Designed by Helikon-Tex as part of its “Urban” product line, the Courier Bag is intended to blend the utility of an Every Day Carry (EDC) or currier bag, with the robust exterior and function of an outdoor waist/shoulder bag.
Introduced in early 2020, the Courier Bag is available as a medium-sized (featured) satchel bag or large. With its overall material of 500D Cordura, the bag features a multi-compartmented interior that allows for secure storage of its contents. The bag’s overall dimensions are 10.6” (H) x 14.2” (L) x 3.9” (D) with 9.5L of overall storage space, and the bag’s removable, contoured padded shoulder strap has a 1” wide segmented nylon band along both sides for attaching accessories. All YKK zippers have paracord pull tabs, with rubberized tubing for added tactile feel and durability.
The front of the Courier Bag has a fold-over protective flap that connects from the top of the bag and is secured to the outward-facing exterior via two 1” slide-release buckles and two hook-and-loop panels. On the exterior of the flap is a 12” wide, zipper-secured accessory pocket for storage of immediate-need items like sunglasses, keys or smartphone. Additionally, a 4” (H) x 7” (L) hook-and-loop (female) field provides an ideal surface for affixing morale or identification patches.
Under the protective flap, along the front exterior is a 12” length, zipper-secured accessory storage pocket lined with hook-and-loop (female) fabric along one side of the interior for storing flat electronics, hook-and-loop organizers (not included), or other items.
The Courier Bag’s sides feature an elastic pocket (one each side) for a 1QT nalgene (or similar) water bottle, IFK, or other items.
The rear of the Courier Bag has a 13.5” long, zipper secured EDC pocket that is lined on one side of the interior with hook-and-loop (female) for attaching associated holsters or allows for off-the-body carry of large framed handguns. The exterior of the EDC pocket has a removable waist strap that can be modified for either left or right carry. At the top of the bag’s rear is a 1” nylon carrying handle for when the shoulder strap is not in use.
The bottom of the Courier Bag is unremarkable with no added features to offset the bag’s ability to sit flat when placed down.
The contoured shoulder strap is removable from the sides of the Courier Bag via its 1” slide-release polymer buckles. The shoulder strap is padded via the 1” open-cell padded foam that is tapered on either side.
The interior of the Courier Bag is divided into two primary storage compartments used to separate flat items (such as a laptop or notebook) from bulkier, everyday items (like headphones, fleece jacket, binder, headphones, etc.). A single nylon band secures the padded, flat storage compartment via hook and loop. Inside the larger storage compartment are two sleeve pockets for additional 1QT Nalgene bottles or other items. Additionally, a nylon mesh accessory pocket is on the interior of the larger storage compartment and secured via YKK zipper.
The Urban Courier Bag (Medium) is available in Coyote (featured), Adaptive Green, OD Green, Black, and a four split color patterns.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Excellent (5/5): At a list price of $74.90 USD; as a mid-sized, over-the-shoulder satchel bag, the Courier Bag uses predominantly Cordura nylon and minimal polymer hardware to maintain a moderate-profile appearance that balanced abrasion resistance with comfort. In comparison, market alternatives to the Courier Bag would be the Covert Dispatch Tactical Shoulder Bag ($79.99) from Rothco, the Rush Delivery LIMA 12L Bag ($99) from 5.11, the Elite Tactical Messenger Bag ($149.95) from Elite Tactical, or the Skyridge Tech Messenger Bag ($182.99) From Maxpedition. This in contrast per the market, the Courier Bag by Helikon-Tex is at an excellent price point for its materials, function, and design.
- Comfort – Average (3/5): From a comfort aspect, the exterior of the Courier Bag was appropriately (or of average) flexible and suitable for its 500D Cordura nylon, and the material was still soft enough to serve as an daily use bag or out on the trails as a support bag. The YKK zippers and polymer slide release buckles moved smoothly and did not bind or cross-feed. The shoulder strap had thick, contoured padding and was soft and flexible enough to not significantly chafe when worn for extended periods (1hr+). However, there was some structure to the shoulder strap (due to the thick padding) that sometimes proved challenging to manage when not worn (such as stowing the bag). The bag’s interior’s smooth nylon material was pliable and soft enough to remain functional and the fabric was not abrasive to skin while rummaging around for a desired item. Perhaps the only drawback from a comfort aspect was the extensive hook-and-loop enclosure material to the exterior protective flap was a bit noisy when opening, and could attract unwanted attention. Furthermore, the interior padded dividers were somewhat thin when considering the end-user will likely use them to secure laptops or other high-end electronics.
- Durability – Average (3/5): The nylon exterior, and flexible interior dividing fabrics offered the Courier Bag an appropriate (or average) amount of abrasion resistance and durability despite daily carry to the office or on the range. Additionally, the nylon exterior was good for repelling a minimal level of light water, allowing it to bead off and mitigate potential saturation of the fabric. There was moderate bartack/reverse and X-box stitching at key stress points, and extensively along the shoulder strap for added reinforcement. The supporting material for the shoulder strap was incorporated into the sides of the bag (inside the side pouches) and gave it an overall good degree of reinforcement against pulling/tearing from the weight of items placed inside the bag. It could be a better idea however to make that anchoring material slightly wider (increasing surface area) and further along the sides (increasing overall strength).
- Functionality – Good (4/5): Functionally, the Courier Bag did an good job of packing a lot of pockets, storage, and function into the typical exterior profile similar to any other hiking shoulder bags—while still providing immediate access to a off-body firearm if needed. The storage pockets and compartments allowed easy access to any contents (except the elastic bands to the side Nalgene pockets which were so tight it made placing items inside difficult), while the over-molded YKK zippers helped to ensure no moisture saturation along the zipper line. The fold-over exterior flap did a good job to protect the pouches and interior’s contents, and the internal securing flap kept items like a laptop secure. One area of recommendation for improvement to Helikon-Tex would be the fold-over exterior flap itself as it had both hook-and-loop and slide-release buckles to secure, which was a bit overkill as either could easily perform the task alone. Additionally, corner pull-tabs could be added to provide additional grip surface for opening the flap whereas the hook-and-loop made it somewhat difficult to get purchase with the fingers. A drainage grommet on the bottom could also have added benefit for accidental drainage as well as some air movement.
- Weight – Excellent (5/5): Weighing in at 1.73 pounds (empty), the Courier Bag owed a majority of its relative light overall weight to the nylon material of its exterior. While slightly lighter than other nylon-only messenger bags with a heavier denier rating, this bag’s 500D nylon added to the functionality of the overall bag to keep its contents safe and dry while maintaining a comfortable flexibility. In comparison, market alternatives such as the Covert Dispatch Tactical Shoulder Bag (2.20 pounds) from Rothco, the Rush Delivery LIMA 12L Bag (3.0 pounds) from 5.11, the Elite Tactical Messenger Bag (2.0 pounds) from Elite Tactical, or the Skyridge Tech Messenger Bag (2.4 pounds) From Maxpedition all illustrate that amid the market of alternatives the Courier Bag from Helikon-Tex has an excellent light weight for its size and materials.
Overall Rating – Good (20/25)
Product Link: https://www.helikon-tex.com/en_usd/tb-ucm-cd-urban-courier-bag-medium-cordura.html
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, LLC, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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