Orbit Gear Eagle Claw Review

When I travel for work, I generally travel in a smaller backpack with that being my only bag. In the past, I take that backpack to and from the work locations and events as it is my only bag on the trip. This is generally not an issue, but can be a bit cumbersome when all you are carrying is an iPad Pro. Additionally, I have been getting a little more interested in carrying a hand bag on a regular basis for my life in general — as you can imagine I have no shortage of bags in my home, but none of them quite fit the bill for me.

I have a custom DCF bag I had made for me, and it’s quite neat, but cumbersome and lacking in protection and organization enough that using it daily is not ideal. I have briefcases, but they are large and bulky.

That’s when I found out about Orbit Gear, and quickly ordered their ‘Eagle Claw’ model M200MKII SP-BK shoulder bag. This bag is really cool.

It’s Small

When I say this bag is small, I really mean it. It’s rated at 8L in size, and I suspect that is being a little generous. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear it is 6L in size. Even though it is small, it looks decently large, and that’s because the bag loses its volume by being very thin.

The measurements are roughly: 9.4” x 13.3” x 2.3”. So, yes it is small, but these measurements are also deceiving because the bottom of the bag has rounded corners, you can’t say it will hold anything that is 13” in width.

But the footprint of the bag is large enough that even on my 6’ 3” frame it doesn’t look too small. It does indeed look like a sling and not a messenger, but it also feels like a sling so who cares.

Impressively, I have fit two 12.9” iPad Pros and 13” MacBook Pro in the bag all at once without any issues. So it’s small, but generally carries flat things really well.

The Strap

You are likely wondering why I am focusing an entire section on the strap, and that’s because, like me, you think this strap is more style than function. But the opposite is true, this is a really clever strap which is worth some words being spent on it.

The nylon straps are what I call seatbelt straps, you know the type: smooth, shiny, and soft. They are the best of the nylon straps you can get, if you ask me, and you are. The strap is two sizes, with a thicker section crossing over your shoulder and chest. Where this strap gets really clever is in its many adjustments.

  • Attachment to the bag: The strap has a really clever mechanism for attaching the the bag, so that you can remove it and flip it around if you prefer it to go over your other shoulder. These attachment points are easy and fast to change, but at no risk of accidental detachment.
  • Size and position adjustments: the strap has two methods of adjusting the length and position of the strap. Because you want that wide section to hit just right, you need to be able to adjust the strap on both ends. And you can, with the ‘back’ section being adjustable with a simple cinch buckle. Whereas the front adjusts with a much longer strap as part of a buckle for faster release of the strap itself.
  • Quick adjustment: that front adjustment has some further intricacy. The first is a d-ring at the end of the strap to pull it tighter, a nice touch. There’s another d-ring at the buckle itself, and when wearing the bag, if you pull on that d-ring the strap will immediately fall loose. It is impressive how well that simple addition works.

The strap has a couple more d-rings on it, and some loops to weave pockets into, and oddly some hook side of Velcro for I don’t know what, and a small clip to keep excess strap at bay. Here’s how I use that all to my advantage to tidy up the dangling bits of straps:

I should also note, that the bag comes with another strap to go around your midsection to secure the bag in place if you are on a bicycle, it is removable and I removed it as I don’t use those straps. However, that strap does have a nice fidlock buckle on it.

Looks

The bag clearly has a tactical vibe, married with street style. The MOLLE on the front is visible, but not overwhelming. The materials on this all black bag are something to note though: as they all are black, but the different levels of sheen really give a strong sense of style to the bag. Whether it is the matte finish of the Cordura, the sheen of the nylon straps, or the shine of the PVC coated nylon bottom — this bag makes a statement. If you do not like it from the pictures, seeing it in person will not change your mind.

I think it looks fantastic.

Use

Functionally, like the strap, there is a lot more clever here than meets the eye. A lot more.

The bag utilizes some really clever fasteners which you simply pull up on the tabs sticking towards the top of the bag, and the entire buckle falls open. It takes moments to open them, and those tabs have a lot of perk in them to stay up.

The top flap has two bits of Velcro on them. The hook Velcro can stick to the loop side which is also the last row of MOLLE webbing on the face of the bag. This gives you a full flap, but can be problematic if you want to stuff the bag full, or have access to pouches you put on the MOLLE webbing.

Which is why there is a second bit of Velcro on the flap, you can fold the flap over on itself making the top flap become more like a lid for the bag than a flap. It all still looks quite nice in practice and makes me very happy. Also, this eliminates any Velcro noise from being needed when you use the bag.

Closing up the bag takes some getting used to, as you have to place the top closure on top of the bottom catch, and then slip the locking tab in place. At first I struggled with this, but I can now do it one handed, which while still cumbersome works quite well. As you can see, there’s adjustment buckles which sit below the clasps. These work well, but tend to released when you don’t want them to, so I would like to see some modification there. However the elastic webbing keeper makes the extra bit of webbing disappear.

Suffice to say, functionally, this bag is stellar. I am thoroughly impressed and Orbit Gear has made it on my list of bag companies I am going to buy way too many bags from.

Overall

Buy one of their bags. Maybe this bag is too small for you, maybe not. The Eagle Claw is fantastic and at only $128 it is a bargain. It shipped from Jakarta, and made it to my house in 2 days flat. The quality is superb, the prices are a bargain, and the kit is amazing.

The bag also fits nicely inside my GR1, and while still a tad bulky when empty inside another bag, it is really great to take it with me as a smaller bag once I get to where I am going. Ultimately, I don’t think it will be a staple I use for work daily, but I can see myself carrying a lot more when I am not working — more so than any other bag I own.

I certainly have started using it on most outings where I think I might need a bit more, but am not sure. It truly has become a hand bag for me, and I love it.

Highly recommended.

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Article Details

Published
by Ben Brooks
7 minutes to read.


tl;dr

My new travel sling and hand bag.