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Title A Men’s Waxed Canvas Messenger Bag for The Ages
Posted by BUILFORD (ip:)
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  • Date 2019-07-23
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  • A Men’s Waxed Canvas Messenger Bag for The Ages
  • AWaxed canvas captures the imagination in a way that nylon or acrylic never really can. It could be because it connects to the past in a way that these modern materials can’t and brings a whole history with it.

    When you think of nylon, for example, it only fits in a contemporary setting. Waxed canvas, on the other hand, brings to mind at least a hundred years of adventures and possibilities.

    Imagine, if you can, the following scenes:

    A seasoned explorer stands at the cusp of a cliff, surveying the land. With one hand he reaches into the bag slung across his shoulder, and pulls out a small telescope to find a safe path to the other side of the valley…

    A teenaged boy cycles madly through the predawn light of the city, one hand expertly flicking newspapers onto the stoops of the townhouses. The bag he carries across one shoulder is bulging with the news to deliver before school starts…

    A young man touches the brim of his hat and takes a deep breath, steadying himself for the interview. His hand curls around the leather handles of his waxed canvas bag, and then he steps up to the office door and knocks…

    It’s not hard to imagine each of these men carrying a waxed canvas messenger bag, even though they are all so different, and in such different situations.

    That’s the magic of waxed canvas. That’s the magic that Builford taps into with its collection of vintage-style bags and backpacks. Indeed, one could imagine the bag pictured below to be the exact same messenger bag mentioned in each of the above stories!

  • This is the Builford Haversack, a durable and versatile men’s waxed canvas messenger bag. Whether you identify with the explorer, the student, the professional, or none of them, you can easily write the Haversack into your story.

    Let’s take a closer look.

  • The Explorer
  • You might not see yourself as the weathered mountain man evoked in the first story. Few people do, as a matter of fact, though many identify with his love of the wild. The Explorer, however, comes in many different versions. He is not only an outdoor enthusiast; he could also be a frequent traveler or a digital nomad, or anyone with the adventurer’s spirit.

    What connects the various versions of the Explorer to each other is a constant seeking for new experiences and environments. The Explorer thrives in nature, and constantly seeks new, untraveled paths.

    Haversacks in general are actually most associated with hikers and soldiers, both explorers in their own ways. These days, we call similar bags just “messenger bags.” The haversack is a bit of an old-fashioned word, like the only pioneers we speak about these days are tech pioneers. The only frontiers we haven’t reached are beyond our planet.

    Even though satellites have erased all the blank spaces from our maps, the Explorer keeps the pioneer spirit alive. To honor that, we decided to keep the old-fashioned name.

    The Explorer will love the Builford Haversack for its rugged strength and adjustable compartment size. 

  • While haversacks can be either canvas or leather, they are very often waxed canvas.
  • Waxed canvas is not the strongest material out there – some synthetic nylons these days can probably carry a pick up truck. However, waxed canvas is one of the toughest and most durable. It also has a rustic quality that feels more authentic and natural. The Explorer is not a tourist in nature, he feels at home there. This men’s waxed canvas messenger bag both looks and feels at home in the wild as well.

    Many people now prefer backpacks for hiking or other outdoors activities. However, before the modern backpack was invented in the 1980s, knapsacks and haversacks were the most common type of bag.

    Don’t get us wrong: backpacks are useful for very heavy loads and long treks. There’s nothing wrong with a good, ergonomic pack with all equipment and clothes for that winding path through exotic shores.

    Instead, the haversack speaks to a slightly different relationship with nature. Imagine the Explorer again – his large belongings stay at a base, perhaps a cabin, and he takes the haversack for daily trips. He doesn’t need to take everything with him, because he already lives there. 

  • That’s not to say that all Explorers live in cabins in the woods, of course! What we’re evoking is more of a feeling than a statement of reality.

    It’s true, though, that the Builford Haversack is great for frequent hikers and day trips or day explorations while the gear remains at camp. That’s just for the outdoors type of Explorers, as well. The Haversack is great for exploring new cities or wandering new markets. For the digital nomads and gypsies, you’ll carry your work with it, settling down in a new café or co-working space for the day.

  • One big advantage of the Haversack in this regard is the option to increase the main compartment size.
  • At Builford, we know there’s a thousand ways to use a bag. Just looking at the Explorers above will tell you that, and we haven’t even gotten to the student or the professional!

    This Haversack is different from a simple messenger bag in one big way. Around the full middle of the bag, from one handle around to the other, is a zipper.Once open, the zipper releases an extra swatch of material that almost doubles the size of the main compartment.

    With the zipper open, the Haversack is a sizable messenger bag that can easily carry a day’s worth of supplies. The two large front pockets add whatever space is missing inside and hold any loose valuables.

    Between the aesthetic and strength of the waxed canvas and the extra space, it’s clear why the Explorer would carry the Builford Haversack.

    The Student, on the other hand, will love it for the organization and the durability. 

