Hey guys, I’m pretty awake on a Saturday night and thought I’d take the advice of JaseyJase and write a review for this bag.
BO Gear classifies this as a “medium” sized backpack but I have found it really spacious. Before getting this bag I was using a Crumpler “Fux Deluxe”, which is one of the bigger shoulder bags in their range. First things first, having a backpack instead of a shoulder bag is amazing for both comfort and overall posture. I found that sometimes you would struggle to find a good position for the Crumpler with whatever was in your bag poking you in the back. Not only does the Toad sit really well, it also has an inbuilt layer of padding which is one of those little things that makes all the difference.
In terms of space, I use it for my commute for work which is 2 pairs of shoes, pants, two t’s, a jumper and lunch items. The main advantage this bag has is that the lid is huge and can go over pretty much anything you put in there and still contact the velcro on the outside. BO Gear have made the bag with huge velcro strips and clips that have no worries reaching whatever you throw at them. The bag itself doesn’t expand too much but this is made up for by the height you have to play with.
I have been able to squeeze a slab of Carlton into it (in the box) and a slab of Chang’s (just the bottles) on separate occasions.
Because I pre-ordered my bag I got the extra hip-belt thrown in, which I would highly reccomend because that shit is super comfy.
This bag also holds up really well in the wet, if you have been in Melbourne for the last 4 months you will know what I’m talking about. Not only does it dry pretty quick but cleans real easy as well.
Have been riding wit this bag almost everyday since they were released in April and there is no signs for concern at all.
The only problems I have are as follows,
When carrying anything cylindrical (ie. posters in tubes) you have to rest them on top of the bag itself and fasten them down just with the lid and straps, it works out fine if you can keep it tight but if you only have one or two things in there, there wont be enough to force the bag to tighten, therefore you can get some spillage.
The only other thing I can think of is the slight blind spots you will get looking back over your shoulder when you fill the bag up. This can be fixed by adjusting the height that the bag sits on your back but can still be a bit of a problem if it gets pretty full.
I’m no courier but I do find that I seem to carry a lot on most of my commutes, I would highly recommend this for a person who wants space, and will use it. When the bag is empty it doesn’t tighten very well around your waist and you will find that it slips a bit.
Anyways that’s enough of that, I give it 4.5 spokes out of 5.
Go support our awesome Australian brands!
Special mention to the guys at BO Gear, they are awesome to deal with and helped me pick out exactly what I wanted, quick and easy purchasing to be had!
helpful hint for cylindrical objects…
put them in the bag diagonally and pack stuff around the bottom to ‘anchor’ them in. use the top strap on the side it exits the bag from to create enough tension to keep it in place. dont use the other top strap.
or… get an occy strap and use that like the tube holders that are available on SGB/PAC bags but attach it to the front straps when the bag is shut.
Dave is there someway you can put a lock on my bag please?
Everytime I go to my old home to see my son my x-wife goes through the bag trying to find stuff (evidence).
I’m not sure what’s she looking for (drugs, girls panties, overdue library books) however its really annnoying me.
I’ll elaborate on what I was saying the other night, Rolly.
I’ve been using the Abuser Team model of the Chunky Toad since October in 2010 - and it’s still in stupidly good condition. This got used everyday for year 12 carrying my ridiculous amount of books to and from school in rain, hail or shine. I’ve still been using it daily for all my carrying needs i.e camera gear, change of clothes, food, tools and everything in between.
The Abuser Team model was quite basic. Big empty main compartment, no anchor straps on the front flap, one extra smaller front pocket but that’s didn’t turn out to be much of an issue for me. The current model is slightly smaller, Dave added anchor straps, added an extra pocket inside the main compartment and addressed a few other small issues. I can fit quiiiiite a lot of crap in there and still have it remain comfortable on my back. I’ve also managed to carry every part of a bike except the frame. Sure, occy straps were needed, but it did the job.
The only wear I’ve really noticed on the bag is the material on the inside of the flap, where the flap folds over when you open it, is starting to wear away. But not to the extent that the flap is close to falling off. So it’s held up pretty damn well so far.
Personally, I love this bag. I’d recommend it, Rolly. While it is getting a bit expensive at almost $300, it’s worth every penny. Plus you’re supporting the great bunch over at BO. Hope this helps in making your decision!
thanks andy, good to hear a bit of extra info. funnily enough, my papermunky is doing the same thing as your toad at the fold, but it’s still not close to wearing through or anything. guessing it’s just the part of the bag that gets the most movement through it.
i’m happy to support the BO guys as they were awesome when i was looking at the papermunky, and i love the support and honesty dave has on this forum. if something fucks up, he’ll fix it and want to know how he can better it for next time. even read a thread on here about fixing a competitors bag for someone. that’s rad.
but yeah, the price is the main sticking point, i know i won’t regret it once i have it in my hands. lots of other things i should be spending my money on first…
The smaller one will be too small for you I reckon. You can check mine out at tuesday track sometime. I put a change of clothes/lock/book and it’s completely full where as I’ve done weeklong trips with my Sindrome containing a full tool kit ect, would happily swap my sindrome for a chunky toad if I could because I hate messenger bags now.