- Buyer's Guide
We all have that one type of bag that we are searching for. One that we might not know the company or name of but we have a use case in mind. And if we could design, source materials, and sew a bag we might make it for ourselves. Well, Mission Workshop has come to the rescue yet again. The Mission Workshop Transit Arkiv Laptop Brief is that bag that I wanted, thought I needed, and once I tried it, I realized I had been missing something my whole life.
The Transit Arkiv Laptop Brief comes in at 14L, smaller than a day bag. However, the layout is roomy enough to accommodate quite a lot. The Transit Arkiv is an excellent option if you need a shoulder bag for the daily commute and carry a small lunch, laptop, umbrella, snacks, raincoat, and other accessories. A multitude of pockets are built into the bag, giving the user plenty of options and organization for any use case. If you have additional bags from Mission Workshop that utilize the Arkiv system, this brief can be attached to those bags.
The organization of the bag’s interior is well thought out, with pockets and dividers galore.
I have been using the Transit Arkiv Laptop Brief for a few months now, and it fits everything I need for a workday at the coffee shop or elsewhere in town.
My usual loadout for a day like this tends to be:
- 15″ MacBook Pro w/ charging cables
- Wireless mouse
- 1-2 external hard drives
- Power bank
- Two sets of headphones (phone and computer)
- 1-2 snack bars
- Nalgene or Earthwell (both 32oz)
I can fit everything in and still have room to stash a light jacket or rain shell without the bag being too full. The shoulder strap is wide, and due to the bag only being 14L, it doesn’t need a pad even when fully packed. I am a huge fan of waxed canvas, so I picked up the brown waxed version for this review.
Who It Suits
The Mission Workshop Transit Arkiv Laptop Brief comes in several fabrics and colors. You have options if you are looking for a shoulder bag that can be used in an office environment or a more rugged setting. At 14 liters, you have more space than a sling, but not as much as a daypack, so consider what you would use this for and how you would travel with the bag. This is a perfect bag for your carry-on item as it fits nicely under the seat and can hold all you need on a flight. As mentioned above, this shoulder bag is perfect for everyday use as a commuter or office bag.
Who It Doesn’t
While the Transit Arkiv brief is great for commuting by public transport or your vehicle, I would not use this as a bike commuting bag unless you were to strap it to a rack. If you tend to need more for your workday or pack larger bulky lunches, you might have issues fitting everything in the bag as it is only 14L.
The layout of the pocketing and the bag’s design are exceptionally well thought out. Several zipped and drop pockets throughout the bag can house various items. You have one big roomy compartment in the interior, with one large drop pocket on one side and an admin panel opposite. The admin panel consists of two pen slots, a drop pocket that can easily fit a hard drive or power bank, and a zippered mesh pocket.
There is no lack of organization in the bag, which is always excellent for travel and the office. The exterior has two pockets on either end. These pockets are not big enough for a water bottle but could hold a compact umbrella, wallet, or some snack bars. There is a laptop pocket that easily fits my 15″ MacBook and should fit up to a 16″ laptop. You might think that the pocketing stops here, but you’d be wrong.
The rear of the bag houses a small drop pocket. This can be used to house the hand strap or to keep items such as your wallet or passport close to your body. On the front of the bag, there is one full-sized drop pocket. Being that this is a large pocket, you can use it for documents, your tablet, or that delicious pita you just picked up. Finally, one small waterproof zip pocket is on the front of the bag. I found myself using this mainly for my headphones and keys as it was easy to reach and secure.
If you are a bike commuter and have a front rack on your bike, Mission Workshop has built-in detachable straps that can secure the brief to your bike for commuting.
The Transit Arkiv provides the user with a shoulder strap and two hand straps. These options were perfect for travel as the bag carries well over the shoulder while walking through the airport, but the hand straps are great for carrying the bag through the plane aisle. The rear of the bag also has webbing for attaching your brief to your luggage as you navigate the airport.
The Not So Good
The large drop pocket on the interior is somewhat flimsy. What I mean by this is that when you are filling your bag, this pocket tends to flop in the way and create more of a jumble than help organize. Personally, if this pocket was split in two and provided smaller drop pockets, this might solve this issue and help separate your items better.
I like that the hand straps have stow pockets for when they are not in use, but the shoulder strap is not easily detachable. This could be an issue for some who prefer not to utilize the strap. It does give the bag a cleaner look by not having buckles, but the strap can get in the way if you want to use just the hand straps. You can remove the strap, it just takes some effort.
If you’re looking for a compact, well-organized shoulder bag that will do double-duty on travel and everyday commuting, the Mission Workshop Transit Arkiv could be a great option for you. Sleek enough for the office, tough enough for travel, and easily able to accommodate your tech and essentials, this is a stylish and dependable piece for office professionals, creatives, and travelers alike.
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Space & Access
Look & Feel
Build, Materials & Hardware
Warranty & Support