First off, let me say that 5.11 customer service is awesome! As far as the bag, meh. It has more pockets than you could ever need, but there's no expandability. So every time you place something in one pocket, you effectively eliminate the use of an adjacent pocket. I'll use it because I paid 100 bucks for it, but wouldn't buy again.
So finally got around to updating my Jack Bauer bag, chunking crappy Condor crap I got at a garage sale for some good shit. After looking around at maxpedition, to vanquest I settled on the 5.11 Lima messenger bag as part of my EDC kit. Let me start off by saying 5.11 offers three sizes (mike,lima,x-ray), at first I thought the x-ray was the one to go to because of its size. After looking and handling one I found it way to massive for the needs of EDC, it borders on an overnight bag. The mike version on the other hand was just too small to pack camera equipment into.
I ended up with the Lima model it’s a good midsized between the mike and x-ray, the bag is going to be used for multipurpose (EDC, camera, laptop ect). For this purpose I found it excellent with more pockets and internal organizers than I know what to do with. The outside front has two easy to access zippers where you can place a number of small items, (I place my decoy wallet in their). There is combination molly and velcro on the outside of the bag that you can attach pouches or moral patches to. On the ends of the bag are water bottle carriers, their big enough to fit a good twenty four ounce beer or a small bottle of jack.
The bottle of jack is being consumed as I type this.
On the other side of it is their CCW easy access zipper, what is nice about that is again hook and loop to hold it closed even unzipped. I for one have never been a fan of off body CCW but nice to know it’s there. Internally there are more pockets and zippers to sneak your best waifu fap material into a hostile country. They seem a bit much at first but once you start stuffing things in you’re happy to have so many zippers and holes at your disposal. The last caveat of this bag is the flap itself, you can secure it with the buckles below or the hook and look that keeps it held down. For me its hook and loop for easier access to the main compartment, the buckles are nice but a bit hard to get to if you’re in a hurry. In all for me a good bag under $100
I've had this bag for about 3 years. The ONLY wear that can be perceived is on the pad for the shoulder strap. My 17" laptop fits perfectly and the interior velcro strap keeps it secure. Plenty of pockets to organize items of various sizes. Side pockets work well for holding a bottle of water and the cinches keep them from falling out. Everything I have from 5.11 is top notch!
I read the reviews from all other sizes of this bag and knew of all the "cons" before receiving the bag. Honestly, I never really counted them as "cons", but I am glad I knew about them before I ordered.
The bag is super durable and feels like it will last forever. I wondered about the velcro assists that keep the main flap closed (one of the listed cons), but I get it now. It is to keep the front flap closed and secure so that it can't ben and allow anything to possibly slip out. I actually like it, getting on and off of aircraft, not having all the time in the world to make sure the clasps are in use, just folding the cover down makes it pretty secure.
The clips on the front flap are partially hidden behind the flap. I was a bit frustrated at first, but changed my mind as I realized that if it isn't easy for me, it will be even less easy for someone else trying to get into my bag.
The clips for the strap are great. My #1 reason for changing bags was how my old bag's clips would come undone at inopportune times. These have elastic covers on them and are quite secure.
This is the only "con" that I sorta agree with. Unsure why I need a zipper AND velcro to secure the firearm, but it is a simple thing to defeat and I will be buying velcro strips to do just that. The zipper is quite enough, imho.
The bag has many pockets and pouches. Like many here, I am sure, I have specific places for all of my things. I was a bit worried that I would not find a specific home for all of my cables and misc items that I like to carry, but this bag has all that I need - and more. In fact, I find the layout to be fairly intuitive. Well, unsure if it is intuitive, as the pouches aren't labeled, but it made sense to me!
Never had one on a previous bag,so this will get a little getting used to. So bar, I have looped it through the velcro strap on the bag that is for attaching to other luggage, but I may give it a try someday. I get the purpose for it, but I carry my bag in the 2 o'clock position and don't have a real issue with it flopping around. I may use it when carrying, so that the bag is more stable and harder to rip from me.
Very pleased with this bag. For sizing, I carry a 13" MBA, so I have more than enough room in here.