Why We Chose It: Saves material from landfill, unique
While bum bags seem to be having a bit of a moment on the high street, us outdoor enthusiasts – the usual trendsetters – have always known how great they are, particularly for backpacking. What’s not to like about something that helps you to keep your snacks as close to hand as possible?
“I can see this accompanying me on my next long-distance walk or run.”
These bum bags from Cotopaxi, called the Bataan, are particularly likeable. Not just because of those bright and cheerful colours, but also because there’s a great initiative behind them. Each one is essentially made from leftover fabric – the small cuttings from other companies’ larger production runs that would otherwise go straight to the landfill. The seamstresses who put them together are also given creative control over its final look, ultimately meaning that no two packs are alike. Each design is shown on the Cotopaxi website, or if you really want to live life on the edge, there’s the option to let Cotopaxi select a design for you.
While the colours might be different on each pack, the features and build are standardised. Each Bataan, named after the Philippines city they’re made in, has a three-litre capacity, a long main zip, two little mesh pockets on the inside and then a webbing strap with a buckle closure. The fabric is a lightweight yet durable-feeling ripstop nylon.
What I liked most about this while using it out on the trail is that its capacity and main opening make storing and quickly accessing an OS map very convenient. With my map inside, there was still space for my phone, wallet, a couple of snack bars and even an extra windproof layer. As you might expect from something as light as 113g, this thing has a pretty basic construction, with no padding along the back or on its wings, so you do need to make sure anything with angled edges is positioned in a way that will prevent it from jabbing at you, particularly if you’re using this for running.
I like the fact that the top lid’s fabric is laminated on the inside to protect your valuables when there’s rain. The other fabrics are only water resistant however, and there’s no seam sealing. I’d call the Bataan very rain resistant but not waterproof – you’d probably want to sling it into your main backpack or under your waterproof jacket in any heavy rain.
All-in-all I’ve liked what I’ve seen from the Bataan. I can see this accompanying me on my next long-distance walk or run.
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