  • The Student
  • In the second story, we saw a young newspaper delivery boy doing his job in the early morning before school. While delivery jobs still exist, they’re often via motorcycle or car, and few people get newspapers anymore. So, in our modern example, we think of this young man as a student. 

    Like the Explorer, there is no one version of the student. He might have a busy extracurricular schedule with sports or student politics, or perhaps he’s more interested in hanging with his friends, skating or biking. Perhaps he works a part-time job, shuffling homework schedules and shifts.

    Whatever he’s doing, our Student will need all the organizational help he can get.

    Starting from the inside out, the Builford Haversack has a soft, waterproof lining with a padded compartment for a small laptop or tablet. Two mesh pockets on the front of the pouch can hold chargers or other small items.

    The next level is the front of the bag under the flap, with a full zippered sleeve and two slip in pockets. Finally, there’s a slip in pouch at the back and three zippered pockets at the front; one the width of the bag, and two pouches. The pouches are wide and loose enough to easily reach in and out, as well as carry any valuables.

    While young men are perhaps not known for their tidiness and attention to detail, this men’s waxed canvas messenger bag encourages organization.Our student might not use all the pockets all the time, but he can use them to separate some of the different aspects of his life.

  • More than the internal organization, the Student can appreciate the Haversack’s durability.
  • This aspect is not unique to the haversack; it’s a constant through all Builford bags – and really across all waxed canvas products. Indeed, it’s one reason waxed canvas has held its ground in the world of nylons and acrylics.

    Waxed canvas is a naturally strong material that resists wear and damage.Builford pairs it with specially treated leather and metal details, which can also take a lot of wear. We expect the Student to use this bag, and use it a lot. We expect it to be thrown in lockers, towed to skate parks, stuffed to bursting, left in the mud at sports practice, covered with glitter at musical practice, and etc.

    The Builford Haversack is ready for the Student’s adventures, which may end up being more taxing than the more stately Explorer.You never know – perhaps after graduation, that same young man will step off the trail and become the Explorer!

    He might, however, head into an entirely different jungle – the professional world. Whether he shoots for wall street or Carnegie Hall, or ends up a CEO or an accountant, his Haversack will be right there with him.

  • The Professional
  • In the heyday of waxed canvas, the Professional almost always followed a certain path. A career track was simple – start at the bottom with one firm or company, and stay there until retirement. Perhaps one would work their way to the top in that time, and perhaps not.

    At the firm, there was a general standard of fashion. Suits and ties were commonplace, and generally leather briefcases. Waxed canvas was probably not the main choice for office settings, but we can imagine, for the sake of it, that the Professional in the story is actually our young newspaper boy. He’s heading to his first job and hasn’t made enough money yet to buy a briefcase.

    Our modern Professional has a very different life, with very different fashion. He’ll have multiple careers in his life, jumping from company to company. Most places he won’t wear a suit and tie, unless he’s a top executive.

    With so much moving, you’d think he’d have to change wardrobes and accessories with every new office. At least he won’t have to worry one thing - with Builford’s reimagined Haversack, he won’t have to change bags whenever he changes jobs. 

    In the previous example, we saw the Haversack’s versatility in terms of space, which the Professional will probably appreciate much more than the Student! But this men’s waxed canvas messenger bag is also versatile in its ability to blend into its surroundings.

    Waxed canvas is naturally casual. That’s just due to the way the material looks and feels on its own. However, with a clean, beautiful design, and just the right balance of leather and metal details, the Haversack can look surprisingly formal. 

    In fact, the Haversack’s design is minimal and elegant enough to blend into the background in formal settings, and stand out in casual settings.

    The Haversack is not the only bag in Builford’s collection with this ability. Because of our focus on luxury vintage items and style, there is no bag that looks like it only belongs with the Explorer.

  • Go The Distance With A Waxed Canvas Rucksack
  • This men’s waxed canvas messenger bag is a good example of Builford’s work, which is why it’s featured in the stories and scenarios in this article.

    However, it is only one bag in a larger collection. To be sure, the full catalog is not exclusively dedicated towards men’s fashion! Men and women alike can enjoy all the models, though some are more popular with one gender or the other. For example, while men favor the Haversack and Builder’s Portfolio, women tend to go for the May Vintage Tote Bag. We’re not here to make any judgments – each bag stands as its own fashion piece.

    Take the time to browse through the online store and see which bag is right for you. Let the waxed canvas inspire your imagination! Find your future in the great stories of the past, and step forward with confidence and creativity. Your Builford bag will be right there with you, every step of the way.

    Builford waxed canvas bags are available for purchase at the online store on this website and ship worldwide. Each bag is a hand-assembled, carefully designed product that comes with a lifetime guarantee of quality. Find out more in the About section and don’t hesitate to get in touch at if you have any questions or comments.

    Tags: waxed canvas messenger bag, messenger bag, crossbody bag, waxed canvas bag, luxury vintage bag, student messenger bag, waxed canvas briefcase, haversack, men’s bag, men’s messenger bag

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