Make no mistake, the Kona Project 2 Messenger Bag from Brenthaven is not one of those lopsided collaborations where a brand name alone is expected to spur sales of an otherwise average product. Brenthaven and Kona are two companies that happen to be very good at what they do. One makes great bags for your gear, and the other builds awesome bikes. And this bag has enough impressive design features and attention to detail that it will satisfy fans of both brands, while winning over new ones.
Whether you walk, ride a bike, or ride a motorcycle, this bag will keep your stuff safe and dry. For starters, there’s an internal waterproof compartment that will hold a laptop (up to 16 inches) as well as your other electronics. And that’s one of 10 storage compartments, so everything has its place. It expands to a capacity of 1300 cubic inches, so you’re not likely to run out of room inside. Closures are a mix of magnets, waterproof zippers, velcro, and metal hooks on adjustable straps. A nicely padded strap with stabilizer and cell phone pouch make carrying any load a breeze. And the 1000D Cordura not only looks good, but is tough too. Peeking through the clear window is a NiteIze flashing LED light – a nice touch. All the stitching was straight, tight, and well-finished. Exactly what we look for as indicators of quality.
We sent our brave contributor out to give the Kona Project 2 Messenger Bag a test on the mean streets of… Boston. Although we failed to send him off with a fixed gear bike, he did take a laptop, phone, MP3 player, camera, various documents, and plenty of snacks. Not only did the bag carry it all, but it allowed him to seamlessly transition from a conservative office to far more casual after-hours social activities, without looking out of place at either. It manages to get respect (and a little envy) at the workplace, while still keeping some street cred on the side. Should he decide to take up cycling to work, there is still room for a large U lock, as well as his helmet. As a matter of fact, we first thought the bag was a bit too large. Turns out it’s just right, unless you’re one of the minimalist folks with not much to carry.
Color options include blue (shown) or black. Either choice looks great. Fashion aside, the internal cradle system that protects your laptop from drops and impacts is worth the MSRP of $149.95 alone. Compared to other messenger bags we’ve tested, nothing comes close to offering so much protection. Get the full specs at brenthaven.com, and check out the video below.
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the Kona Project 2 Messenger Bag for free from Brenthaven, in consideration for review publication