Packing. Less Complicated.
One dare not repeat past mistakes...though this is definitely a successor to the repetition duffel, it does not capitalize on the shortcomings of that product. After two weeks of use, here are my observations:
1. the main compartment is huge. You can pack two changes of gym clothes, work clothes, shoes, snacks, towels, toiletries and a yoga mat.
2. the end pocket is better used as a wet pocket. It is seam sealed and keeps everything in the main compartment otherwise dry and intact. There is one grommet on each side for ventilation. That said, I do use the separate seam sealed bag for my shoes.
3. the two side pockets are useful. One pocket is lined and good for jewelry, small electronics, etc. The other pocket is good for keys, wallet, gym card, etc.
4. the bottom is flat/rectangular. Unlike the cylindrical shape of the repetition duffel, you don't have to worry about this duffel rolling on its side.
5. there is not a dedicated pocket for a tablet/iPad/laptop, nor an organizer panel for electronics, pens, small items, etc.
6. the exterior is water resistant. Rain just beads up on the outside.
What I'd like to see in the next iteration:
1. interior pockets for toiletries and snacks/gels.
2. longer end pocket to store shoes. I'm 5'6. I can't lay my shoes flat in the end pocket, they have to go in at an angle. The zipper is semi-circle. If I can't fit my cycle shoes or dress shoes in without fear of them getting contorted, I'll let you figure out if you want to try. My Vibrams fit fine. Of course, I could fit 5 pairs of those in that end pocket if I needed to. Yet I digress.
3. yoga mat straps that clasp closed (i.e. urban trekker backpack, studio pack.) the yoga straps do not unbuckle. They slide out, reluctantly, from underneath the buckles after you apply some pressure. It is difficult shimmying my Align Mat through both loops. I won't bother trying it with the Mat. But the yoga straps do hold the mat in place when you fit it in. The Un-Mat (towel) slides in like a charm, probably the only mat that won't give you difficulty in this configuration.
4. gravity friendly zippers. the zippers on the two side pockets catch near the ends, as you're trying to zip them shut. I've determined that if the zipper is not in anyway aligned to be zipped flush against the bag, you're not going to be able to open or close the pocket easily. Good to protect valuables. Annoying to pull out your gym card.
5. open mouth design OR two zippers configuration for the main compartment. It zips one way. When the bag is full, you have to press down into the compartment to get stuff. If you have an open mouth and can just slide the opening to the side, less hassle.
6. memory foam shoulder pad for the shoulder strap. I added a memory foam pad that I already had. Less strain on the shoulder. Otherwise you have the nylon strap digging in, under the weight of the full bag.
7. end of bag placement for the Lululemon logo. I know that the logo is getting smaller and smaller as time goes on, because apparently we don't want people to know what brand we're wearing when we teach, run errands, etc. If the duffel is completely packed. the yoga mat side will be sticking away from you (if you can keep it inside against your body, and comfortable, more power to you); anyway, that means the Lululemon logo faces in. I don't buy or wear competitors clothing/gear at the gym anymore. But I can identify what brand someone has on from 100 meters away. Unless it's Lululemon, then I have to be closer.
8. velcro (yes, I said it - keep it away from luon!) OR a button clasp to hold the two small handles together. I have had to go from shoulder strap to handle as I'm loading my car. I have yet to be able to get both handles in one grab as it's sliding down. One handle and then the other will wear quickly and unnecessarily.
9. water bottle holder!
The verdict: I needed a duffel to replace a well-loved and now departed 2 year old duffel. This bag has more storage space. It carries what I need to carry. Is it perfect? No. Does this meet my needs? Yes. For now.
January 28, 2013
A Good Simple Gym Bag
This is a very simple gym bag that certainly does the job. It has a large pocket in the centre for all your stuff that I really like. It's great because whenever I'm done at the gym, I like to just throw all my stuff in my bag and just get outta there as fast as possible because I am usually exhausted after a workout (so no need to keep flipping through pockets looking for your stuff). The bag does have two outside pockets which are also great for things like your phone, your keys and other small items that would otherwise get lost in the main pocket and are easily accessible. There is also a mat strap on the one side which is a nice feature to have, and a big pocket to store your shoes so they don't dirty/stink up everything inside the bag. So overall I am pleased with the bag.
Unfortunately, like the Repetition Duffel this bag still doesn't come with a pouch for a water bottle... So no where to store your protein shake and/or water bottle. I also find the zippers on the outside pockets not the best quality for a duffel bag, they need to be more heavy duty for repetitive use. The mat straps on the outside are great to have, but take a while to adjust and I end up just keeping the mat on top of the bag (maybe if they had buckles or velcro would be better).
I would call this bag an improvement over the Repetition Duffel and an overall good gym bag, but I think there are a few more things that can be changed to make this the ideal bag to take to the gym.
January 22, 2013