Product Review: Patagonia Half Mass Bag


As a 26 year old, I’ve had my share of backpacks and bags over the years. From grade school through college, and now into my professional life, backpacks and bags have always been one of my most important accessories.

I was recently given the opportunity to try out and review a Patagonia Half Mass bag. I was actually kind of familiar with these bags from the time I spent working retail, but I had never really used one before.

I’ve brought it to work with me every day for a couple of months now, and I must say, I’m a fan. Read on for my full review. When Patagonia sent the Half Mass Bag to our blog editor to review, I begged Stella to let me review it…based solely on the look of the bag. It’s straight black with a reflective strip across the front flap (good for those late night bike rides or walks home). It looks really clean, and that’s definitely something I’m drawn to.

Once the bag was given to me to review, I have to say, my first few minutes with it were exasperating. I tried and tried to figure out how the shoulder strap adjustment mechanism works, only to find out later (via a user review on the Patagonia website) that when Patagonia redesigned this particular bag, they didn’t account for the extra strap material that would result from users shortening the strap. Instead of folding over on itself, you need to tuck the extra strap material into the water bottle pocket on the side.

I was kind of annoyed about this fact because I thought it gave the bag a slightly unfinished look. I got over it, however, and that was the last time I’ve been disappointed by the bag.

It’s got pockets and compartments for everything, including a removable laptop sleeve that fits a 15″ MacBook Pro. The Half Mass is made out of 100% recycled polyester with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish, so it’s super easy to wipe clean in case you get anything on it. The main compartment is big enough to store everything you’ll need for a given day. I’ve started taking a workout classes after work and the Half Mass bag has room for a my whole workout outfit–as well as a water bottle and a book to read during any downtime.

Overall, I give the Patagonia Half Mass bag two thumbs up. I think it’s perfect for a busy college student who has to take everything they’ll need for the day with them in the morning or for a busy professional with extra-curricular activities that require some extra gear. One of these bags will run you $99 on the Patagonia site, but you have to remember that you’re paying for quality and durability. The Half Mass bag should definitely last you a while.

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