I had been looking for a new backpack for the last few months. The rebranded Ogio bags from Dainese didn’t seem worthwhile & I kept striking out with Octopus Bags. The Dainese-branded Ogio bags were 1.5 times more expensive than the Ogio bags themselves, it seemed like a waste. I had looked through many backpacks and decided that Kriega packs looked really good for motorcycle commuting.
I realized that the Gregory Z35 that I had been using wasn’t really suited for this because it sat at the wrong place once I took my gear off. Since it hang loosely off my back, it was starting to make my lower back sore. It had also started breaking. After complaining on Twitter about not being able to find Kriega in Taiwan, the company reached out to me and put me in contact with Kriega Taiwan.
The customer service was really good & personal. They offered me a “free” Kriega Kube for being the first foreign customer in Taiwan. I went to see the rep in Xindian. The gear looked great. There was some confusion over the price I had to pay. It was listed at $220US. In Taiwan, you rarely pay the retail price. There’s always a discount. It’s usually 10%. So the pack should have been $198US. Since I got a “free” Kube, I didn’t get a discount. So essentially, it was almost like paying for the R30 and a Kube, $252US and getting the usual TW discount, $227US. I don’t call that free. Free would have been paying $198 and getting the Kube for no extra money. It’s not really a big deal, but it did rub me the wrong way.
Overall, I’m impressed with the finish and quality of the bag. The R30 is waterproof. The front pockets are water resistant. The zippers are taped. It’s the perfect size. It can easily be strapped down smaller thanks to the straps. The quadlock chest strap system is very comfortable. It keeps the pack locked in place. There is an interior lining that can be removed and it ensures the warerproofing. There’s a pocket for the optional CE-2 back protector, the Forcefield, which I’ve ordered. I’ve successfully put a camelbak hydration bladder in this pocket, although there isn’t a dedicated opening for the hose. The website says that hydration bladders should go into the bottom from pocket. I’m not sure I agree. I haven’t lugged around a laptop yet, but I think my MBP will fit just fine in the back protector/hydration bladder pocket.
I wish there was a way to quickly adjust the straps once you’ve taken off your gear. The Kube is interesting, but the one thing I’d like to store in it, my iPhone, doesn’t fit. Otherwise, I’d put in small stuff, like keys, change, or money. My wallet doesn’t really fit into it either. I’d like a few more stash pockets in this pack, as well some interior hidden pockets for wallets and important things.