Cosyspeed: updates on actual shipping + feedback on products

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Ken Gosden Senior Member • Posts: 2,935
Re: Pretty nice backpack!

Chris 222 wrote:

Ken Gosden wrote:

starfly wrote:

Chris 222 wrote:

starfly wrote:

Well I received the backpack. Looks and feels well made. The bottom isn't rubberized though, it's just a thicker nylon like material than the rest of the bag (perhaps a final change from the prototype Chris tested).

Nope, no change. This was already addressed above. Basically Vaude used the standard industry practice of a stronger material that receives a slightly different coating.

I think we can safely assume that "rubberized" is just one of the many odd or just bad translations from German on the CS site.

I'm actually glad it's not rubberized, as that type of material tends to flake off with age anyway. Starts to look ugly and can make an otherwise decent bag look completely worn out.

I for some reason received two XL cubes. One was in the backpack and is just all gray, the other one is the black one listed on their website.

Check the provenance on the grey/beige one: Vietnam or China?

Also, check the dividers on the grey/beige one. Does the hook side actually adhere to the loop lining of the Cube? On the one I initially received there was practically no grip.

I can't tell where the gray one was made, but the dividers don't stick at all to the sides. Terrible velcro they're using. In that sense, glad they included the other cube as well, as in that one the velcro sticks just fine.

Mine arrived today with both cubes.

Neither has any provenance. It is not that the Velcro on the gray dividers is bad, rather the material used for the inside of the cube itself is not substantially piled loop side for grip.

Not to split hairs here but "Velcro" is actually made of two parts. The Hook and the Loop. What I find astonishing here is that we now have two customers who have received defective ICUs (the grey/beige ones) and apparently without so much as a note of explanation.

I would normally not have disclosed this, but in light of what I see I feel it is the right thing to do. What happened is that the Vaude factory, last year, used the wrong "loop" material for the Cubes, making them pretty useless and resulting in lots of unhappy customers for Cosyspeed. At the time I was told that CS was replacing the cubes for free, but since they are still shipping bad units, one has to wonder.

Since the new black ones (supposedly mass produced at a different factory in China) are not even available right now (site shows "Pre-order! Delivery in June 2021!" I'm not making this up...) I can only assume that they had a very small batch of black ones made.

Anyhow, no transparency, no sharing of vitally important info with the customer (even on SM from what I'm told): keeping the customer completely in the dark seems to be an acceptable practice at Cosyspeed. Befuddling and sad.

Also, only the separate black cube has the D-rings and shoulder strap. The gray one does have wood panels in the sides and the zip top cover seems thinner with a grab handle on the cover as well as the top. Thinner certainly makes it easier to keep out of the way when it is open.

The black one feels much sturdier than the gray one. Gray has hard panels on both long sides, but the two short sides don't have it. The black one has hard panels on all sides, so seems like the better cube.

Actually the grey one is FAR stronger (I found out the hard way, check my review again.)

I'm sure it is, but what I like about the black cube is that the top and bottom sides also have thick padding. Particularly for the bottom I like that, as that's where I can fit my 100-500 lens.

The gray one has absolutely no padding down there, so when setting the bag on the ground there would be no protection for any lenses on that side.

BUT, the black one is ever so slightly longer than the gray one, making it harder to open up the cube while it's in the backpack than the gray one.

Yup, the CEO told me they would do that. Never said why but I agree that it makes access to the zipper a little more difficult. What I suggest doing is simply zip both sides up to about two inches from the top. Don't worry, you gear won't go anywhere.

Yep, that's what I did last night, figured there's not need to fully close it each time.

I'll need to see which one I'll like using more. It's between a stronger sturdier cube and one that's easier to open.

The side zipped laptop compartment is nice, fits my 14" laptop easily. And then the main part of the backpack has a divider that you can zip open or leave it closed. I'll leave it closed as I can put in a few odds an ends there while traveling (such as headphones, books, etc.). And then the brain has a mesh pocket underneath it, good spot for passports and such. And the top part has a couple of organizational pockets and otherwise just a large open space.

Comfort is good, though the straps run a little close to my neck, will see how that fares while carrying it for many hours (hoping it doesn't rub my skin).

