby messenger is pretty simple. Both will hold a 15 inch laptop but the Polygon expands to hold a lot more. The internal pockets of the Polygon are better structured than the mesh pockets in the Ruby series and I think the extra dollars are well worth it for what you get with the Polygon.

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The Polygon has LOT of capacity

Conclusion

Altego has got a winner on their hands with the Polygon. I don’t usually like bags that come in at under $100 as companies have to make too many compromises to hit that price point.

The Polygon comes in at WELL under $100, and while it is not made of the most luxurious materials, it is well laid out, rugged and can hold way more than I need it to.

Recommended.

Altego Polygon Sunfire Messenger $79.99

3 comments

  1. Dave M

    Hi Jeff! Great review! I’d never heard of Altego before this, but it does look like a pretty nice bag. I’ve been seriously considering the switch from backpack (currently North Face Surge) to a messenger. I think they look a little more professional, especially the ones that are considered briefcase messengers.

    I noticed you have reviewed the Rickshaw Commuter 2.0 back in 2012, so any chance you might be getting the new Rickshaw Commuter 2.1 anytime soon? 🙂 You know me… I’m all about Made in the USA, so I’ve been really looking at either Tom Bihn or Rickshaw for a messenger bag. I absolutely LOVE my Tom Bihn Tri-Star and I haven’t traveled with any other bag since I bought it. Well, except for my backpack which holds the laptop and all my tech gear.

    I’d be really curious to know what your go-to daily carry computer bag is these days! 🙂

  2. Jeff Mac

    Hey Dave,

    Great to hear from you! I am hoping to get to run the new Rickshaw through its paces but I have not gotten the chance yet. I also need to get some confirmation from them that it is really 100% made in the USA as the back pack is made from some subassemblies that are made in China.

    Although I switch around a bit, my normal EDC is a Tom Bihn Cadet which I reviewed here. It is big enough, but not so big that I carry EVERYTHING in my office when I leave!

  3. Dave M

    Hopefully Rickshaw sends you one to review. 🙂 The TB Cadet is a nice bag, but it doesn’t seem quite large enough for all the tech crap I have to carry for my job. My NF Surge is a 32 liter pack and it’s just about perfect for everything I carry. The larger Cadet I believe is only 13.5 liters, and just looking at all the pictures, I can’t imagine all my stuff in there. I may have to consider the Ego or Super Ego. Having said that, however, every time I pack my Tri-Star for a 4 or 5 day trip, I’m flat out amazed at how much that bag holds!

    Keep up the great work Jeff — I love reading all your posts! 🙂

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