Rebagging a bag

When traveling for just a few days, I do not need a backpack or larger travel bag. They are too big, get in the way and a lot of space is wasted. To solve that problem a smaller travel bag was needed. I wanted something a bit different and found one, but it needed some changes.

I left the side pockets alone. Only a water bottle is carried there and maybe a few munchies, nothing valuable.

The Gootium 21217 Canvas Messenger Bag is tough and well constructed. However, it is not very well designed. The buckles are functional, but mainly cosmetic. A snap releases the strap—far too easily! This bag is a pickpockets delight, an 8 year old street kid in Marrakesh would empty the bag within seconds. However, I like the thing—so rather than return it, did some alterations. To do that: I bought some serious needles, heavy linen thread, then had a good look at what needed doing and how it could be achieved.

The changes
A number of bits had to be altered to get the bag up to spec for me.

Get rid of those snaps and sew the buckles onto the bag
The most crucial thing which needed attending to.
One of the two snap straps to be removed.

Unpicking the thread that held them on.

Ready to sew the buckles on.

Trim the end of the straps
They needed to slip through the buckles a lot easier (strap ends were too wide and a pain to insert through the buckle). This was the simplest part.
A trim with scissors did the trick.

Shorten the main zipper.
At first I thought this was going to difficult to do but it turned out to be fairly easy.
A Before and After. The leather tab was unstitched, zipper cut, the end wrapped with linen thread and glued the tab to the end of the zipper with some rubber cement.
I could have left this but it was just too untidy.

The ends of each side I have left as they are, for the time being. A plastic inner bag for all the contents should suffice.

Waterproof it as much as possible
While the bag will never be 100% waterproof, at least if I'm caught out in a downpour, the stuff inside will stay reasonably dry.

I wet the bag with fairly warm water and soaked the whole thing with Granger's Performance Repel (did this on my small grey bag and kept everything inside dry—so did the same here).

Someone's bound to ask, "So, just what are you going to carry then?"
Not a lot.
  1. Obviously a camera. either the bridge camera or the little one, depending on what I expect to encounter. 2 Fully charged batteries will suffice for a couple of days, so the charger stays home.
  2. A toiletry bag (maybe).
  3. A Pukka Pad notebook and pen (usually in one of my pockets).
  4. Some minor clothing (in the big bag—thank you Renfe).
  5. The small bag has various bits in like an SD Card reader, OTG cable etc-etc.
  6. That's it primarily. There's plenty of room left in the bag for some extra stuff if needed.
This gets its first international outing on my trip to Jerusalem in a couple of weeks (Dec 18, 2016—worked a treat, so easy to carry on and off plane).

Sometimes we buy things but they are not quite there and we have to change stuff to meet our requirements. Such was the case with this bag.
Nov 21, 2016

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