September 25, 2022

Welcome to Talking Points, a series that looks at what makes certain products worth talking about, brought to you by Gear Patrol Studios.


It’s entirely possible that the F14 Dexter Messenger Bag is, hands down, the coolest commuter bag on the market.

Beyond the technical specs that keep it ultra-durable and road-ready, Freitag’s iconic messenger bags just look like they’re ready for anything. The F14 Dexter is a slimmed-down version of the brand’s classic messenger bag, and just like everything else in the collection, each one-of-one bag is entirely different.

The recycled messenger bags are constructed from upcycled truck tarps, bicycle inner tubes and car seat belts; as a result, each bag boasts its own unique pattern. As an added bonus, utilizing the (polyester/PVC) truck tarpaulin material means that these bags are water-repellent and built to hold up on any commute.

The remaining materials allow you to easily optimize your fit and buckle up to keep the bag from slipping while biking. This, combined with ample storage and a show-stopping aesthetic, help make this crossbody messenger bag one of our favorite commuter bags –– and – yeah, we’ll say it – the coolest messenger bag money can buy.

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The Backstory

Freitag: A Swiss Brand Bent on Recycling Materials for Futuristic Bags

Markus Freitag created his first Messenger Bag prototype in 1993. Like the brand’s current products, that first model was built from recycled truck tarps, bicycle inner tubes and car seat belts. Over the years, the Swiss brand has added five variations on the classic messenger bag to its lineup.

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Each year, the brand enlists five tarp buyers, affectionately referred to as truck spotters, to find and deliver 500 tons of tarps to the Freitag workshop. To accomplish this, Freitag’s truck spotters spend months watching truck stops across Europe. Once collected, the tarps are washed until the brand’s preferred patina is achieved. This is done (with ~4,000 gallons of rainwater daily, continuing Freitag’s continuing mission to reduce its carbon footprint.

Over the years, Freitag has made headlines with its perennially popular products, from inflatable duffel bags to iPad sleeves. More recently, it created an inflatable backpack from deadstock airbags and introduced a new program where fans can design their own bags. With such a varied range of totes, backpacks, laptop bags and more, it can be difficult to pick just one. But, if we had to, the F14 Dexter will always make the cut.

The Gist

What Makes Freitag’s Dexter a Great Messenger Bag for Biking?

From the start, Freitag’s messenger bags were meant for use by cyclists. While they can – and should – be rocked by any and all gearheads, a few key details keep the crossbody messenger performance-ready for bike rides.

For one, the bag relies on two adjustable, recycled seat belt straps. The crossbody strap ensures the bag hits the right point on your back, while a horizontal strap (fitted with a large buckle) ensures the bag is secured snugly to the waist.

The bag’s shell is essentially weather-proof thanks to the durable, water-repellent tarp material. Inside, a series of inner pockets (including a laptop compartment) keep everything organized and held in place.

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Plus, with a wide range of sizes available – including large, small, extra small and a ‘hip bag’ version – it’s easy to shop the collection based on your own needs and interests. However, in our own experience, the F14 Dexter usually covers all the bases without becoming too bulky.

Our POV

The F14 Dexter is a Crossbody Messenger Bag Built for Biking, Commuting and Impressing.

Recently, I tested the Freitag Dexter in New York City to see how it would hold up to quintessential city cycling (like other tests I’ve conducted during 20-mile bike rides), and it stayed snug and secure for the entire journey.

More than anything, the double-strap system on the F14 Dexter makes this a great bag for biking. Even off my bike, the hip strap kept some strain off my shoulder while I walked around the city, offering similar relief to what you would find from buckling the hip straps on a serious backpacking backpack. Additionally, even packed full of essentials – I fit a full-size Nalgene water bottle, laptop, lunch and an extra tote bag – the messenger bag maintains a slim profile. Its size and shape were especially helpful while walking on crowded Manhattan sidewalks and through transit turnstiles.

No matter which design you pick, Freitag’s products are built to impress. Each one-off piece will quickly become your go-to and last well beyond your expectations. They’re built to perform, with a heavy helping of style as an added bonus.

Price: $290

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