Probably just simple adjustments needed, this takes time and many miles (all packs behave differently while loaded and actually used out there.)

These are my short initial impressions.

Thanks for sharing!

And remember how we do it (FAQ 1): minimum of 100 miles (~161 kms) and 10,000 feet (~3000 meters) elevation (up and down mountains) testing the pack with varying loads, terrains and weather.

Yeah, I'll get to test it in the coming months. But I can already tell it'll be a keeper either way. Perhaps not as feature rich as some dedicated photography backpacks, but those carry like bricks anyway. It has enough features to satisfy my needs. And it's great you can just remove the cube and turn it into a fully fledged hiking pack when photography gear isn't needed (but who am I kidding, I'll always have at least some photography gear on me).

Oh, and my tripod fits perfectly well in one of the side pockets. Somehow putting it on my left feels more natural. I could put it centered on the outside of the pack in the large mesh pocket, but that pocket will then probably wear out pretty quickly.

Now it's time to cut out or blacken-out the "photohiker" branding

Looks good at first review. Doubt I will get time to load the cube with gear until the weekend. As Chris mentioned in the review there are a lot of loose strap ends everywhere. I do wish that the hip belt pockets were like on the Atlas which have pouches inside that pull out. They are large enough on the Atlas to hold my Olympus 12-40 f2.8 lens. That let's me carry the body with the 40-150 or other telezoom attached for wildlife. and still be able to switch to a landscape lens without dropping the pack. I would trade the side pockets for Molle or similar attachment points so I can choose a pouch of my own.

I hear ya! Alternatively, try something like the Talon, just swing it to the front (see Article 5.) Not perfect but works pretty well. Ou just check your old fanny packs. I have a couple that work great with MFT gear for this.

I am not a fan of the plastic clip-on attachment method used by the sternum strap. I have had that on other packs and they never seem to stay on. I also find that the strap just works it's way into different positions all day long; generally too high up.

There was no slippage on our test unit but you're right, I've experienced this on some other packs. Unfortunately, this mechanism seems to be the norm these days.

You do have a couple of options. If you're certain about your sternum strap height and never change it, us a small piece of metal with a crimping tool and set it just below the strap connector, on the "spine" that runs up and down.

If you know you might move it, just use a small stainless steel safety pin that runs though the spine,

For me, the mesh side pockets

wow... those pockets are made of mesh on your pack?

No, I misspoke, they are stretchy material.

are 2-3 inches too high to be useful for water bottles. Won't really know for certain until I can load the pack up, but empty I cannot reach above the top of them to insert or remove a bottle. I can always push a bottle up from the bottom, but not very useful if I cannot put it back.

No issue here mentioned by any tester but different people have different motion range. As noted in the review, the front of the pocket is lower so this is where you want to put your bottle. Loaded packs feel very different so you'll have to see.

Push comes to shove, do what we all do with high-pocket packs (very common) unclip the front belt, swing the pack slightly to the front and grab the bottle with your opposite hand.

I will have to see which of my CamelBack bladders is a good fit although I prefer bottles for ease of refilling. Also, have yet to figure out the proper routing for the tube from the bladder to the outside. Doesn't seem to be an access port as on my other packs.

Yup. You can run the hose all the way through the top opening but it's far from ideal.

Best workaround is to set a hole+ grommet where it works best for you, keeping in mind that there's only one hose clip on the left shoulder strap.

That is my likely plan once I figure out how to get into the right area.

Really my only initial observation/complaint is that I prefer a few more zippered pockets. I will have to see what my many packing pouches and cubes can do for me instead.

Answer: a LOT. Hee hee... Always good to have a bunch of those at hand.

Until I looked through my old pack collection I had forgotten about the Kata Bumblebee UL-222. Chris I am guessing that might be one of the "failed attempts" at a TMP photo backpack that you were thinking about.

Yes.

I never loved that pack. A lot of weird, too small, too tight external pockets. The most bizarre shoulder straps that were too stiff and not airplane bin friendly.

Indeed. That pack actually had some nice features but they completely botched those shoulder straps. They were just horrible.

Seemed more like a harness, then straps.

I really did like their bright yellow cube interior.

+1.

 Ken Gosden's gear list:Ken Gosden's gear list
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