Freitag Dragnet Review: After one year

About one year ago, I posted my initial review of my Freitag Dragnet bag. Since then, this post has been one of the most successful posts of my site. So here comes the follow-up post with some of my thoughts after one year of usage.

First of all, I am happy to report that the bag is still going strong after all this time and a nearly daily usage (I use this bag for both school and work so it gets a lot of wear and tear). Well, now you can definately tell that the bag is no longer new and got a bit of usage, but it is still without any damages and holds up extremely well. So lets get to it…

The Good

The absolutely best feature of this bag is its expanding top part. When I wanted to go swim after school, I simply put my swimming stuff on top of my school utilities and expanded the top, secured it and went off. Everything fits inside (see pictures)! I don’t need to carry around an extra bag with my surf shorts and bath towel around.

Another great thing is its durability and easy cleaning. Since the bag is made out of truck tarp, it takes quite a bit of abuse. To clean it, I simply used a brush and a lot of water. Simple. Since there are no parts that could be damaged by water (no padding or anything like that), you can literally drown the bag and hang it out into the sun to dry it. The bag itself is water-resistant and works excellent in rain or snow. Because the way the inside folds away, water has no way of getting in.

Oh, and another thing: simplicity. There is not much on the bag itself that breaks or could rip off. Inside you have a small compartment for loose papers and the main compartment for your books and devices (see pictures above). Outside, there is a small pocket to store small things such as keys, ID cards, earbuds, pens, change…

The Bad

Alright, lets get to the things that are not so great. One of these things is the shoulder strap and its method of fastening. When carrying heavy stuff (books, laptops and loads of paper) the fastening mechanism tends to slide a little, if not dramatically. This means that once a month I re-adjust the bag to a higher position on my back. But don’t get me wrong here, when carrying my usual stuff around, the fastening mechanism does its job excellently.

Because my particular bag is white, you can see where the weak spots are. Namely, these spots are near the shoulder strap, on the bottom corners and on the edges of the bag on the inside. The material holds up quite nicely and I am certain that this will stay that way in the next year or so. After that, we will have to see how the tarps hold up.

Oh yeah, and remember that shoulder pad I bought? It’s not necessary.


Would I recommend this bag? Oh absolutely. It is well fitted for daily usage to work as well as school where you need to carry heavy books and tons of paper. It easily fits two 15″ laptops plus your usual nuts and bolts that come along in everyday life and is perfect for lugging around your school books and binders.

  • Excellent flexibility, fits almost everything
  • Quality is good, only minor weak spots
  • Pockets are well tought trough
  • Shoulder strap mechanism not optimal, but works fine in everyday life
  • A little wear can be seen on the inside


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Simon Krenger, on 2014-07-24 09:03:57 (Website)

Hello Henna, To carry a laptop and its accessories, the strap itself should be enough. You're right t is indeed a car seat belt. While it is not a flimsy car seat and it definitely has some substance to it, it is not padded. That is why I would recommend the shoulder pad when you plan on carrying heavy things. The attachment area itself is still doing fine. Just the fabric that is near the strap has suffered a bit.

Henna, on 2014-07-23 21:28:50

Loved the reivew, now I want one to replace my laptop bag, time to save up I suppose. Is the strap not padded though? It looks like it is just a typical car seat belt - is it a really nice luxary/safe car seat belt that is substantial? Maybe at the points where where the straps connect to the bag they can work on strenghtening it by adding an extra layer to both sides of the attachment/area with some really thick and strong heavy weight thread. Wow, you carried a lot of stuff to school.

FREITAG Dragnet (GREY/BLACK), on 2014-06-10 03:16:00 (Website)

[…] my FREITAG Dragnet go. More info on Freitag bags, they are hits in Europe F14_01054 | FREITAG Freitag Dragnet Review: After one year – Simon Krenger Sells for 395euros Bought it directly from the store Built like a rock. Comes with free shoulder […]

Sylvia, on 2014-01-05 06:32:12

I recently purchased the Dexter, one size down from the Dragnet. I love it! It is the perfect NYC, on foot, city bag. Along with its functionality, the whole Freitag concept is one that I proudly carry across my back everyday!

Ian Macleod Cassels, on 2013-12-02 12:40:28

Got my yellow freitag bag now 12 years....still using it every single day

Simon Krenger, on 2013-10-07 09:11:24 (Website)

Hello, I clean my bag using just soap and water. I then put some soap on a small cleaning brush and remove most of the dirt, then I rinse it with water afterwards and put it out in the sun to dry. But still, after three years, it won't get as clean as before ;).

sio, on 2013-10-05 14:32:49

hello simon :) i have a question about this bag i have it also, and same color. my bag gets dirty easily.. i want to know how you clean your bag with brush and water! do you brush it only with water??

Chris, on 2013-03-25 20:16:54

Really noticed Freitag bags shortly after arriving a couple of years ago, and instantly wanted one. Checked the price, and realized I would have to wait, perhaps quite a long time. Today, got my first Freitag bag, an accumulation of Xmas, birthday etc presents. Went to the Zurich store and chose a 'Top Cat'. Worried it was a big too big (was tempted by 'dragnet'), but partner pointed out that I really need a bigger bag... And it is a present, so go for it. We were also looking at the 'Joe' bag, but 300 CHF is too much for me, even if I am not paying. Perhaps in a couple of years if this one goes well (daughter is already interested in 'borrowing' mine!). Anyway, was looking for a review (after purchasing!?!), and found your review :). Only realized your were Swiss when I saw a German language text book (coming from Google and finding very good English, I thought you were from the US at first :)).

Geert De Meyer, on 2013-01-20 18:11:07

Thanks for the quick reply!

Simon Krenger, on 2013-01-20 11:25:50 (Website)

Hi Geert. Yes, the Dragnet easily holds a 15" MacBook Pro with room to spare.

Geert De Meyer, on 2013-01-19 18:54:30

Hello Simon I read that you put two 15inch laptops in this bag. So I assume that the Dragnet could easily hold ONE 15inch MacBook Pro. Would that be right? Kind regards Geert

Simon Krenger, on 2012-09-25 11:01:25 (Website)

Hi Fred, thanks for your comment. Since this is a messenger bag, all the weight is on one shoulder by design. The straps are quite broad, so the weight is a bit distributed, but generally I would not recommend a messenger bag when you have a lot of heavy stuff to carry around. For me it works, since I only have a MacBook Air and some papers to carry around most of the time, so it does not get too heavy. Also, the bag has no lining inside which means the weight is directly on your back. This is why I wear this bag quite high and tight when I am riding a bike so it doesn't hurt my lower back.

Fred, on 2012-09-24 17:44:55

Hello, Is it a comfy back and does it hurts your back when you wear it with heavy stuff in it? Because the messenger bag I wear hurts after a while... Thanks for the review!It helped me a lot. Cheers Fred

Simon Krenger, on 2012-08-25 14:48:52 (Website)

Hey Joe, thanks for your comment. Even after two years, the bag is doing great. The bag is a bit more worn but is still holding up against rain just fine. Also, the velcro has lost a few threads, but that does not impact the function in any way. I think it will continue to do fine at least one more year!

Joe, on 2012-08-23 11:26:03

Hey Simon, thanks for the review! How is the bag holding up after two years of use? cheerio, joe

Simon Krenger » Review Freitag Dragnet, on 2011-08-28 13:09:51 (Website)

[...] Update: For more images, recommendations and a report after one year of usage, see my follow-up. [...]