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Recently, I was sent three bags from Loctote. I will be reviewing the Cinch Pack here, but you can also check out my reviews of the Flak Sack II and the AntiTheft Sack. I do use a bag pretty regularly, whether it be for my laptop when I am working out of the house or for hauling my stuff when I am hiking and camping, but this was the first time that I had thought about protecting my belongings.
Read on to find out why I like this backpack.
The Cinch Pack comes in an off-white bag that helps to cut down on the physical shipping size and is just a nice way to have the bag arrive. I suspect that it is not packaged like this for protection, for that is what the Cinch Pack is all about.
When I opened the bag, pulled out the backpack, and unfolded it, I liked it immediately.
The look is great. It has a retro vibe, and the metallic embellishments, including the combination lock and front clasp, look like brass, and I believe that the lock is solid brass, while the other metallic parts are steel.
This already gives the bag a look and feel like no other. There are also natural leather and canvas embellishments, and both add to the look of the bag, enveloping the slash, tear, and abrasion-resistant fabric that makes up the main part of the bag.
The bag also feels strong. Before getting the bag, I checked on the website and watched some of the videos there to get an idea of what to expect, and I wasn’t disappointed with the quality of the bag. From feel alone, I can tell that this bag is tough and durable, and I do not doubt that it is going to deter thieves.
- Size: 20” x 13” x 6”
- Capacity: 22 liters
- Weight: 2.6 lbs
So, what does the bag have to offer?
The main body of the bag is a lightweight fabric that is slash, tear, and abrasion-resistant. It also comes with a water-resistant coating.
One of the main ways that thieves get into backpacks is by slashing them and then taking what is inside, or whatever drops out. This means that they can quickly get inside your backpack without having to take it. This fabric is definitely going to stop that.
Cutting the straps is another method of taking a bag. Instead of wresting the bag from you, they cut the straps, grab it, and run. The straps on this bag are reinforced with steel.
The included lock is steel, as are the locking straps. This allows you to lock the bag to something or just secure the contents while you are wearing it.
The bag is finished with natural leather and brushed metal.
All in all, the bag looks fantastic.
There is a large main pocket that is ample size for all of your belongings. I can see myself putting a lunch and jacket in here when I am working outside my home or filling it with clothes when I am camping or backpacking.
There is a large fleece-lined pocket for your laptop, big enough to fit a 15” MacBook, so more than enough for my 13” one, and there is a smaller zipped pocket in front of that for something smaller like a tablet. The large pocket is RFID blocking, something that I am not too worried about, but better to have it and not need it than need it and not. Along with that, you have two smaller pockets to aid organization.
There is a zippered pocket on the outside for quick access to anything you need to have at hand, such as your passport when going through the airport or a snack when hiking. And you also have two dedicated water bottle pockets. Again, great for hiking or taking a water bottle for your child.
When I got this backpack, I knew that it was not going to become a dedicated hiking backpack and would not replace the backpack I have with padded straps and chest straps. However, that does not mean that it is not comfortable.
With this bag, I expect security first and comfort after. When hauling around my stuff, I found that the straps do not dig into me and sit reasonably well on my shoulders. For straps that are a part of the locking mechanism, that is a welcome surprise. The straps are also adjustable, so I was able to have the backpack sit where I liked it. The lock is a part of one of the straps, but it did not get in the way.
How To Use
When I first checked out the bag, I did not instantly know how to lock the bag, but the simple instructions showed me that it was, well, simple.
There are two ways to lock up the bag.
As you can see in the main pictures, there is a padlock on one of the straps. You can simply open the padlock (it is set to 0-0-0 with instructions to personalize the code) and attach the strap to something. This will lock the bag, but not the contents inside.
The main way to use the bag is by ‘cinching’ it, hence the name. Once you have your belongings in the bag, you pull on the two straps to sinch the top, securing everything in place. Pull hard enough, and you eventually close the interior and discover the metal ring in the straps. You can then lock the strap to something, putting the lock through end of the strap and the two metal rings, securing everything.
My only concern is how hard I had to pull the straps. I was able to do it easily, but there is some resistance there. For an older person who does not have as much strength, or perhaps a child, it might be hard to properly secure the bag.
Overall, though, I thought that the bag was extremely easy to use, and I really liked discovering how everything was locked up.
First of all, I do really like how the Cinch Pack looks. My other main backpack is kind of sporty, but the Cinch Pack has a nice elegance to it. I can see myself wearing this day to day without any issues.
The main use that I can see for this is for my laptop. I often work in coffee shops and have found myself taking my laptop to the bathroom with me, which is not ideal. The bag could easily be locked to a table base with the laptop inside, and it would take no more than twenty seconds to lock or unlock the bag. I also leave my bag in my vehicle, and I try my best to hide the bag just in case someone sees it and tries to break in. This would offer an extra level of security, and I will feel much happier having my laptop locked up inside while I go off to do something.
In summary, I have never really thought about a backpack with added levels of security but, now that I have one, I can see it becoming a regular-use item.