You know Sustainable Surf, yes? The fine folks behind the ECOBOARD project? Their whole game is to drag the surf industry to the sustainable side of the environmental ledger, from contests to surfboards, and now to surf accessories.
Their new bag, literally, is the Deep Blue Bag. I’ve been testing one for about a week and it’s well-designed, looks great, and is a near-perfect urban adventure bag for somebody who also gets outdoors a bit.
The 20-liter pack (designed by renowned Swiss designer Yves Béhar) is made with upcycled sails from sailboats, bits of climbing rope recovered from granite walls in Yosemite, and upcycled wetsuit material. It’s got a well-hidden (so well hidden I didn’t notice it for a few days) water-resistant inner pocket for wetsuits or muddy outdoors gear or sweaty gym clothes. There’s a very-well designed and grippy bottle holder on the outside of the pack. A secret stash pocket is so well hidden that, again, I didn’t notice it right away. Of course, there’s also a padded laptop/tablet pocket. Mafia Bags, a San Francisco company that makes lot of upcycled packs and bags, makes the Deep Blue Bag right here in California. Each one is handmade and unique, bearing their own ID numbers. Also, each bag comes with a lifetime warranty.
For cafe/computer/gym use, it’s a great pack — Comfortable, looks great, carries a load well, is well-organized, and well-laid out. It became my favorite backpack within minutes of using it. It’s a technical pack that manages to hide most of its tech features, helping aesthetics tremendously. If I had one complaint, it’s that the outer fabric is a bit crinkly and loud, but that’s nitpicking, really.
Proceeds from the bag’s sales go to supporting Sustainable Surf’s Waste to Waves program, which upcycles foam, wetsuits, cork, and canvas into surfboards, yoga mats, traction pads, and, yup, backpacks. That’s a good thing to know, because the bag ain’t a cheapie—it’ll retail for $200 when it hits stores. As of now, it’s still in Kickstarter mode; though they’ve hit their funding goal, you can still nab one for $175 on their Kickstarter page.
That’s a good chunk of change for a 20-liter bag, but it’s well within the norm for premium backpacks that are made this well and look this good. The fact that all the money the bags generate goes to environmentally-friendly projects is just a really big bonus.