Thursday, May 27, 2010

Field Test & Review: Mission Workshop Vandel Bag

For the past week and a half i've been putting Mission Workshop's Vandle backpack through the ringer. First impression was, WOW. They've built an extremely versatile high quality bag USA Made bag. From beer store runs to weekend trips this bag does it all! I'm extremely particular about my gear so this bag wasn't going to just fall on my shoulders without passing my rigorous testing. I would like to mention, this is a complete and unbiased test/review with years of knowledge and experience in the industry. In other words, I know crap when I see it.
  • Super spacious. I've found my bag! Something that can compact down well when not hauling a ton of crap, yet fitting a 30pk and having room for more is what I was looking for. Not concerning myself with restrictions on the amounts of things I can haul makes for stress free commuting and riding. With 1 main compartment and 3 others I've taken this bag to the grocery store, beer store, Polo tournament, work and still have yet to see it fall short in a bag that meets my needs. See detailed photos of the pockets here.
  • High quality materials. The folks at Mission Workshop definitely choice some of highest quality materials to build their bags with. Ever experience your buckle strap wiggle loose when carrying a big load? These techy compression buckles will NOT do that. The type of buckle they use has a push release in order to give slack too the buckle, which makes for a VERY secure system. It's so strong I couldn't break the compression strap loose without pushing the release.
  • Comfort and Usability. I gotta say the internal carbon frame makes this bag extremely comfortable at ANY load. I ran the waist strap when I traveled to MPLS this past weekend and found it quite helpful when I had an uneven load of helmet, knee/shin guards, mallets and more. I discovered outward expansion of the bag does not throw of your balance if haulin' a heavy load, contrary to some belief. I never ONCE felt my arms go to sleep due to improper fit. The shoulder straps are perfect and didn't put any uneven pressure on my shoulders, unlike the other guys. Most any shoulder accessory will easily adapt to the shoulder straps, as I transferred my holster from a previous bag with no problem. Don't be discouraged when you can't find a pen holder, because there is! On the outside near the lower main buckle there is a flap where clip style pens can reside.
  • Overall this bag kills it! The versatility and the attention to detail that went into making this bag sets a new benchmark for these kinds of products. USA Made and Lifetime Warranty are key ingredients for gear I purchase, and this one has it.
It won't be long until we have these in stock! I'm sure of it.

-Matt Hewitt

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