For a number of years now my preferred cycling bag has been a messenger bag but with clips built into it so it can be attached to a bicycle rack. I prefer this style over the traditional pannier bag style because it is more convenient to carry when you get to your destination and doesn't scream "I AM A CYCLIST".
Unfortunately all the bags that are of this style seem to be focused on fashion over practical features.
The original one had decent clips to hold the bag closed but the clips holding it to the bike were rubbish and on a couple of occasions the bag fell off and I had to go back and get it. To fix this I now attach a safety cable (the same type used to attach lamps to bars in theatres) so at least I wouldn't leave the bag miles behind before I noticed (as happened once).
When that bag was worn away beyond repair, I tried to get the same bag again but the company had 'upgraded' the bag. The new version still had the horrible rack clips but was now smaller and instead of sensible buckle clips at the front they were replaced by more fashionable carabiner style clips. These look pretty but are a pain to quickly make and info in a hurry.
My third bag came from a different company. The bag is a similar size to the second bag but the rack clips are much better and lock the bag onto the frame. I still use the safety cable if I am cycling far or over rough terrain but I don't really need to. Unfortunately the front clips are non existent. Instead of unfashionable clips they went for a minimalist look with nothing to see. Instead there are two strips of velcro to hold the bag closed.
Even when I first got the bag I would occasionally find that when the bag was full, it would open itself while I was cycling and the contents could bounce out onto the road. As the bag has aged this has only gotten worse to the stage the the bag has nearly become unusable.
Last Monday I got out Denise's sewing machine and started to attack the bag. I have added normal buckle clips to the lid but just as I was finishing off and about to start in the bag side clips I broke the sewing needle.
So tonight (after Denise bought some more needles for the machine) I am going to finish the job. As soon as the toddler falls asleep...
Update: Took longer than intended but managed to get there in the end:Go Top