Experienced and avid world traveller, photographer and journalist, James Pham, took his Vietnam 5 Acaat Messenger for a test drive and wrote about it for Oi Magazine Vietnam. below is the break out of his review. Enjoy!
"I really wanted to like Ethnotek’s Acaat Messenger. But inspiring backstory aside, the pragmatist in me needed to know whether the bag was worth the price point and wouldn’t be confused for something Sapa-inspired that I could pick up on Bui Vien. In a word, yes and yes. As a travel writer, at minimum I carry an iPad with keyboard case and a DSLR (sometimes with more than one lens) everywhere I go. On longer trips, a laptop comes along.
The problem with most messengers for me is that the body of the bag is too slim, with little give on the sides, which makes for a very awkward fit considering the bulkiness of the camera. The Acaat Messenger not only has a padded sleeve for a laptop (with an unexpected textile finish and a fuzzy poly-tricot lining), there’s also a second sleeve that fits a tablet.
The generous 20-liter body is large enough to house a camera and a couple of lenses with plenty of room to spare without being unwieldy to carry. There are also four slip pockets for accessories as well as a zippered pocket for documents. If you’re not using the luggage trolley pass-through on the back, zip it up and it becomes another large pocket. The “tech” side of Ethnotek comes through with some geek features, like removable bumper inserts (to snugly fit a 13” laptop) and a stabilizer strap, so you can cinch the bag close to your body, handy for running through airports or when riding a bike, true messenger-style. Small touches are also well thought out, like the extra loop to hang your bag up and off the ground, or the compression straps on the bottom of the bag that double as a place to roll up your jacket or a yoga mat.
Another gripe of mine is narrow straps that bite into your shoulders when the bag is fully loaded. Thankfully, Ethnotek’s bag has a wide padded strap while judicious use of Velcro makes everything easily accessible, including the ability to change out your thread (the textile flap on the front of the bag). While the bag itself is solid (made in Vietnam of 840-denier water-resistant ballistic nylon) and comes with some really nice features, its uniqueness springs from the interchangeable threads. I bought an extra one (more muted and not out of place at business meetings) and love that I can carry a tangible piece of Vietnam with me wherever I travel.
My one reservation with the bag is actually with the handmade textile covers wearing out with use, but at USD 29-39 for a new one, it’s a small price to pay to basically reinvent your bag."
Thanks James! It means a whole lot to us to receive such a shining review from a world traveling tech savvy digital nomad such as yourself.
Want to learn more about James, see him and dive into his creative works? Us too!!! Stay tuned to our next blog for the reveal.