This review was edited from Carryology, the leading blog in the carry industry. Read the full review here - http://www.carryology.com/?p=21779
This might not be a surprise: Seventy Eight Percent has made its name through attractive bags built to last. They try to make ideal partners for your inner-city adventures, taking from home to work to a bar and back again. Surprise: that’s what the Katz will do.
Who It Suits: People with lightish carry requirements who favour style and organization. A healthy back would help too.
Who It Doesn’t: Anyone who needs to haul a lot, ride a bike or break into a run now and then. This bag is for mosey-ers only.
This bag looks nice. It’s striking; the “boxy” shape just works. People will gush over it. And they’ll gush even harder when you open it up. Both pockets have a nice patterned lining and the front pocket is just plain well organized.
There’s a mesh pocket for your cords, cables and what-have-yous. There are two wide slips on one side and a smaller, conveniently wallet-sized slip on the other. At the bottom you’ll find a deeper pocket, perfect for a Kindle or journal. There’s also a “designated pen slot” but don’t feel obliged to do what Seventy Eight Percent tell you to do.
The Katz has some stellar materials. The bulk of it is a nice, hard-wearing Japanese canvas with Italian leather accents – think base, zip pulls, handle and strap adjusters. The canvas will hold up to a lot and the leather looks like it’ll age well.
There’s an external zipped pocket for your to-do needs. I put my keys in there but you’re probably more exciting than me.
To top it all off, it features splash-proof zips from YKK. It’s a small detail, sure, but it’s nice to have. And, best of all (as far as I’m concerned), their color offsets the canvas nicely.
THE NOT SO GOOD
For all its functionality, the Katz puts form over function.
I wouldn’t want to carry too much in this bag – the straps don’t exactly scream “long haul” support. I’d even hesitate to throw a moderately heavy coat in the main compartment. You’d get it in there, sure, but it wouldn’t be pleasant.
And that laptop slip. It’s padded, sure, but the bulk of the padding seems to face away from your back. Your computer (up to 15″) won’t crush your juice box but your spinal column won’t be happy with you when you run for the train.
This is a well-considered and well-crafted bag. It sacrifices a bit of comfort for that style but, given it’s designed for light packers, that sacrifice isn’t noticeable. There’s not a lot more to say.
People will look twice when you pass them in the street and you’ll want them to. Because you know the Katz isn’t just skin deep. It’s got the insides to charm too.
“One of my friends saw it and said “It’s like a wallet, but a backpack”. That’s a perfect description. The Katz is a back-wallet.“