“It’s yellow.” That’s the first thing that went through my mind when I saw the new Crumpler Hillman Hunter. Yellow was never a color I liked. I wouldn’t mind black, white or red (all of which are colors available with this new small messenger bag). But no, I was being handed a yellow bag. On color alone (and on principle), I hesitated to take it, but my editor prodded me on. And I’m glad because it turned out to be an interesting ride.
I carry a lot of stuff. Looking at the Hillman Hunter, I thought it would be utterly impossible to put everything that was currently in my bag into this tiny thing.
But lo and behold, it actually had a 6-liter capacity! And what does that mean, exactly? It fit my ebook reader, journal, fountain pen holder, medical kit, wet tissue pack, brush, fan, umbrella, two purses, Flip camera, tripod, phone, Waldo the Jumping Brain, Pris the Android, lotion, calling cards, sunglasses and keys. The bag looked like it was going to burst at the seams (which has happened a few times with my other bags).
I guess it helped that this messenger bag had four inner pockets. Two of those inner pockets had Velcro closures which make them the perfect place to store stuff that you don’t want to lose, like keys or loose change or Waldo.
Like I said, I carry a lot of stuff. I’ve had a history of getting new bags repaired within a week of using them. The Hillman Hunter refused to be one of my victims. The bag’s material was strong. The seams held. It gave me a sense of security knowing that my strap wouldn’t suddenly break in mid-use (I’ve had a lot of accidents of that nature).
The bag closes with two Velcro and two release compression straps. I’m not a big fan of Velcro, mostly due to the fact that I rarely see industrial-strength performance on consumer products. Thankfully, Crumpler didn’t skimp on this feature. The Velcro closures hold on securely even if you don’t lock the release compression straps.
While it is roomy, the bag was designed so that all the contents can be seen at a glance without them spilling out. This makes it perfect for getting through local security who prod through your belongings with their “magic stick wands”. With all my other bags, it takes them roughly five seconds to check me out. Bringing the Hillman Hunter brought it down to exactly one. Open and look. Close and run.
The bag also keeps you safe on the road. Every Hillman Hunter sports a wide safety reflector up front. Perfect for pedestrians and bikers.
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The strap, while sturdy, is too long for my taste. Then again, I’m short. While the strap can be shortened, I was stumped on where to tuck away the extra length. I had to go online to the Crumpler website to figure out what to do with it. Apparently what I thought were just design touches were really accessory loops situated on each side of the bag. You can use one loop to tuck away the extra strap length while also hanging stuff via the other loop, although I think the only way you can hang anything on it is by using a carabiner. Of course, hanging anything from the accessory loop will just tip the bag’s center of gravity and generally make it less comfy.
Depending on the color of the bag, anyone from casual commuters to corporate climbers can get away with bringing the Hillman Hunter along for everyday use. Although, if you’re female, you can’t pair this with your office suit and skirt. Suit and pants, yes.
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