Liz Wilson on the trail with the Mountainsmith Rift Messenger Bag.
Liz Wilson on the trail with the Rift Messenger Bag.

We travel extensively, so we are both always looking for bags that meets our needs of being both functional and convenient.  Whether we are out hiking on trails, or exploring the sights in a major city, there is a lot that we look for in a good bag.  And so far, I have been impressed with my Mountainsmith Rift Messenger bag!

It’s a smaller profile messenger bag that is light, and packed full of pockets & features.  This makes it perfect for our travels because I have an organized place to store all those essentials that we take with us wherever we go.  And with an adjustable cross-body strap, it stays secure on my body while walking, and it also has padding so that the bag doesn’t hurt my shoulder (a big help when I’ve been walking around a city all day)!

The Mountainsmith Rift Messenger bag has an outer flap pocket that secures with a buckle, ensuring that my items inside are secure.  For convenient access to some items, there is a zipper pocket on the outside of this flap.  I like to store things like tissue, hand sanitizer, and sunglasses in this pocket because they are easily accessible without having to open the main compartment.

Unfastening the buckle and opening the flap of the bag, there is another zipper pocket along the front of the bag, which also includes a clip on the inside.  I have found this to be a great spot for my travel wallet.  I like the fact that I can secure it inside this pocket, clip it in, zip it, then secure the outer flap and buckle. It’s comforting to know there are multiple layers of protection in case we are traveling in an area known for pick-pockets!

When it comes to the inside main compartment of the Moutainsmith Rift Messenger bag, I have come to appreciate functionality that I never realized I needed!  First, there is a deep velcro pocket where I can slide all kinds of paperwork, like confirmations or purchased tickets.  This keeps them from getting bent.  There are also plenty slots for pens, making it perfect for our geocaching adventures!  There are also a couple more divided pockets, and a zipped pocket.  These are great for smaller items like my iPod, phone, and a notebook to write in.  I also use one of these pockets to store snacks.  Whether we are hiking on the trails, or on a long plane ride around the world, I always have emergency snacks!

Another awesome feature of this bag is that there is a large, pocket that perfectly fits a tablet and small computers!  I really love this because I can actually fit both my small ultrabook laptop as well as our iPad in the pocket!  These items are held secure with a stretchy material the hugs the electronics.  And the materials is very soft, which protects them from other items in the bag bounding around and scratching them.  Even with all that in the bag, there is still plenty of room in the main pocket for larger items, such as our GPS for geocaching or my fuzzy socks that I like to wear during a long plane ride (nothing says comfort like fuzzy socks!).

The Mountainsmith Rift Messenger Bag features many useful pockets.
Handy pockets!

On the outside of the bag, there is a convenient place to put my water bottle and on the opposite side there is an external zippered pocket.  This is where I put small bottles of sunblock and bug spray, two items we never want to be caught without!  Using this external side pocket makes them easily accessible, and it separates them from the electronics inside the bag in case there is a leak.  Lastly, along the outer back side of the bag, there is a tall thin pocket that is perfect for maps!

Overall, this is one of those bags that I never knew we needed until I had it.  And now I can’t imagine not having it with us.  I have had a number of different travel and outdoor bags over the years, and I may have found my match!  Being on the go as much as we are, the Mountainsmith Rift Messenger bag is the perfect companion.

For more from Josh and Liz Wilson visit or follow their adventures on Twitter @PeanutsPretzels and like their page on Facebook.

Josh and Liz Wilson Happy Trails with the Mountainsmith Rift Messenger Bag.
Josh & Liz Wilson – Happy Trails with the Rift Messenger Bag.

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