fjallraven vintage shoulder bag – a review.

May 4, 2014 on 11:09 pm | In allgemeines, outdoor, review | No Comments

I wanted to like this bag so much, but it has some design flaws that just can not be neglected.

fjallraven vintage shoulder bag

Fjallraven sells the Vintage Shoulder Bag, a messenger bag sized to carry laptops, netbooks and papers. One can find it on their swedisch site, or their german, or their english to get some more pictures and info. I had two examples of this bag for a few months now and carried it to university, to work, around the city, in the woods and all places inbetween.

The G-1000 is nice, feels durable and can be treated with wax if the DWR wears off. But if you plan on wearing the bag a lot in the rain you should look somewhere else, because the sides of the bag are not really sealed by the flap (Gorby Gaps or ‘Prince Charles Ears’). I like the leather accessoires a lot, actually that might be the details that drew me to the bag.

This bag offers quite a bit of compartments which are well placed and usefull for my purpose – mainly wandering to university and other urban places carrying papers and stuff. This was my intention with the bag, as I feel it’s just stylisher than a backpack in the city. For that matter I have to say that a more dominant color, especially in the summer, should be considered.

The biggest problem with this bag is the strap. it will rotate on the connecting buckles, and inevitably rip out the stitches. This happened on the first example I ordered, and after just six weeks of owning the bag – and merely a few days of carrying it – the tears were so bad that I sent it back. The replacement process was tedious and very annoying I have to say, a customer service nightmare I did not expect.

fjallraven vintage shoulder bag - ripped out seams

Honestly, it was obvious that a replacement would not fix the problem, as this is a design and not a manufacturing flaw, and the material is just not capable to deal with that kind of stress.

fjallraven vintage shoulder bag - reason

So yes, you are buying a bag well aware that it will rip in at least two places, after only a few days of easy university use – and this to me is bad. The good thing is, that it does not compromise the integrity but only the look. Where “only” is a big understatement on a ~ 100 € messenger bag.

A second flaw I would not expect on a quality bag is in the buckles. On my first example I wasn’t sure if I just caught a lemon, but after checking two I am able to say that nobody tested the production version. The buckles can not be closed on the first hole (of four), which is a big deal because this is the only setting a half empty bag might be able to hold your valuables securely. I found this photo on fjallravens website, but my examples did not work like that!

As a last not I would add that carrying this bag for longer durations or over distances sucks. For me this was a test, and I feel backpacks are more versatile as I usually switch between working and playing, and a backpack is much more flexible in its uses.

Would I recommend it? No.
The design is just not well thought out, materials are mostly chosen for looks, and I feel fjallravens customer service is not up to what I expect from a good company.

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