In August 2016 I wrote “TrustBag vs. Flak Sack, Battle for the Worry Free Drawstring Backpack,” which touched upon the marketing and information available at the time for the two bags which were hitting the scene. The owners of Loctote® Industrial Bag Co., the makers of the Flak Sack, contacted me recently about the article and asked if I’d be interested in doing a full-on product review. I said I would and they sent me a Flak Sack to put through a review. I was also put in touch with a third party distributor and was able to obtain a TrustBag to do a comparison. Corey Wesley, Kinkster MAG founder, and I looked, compared, and tested each bag.
Loctote® markets the Flak Sak as the “Toughest Theft Resistant Backpack Ever” and the makers of TrustBag call theirs the “World’s Most Secure Bag.” Curious about the motivation for creating each bag, and since most good ideas are inspired by a personal story, I learned that the Flak Sack was invented after one of the Loctote® owners had an incident at the beach one day. We’re not sure what inspired the TrustBag, other than it was developed by people “interested in new innovations and are developing amazing products for everybody.”
Shortly after agreeing to do the review, the Flak Sack arrived nicely in a branded fabric casing fit into a perfectly sized and branded box. The package included an illustrated instructional booklet which walked me through the use of the lock and the bag.
The TrustBag arrived in a sealed clear plastic bag with a simple white label on it encouraging me to take a selfie with the bag and post it to social media so I might win a stay at a “5* hotel” in Hawaii. There was a booklet which was more about disclaimers than providing instructions for the use of the bag. The lock came with another booklet with steps on how to set the lock combination. The booklets were in multiple languages.
Here is our comparison of the two bags:
|QUALITY CONSIDERED||FLAK SACK||TRUSTBAG|
|Bag Weight||The Flak Sack is heavier weighing 590 grams.||The TrustBag weighs in at about 380 grams. While it may be nice to carry less weight, the heft of the Flak Sack made me feel more secure about the overall construction of the bag.|
|The Lock||Solid brass weighing 109 grams. Very solid and big enough to easily handle locking the “O” ring and lock strap. No fumbling to lock the bag to a secure post.||Abus 155/20 20mm Combination Padlock. It was much smaller and lighter than the brass lock for the Flak Sack. The smaller size created some stumbles when attempting to lock the strap and “O” ring to something secure. There was barely enough room to fit the “O” ring and strap into the lock.|
|Water Resistance means being able to resist the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely.||The Flak Sack repelled water as we doused it, but water did eventually seep through the two layers of HMWPE fabric making it damp inside the bag.||As we poured water onto the TrustBag it immediately soaked through the one layer of HMWPE fabric and the inside of the bag became wet. After 45 minutes there was still evidence of water and dampness inside the bag. They claim, however, that the inside pocket is water proof and I did notice that only if the zipper were slightly open did water get into the inside pocket.|
|Bag Dimensions & Construction||The Flak Sack has a larger capacity at roughly 46 cm long X 34 cm wide and has two layers of HMWPE fabric. With a serrated knife we tested the slash claim that both companies use and both bags resisted scratching and tearing from the knife we used.||The TrustBag measures about 38 cm long x 34 cm wide and uses one layer of HMWPE fabric.|
|Internal Pocket||The Flak Sack has an integrated pocked lined with RFID shielding material.||The TrustBag has a hanging internal pocket. The hanging internal pocket was a bit awkward as I tried to place things inside the bag and take them out. It seemed to get in my way more than anything.|
|Ropes & Rope Grommets||9mm nylon, cut-resistant HMWPE core and slightly longer than the TrustBag. Grommets are military grade brass interlocked into the two layers of fabric.||6mm polyester, single braided polyester core. Grommets are crimped to the single layer of fabric and reminded me of the grommet on a basic Nike promotional nylon bag I used to have. Read more below…|
|Lock Strap, Closure, & Lock “O”Ring||The lock strap for the Flak Sack has military grade brass grommets physically integrated into a patent pending custom machined stainless steel and aircraft cable internal mechanism. I didn’t notice this at first but as I felt the strap I could tell the cable was integrated into the strap. The shoulder strap ropes and the lock strap are in separate channels which prevent any tangling. The lock “O” ring was wider at 5mm thick.||The nylon strap also had a cable in it but it seemed to float around under the nylon covering. The shoulder strap and lock strap are in the same channel which over time might cause tangling. The lock “O” ring was about 3.5mm thick.|
|Bag Opening When Locked||We were pleased with how tightly the Flak Sack closed. There was barely any opening. Corey could fit the beginnings of about two fingers, however, unless you had very small items in the bag, you weren’t going to get anything out.||The opening of the TrustBag was much bigger. Corey could fit all four fingers past his knuckles into the bag. It was easy for him to manipulate the bag to find things in it and we could easily dump out smaller items.|
|Other Options||The smartest “extra” factor is the leather pocket for the lock. You can tuck away the lock very nicely to prevent it from dangling or swinging as you walk. The Flak Sack also offers a double steel reinforced nylon multi-loop for hanging purposes and for attaching additional items and it comes with a leather sternum clip to help secure the bag as you wear it.|
Both bags are deceptively similar and that has lended itself to some confusion out there in the market. Upon handling and using each bag it’s clear the Flak Sack is better constructed.
The bags are industrial looking and have an urban-on-the-go style to them. I’m a larger guy and both were comfortable enough as I tried them on for size. Both would be suitable for using around town or at the beach or gym or if you’re headed to a hook up and needed something more secure to keep your belongings.
$179 may be a steep price point for a simple drawstring bag, however, these bags are not simple. They are offering some level of security. On the flip side, you still need to keep in mind that nothing is thief proof. As Loctote® says, the bag is fabric and ultimately fabric can be cut. If a thief had real plans to get into your bag or break the lock they’re going to find a way. The locks and locking strap do tell potential thieves they’re going to have to work harder which could be a deterrent of its own merits. You must continue to be smart about your belongings and your surroundings.
The night we reviewed the bags, it was thunder storming in NYC. I had finished my preliminary review and decided to wear the TrustBag home. As I traveled a few blocks in the rain and through the subway, one thing I noticed was the straps kept falling down. Corey was perturbed by this but I was wearing a light spring jacket so didn’t think much about it. I thought perhaps the bulkiness and sleekness of my jacket made the straps slide down. As I came out of the subway I tugged a bit at the shoulder ropes to adjust their falling down my arm and all of a sudden, “POP!” The grommet on one of the shoulder straps was detached from the bag and I could no longer use the bag. So much for calling it the world’s most secure bag. At a $179 price point I was highly disappointed with the TrustBag.
Based on the bags we received and the information we have, our vote is confidently for the Flak Sack. The overall construction, the quality of the bag, as well as the branded packaging made me inclined to purchase and strongly recommend spending $179 on the Flak Sack.