RANDOLPH, Vt. -
Eric Truran is zipping along in his Randolph workshop. He's making bags that he says last a lifetime for his business,
"We were the first people in the world to sell messenger bags to anyone else besides messengers," Truran said.
Truran was a bike messenger years ago. He even owned a bicycle courier service in the Boston area with his wife.
"We realized we needed really waterproof bags because we got the calls from customers who had wet deliveries and that was not pleasant," Truran said.
So he whipped up a durable, ergonomic messenger bag that was-- most importantly-- waterproof. The next thing he knew, people who saw his delivery couriers on the street wanted their bags. That was in 1986.
"Our bags are warrantied for life," he said. "We've made 60,000; we might fix five or six a year."
Each bag is made to order. They start around $80 and you can add in every bell, whistle or secret pocket you can think of. There are millions of combinations.
"There's a lot more to it than just a big hole, divider in the back, zippers in the front," Truran said.
The bags are made with a durable synthetic fabric called cordura. It's double-lined to ensure no water can get in. And unlike a backpack, you never have to take off a messenger bag to get something out of it.
In its heyday, CourierWare was selling thousands of bags a year. Now, it's down to around 500 which Truran says he is fine with.
"Waterproof, comfortable to wear all day, easy to get things in and out of," he said.
Field-tested, made-in-Vermont bags that are still going strong 30 years later.