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||$179.00 at Backcountry|
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|$53.40 at Backcountry|
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|Check Price on Amazon|
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|$127.20 at Backcountry|
|Pros||High quality leather, attractive, good price point||Waterproof laptop sleeve, weather resistant, easy to use, great features, ambidextrous, brightly colored interior||Durable, comfortable, simple but thoughtful storage, customizable||Waterproof, comfortable, lightweight, highly durable, ambidextrous shoulder strap||Incredibly durable and weather resistant, ambidextrous strap, spacious|
|Cons||Heavy, poorly designed shoulder strap, flimsy and baggy inner liner||Exterior water bottle pocket is small, shoulder padding can get bunched up, tips over easily when set down||Minimal features for electronics||Tips over easily when set down, doesn't have very many pockets, expensive||Stiff when new, boxy shape, buckle on shoulder strap is bulky, very loud to open|
|Bottom Line||This attractive bag provides great value, but it isn't ideal for cycling or inclement weather||This well-featured bag is feature-rich, fully ambidextrous, and highly weatherproof||This tried and true design continues to be one of the best simple messenger bags on the market||With thoughtful features and burly weatherproofing, it's comfortable, lightweight, and ready to be your go-to bag||Checks all the right boxes of what makes a great messenger bag, including looking super stylish|
|Rating Categories||Komal C Buffalo Hunter||Timbuk2 Especial Stash||Timbuk2 Classic||Arc'teryx Granville 10||Topo Designs Messenger|
|Packing & Organization (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Wear & Tear (10%)|
|Volume To Weight Ratio (10%)|
|Specs||Komal C Buffalo...||Timbuk2 Especial...||Timbuk2 Classic||Arc'teryx...||Topo Designs...|
|Measured Weight||2.73 lbs||2.18 lbs||2 lbs||1.15 lbs||2.66 lbs|
|Measured Volume||12 L||20 L||21 L||10 L||13 L|
|OGL Volume/Weight Ratio||4.40||9.17||10.50||8.70||4.89|
|Dimensions||16 x 12 x 4 in||17.5 x 12.2 x 4.72 in||14.6 x 12.2 x 7.1 in||16 x 10.5 x 5 in||17 x 12 x 6 in|
|Shoulder preference||Either||Either||Either but optimized for left||Either||Either|
|Number of Compartments||2||3||2||2||2|
|Number of Large Pockets||2||5||3||1||3|
|Number of Small Pockets (i.e. sleeves for pens, thin items)||3||4||5||1||1|
|Number of Zipper Pockets||1||3||3||2||3|
|Reflective Material?||No||Yes||Yes, on bottom straps||No||Yes|
|External Side Pocket||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Sleeve For Laptop?||Yes - 15"||Yes - 15"||Yes - 15"||Yes - 12"||Yes - 15"|
|Stabilizing Cross Strap||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Available Sizes||One Size||One Size||XS, S, M, L||10L and 16L||One Size|
|Size Tested||One Size||One Size||Medium||10L||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 nothing special, but adequate. 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, and 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 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 fall out, 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 and secures 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 their own zippered pouches, it won't matter much, but if you like having dedicated places for things built into the 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 less enjoyable and easy 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. 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 there. The outer leather is lovely and thick and will wear well. It comes already weathered-looking, 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.
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 very high for this attractive bag. It's affordable, particularly for the excellent materials and craftsmanship you receive, especially compared to other comparable bags of a similar look.
In most respects, we really loved 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 great for school or the office.
— Penney Garrett