Karkoa sports bag review – When the folks from Karkoa got in touch asking me to review a bag of my choosing, I jumped onto their website to have a look. In having a good look through, what struck me is how well thought out and attractive these bags are. I said YES – what’s a runner to do?
When putting this to the test, my key questions were:
- Is the bag attractive i.e. could I take it along to conferences and meetings and still look professional?
- Is it functional i.e. could it fit everything I needed for running including shoes; would it be good for short trips whether here or abroad; could I easily separate out clean and dirty clothes without having to carry around plastic bags?
- Would it safely hold my laptop?
The short answer – yes, yes, and yes.
And the long answer…
How the Karkoa Sports Bag measured up
My bag of choice was the Nomad 25 – the rose grey. It arrived quickly and in a box. The box wasn’t padded out with lots of random bits of paper or other packaging materials – this makes me happy. And the branding is subtle which I like as I’m not a big fan of feeling like a billboard every time I step out the door.
I opened it up, eager to look at its features.
The design and construction of this bag is a thing of beauty. Features include:
- two hooks at the top – one for carrying, the other for hanging up the bag. I like this – it means if I hang it up, it keeps the structure of the bag intact;
- a small and discrete zipped pocket at the top with more than enough room to carry cards, some cash, keys and a phone. The lining is a soft felt and lovely to touch;
- a zipped and lined compartment at the side – this fits my laptop which I’m really happy about;
- good stitching – it feels robust; and,
- the back of the bag is padded with adjustable straps and a chest over clasp and is comfortable for wearing around the place.
And on opening it up? This is where it gets exciting. The first thing I noticed was how much room there is – it’s Tardis like in its construction. It includes lots of fab features including:
- a compartment in the bottom of the bag for shoes (up to size 10.5) – there’s an internal zip to minimise wasted space if not needed for shoes;
- an insulated pocket to fit a bottle of up to a litre;
- a toiletry bag and a waterproof laundry bag which can easily be removed via a clip; and,
- a few compartments separated by mesh.
I’ve been tripping around London with it. It’s comfortable and has an unexpectedly enormous amount of space inside. This will now be my go to bag for short trips and for races where I need a change of clothes, a towel, and somewhere to put an extra pair of running shoes.
And I like the fact that this is a small company that essentially crowd sourced many of the design features and have adapted along the way in response to feedback. You can read more about them here.
They have a range of other bags as well. The Plume 20, the Smart Bag 40 and the Teepee 45. Prices range from £65 to £80 with free delivery in the UK and the rest of Europe. Available from Karkoa.
DISCLAIMER: This product was gifted to me by Karkoa. I have not received any payment for this review.