Top positive review
30 people found this helpful
Hard-wearing Tardis of a bag
on 30 December 2013
The Kipling Fundamental backpack is made of a tough nylon fabric, with woven straps and well-made reliable zips. The main body of the bag closes very easily with drawstrings and a flap over the top which fastens with velcro. It opens easily when required just by pulling it open, making it easy to get at the contents when you want to, but pretty secure when you're carrying it around. Tie the strings together for extra security. There is a small zipped side pocket, which is easily accessible and therefore not good for valuables, and a large front pocket accessed by the two diagonal zips (again, not secure for valuables). I find it very comfortable to wear as a backpack, but it can also be carried on one shoulder or in your hand by the looped handle at the top.
I've just bought one of these backpacks to replace the identical one I've had for nearly 12 years. It's been used almost every day, commuting into London on the train, as a holiday bag stuffed full of spare clothes and towels, as a travel bag with a change of clothes and supplies for a journey, crammed full of nappies and baby supplies, and as an overflow shopping bag, and it's never let me down. It's lightweight and folds up small when empty, and can be squashed under the seat of a plane or inside another bag for travelling, but expands to hold an unbelievable amount of junk when necessary. It's comfortable to carry even fully loaded, and the draw strings mean the contents are easily accessible. And despite being dragged around and overloaded regularly for 12 years, the fabric is still intact and the zips still working reliably. It's been through the washing machine a few times and comes out looking almost as good as new.
It's not perfect. The biggest flaw is the lack of a secure inside pocket for your purse/wallet/phone. I've ended up using a small handbag inside the backpack - works for me, but not ideal. The velcro fastening for the flap fails after about 3-4 years of daily use, and I've replaced it at least 3 times since I bought the bag. Sadly, now the drawstrings have worn through, and a leaky pen has stained the bottom, so when I saw the bag on offer on Amazon, I jumped at the chance to replace it with a new one. I'm hoping for another 12 years of faithful service from this one!
Oh, and you get a little furry monkey hanging on the side. What more could you want?