Troon, from Knomo

My Canon 5D Mark II has been a faith­ful com­pan­ion for five years. It’s fol­lowed me on even the most mun­dane trips, as I wanted to be sure no expe­ri­ence was lost in the years where I found myself grow­ing beyond the fur­thest plans I’d made. However, it’s remained tucked away in the closet for the last while, as part of an effort to more mind­ful of each moment; moments that may be lost when I’m find­ing the right angle or wait­ing for the right scene.

As a result, the trusty LowePro Fastpack I used to take every­where — with space enough for a cam­era body, three lenses, and an assort­ment of odds and ends — no longer fit my lifestyle and needs. Fortunately, I was given a chance to try out Knomo’s Troon mes­sen­ger bag, and dis­cov­ered it’s the per­fect fit for my new journeys.

Knomo Troon messenger bag

 

Utility

The most impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tions for me when choos­ing a bag are size and com­part­men­tal­iza­tion; what it can hold and how it holds it. On my usual trav­els, that means a pen, tablet, book, keys, and a cheque or doc­u­ment. The Troon man­ages to tuck all of that away neatly, thanks to a wide base and pock­ets galore, while sev­eral elas­tic straps along the side of the main pocket can be used to keep acces­sories from shifting.

All that room meant it was months before I real­ized the bag needed to be cleaned out, and I was shocked at how many ran­dom things man­aged to accu­mu­late in the recesses.

Knomo Troon compartments

The long pocket along the inside back has a vel­veteen lin­ing (seen here in white) to pro­tect elec­tron­ics from scratches.

The padded com­part­ment will hold a 13″ lap­top, and even when full, the bag fits over my body com­fort­ably, thanks to an adjustable shoul­der strap. It’s con­sid­ered a “cross-body mes­sen­ger”, and unlike other mes­sen­ger bags where the shoul­der strap attaches par­al­lel to the outer sides, this one attaches to the back from two ergonomic angles. The dis­ad­van­tage of this is that the bag is meant to be worn on the right, as the straps twist awk­wardly when worn the other way.

Quality

The Troon comes in a cot­ton can­vas exte­rior, which makes it extremely light­weight and portable, while being durable and rugged. That means it’s not a soft bag, and doesn’t tend to wrap around my waist; an advan­tage when hold­ing any­thing that shouldn’t be bent. The padding is closer to the stiff­ness of rub­ber (which they call “shock­proof”). I’d trust it to pro­tect more against acci­den­tal bangs than drops. Thankfully, the entire bag feels rock solid, from the fab­ric to the metal hard­ware to the stitch­ing, and I’m com­fort­able mov­ing freely with a MacBook strapped to my body.

Knomo Troon patch

On the inside flap is a Find My Knomo tag, along with stitched ID num­ber, to help reunite you with your Troon if it hap­pens to get lost. With a price tag that comes close to $200, this is a handy fea­ture. One would hope that a thief would only be inter­ested in the con­tents and toss your Troon aside.

At one point, I found an entire bot­tle of water had spilled into the main com­part­ment. The lin­ing absorbed all the liq­uid, with min­i­mal dam­age to my doc­u­ments. I was able to dry it out over a few days by hang­ing it upside down. Even hot break­fasts have gone to work with me in this bag, and after six months, there barely any signs of wear or fading.

Style

Style serves as a func­tion in my life, so the look of my acces­sories is always an impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tion. The Troon may not be as blinged out as other Knomo bags — many of which come in lux­u­ri­ous leather — but it still retains a clas­sic sense of styling, thanks to it’s min­i­mal­ist esthetic. Instead, the twill pat­tern is rem­i­nis­cent of infor­mal out­er­wear, which I take as an advan­tage; when it comes to hold­ing expen­sive elec­tron­ics, the more under­stated the better.

Knomo logo

The antique brass hard­ware motif is found on sub­tle details through­out, such as the strap buckle and logo button.

One of my favourite fea­tures of the Troon is the vin­tage hook and loop fas­tener, made of leather and brass. The strap stands out against the can­vas, and serves as a focal point that draws the eyes. It’s amaz­ing that it can hold so much with no vel­cro or zip­pers, as the flap is stiff enough to keep the con­tents from falling out (although I wouldn’t trust it to hold my prized mar­ble collection).

There are four colour options avail­able (black, blue, olive, sand), and each one comes with a dif­fer­ent coloured inter­nal lin­ing. I opted for the black, cause I’ve been explor­ing new colours in my wardrobe, and wanted to be sure it could match as much as pos­si­ble. The rich orange lin­ing con­trasts won­der­fully; a detail that begs for atten­tion any time you open it up. Part of the price tag goes to the unique style, as there are much cheaper mes­sen­ger bags out there that can serve a sim­i­lar func­tion, but they rarely feel dif­fer­ent from the typ­i­cal IT drone bag.

Conclusion

The Troon is an excel­lent com­bi­na­tion of class and func­tion. The small size means being restricted to cer­tain min­i­mal lifestyle — even if you tend to carry just a bot­tle, it may not be big enough for your needs. But if you’re look­ing for a bag for short, reg­u­lar trips, it’ll hold every­thing you need, and make you look good while doing it.

Big up to David Byrne from GearZap for send­ing me my beloved Troon, all the way from England.

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