Bailey Works is a Portsmouth, New Hampshire operation with a reputation for making bags with exceptional craftsmanship, functionality, and simplicity. Many years ago Bailey Works made a backpack but discontinued its production despite cries for its return.
That wait is finally over with the introduction of three Bailey Works backpacks; the large and small Citizen Packs and the incredibly voluptuous Two-Strap Work Pack. Bailey’s sizing chart uses beer can capacity as a unit of measure. I chose to go with the 78 can capacity “Large”, verses the 44 and 168 can sizes. I was looking for a waterproof backpack that would allow me to travel, grocery shop and commute.
I ordered a copper colored bag without the optional waist strap. Construction was confidence inspiring with its quality stitching, a tough Cordura outside material and the new waterproof Flashpoint liner. The Citizen has five compartments and protects its main two compartments with a large hood style lid that folds over and is buckled down with two straps. The main storage area is large enough to let a full (paper, not plastic) grocery bag slide right in with room to pile more on top. With the hood up, the front bellows pocket shows itself. It has a standard Bailey Works pen and wallet pocket and is large enough to hold a 12” laptop, electronic cords, a book and pens. The hood flap and bellows have adjustable straps that allow the bag to conform to the size of its contents. On the hood is a discrete zipper that turned the whole flap into a flat waterproof pocket that is perfect for things such as mail, passports or a small book. On both sides of the pack are nylon mesh pockets for holding my dirty socks.
Two days after I got the pack I filled it to capacity and headed to the airport with a laptop, food, and all of my clothing for a five-day trip. It was just fine as carry on, but a little tight going under the seat in front of me. The padded three-inch wide shoulder straps were comfortable while traveling, with the weight of the pack evenly distributed. I found that the bag almost rested on top of my lower back keeping the weight off my shoulders. With its weight distribution, a sternum strap, and padded back, I found the Citizen very comfortable for traveling.
Back home I started riding with the Citizen to see if it would fill my other needs. As soon as the barrage of snow quit here in the northeast I began using the bag for any reason like grocery getting, mail runs, commuting to work and delivering Liberty Sports Magazines. The bag performed great. Most notably, I was able to use the seven adjustment straps to accommodate my cargo sizes. Even at it’s least full, the pack felt compact and never a like a loose sheet in the wind. When it was filled to capacity, it sat high and between my shoulders so my view was never blocked while negotiating traffic. When the warmer weather came with the March rains I ventured out to see how waterproof the Citizen was, and found my contents to be dry after every ride. With its reflective strip and easy to reach light holder on the back, I felt safe after dark.
Bailey Works have made a great bag that filled all my needs plus some I didn’t know I had. Find them at www.baileyworks.com.