Recently I was contacted by Karkoa via Twitter and asked “Hi Steve do you want to try our innovative bag?” I checked out their website (karkoa.com) and decided to try the Smartbag 40.
For clarity I was given the bag for free to trial and review. The bag is described as “the sportspersons locker room”. This is the main reason I decided on the 40L version instead of the 25L, I needed a big bag. I have a pretty big collection of bags varying in size for different running needs but nothing quite like the Karkoa Smartbag.This year, as a lot of you will know, I’ve raced a fair bit. The races have varied from 1 mile to 100k including 24 hour team relays, trail races and fell races where I’ve needed to take a lot of running kit. On a number of occasions I’ve travelled a fair way from London to do these races and have often ended up taking a couple of bags. I tend to take one for casual clothes and one for running kit etc. To add to that I take carrier bags/bin bags for after the race to put sweaty smelly running stuff in. One of the bags I tend to use is my Salomon Trail 20. I love this bag as it is really comfortable for running in, I tend to wear it to and from work. However due to its size I can only carry so much and it doesn’t have separate compartments for different clothing. My other running bags include a small asics one and a Salomon Race Vest for long runs when hydration etc is needed. The Smartbag 40 is obviously a much bigger bag and therefore is never going to be as comfortable to wear and run in compared to the Salomon Vest etc, they are two completely different things.
I’m going to use this bag a lot for weekend trips and exploring, it’s that big I’ll probably take one of my other smaller lightweight running bags in it. Yesterday, I ended up having this bag on me and had to take it to track after work. I was in two minds as to whether it would be ok for running or whether I should get the tube. I decided to test it out on the run. It was pretty full with casual clothes and other things so not ideal. I was running with a couple of colleagues and a friend to track, we had two miles to do and we ran at about 7 min/mile pace. With the large heavy bag I wasn’t very nimble and agile but it’s good to know that if I have to run with it on again I can and it’ll be bearable. It’s good that the bag has a strap across the chest and the shoulder straps are well padded.
If you are travelling around a lot and like to keep your things clean and tidy I would definitely recommend this bag. The sportspersons locker room is definitely a good way of describing it. Here’s a link to a video of the bag in action: https://youtu.be/65bV9c7UjA8
If anyone else has trialled this bag it would be interesting to see how you found it. If you find a specific brand of running bag great it would be good to hear from you, just message on here or on Twitter &/or Instagram @StephenSkinner6
See a lot of you soon