Alchemy Goods Mercer Laptop Messenger Bag Review

Momentum Mag reviews the Alchemy Goods Mercer Laptop Messenger Bag.

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Photo provided by Alchemy Goods.

Photo provided by Alchemy Goods.



The Alchemy Goods Mercer Laptop Bag is available in shops in the USA and Canada and available online. It can fit up to a 15” laptop, has a velcro back pocket, and a zip closure front pocket with pen and card holders. 16″(W) X 12″(H) x 3″(D). It’s available in black with several different trim colour options. It’s made of a number of upcycled materials including waterproof inner tubes, and its lining has a waterproof coating. The bag has an adjustable upcycled seatbelt messenger strap and laptop tote handles. Made in the USA.


I love this laptop bag, and even without its excellent functionality, I’d still love it for the cool factor alone.

What has me singing this bag’s praises? Well, it is made with over 50% upcycled material. The outer shell is made from old bike tubes. And though it sounds unlikely, this is a really beautiful bag, surprisingly so. The website description states that inner tubes “develop a finish over time that gives them the soft feeling of a fine Italian leather.” It’s true, the bag feels great. It also is rain resistant, doubly great for a laptop bag. The straps are made from old seatbelts, and they are comfortable and super strong. Pockets are very well laid out and all the stitching is high quality. 

Because I work directly in the sustainability field, this north-american made, upcycled, attractive, high-quality bag is a perfect fit with my values and my style. Kudos to Alchemy Goods for pioneering the use of recycled tubes in a thoroughly excellent product.

This particular bag is not really intended for biking – it’s an “over the shoulder” type laptop bag. To ride with it, the strap would need do go across the chest messenger-style, and without a retention strap (like the Crumpler bags, or the Roach bags of old), it’s just going to slip around front and get in the way. If you ride a more upright style bike, this may not be as much of a concern for you. 


As mentioned, this is not a bag to commute by bike with. It just isn’t comfy to bike with for anything more than a short distance. Other than that, this is an amazing laptop bag that gets two thumbs up.


Get this bag if you want a uniquely-styled laptop bag/ briefcase that is also a conversation piece and conveys a sustainable message. If you’re looking for a bag that you can wear and bike with, or that attaches to your bike, Alchemy Goods has a whole range of backpacks and messenger bags.

Tim Tewsley is a green building strategist with Recollective Consulting in Vancouver BC and a cycling instructor with HUB. Though he rides road and mountain bikes, he most enjoys his morning commute to work.

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