Gear Review: Haiku Calligraphy Messenger Bag

My new Haiku Bag! Image from
I recently returned from an extended work trip to Monterey, California with and addition to my growing collection of Ways to Move Important Things Around - a new messenger bag. And it's just so awesome, I absolutely had to share it. It's one of those bags you know you'll use for a long, long time.

Before my introduction to the beautiful, "poetically functional" Haiku Bags, I'd used the same messenger since college. Bright red with "Carpe Noctem" sew on in thick Gothic lettering, it definitely fit me then, but didn't any longer. I decided it was time my bag better matched who I am as a grown-up, especially on work trips.

Enter Sharon Eisenhauer and her ability to execute the perfect marriage of function and beauty in bag form. I hadn't heard of Haiku Bags until a search revealed my perfect new messenger on - the Calligraphy Messenger. The bag comfortably holds my laptop, several folders, a water bottle, and has several interior pockets for holding smaller things. It's exceptionally well padded and durable; I had no qualms about putting my laptop inside without a separate case. I spent three weeks toting it all over Monterey and the only complaint I had was how heavy it got. That's mostly my fault. But I've also heard the Rumi Collection laptop bag is a bit lighter.

Now, If you haven't already, you'll notice if you click on the link that the bag isn't available any longer. Then, you'll ask yourself, "what kind of gear review is this if I can't even buy the product Katie's telling me she loves?" When I come across a new-to-me company that meets needs I didn't know I had, or hadn't been met before, I like to think that same needs might exist for others. My needs:
  • a laptop bag for work that captured a little more of my personality without looking childish or too casual (like this, even though I adore it!)
  • a bag that can hold more than my laptop without feeling too bulky, something I've experienced with Timbuk2 bags
  • a bag with a story, and not just a story, a bag made with a greater purpose than simply carrying things
  • a bag that comes from a socially responsible company - Haiku bags are made from post-consumer recycled fabric made from recycled bottles
Sharon and Haiku Bags have created everything from wallets to backpacks, and although I'm not sure all would meet my work needs, the Calligraphy bag certainly does. Knowing where Sharon's idea for Haiku Bags came from, I'd definitely purchase a Haiku Bag again.

Editor's Note 12/29/11: I'm now the proud owner of a second Haiku bag, the To Go Bag, and recently bought the Origami Tote as a gift. The Calligraphy Messenger, which I purchased for myself, is still my go-to bag for work; it just fits with who I am and the types of bags I like to carry around. As strange as it might sound, it really feels like the bags represent me!


Eileen said…
I love my little Haiku bag (just enough for my phone, keys, wallet and flat things like coupons, etc), it has the matching pattern to yours!
Katie said…
I knew there was a reason we got along :) I have to refrain from buying everything on the website when I go look for new things!
Geargals said…
Oh, wow...I've reviewed some Haiku bags before at They are all incredible. The one above is SUPER cute.