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Mission Workshop Shed Review – Messenger Bag Review

Shed, showing exterior cargo pockets

The Mission Workshop Shed Messenger Bag – made for Messengers

A review of the Shed Messenger Bag

The large sized, roll-top messenger bag from Mission Workshop is a true to form messenger bag, and one of their biggest.  If you are looking for a very large messenger bag, consider the Shed due to not only it’s size but also the comfort features of carrying.

Mission workshop is a company based out of San Francisco that produces bike related products, and are widely known for their messenger bags.   The main distinguishing feature between this bag and other messenger bags is it’s large, roll down top cargo compartment. This particular bag comes in three sizes, the Shed is the large (35 L), the Rummy is medium (27 L) and the Monty is small (21 L). They all come in a choice of five colors, and seven buckle colors. 

The Shed shown Rolled up showing it's massive size
Rolled up showing it’s massive size. Image from


The “Shed” is called the shed for a reason. It’s absolutely massive! It  is the large size messenger bag from Mission Workshop. It’s identical to the “Rummy” in every way except for the size. As a result the review here is similar as much of the features are identical. Here is our review on the Rummy bag.

The main feature of all Mission Workshop messenger bags is the weatherproof roll top main compartment which can be used in either the “roll top” mode, or in the traditional “flap down” configuration. The padded shoulder strap includes custom aluminum hardware that comes in choice of seven colors, but more importantly allows for super easy, one-handed “on the fly” strap adjustment – amazing for riding. All shoulder straps are easily swappable for left or right shoulder configurations, and roughly take about just over a minute to switch sides.  It is the only messenger bag available where you can swap shoulder straps to the different side.

Shed, showing exterior cargo pockets
Shed, showing exterior cargo pockets. Image from


The Shed is a 2,150 cu. in. in size, or (35 L) and is fully weatherproof thanks to the urethane coating on the inside of the bag. It features a roll top cargo compartment along with quick-access cargo pockets, four internal zippered pockets, custom aluminum hardware and a detachable cross-chest stabilizer. It fits up to 15’’ laptop in front zip pocket and up to a 17’’ in main compartment. It is so big, however, I can fit a ton of laptops in this bag!  It’s much roomier than the Rummy.

Mission Workshop are true messenger bags – they are built for the very purpose and do this extremely well.  That being said, it’s not the greatest if you’re just carting things around to school or the office, they are really meant for messengers.  Obviously this bag will not suit everyone.  If you are constantly hauling loads of gear around and need to have access to it quickly – this is the bag for you.

The bag is a roomy 35 Liters, and features a roll top compartment along with two quick-access cargo pockets, four internal zippered pockets, and custom aluminum hardware.  You now have a choice of seven different buckle colors.  The bag also features a detachable cross-chest stabilizer, which works better in this bag than many others.  The inside zip pocket fits up to 15’’ laptop and up to a 17’’ in main compartment. Though Mission Workshop markets this compartment as being good for laptops, it is not great for this purpose, as the compartment is not padded.  You wouldn’t want to drop the bag with your laptop inside. However, the lack of padded laptop compartment is an issue with most messenger bags out there.

Showing the two convenient front zippered pockets. Image from
Showing the two convenient front zippered pockets. Image from

The versatility and adjustability of this bag is second to none.  You can very quickly grab the straps and singe them on the go with no issue, even while riding. The buckle is the fastest and smoothest that we have seen – very robust as well.  The buckles are definitely the nicest that we have tested.  There are seven buckle colors to choose from.

The roll top makes it easy to pack the bag full.  However there are disadvantages. If you had to roll and unroll your bag several times a day it is a bit cumbersome.   It’s also is not very comfortable to ride with the bag rolled up: I find it often gets in the way.

The bag is completely waterproof thanks to the urethane coating on the inside.  The bag has two large access pockets in the front, which are a great place to store your bike lock and cable, power cord, or anything you need fast access to. The large zipper section in the middle has five individual pockets.  This bag isn’t great for storing pens or pencils, there is no good place for storing random, smaller items.  They would likely be hard to find. Things can easily go missing in this large bag!

The main shoulder strap is incredibly comfortable.  The padding on the strap is thick and burly.  The strap is also  reversible so you can wear it on the left or right side. this is a very handy feature to have if you get tired of carrying the bag on one side, or if you want to lend it out to someone who prefers to wear it on a different shoulder than you.  I often carry around heavy books and laptop, and find that I like to switch sides occasionally, especially on longer commutes.

Stays in place great on the bike thanks to the under stabilizing strap which secures it.  The bag has a near-vertical position when worn.  The underarm stabilizing strap so it doesn’t slip forward when you are riding your bike, particularly when you are in an upright sprinting position.  Holds a lot more than most messenger bags and is also a lot more comfortable than most bags.

Shed: side view. Measures: 20'' x 12'' x 6'' Image from
Shed: side view. Measures: 20” x 12” x 6” Image from

Roll top feature allows you to pack it full

The rolltop feature is probably the best feature of this bag.  It allows you to pack your bag very full. The specification for this bag say it fits 27 L – but in reality it can fit much more than that.   I can probably fit six laptops or a semester’s worth of books in this bag: it’s massive. My 17″ Macbook floats in this bag.  This bag is very versatile not only for stuffing things into it but also carrying awkward sized items. You can even strap a bike frame to the outside!

The bags are made of very robust material and have excellent stitching, they have a lifetime warranty. Very weatherproof,  completely waterproof, and are made in the USA.

Pros and Cons

Things we liked:

  • Durable and weatherproof.
  • Very very comfortable.
  • Can shift the carrying strap to the right or left side: it is the only messenger bag that has this feature.
  • Easy to load to maximum with no problem; and still feels comfortable on even while maxed out.
  • Love the ability to customize buckle colors – a very sharp and stylish looking bag.
  • Very adjustable straps and buckles – you can quickly singe the straps with no issue while riding.
  • The buckle is robust – the best we have seen.
  • Excellent for shifty loads.
  • A true “messenger” bag; meant for that specific purpose.
  • Made in the USA.

Things we didn’t like. A few disadvantages:

  • Though the large size is great for messengers, it is not great for everyday use for other things.
  • The large is not a great size for everyone – it is too big for most applications.
  • The roll-top is a little awkward when rolled up for riding.
  • Not a good office bag: no handle or laptop sleeve.
  • No dedicated laptop compartment.
  • Heavy.

Dimensions and Specifications

Measures: 20” x 12” x 6”
Capacity: 2,150 cu. in. (35 L)
Bag weight: 3.5 lbs (1.6 Kg)

Where to Buy the Mission Workshop Shed Messenger Bag

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