By Nirveek Shah, published on TNM Magazine July issue, 2018
If you’re someone who has been around social media and follow pages like the Local Project, you must have come across a brand known as Yatri Supply, and they are what they sound like.
They make modern adventure gear. However, their products don’t necessarily cater to hikers only; more often than none, it’s the urban nomad who gravitates towards their products. Holding their stuff makes you feel like packing up your bags and heading out to relive Into the Wild (minus the tragedy at the end, of course). They have quality products like pocket journals, paracord camera straps, bee wax candles that smell sweet when lit, and a tote bag they call the Madri Tote Pack. And it was that bag that caught our eye.
Yatri Supply markets these bags a unisex grab-and-go carriers, and it does look the part. With a bold and bulky yet under-the-radar look, it tickled our fancy. But the thing is, men don’t usually haul around their stuff in a tote bag. Then again, it’s just that appealing to give it a shot. So, I reached out to them to provide a review unit and they were kind to do so. The following is my review on it after a month’s worth of use.
The length of the bag is 12”, 16” for the depth with a width of 4.6”. All of that gives you a carrying capacity of 14 litres. In other words, it’s capacious. The material it’s made out of is Coated Nylon that’s been tightly woven. This fabric makes the bag feel sturdy. If you want to put it through a beating, you can be confident that it will survive. It’s not going to rip on you anytime soon. The stitching too is thick and heavy-duty. Now, I wouldn’t say that it’s waterproof, but it does seem to take splashes well. I was exposed to rain briefly with it, and I must say that my belongings were safe and dry.
These feel almost like a seat belt, which is not a bad thing. Much like how they save you while in a car crash, these save you from your belongings crashing to the ground. Bags, totes, and shoppers usually come with a handle that’s either made out of the same material as the bag itself or something that’s made of nylon. They do get the job done, but they also tend to warp over time and be taxing on the shoulders. With this material, however, that does not happen. It’s comfortable and feels reassuringly sturdy. In addition, the way it is stitched to the body makes you feel a lot more secure, it promises you that it’s not going to fray on you. When you carry the bag with them, the drop length is 15”.
The Front Pocket:
I see this pocket as a bonus bag that comes with the bag. There’s the Yatri Supply logo at the front to remind you that you’re a contemporary nomad, and like all things, the best elements are on the inside. There is an organizer with 3 pen slots and 2 wallet-like pockets. In front of it is a spacious compartment that’s enough to carry business cards, chargers, earphones, wallet, change, cosmetics, and on-the-go snacks; basically, if you think it fits, it fits.
The Laptop Compartment:
A laptop compartment in a tote? Too good to be true, right? Personally, this is the best feature for me. Whether you have a cheap chrome book, a top of the line XPS, a Macbook, or an Alienware, laptops are your life. Everything that is you is in there. Same goes for me. And to be honest, sliding in my computer in without a sleeve felt secure enough. That sense of security came with the thick padding it has. It can fit a modern 15 inches, with enough room to hold a tablet as well.
While the bag itself looks like it’s just the right size, the interior is massive. It’s lined with an orange fabric that feels good to the touch and, in my opinion, does not let the cavity be dark. It is cool how you can let in a little bit of light into the bag, and that light bounces around the fabric to sort of illuminate the space so you can see where your belongings are. And as mentioned, it is massive. You can comfortably fit in your camera, a lunch box, stationery, books, and a jacket.
In Yatri’s campaign pictures, they show this slot is used as a pocket for a water bottle. You can surely use it like that, you’re your own master, but you can also shove in your presentation charts, fare change, and even a nice Kathi roll.
This is an accessory feature that serves the greatest purpose. If you’re hauling around a lot of stuff in it and are slinging the bad boy over your shoulder, your arm is going to be uncomfortably raised to your sides. To avoid that, Yatri Supplied you with these straps that compress your luggage so that you don’t look weird. You feel a bit more aerodynamic as you walk around town.
So who is it for?
Like I said in the title, this bag is as unconventional as they come. The reasons why I say that is because men don’t really do totes. It is something most men will have a hard time getting used to and utilize as their daily driver. The go-to carriers for the *80% are backpacks, 10% go to messengers, and 7% for suitcases. The remaining 2% go for gym bags, which is just inconvenient to haul things that aren’t gym stuff. The last 1% are the toters, who are similar to the gym baggers; they too put themselves through a similar inconvenience.
That inconvenience comes in the form of limited mobility. As it slings from one shoulder only and hangs towards the sides, you do put yourself though a restriction on one arm. The strain the shoulder will go through if you carry a lot of stuff is there too. So, this is not something you’d like to bring on a long haul.
However, for short commutes from, say, home to work, which is what most of us do, this is the best. Since it is literally by your side, you can fish out anything and everything you need in a jiffy. You’re just a zip away from accessing your world, and in the modern times, I’d like to think that that really matters; being quick.
To conclude, if you’re on the market for something that’s going to better your life, make your commutes easier, and is locally produced, this is something you’ll not regret picking up. It’s great for short trips and is conveniently accessible. And I’d also imagine that it’ll be a suitable companion for weekend getaways; a strong alternative to the weekenders bags.