I’ve seen a few small book bags made by Lulu in the past, and I’ve always wanted to try one. I’m a little obsessed with bags in general (bag bags, not purses), so I have purchased a few lulu bags already including duffles, messenger types, a bike bag, totes, and more. I loved the fact you could add a hydration bag into the back of the book bag, since I already own one, so I decided to take the plunge.I am so happy with my purchase. This book bag is cute, has great storage, fits a decent amount, able to hold 50 pounds so I don’t have to worry about weight, and seems very durable.
What I Stuffed In It:
Mist Misty Jacket II (folded)// LLL pouch (holding wallet, pocket calendar, receipts and more)// included shoe bag with Nike size 7 running shoes// removable mesh clothing bag holding crops, shirt, and sports bra// Define jacket // extra-large LL bag for dirty workout clothes// Motorola X phone// keys// 33.8oz water bottle
Style and Design:
I love the subtle stripe color variation in this bag. When I say subtle, it truly is. I could barely even see the color difference on my screen, and from far away in person this is still hard to make out. But that extra little detail makes the bag really cute, and I like it a lot better than the plain black option. I didn’t opt for the bright lime green (though I do like the color), because I wanted it to easily match with my clothes (instead of matching my clothes to it).
I’ll run down all the features I’ve tested, which this pack has.
8.03.15 Edit – I have now tested this backpack in the rain, during a hike in the Smokey Mountains for a few hours. It wasn’t down pouring, but it was a pretty steady rain with patches of lighter areas because of the trees. It held up very well for the time it was out. Also, the part of the pack that is made up of Luxtreme dries very quickly even when drenched with water (which I accidentally did, not the rain).
Reflective tape catches in light; I do not personally run at night. However the reflectivity is in a few areas, including the stitching in all the straps. It’s pretty neat, although personally if I was running at night I wouldn’t rely on only the small amount of reflectivity provided. Combined with other things, it would be very useful.
Bungee cord system:
This bungee system is amazing. There are cords that connect around the two side pockets (for water bottles or whatever), which can disconnect. Then there are two cords that adjust up by the zippered top area on each side corner, and two on the bottom on each side corner (left/right). You can cinch these to draw the bag as close as possible to you. The inside cords can keep some small to medium items against the back of the bag. It really is brilliant!
Quick Access Zippered Phone Pocket:
Some of the photos show the phone in the strap pocket. This is not the phone pocket. The phone pocket is the zippered compartment on your right side (when wearing the bag). It’s pretty useful.
Update: This pocket is big for older phones like the Motorola Moto X or an older iPhone or Galaxy; however, I did just get a iPhone 6s and it does not fit in it.
It does makes a difference if you insert the phone up toward the top of the bag first, then let the bottom slide in. Also, at first the zipper on this pocket was slightly tricky because of the lining on the inside having a chance of getting caught, but either from loosing up or practice, I can now easily zipper it.
Molded Back Panels With Vents:
I have hiked with the bag for around 2 – 3 hours, and it didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. I also have ran with the bag for around 50 minutes without having any issues either.
I adore the Luxtreme on this bag. The side pockets, straps, and back are made of this. I was hesitant at first, thinking it might not be a good material for a book bag, but it allows more flexibility in what you can fit. It is also super durable! On a slightly gross note (warning!), it absorbs sweat from your armpits, too. But let’s face it–if you are using this bag for any kind of activity, you are sweating.
Padded Pocket For Tablet:
This is a very thin pocket. I do like it because given the size of the bag, you wouldn’t really want to lug around a full-size laptop with this thing. There are other bags for that sort of thing. My Amazon Kindle (older generation) with the Origami case on top just barely fits in here, and takes a little effort to get in and out–especially on the right and left corners, where the zippers stop from the opening. It’s a little hard, and I could see people getting frustrated with it. But it’s doable, and good enough for me.
My Kindle Paperwhite, even in a slim case, fits perfect in here.
I haven’t had a moment (yet) where the waistband came off. I can see how it is possible this would happen. Just like I freak that swimming with a bikini with this sort of closure means I might end up a laugh on YouTube, the hook doesn’t close completely so of course it can come out. However, I find the hook to fit in snug, and in general it is likely to stay decently. If it got caught on something I could see it being pulled off. Although I have been keeping them on to test, during general use I would remove them to be extra safe.
At first after hiking I had no issues with the waistband staying attached. At times I did try to check up on them, but I often forgot to even look (I did not actually clip them closed as I didn’t need them).
But then unfortunately during a hike I did loose one strap.
Let’s be fair. For dayhikes the waist strap really isn’t very necessary. For hiking that is a design to help offset heavy loads, which this bag would never be carrying. However, for running you might benefit with the extra strap. Depending on how much you are putting in the pack, however, with the bungee cords it isn’t absolutely necessary. Even still, if you purchase this bag you should definitely keep the straps off until you will be actually using them.
Interior Reservoir Pocket and Tunnel:
08.03.15 Edit – I attempted to use this during my hike in the Smokey Mountains on vacation; however, when arriving at our trailhead, I realized my reservoir either leaked or I didn’t screw it on as well as I thought it had. Either way, all the water was gone and the back and bottom of the bag was drenched. I was determined to use the bag, so I threw it over my shoulder none-the-less. I’m glad I did, because it was dry very quickly and wasn’t too bad over only one shoulder beforehand.
Outside Cinch Pocket:
This large outside cinch-able pocket is very useful. However, the slit in the middle (with reflective triangles) I have some issues with. First, the reflective material comes off. Secondly, the material inside the slit puffs out when you have objects inside (and even sometimes just because), and this looks kind of ugly. I would have preferred one more stitch in the middle to solve this issue (in fact, I might just stitch it myself).
- Needs extra middle stitch in front pocket slit
- Front reflective material in front cinch pocket comes off
- Hydration pocket is a little tight, and is much easier in a bag tailored more for hiking like my Camelback day pack
- Straps get lost
So that’s it for this bag! Let me know if plan on getting this bag, or if you have it, what your thoughts are.