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bolstr - initial impression

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by maasan, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. maasan

    maasan Loaded Pockets

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    About a week ago I finally received Bolstr. If you've never heard of it, feel free to google it. Long story short, it was an ambitious project tying to realize the ultimate EDC bag in an affordable price. Following is my initial impression so far after spending a week with it. BTW apology for my clumsy English as it's not my mother tongue. :p

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    Its exterior quality is pretty good with beefy material, taped edges and accurate stitches. It doesn't look cheap. It doesn't look like a murse either. The main material is very similar to Tom Bihn's Ristretto. It's equipped with fine water-tight zippers of unknown brand.

    The front pocket is velcro flapped and is super handy for storing my compact camera. I can quickly open the flap and pull out the camera when needed. It can accommodate iPhone 6 Plus also.

    There is a side internal fleece lined pocket intended for storing sunglasses. But I found it a bit small for contoured sunglasses like Oakley. I can wedge them in but doing so risks scratching lenses with the zipper. Meanwhile it's too small for iPhone 6 Plus. This pocket hangs inside of the main compartment, so if you store a bulky item here it will eat up the real-estate of main compartment.

    On the back side, there is a slash fleece lined pocket, which is just the right size for iPhone 6 Plus, or whatever items of similar sizes. The pocket is embedded between the outer shell and the inner lining.

    [​IMG]

    The strap pad is almost useless because it's too slippery to stay on my shoulder. After a few minutes walk it slides down to my back or front.

    Personally the main compartment feels a tad small. But I know the creator, Jay, carefully determined the size to strike the best balance between too big and too small, so I think I will get used to it. The main compartment is roomy enough to swallow common 500ml water bottle. But it doesn't accommodate iPad Air unfortunately. I can insert iPad and force closing the zipper, but the edge of iPad will be razed with the zipper.

    [​IMG]

    While the bag's exterior craftsmanship is good, internal finish is a bit rough compared to the 1st-class brands like Tom Bihn. The main compartment is lined with smooth rip-stop nylon material, but roughly cut and stitched edges are not taped. To be honest I found the internal finish to be a little cheapish. But maybe I demand too much for the affordable price.

    [​IMG]

    Well that's all for now. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Thanks for reading.
     
  2. ghostyjack
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    ghostyjack Loaded Pockets

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    I'm glad to see that someone has got theirs, I'm waiting for mine to arrive.

    Looks fairly good for my minimalist carry options.

    Did you order the small pouch as well? If so, how do you like it?
     
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.
  3. Jackr

    Jackr Loaded Pockets

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    I received mine and initial impressions are good, maybe a little small, I would say bordering on a little mursey (man-purse looking). I would like for him to make a full-size tablet version.
     
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.
  4. maasan

    maasan Loaded Pockets

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    No I didn't. I thought the pouch would eat up bolstr's already small internal space. But the pouch itself looks quite promising as an organizer, so maybe I should have ordered it also.
     
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.
  5. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Thread moved to the Gear Reviews Forum. :)
     
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.
  6. BrokenHandle

    BrokenHandle Loaded Pockets

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    I bought one during the campaign and have really enjoyed it. I use a small grid-it organizer to hold cable, charger, earplugs, bits. I added some snap on D-ring loops. I'm looking to replace the shoulder strap pad with a paracord pad: heavier, but a lot of cord to use in a pinch.

    Only disappointment is if it was only about 1" bigger, it could have fitted an iPad Air. The designer carried an iPad mini.

    I use the outer pocket to hold a small first aid kit. My main use for the Bolstr is just a clean way to pack some essentials (cap, sunglasses, umbrella, maps, chargers, cables) when attending an outdoor function without having to resort to a shoulder pack.

    The biggest problem I've had with it was that my girlfriend wanted to commandeer it when I brought it along for a beach vacation. ;)
     
    Endless Fugue and Cobra 6 Actual like this.
  7. BrokenHandle

    BrokenHandle Loaded Pockets

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    I bought the small pouch. It's about the size of an old fashioned change purse. One unique feature it has is that the waterproof zipper wraps around three sides of it, so it opens quite fully if needed. I have a large survival bandana stuffed into mine with room to spare.

    Update: I was recently introduced to the Latitude series small zippered cases made by Chums. They are available in 5, 7, and 9 inch sizes. The Latitude 5 is similar in size and superior to the pouch, and works well in the Bolstr. The 7 fits perfectly if you want to occupy the full width of the Bolstr with a case. The Latitude cases have three zippered compartments and are well made and considerably less expensive than the pouch.
     
  8. Darkness must pass

    Darkness must pass Empty Pockets

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    Good morning. Do any of you know if a Glock 26 would fit in the back zippered area? Also, any latest thoughts on this product?
     
  9. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    There's nothing wrong with your English, maasan. Great review.
     
  10. mole

    mole EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    great review. thanks!
     
  11. Durandal64

    Durandal64 Loaded Pockets

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    Good command of English, good photos, good review!