A review of some bags (belt)

Feb 4, 1999
I discovered a new company at the CABDA bike show in Chicago a couple weeks ago and thought some Forumites may be interested. The company is called New Sun and they make outdoors bags from a kick ass messenger shoulder bag to a hydration pack to a variety of tiny wallets and belt accessory bags. The two I will review are meant for belt wear. New Sun is based in New York and their stuff is an interesting mix between hardcore city use and outdoor use. It doesn't appear that they have a webpage.
The smaller bag I bought is called The Handyman. This little bag is about the size of your hand (if you have medium-sized hands!) and is made from 1,000 denier Cordura and 70 denier nylon. It is 3.5" wide and about 4.5-5" tall. There are two eyelets in the top, one of which has an included carabiner on it for keys. I'll talk more about the eyelets later... The Handyman has an outer flap that extends the full length of the bag. This flap has the eyelets in it and an outer pocket that is just slightly larger than a business card. It works great for cards and money and has a little sewn in change pocket, too. Also on the outside of the bag is a nylon loop that would be perfect for holding a small flashlight, like a mini-Maglite (not the really tiny one, but the one whose lamp/head is wider diameter than the shaft). The back of the pack features a neat quick release idea called a j-clip. There is a nylon web strap with a plastic j-shaped clip on the end. Running along the width of the bag is a thin
nylon strap that attaches securely into the j-clip. That way you can take the bag on and off without removing your belt. The outer flap also has a compression cord that is meant to wrap around the body of the bag and secure larger "loads". The flap is held down with Velcro. When you open the flap there are two small pockets sewn one on top of the other. Again, they aren't much bigger than business card sized, but I managed to snugly fit a Surefire 3P flashlight and a Gerber Multitool in mine, plus all the usual wallet stuff. This is a cool little bag because you can use it as a wallet, but there is also plenty of space for lighters, multitools, and small folders. PLus, in a pinch, the loaded bag itself serves as a handy ballistic defensive weapon. Some of the features it has are shared by the other bag, so I will conclude with thoughts on both...
The second bag I reviewed is called The Satellite. It's is about 6" tall and four inches wide. It is the same basic idea as the Handyman, but only larger. It has two small net pockets on the outside. They are perfect for a Swiss Army Knife and one of the really tiny Maglites. It also has the same nylon loop for the larger mini-Maglite that I described before, the compression cord, and the j-clip. The Satellite also has three of the nylon straps running lengthwise, so you can safely attach it to the strap of a larger bag, such as a backpack, purse, or messenger bag (what I did). Again, there are two eyelets (larger, this time) and an included carabiner. The flap has the same business card/money/credit card/change pocket on the outside, too. Opening the flap reveals that the interior of the Satellite is padded. There is a small pocket that is about 3.5" wide and 2.75" tall sewn onto the outside of the main compartment. This compartment is spacious enough for a small wire notebook (like you'd put in
a shirt pocket), then there is a second pocket sewn into the back of that that would hold a Surefire 3P or a large multitool quite nicely.
The Satellite is meant to be used as a cell phone protector for people on the go. The padding protects the phone, and you can run the antenna up through the large eyelets in the flap. Both bags are open in design, with the only zippered compartment being the outermost one on the flap. This mean you can get into the bag extremely quickly, which is nice. They also have enough room for the essentials. I use the Handyman as a grab-and-go bag with the multitool and flashlight when I drive anywhere or go for a walk in the park. It keeps a modest amount of survival equipment in one place right next to the front door. The larger Satellite carries a flashlight, multitool, SAK, and small folder with no problem, and I also carry a notebook, pen, and length of paracord and lighter in that one. PLus, both carry the usual wallet stuff. The eyelets on both can be used to attach the bag around the neck, and also can hold a static cord so you can throw the bag in an assailant's face and not have to worry about
losing the stuff that's inside. You could also attach a second carabiner and attach the bag to a variety of place on a pack that way. In short these are great little bags. Very well made and super tough. They are a little too dorky for the everyday wear, but for college folks or people in jobs where they have a lot of crap to lug around, they wouldn't be out of place. Great for hikinh and stuff, too, especially for people who don't like the bulk and straps of fanny/hip packs. New Sun's designs are very well thought out and have a lot of versatility. If I can get my scanner to work I will scan pics from their catalog to put here. Prices are excellent, too, with the Handyman going for $13 and the Satellite for $21. Not bad for American made! Unfortunately they don't sell direct, and my bike shop isn't carrying them. There is a vague possibility that the boss would open an account with them, but that requires a minimum order of $150, so unless a bunch of people send money then you may have to look
sround on the net for a source or call them directly in NY and try to work something out. Maybe Mikt T. would consider carrying their line in the BFC store. Their most expensive bag, a SUPER well-designed bike messenger bag with more bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at, is under $90, so they are priced right. Anyway, I hope this was helpful and if anyone would like contact info, please email me.

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Madpoet (Mel Sorg, Jr.) Tribute page:
With the boom in cell phone and pda sales more util bags seem to be popping up.
Hopefully they can fill the niche that Sun Dog, Eagle Creek, and Jansport haven't keyed in on. But I'm pretty fickle; I'll probably need to buy a sewing machine and DIY or give up in frustration befor i find a bag(s) that really make me happy

more pocketses, we likes pocketses, yes we do precious...

Steve, thanks for the info. I'll be in touch.

James Segura
San Francisco, CA