Komal C Buffalo Hunter Review
Cons: Heavy, poorly designed shoulder strap, flimsy and baggy inner liner
Manufacturer: Komal's Passion Leather
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Komal C Buffalo Hunter
|Price||$62.99 at Amazon||$101.84 at Amazon|
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|$179.00 at Backcountry|
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|$80.00 at REI|
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|Pros||High quality leather, attractive, good price point||Spacious, savvy pocket configuration, easy on/off, comfortable, weatherproof||Waterproof laptop sleeve, weather-resistant, great features, ambidextrous, brightly colored interior||Affordable, durable, weather-resistant, simple but functional organization features, customizable||Comfortable, compact, intuitive design, easy on/off, reflective panel for higher visibility at night|
|Cons||Heavy, poorly designed shoulder strap, flimsy and baggy inner liner||Heavy, spendy, laptop zipper not waterproof||Exterior water bottle pocket is small, shoulder padding can get bunched up, tips over easily when set down||Left-shoulder carry only, minimal protection for laptop, shoulder strap is somewhat finicky||Heavy for the volume, not ideal for carrying a laptop, could use more storage slots in front pocket|
|Bottom Line||This attractive leather bag is affordable and easy to use, but it has some limitations||This tech-savvy, spacious, weatherproof, and comfortable messenger bag features ample pockets and can accommodate up to a 17" laptop||This is a highly impressive ambidextrous bag with excellent features and bomber weatherproofing||This durable, weather-resistant, and simple bag is thoughtfully designed with great pockets and reasonable comfort, all at an affordable price||A compact and comfortable bag for carrying your daily essentials, featuring a seatbelt buckle for easy on and off and a reflective panel for increased visibility|
|Rating Categories||Komal C Buffalo Hunter||Chrome Buran III||Timbuk2 Especial Stash||Timbuk2 Classic||Chrome Kadet Sling|
|Packing & Organization (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Wear & Tear (10%)|
|Volume To Weight Ratio (10%)|
|Specs||Komal C Buffalo Hunter||Chrome Buran III||Timbuk2 Especial Stash||Timbuk2 Classic||Chrome Kadet Sling|
|Measured Weight||2.73 lbs||2.71 lbs||2.28 lbs||2.02 lbs||1.20 lbs|
|Measured Volume (purported volume)||12L||22L (24L)||15L (17L)||18L (21L)||7L (9L)|
|OGL Volume/Weight Ratio (bigger is better)||4.40||8.12||6.58||8.91||5.83|
|Dimensions||16 x 12 x 4 in||21.25 x 12.25 x 7 in||17.5 x 12.2 x 4.72 in||14.6 x 12.2 x 7.1 in||17 x 8 x 4 in|
|Number of Compartments||2||2||3||2||1|
|Number of Large Pockets||2||1||3||2||1|
|Number of Small Pockets (i.e. sleeves for pens, thin items)||3||8||4||5||3|
|Number of Zipper Pockets||1||4||3||3||2|
|Reflective Material?||No||Yes, on bottom straps||Yes||Yes, on bottom straps||Yes|
|External Side Pocket||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Sleeve For Laptop?||Yes - 15"||Yes - 17"||Yes - 15"||Yes - 15"||Yes - Tablet Only|
|Stabilizing Cross Strap||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Available Sizes||One Size||One size||One Size||XS, S, M, L||One size|
|Size Tested||One Size||One size||One Size||Medium||One size|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Buffalo Hunter is a classy leather satchel with simple features and good craftsmanship, especially for the price. While it isn't suited for rainy weather, cycling, or anyone that needs lots of accessory pockets, for the right person, it's a steal.
Depending on what you're carrying and how you commute, this bag is adequate but nothing special. The main issue is the strap; it's thin, so if you have a heavy load, there's not a lot to distribute that weight, and the bag is hefty even when empty. There's a small and thin "pad" that helps a little, but it's very minimal.
The strap is also quite long, and if you adjust it to be shorter, the metal buckle ends up on the top of the shoulder or past it — and the pad isn't designed to be removed or to pass over that buckle. You'll either need to resort to no shoulder padding or having your bag hang down by your bum or thighs. It's a shame because this could easily have been remedied with just a bit of forethought. This also isn't the best bag to consider for cycling because there's no crossbody strap to keep it in place.
Packing & Organization
The Buffalo Hunter offers a lightly padded laptop sleeve secured via a Velcro strap. It also features two medium-size drop pockets, one pen holder inside the main compartment, a large exterior front pocket under the main flap, and a large rear zippered pocket. These features are minimal but sufficient, depending on your needs.
Our main issue here is with the saggy canvas liner on the interior. The lack of integrity makes it challenging to feel professionally organized, kind of like wearing an oversized sweatshirt under a fitted blazer — a bit bizarre. If you place something too heavy in the drop pockets, they sag and can easily spill their contents, and to use the pencil sleeve, we had to physically hold the fabric taut.
The Buffalo Hunter is made from nice thick leather and has a padded laptop sleeve that holds up to a 15" computer, secured with a Velcro tab. There are a few places for smaller devices and cords, though somehow nothing feels quite right. The smaller pockets don't zip and are flimsy. The larger pockets are really large; the full size of the bag. If you are the kind of person that organizes your things into separate zippered pouches (like a pencil bag), it won't matter much, but if you like having dedicated places for things built into your bag, you will likely feel disappointed. When it comes to weather, you will also need to be careful. While the exterior is robust and handles getting doused with water quite well, there are no corner wings on the flap to keep water from sneaking inside.
Ease of Use
This is mostly an effortless bag to use — the top grab handle is large and comfortable, the clasps for the front flap are hidden stealthily yet intuitively under adjustable buckles, and the shoulder strap adjusts via a standard slide buckle. However, a couple of things are less than ideal. The loose inner lining is disappointing and makes interacting with the pockets more difficult than it would be if it were better designed.
The front flap is heavy, and the straps that adjust for length don't have a ton of range, so you can't overpack. Which, honestly, you wouldn't want to anyway because the shoulder strap is so poorly executed, that it's very uncomfortable with heavier loads. If you want to be able to use the tiny "pad" on the strap, you will need to be okay with a low-hanging bag, which may fall down to your bum or even your thighs. If you adjust the strap shorter, the pad is no longer usable because it's not made to pass over the slide buckle.
Wear & Tear
We have some mixed feelings here. The outer leather on the Buffalo Hunter is lovely and thick and will age well. It has a pre-weathered look, so scuffs and scratches blend right in. However, the internal liner does not inspire the same level of confidence. It's loose and baggy and could easily get ripped or damaged; it's really a shame that more attention wasn't paid to this aspect of the bag's design.
Volume to Weight Ratio
This bag weighs 2.73 pounds and is just 12 liters, so it didn't end up with a very good score in this category. However, if you're looking for a nice leather bag, you likely don't mind lifting a bit of extra weight.
Value is decently high for this attractive bag. It's affordable, particularly for the excellent materials you receive. Compared to other comparable bags of a similar look, this is a steal, though we hope the design gets reworked a bit in future iterations.
In most respects, we enjoyed our time with the Buffalo Hunter. There are problems with the shoulder strap and internal liner, but the rest of the bag is well executed and very attractive. For the price, which is more than reasonable, this is an excellent leather bag that's great for school or the office.
— Penney Garrett