Archival Baggage: Billykirk Field Bag

Billykirk waxed cotton field bag

Although I have no earthly need for another bag of any kind (messenger, musette or otherwise), I’m coveting this new field bag by Billykirk. In my mind, the BK bag fills the niche between my Frost River cartridge bag (flimsy) and Filson medium field bag (heavy on the shoulder for cycling). The Billykirk bag combines a waxed cotton main body w/soft leather side and back panels (resembling, through bag ancestry, this Orvis Battenkill field shoulder bag). It has the light (nearly foldable) weight of a musette with the more advanced pocketing of a traditional shoulder (or shell) bag. Although the leather paneling dresses up the bag, it makes it a bit luxe (for me) for daily use. However, I’ve heard that future iterations of the bag might be made in full waxed cotton. Trying to decide on color options: olive, tan or black?

I was chirped at by a Portland “concept store” for taking photos of the Billy Kirk bag–so I apologize for their hurry-up, spy shot quality (no privileged access for me).
For context, a few other field shoulder bag examples:

Frost River shell bag (poor shoulder strap design)

Filson tin cloth medium field bag (nice save for those plastic clasps)

Military field bag (austerity model)

Hunting World options

6 thoughts on “Archival Baggage: Billykirk Field Bag”

  1. Leslie,
    I had the Filson bag, I added an extra 2 inch buckle on the shoulder strap and it helped out a lot with comfort for snow shoeing and biking. I didn’t mind the buckles on the front closure, it made it easier to get at my field glasses.

  2. I know what you mean about the closures on the Filson bag, but OTOH the belt buckle style closure is really fiddly. I wish more leather or trad bags had closures like the Rivendell Nigel Smythe bags- very elegant quick releases.

  3. PS.
    The Filson field bag is the one piece of their luggage I’d actually drag into the field. The wide cotton straps handle a lot easier then some fuddy belt-and-buckle style closure when it’s in the teens and you are wearing thick as sin gloves.

  4. HOM–

    I really like how Filson is using lighter weight tin cloth for some of their luggage. I know what you mean about carrying that field bag into the field. The twill field bag is far too heavy on my shoulder and I usually reserve it for out-of-town traveling. I can see this bag working well for cycling with that broad web shoulder strap.

    I’d consider trying out the new tin cloth version… plastic snaps and all.

    Not sure why the tote bag in this series does not come with a removeable shoulder strap.

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