Red, stylish and incrediby well built, the Fatsak is an attache case sized shoulder bag in a messenger bag style that is reminiscent of "foldable space" cases popular in science fiction novels. Quite simply the sci-fi cases rely upon quantum physics and the theory of branes. When you fold space, you get two widely different spots in time and space touching and the resulting portal which forms offers you infinite room to store your stuff.
While not exactly infinite, the Fatsak does afford you space from a laptop sized minimum up to quite nearly an artist's portfolio sized water resistant piece of cycling (or walking, or traveling) portage equipment. Relying upon an origami style series of folds, novel placement of velcro and a surprising number of straps. The Fatsak can accommodate almost anything you might want to carry on a bike.
My first use of the Fatsak was as a briefcase. I am a commuter, so any novel device that seems apropos for my journey is readily adopted. (Call me the Imelda Marcos of brief cases) In that capacity the Fatsak served quite nicely. A handy top carry handle allowed full utilization and ease of carry. There is a secure zip pouch on the front (under the flap) that carries a wallet, glasses case, keys and a cell phone easily. The zipper prevents loss in the event of a tip over as the owner nods off on his commute. There is also more than enough room for the aforementioned laptop, newspaper, books, lunch and whatever in the "from the factory" folded up configuration.
My next outing with the Fatsak was a bike train jaunt into Manhattan for a Braking The Cycle Event. Same laptop etc., and the case seemed quite comfortable and stayed in place nicely as I rode my bike in traffic down the avenues of Gotham.
Most recently I used the Fatsak on my 28 mile round trip to C. W. Post and back. This commute is a surprisingly intense journey in which the rider must do his best to match traffic flow and speeds if he hopes to survive. So you are definitely getting a workout. My normal configuration on this journey involves a Burley Nomad trailer hanging off the back of my Cannondale SIX13. In the Burley, I carry my full backpack which carries, all of the above, laptop, spare battery, wallet, keys, glasses, external drives, cables, charger, external CD/DVD read/write drive, typically a geek book about some kind of computer junk, stickers for PPOL, business cards, pens etc. In the trailer itself, are spare tubes for bike and trailer, patch kit, multi-tool, tire irons, Citrawipes, rain gear, a change of clothes, bungee cords, Elete, Nuun, a few power bars, and Lord knows what else. I am used to pulling this load so let's bear this in mind.
What I am not used to is carrying the weight of a bag on one shoulder for that length of time. The Fatsak as stated is very well made. It will offer years of service, but it is heavy. When you add the weight of a laptop and some of the stuff I outlined above, the weight of this bag gets substantial. The reversible shoulder strap is well padded and does not dig into your neck. As mentioned the chest strap does keep the bag in place with enough free play to allow adjusting the bag around a bit to relieve fatigued muscles.
None-the-less, by the time I was halfway home, I wanted this thing off my back! The waterproof nature of ther material from which the Fatsak is made will defeat the wicking properties of whatever you are wearing so you will get a wet spot where the bag touches your back. If this is the first time you are using this bag make certain that you make it a short trip. You will need to develop muscle tone to carry this bag.
I can and would - let's call it "do" - recommend this bag for all its intrinsic quality. It is very well made, it is well designed, and it performs precisely as advertised. It is Incredibly expandable and for shorter messenger trips and short commutes with minimal "stuff" go right ahead, but for my style and length of commute, I would not recommend a shoulder bag. On the other hand if you are used to a shoulder bag, and find my reservations moot, then I can recommend this Fatsak highly as a well made durable product. I still love the bag, but it is not my solution for a lengthy commutation ride.