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Pinnacle of Horror – a Crumpler bag review

It comes in one color – black. The insides are red. Its name, true to Crumpler lineage, is Pinnacle of Horror. For a messenger-type sling bag that fits a 13″ laptop, it’s unexpectedly comfortable. The contoured geometry and the absence of fuss are a twin blessing for the disorganized – there are no buttoned, velcro’d, or zippered pockets that bulge out like eyesores; no pockets likely to be housing candy wrappers and ticket stubs that ants will eventually find.

Crumpler Pinnacle of Horror Review

Crumpler bag review photos by Rona Jimenez

There’s more: black non-reflective water-resistant weave, black front strap to secure the contents, black shoulder strap with black shoulder padding – these all the more highlight the Crumpler logo, in a Zen-quiet way. Zip the top open to bask in red – anything inside is predominantly of this color – the exterior is a kind of black that catches your eye, as though the bag was trying to hide, stylishly, in plain sight.

The problem with black bags and cats at home is cat-shed clinging to the bag. This wouldn’t be a review without real-life trials. So I grabbed the nearest cat and rubbed him against the bag. When Oscar the cat stopped protesting, which coincided with the point when I let him go, I stared at the bag and Oscar’s black and white shedding – easy enough to pick out, even easier to rub off with a rug. Look at the picture below – not a single cat hair remains.

Crumpler Pinnacle of Horror Review

Not in photo: Oscar, the black and white cat.

If you sling it on your right shoulder, with the strap coming down diagonally across your chest – the bag on your left side – the Pinnacle of Horror “contours” onto you. Strange. Strange is good. What happens is you naturally adjust the strap for a tight but comfortable length, so the load, when you’re standing up or walking, is closer to your center of gravity.

The bag becomes a part of you — slide it behind you if you need to use your hands, slide it up front for a more secure handling — excellent in case you need to sprint ahead of other pedestrians (and their pedestrian bags). Either way, it doesn’t look like a heavily padded laptop bag — a give-away for thieves. It’s likely to escape laptop-hunting eyes: your company-issued Acer laptop, or newly-bought second-hand Mac, is safe.

Crumpler Pinnacle of Horror Review

Left thumb credit: Irwin

Slide the bag up front and you can reach into an ergonomically positioned zippered compartment on the bag’s left side (with the bag facing away from you) using your left hand. Instead of reaching down your pants or unzipping your non-Crumpler bag to check who texted you, you can do that without looking. Unzip, reach in, glance at your cell phone, zip back cell phone safely. All with one hand.

You might want to make sure that the strap has a just-right slack, in case you need to access another zippered compartment on the bag’s back side. If you have the Pinnacle of Horror slung over your shoulders and pulled up front, the strap slack is useful so you can access this other compartment. The slight difficulty with access is good for items that need to be secured, like your purse, or your iPad.

Crumpler Pinnacle of Horror Review

Belly of the beast: the innards of the Pinnacle of Horror - one internal zippered compartment and one laptop inner sleeve.

A portion of the bag’s top part folds to serve as a flap, which you secure with the front strap, an idea so simple you wonder why other bags have two straps side by side, when one will do. Apart from being able to house a laptop, there’s more room, enough for a single change of clothes, or gizmos and chargers, or books and magazines.

This is a bag I’d like to bring, even without anything inside, because it makes me look good. The mirror doesn’t lie. And I am a reliable interpreter of facts. Believe you me.

The Pinnacle of Horror sells at P4,950.00 at any Crumpler Concept Store and Digital Walker outlet near you.


Open wide. Contents of the Crumpler Pinnacle of Horror, my wife's stuff inside - thick 13" HP laptop, iPad 1 hanging from the unzipped inner compartment.

Deeper into the belly of the beast. What this pic hides are the laptop charger brick and connector wires at the bag's bottom. Here one external drive is visible, there's another at the bottom; and hosts of other items that will fall off when I turn the bag upsidedown. In between these gadgetty stuff there's probably room for books and a lady's purse or two.

The iPad fits well into both the inner and, as seen here, the outer zippered compartments.

And there's Oscar the black and white cat, with signature you've-got-to-be-kidding-me look. My wife and I was able to persuade him to get in the bag, and pose. As per lab tests, only one docile, grown cat will fit inside the Pinnacle of Horror.

We’re raffling off a Crumpler Pinnacle of Horror! Find out how to win one here!

Irwin Allen Rivera

Irwin Allen Rivera

Irwin Allen Rivera loves his wife's cooking so much he's now twice the man he used to be. He and his wife maintain, where you can read the best short fiction in English, by Filipino authors, for free. Irwin's English essay won a Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature in 2012. His philosophical-horror story appears in Philippine Speculative Fiction 8 (2013). He was managing editor and lead writer of Sites and Symbols 2 (2005), a coffee-table book about buildings in UP Diliman - his alma mater (BA Philosophy; MA Creative Writing continuing). He worked at the UP Diliman Information Office before shifting to web content writing full-time. His sudden fiction, "Notwithstanding Pigs," initially a Friendster testimonial, appeared in Philippines Graphic (2006) and in Very Short Stories for Harried Readers (2007).

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    • techie|

      Hi Irwin, could you load it up with stuff to see how much stuff can fit in the bag?

    • Irwin|

      @Techie. I’ll try to get it back from my wife first. :D
      She stuffed it with her HP laptop, brick charger, mouse, two external drives plus connector wires, a tube of Bengay, my iPad 1 plus charger, notebook and Pilot pen, and it all fits snugly inside. It can take some more if you force it, but you want it compact so it feels relatively “weightless” when you walk around, since it “leans” on your hip and is close to your center of gravity.
      It can’t take a lot but it’s fine. You are forced to consider what you really need, and what you assumed you’ll need just because you can bring it.
      By the way, the iPad 1 fits in the zippered compartment at back of the bag, perfectly.
      I hope this helps.

    • testdummy|

      This bag looks good. I like the simplicity of the design.

    • techie|

      @Irwin Thanks! Looking forward to the pictures!

    • bad_boy|

      Nice bag. Poor Oscar, though (did he give you that what-the-hell look after? My girls always do that to me after I give them a hug). Is the back compartment padded?

    • Irwin|

      @bad_boy. Yeah, Oscar threw me that what-is-with-you-these days look, and slowly walked away shaking his head. That’s why I couldn’t get him in the picture.
      The back compartment is not padded, but that’s where I put my iPad anyway, since the iPad is tough. The inner laptop sleeve is padded though.
      As soon as I get it back from my wife, I’m going to upload more pictures soon of this bag, ones with a laptop, chargers, external drives, iPad and stuff. I don’t think I can convince Oscar to get inside the bag for a quick pic though.

    • bad_boy|

      @Irwin: Cool, cool. Looking forward to the in-use pics. Must give my girls a hug each later ;)

    • Irwin|

      @bad_boy, techie. here are the in-use shots. complete with Oscar, the grumpy cat.

    • susae|

      cool! :)


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