Kavu Rope Sling Bag Review
I love gear. Let me just state that first. I am a gear collector who can browse an outdoor store looking at gadgets I will probably never need but just look cool. If I am looking for something I need, I will research for hours until I find exactly what I want. I love a well- designed object that does what I need it to do without extraneous and usually useless gimmicks.
I finally own a suitcase and large, carry-on bag that I am happy with, but I still couldn’t find a day bag that I liked for traveling. My laptop backpack was too big and a purse either didn’t hold enough or hurt my shoulder when it did hold everything I wanted. I felt like Goldilocks, nothing was just right.
What I Wanted in My Day Bag
A bag big enough to carry a large water bottle, a light jacket, money and credit cards, cell phone, and a toiletry bag with essentials (like band- aids, contact drops, and wet wipes). It also had to fit my large Nikon DSLR camera. I wanted it to carry all of this without leaving a permanent indentation on my shoulder.
What I Didn’t Want in My Day Bag
I didn't want another backpack or purse as I have plenty of those. After all, I am a self- admitted gear junkie. Plus, many museums and other tourist sights are starting to restrict backpacks. (Looking at you Ellis Island and Eiffel Tower.)
I was looking for this magical “not a purse nor a backpack” bag for about a year and nothing was it. Until I kept noticing people with this sling bag. I saw them hiking but also shopping around town. I saw them at music festivals and at playgrounds. Then I saw the bag at my local hiking store and tried it out. A few times. And then I tried out its nearest competitors. And like Goldilocks, I believe I have finally found my “just right” in the Kavu rope sling bag.
Kavu Rope Sling Bag- The Details and Why I Like It
Comfortable Straps. It’s a one- shoulder sling bag, but the straps are wide so they distribute weight well. And it works over left or right shoulder so I can switch shoulders when I really have it weighed down. The strap is easy to adjust which is nice when I bike ride and like to wear the bag a little tighter.
Zippered Pockets. There are 2 main zippered pockets that each hold about half of the bag's 660 cubic inch capacity. Combined, they hold a water bottle, ipad, DSLR camera, a few bars, and a light jacket. There are also 2 small exterior pockets- one with a zipper that’s a perfect size for a cell phone and a slightly smaller pocket with a velcro closure that’s good for chapstick, tissues, sunscreen, etc.
Durable. It is sturdy enough to hold a bottle of wine or a quart of milk if walking home from the corner store. (Done both of those several times now.) So far, my bag has been very durable and stain resistant which I worried a little about with the canvas fabric. I have set it down on many a dubious park bench and restaurant floor and come away okay.
Perfect Size. It is still small enough to still pass as a purse (especially if I don’t stuff it full) which is helpful at places that do not allow backpacks.
The choices of patterns are all pretty loud. I wanted a bag that could carry over to dinner in a decently nice restaurant if needed. They do offer a basic black option but the canvas material seems to attract lint. At least the black bag I saw did. I ended up with a deep gray, abstract pattern over a tan background and I have been happy with it.
It’s popular around college students and extremely popular around elementary and middle schools. I was concerned about being too trendy (especially sharing a bag with the Justin Bieber set) and whether the bag was really worth $50. But now that I have one, I can say that I think its popularity is because it is so useful.
As far as being the must have, pre-teen fashion accessory , I can vouch for that being based (at least a little bit) on usefulness as well. Both of my nieces have a Kavu that they just took to Europe and loved. It is big enough for their tablet (but not a laptop), water bottle, phone, snacks, and other carry- on essentials like books, crayons and paper. They even managed to get a change of clothes in there. So it works great for kids as well as adults.
So there you have it, my Ode to the Kavu and the reasons why I love it. I have had mine for about 6 months now and find myself using it more and more, not just for travel, but as my primary bag at home too. If you have been looking for a great day bag like I was, go try one out at your local outdoor store. Or, you can always order one off Amazon (like everything else on the planet).