This light-weight and spacious bag with plenty of configuration options may be just what you’re looking for to carry your gear into the city.
After taking out the Gura Gear Kiboko City Commuter bag into the city a couple times I’m enjoying the flexibility of it, as well as the fact that I can easily carry my laptop and camera all in one bag.
Don’t confuse this bag for the Gura Gear V2.0 Kiboko 30L bag that I reviewed earlier this year. They are two very different bags that serve their own purpose.
The Gura Gear Kiboko City Commuter bag is very well made, just like their V2.0 Kiboko 30L I reviewed. The sailcloth-inspired fabric X-Pac® is both waterproof and durable, and has so far withstood everything that I have put it up against.
Overall, the bag itself is very lightweight but still feels like a solid bag to use with plenty of protection for your gear. The magnetic enclosures are well made and very functional.
Gura Gear used a new buckle system on this bag. The Fidlock buckles attach by way of magnets so all you have to do is bring both sides near each other and they magically attach. To release the buckle, you slide the top portion to one side and it unbuckles itself.
This allows for a more seamless buckling experience as you no longer have to pay much attention to where the buckles are when attaching both sides. You can also unbuckle the straps with one hand. They use these Fidlock buckles on all but one strap: the tripod side strap. Why they did this I’m not sure but I’m sure there is a valid reason behind this design choice.
There is a generous amount of space on the inside of the Gura Gear Kiboko City Commuter. They supply enough added dividers that you will have no problems arranging your gear to your liking.
What I put in the bag:
- Nikon Z 7ii with Z 24-120mm f/4 attached; I can pull this out easily from the side access panel
- Additional lens; pictured is the Z 14-24mm f/2.8
- Microphone; pictured is the Sennheiser MKE 400
- Air blower
- Peak Design strap
- Lens cleaner
- Extra battery
- Snacks in the top compartment
The top side
The rolltop compartment rolls easily once you unbuckle the two Fidlock buckles. The X-Pac fabric is very sturdy so the rolltop feels solid when unrolling and rolling. The rolltop is secured by magnets, but I feel replacing the magnets with zipper enclosures at this point would benefit from being more waterproof, especially when you stuff the bag so much that you’re unable to roll the top any longer.
The front side
On the front of the Gura Gear Kiboko City Commuter is their signature butterly designed compartments. This time they are pockets and not opening for the interior, like the Kiboko 30L bag.
There are generously sized mesh pockets on either side, which is great because they let you see what you put inside of them. On one side there is an RFID shielded pocket, which might be useful for carrying your sensitive cards in there. There’s also a carabiner for your keys and a lanyard for accessories.
All in all a very useful front side without a bulky design.
The back side
The back of the Gura Gear Kiboko City Commuter is quite comfortable. With extra thick cushion that has airflow spacing in between, it makes for a comfortable backpack experience. They also cleverly included a luggage strap in the middle so you can insert the luggage handles in this strap to carry your bag with your suitcase.
The inside of the back flap is where your laptop compartment is. I really liked this portion because there are two compartments: one for your laptop and one for your tablet or other documents of choice.
The two are padded and protected so you don’t have to worry about damaging the screen of your tablet.
The Fidlock buckle also has its own protector so that it doesn’t damage the laptop or tablet when in use. It’s a nice thought.
Because of this though, it adds about 1.5-2 inches of depth to the back side that runs into the interior compartment space. So you’ll need to be mindful of the fact that nothing can stick out past the divider’s height. This is no problem for my Nikon Z 7ii, but my Nikon Z 9 will not fit standing upright. Most lenses will also not fit standing upright and will need to be stored on their side.
The side side
On one side of the bag is a water bottle holder that doubles as a small tripod holder. Just expand the side pocket and put whatever you want in there. The extra side strap on the top secures your tripod into the pocket. I put my Peak Design Travel Tripod in there with ease and the bag is still comfortable to use.
On the other side of the bag is a side access pocket that opens with ease as well. It allows for quick access to your camera. Inside that side pocket is a mesh pocket that fits up to an 82mm lens cap, which is very convenient.
The small details
The smaller details that went into this bag is very welcomed. I like that fact that they added magnetic strap holders on their shoulder straps to secure any loose straps from dangling around. I don’t think I’ve seen any other bag do this.
The magnetic enclosure of the side pocket ensures that it is closed all the way when not in use. It opens with ease when you want to put in a water bottle or tripod in the side expandable pocket.
The RFID shield pocket on the inside of the butterfly pocket is a nice touch.
There are a few accessories that you can add on to your purchase of the Gura Gear Kiboko City Commuter. I was not provided with any of them so I will write down what I think of them below purely from my opinion on using similar accessories from other bags.
Waist Straps: Waist straps are useful if you see yourself running or biking with the bag on your bag. They help reduce lateral movement of the bag, which in turn helps to relieve the load off your shoulders. Generally, the tighter the waist straps hug your waist, the sturdier they are in minimizing that lateral movement. These waist straps attach to the bag on the side, so they aren’t as tight as they can be, however, I think it would suffice for simple jogging and biking around the city.
Tripod Straps: The tripod straps attach to your Gura Gear Kiboko City Commuter on the bottom and top of the bag on the front (see photo). They allow you to attach a larger and heavier tripod centred along the centre-line, which will evenly distribute the load of the tripod on both sides. This is useful if you have a heavier tripod to carry, or if you have a water bottle already inserted in the side pocket.
Rain Cover: The rain cover is a cover that protects the bag from inclement weather. While many bags do come with rain covers, I haven’t had the need to use them too often. Should you be the type to go outside in torrential downpours then perhaps this addition will help you, but for the most part, I find the bag itself to be weather-resistant enough to handle whatever I take it through. It’s true the zippers are not water-proof so you do need to be careful there.
I enjoyed using the Gura Gear Kiboko City Commuter bag as it allows me to carry my laptop, additional documents, and my camera gear all in one, easy-to-use bag that is both light-weight and flexible. It doesn’t fit all of my gear, but I’m fine with that since I almost always carry light when travelling in the city.
The small details that were put into the bag like the magnetic enclosures, magnetic strap holders, and zipper and Fidlock protectors all add to the value of this bag and are much appreciated.
My only critique would be to upgrade the zippers. As with their other Kiboko 30L bag, I feel the zippers could be upgraded to the larger zipper pull and teeth to provide for a smoother and faster travel.
If you’re looking for a flexible bag to carry your gear into the city, I would recommend you take a look at the Gura Gear Kiboko City Commuter bag!
To see my accompanying YouTube review, just hit the play button below!
Have you used the Gura Gear Kiboko City Commuter bag? Do you have any questions on it? Let me know in the comments below!