Använda Bag Review – A Great F*cking Bag?

*This post contains strong language*

UPDATE: Använda emailed me (at my personal email address, not the one published on this blog, not at all creepy) and asked I remove their campaign pictures. 

What follows is my edited review, removing their campaign pictures and replacing them with links/descriptions.

For your convenience, the edits are all in this font and colour, so you can see exactly where they are.

Have you ever backed anything on Kickstarter? 

Last year a company called Använda created an incredible Kickstarter campaign for a stylish backpack. Funny, irreverent, with lots of asterisk’d swearing. It went viral, and managed to accumulate over $1.1m from more than 10,000 backers.

I saw it on Instagram and Facebook, liked the bag, thought the marketing was amusing and clever, and decided to back it. So far, so good.  

I originally used screenshots from their campaign in this review, to illustrate both their clever marketing and the original specs upon which backers based their support . 

If you want to see them they are here (unless they’ve been removed).

If you can’t be bothered doing that, here the original specs:


Height 40cm/15.7in

Width 30cm/11.8in

Depth 19cm/7.5in

Fits 13″ laptop

Använda Large [I ordered this size]

Height 50cm/19.7in

Width 35cm/13.8in

Depth 23cm 9.1″

Fits 15″ laptop.

Things True For All Our Bags:

Soft Italian Leather/Vegetarian Leather

Heavy Duty Canvas Outer

Silver-Infused Anti-Bacterial Liner

YKK Zippers

[I realise this is tedious, but these details illustrate a point I make later on.]

Here there should be an illustration headed 5 Ways To Wear, showing the bag being carried as a backpack, by the handle on the front of the bag, vertically on one shoulder, vertically as a tote, and horizontally as a tote/messenger style.

See the original on Facebook here.

Versatile too.

After a little thought I decided to go for the large, as I didn’t want a handbag. I wanted something I could use as a daypack, work, or overnight bag. 

Now, most people who back stuff on Kickstarter know it’s not like regular store. You back a project, if it raises enough to go to manufacture you pay your money, and in return you get their product for a discount.

According to the timeline, the original ship date was supposed to be June 2018.

OK, Kickstarter stuff never goes exactly to schedule. There are always delays and wrinkles. That’s fine. It’s not a store.

In my previous experience with Kickstarter projects, they’ve been at least a couple months late. The creator sends out updates, tells you what’s going on, and no one really minds. 

Boy, was this a different experience.

Använda was crap at communication.  Really, really crap. Misleading, information-lite updates, ignoring emails from backers. 

Tell me, when you are told something has ‘shipped’ do you take that to mean your order is winging its way to your front door from a depot somewhere and will arrive in a few days?

According to Använda , when they say something has ‘shipped’, they mean it’s been put on a boat in China. Where it was made. 

I’m sure you can imagine how long that takes.

Now, I’m not going to go into the details of this goatfuck of a campaign (no cutesy asterisks from me), because I might end up ragequitting this review. 

To give you a little idea of the fury of the backers, who as of today (November 24th 2018) have still not received their bags, head over to the comments section of the Använda  Kickstarter page. You can get lost down the rabbit hole there. 

Check out Fear The Clown. He’s a funny guy. And seriously pissed off.

There are backers who have received a bag. The wrong bag. The wrong size. The wrong colour. One bag instead of two. Pieces such as shoulder straps, missing. 

One other thing. In the original specs the large size was described as 50cm x 35cm. Early recipients of the bag reported that the bag had magically shrunk to 46cm x 35cm.

When Använda deigned to provide an ‘update’, they said that bag had been ‘upgraded’. The size had been changed [er, made smaller] and the YKK zips had been ‘upgraded’ to another brand, because YKK wouldn’t give them a lifetime guarantee or put their logo on it. 

(More on the logo later.) 

It seems I was one of the lucky(ish) ones.

My bag arrived about a week ago, in the UK. Tracking still had it sitting somewhere in Poland.

Oh yeah, another wrinkle. The bags that eventually arrived in the London port  – significantly later than backers were informed – were then sent to Poland for distribution. Go figure.

So I got my bag. 

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

Very stylish.

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

OK, so the correct design (bird), and both extras (shoulder pads and top shoulder strap) were there. 

Wowzers, lucky me!

Anvanda Bag Review Använda


OK, this is the raincover. It was on the bag, rather than being tucked away inside. 

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

Lemme tell you, I’m damn well hoping this is reversible, because there’s no fucking way I’m walking around with a giant A-with-an-umlaut on my back.

Haven’t they ever read Nathaniel Hawthorne? 

I’m guessing that giant Ä is the reflective part. You can see in the close-up that the printing isn’t great. So when I reverse it it won’t be reflective, but you can buy stickers on eBay for that. 

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The rain cover clips onto a D-ring and stashes in a little pocket on the underside of the bag. Very neat. Except for the fucking Ä.

Here’s the bag proper.

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It has a large assortment of straps ‘n’ things.

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

(Slightly dodgy angle here, not to mention all the crap behind me. My place is a mess. Sorry)

There’s a strap that clips over the top of the bag. Apparently it’s one of the ways you can carry it, but it’s not comfortable for any length of time. This is definitely a bag that belongs on the shoulders.

See that handle on the front? In the campaign it is touted as one of the ways to carry the bag. (See ‘5 ways to wear’ above.) Update #20 informed backers that only an asshole, sorry a$$hole,  would carry the bag with that handle. 

Fuck it, here’s that part of the update.

Once again I’ve removed the screenshot I used here, at Använda’s request. 

Instead, here is the text from Update #20:

Tips for using your bag

The purpose of the front handle is to enable you to easily re-position the bag when you are on a train/bus or in your car. We don’t want you looking like an A$$hole, so please note that it wasn’t designed with the thought that you would be walking around like this:’

[There followed a photograph of a hand holding the handle with a big X through it.]

‘Seriously – Don’t F*cking walk around like that!’

Now then, on their Facebook page, there is a picture of a guy walking around exactly like that.

I did use a screenshot, but again, it’s been removed at the request of Använda. 

If you would like to see their picture of one of their models looking like an a$$hole, click here. [Again I’m assuming they haven’t removed the picture. There’s a similar one on their campaign page too.]

Alrighty then.

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

These little cards were included.

The white card has a discount code on it. Well, the bag’s not on regular retail yet, so that’s no use. 

The black card has bullshit on it.

So many people have had a problem. (Me included.) We have reached out to online help, social media. My two Facebook messages were read and ignored. 

Let me tell you now, their online help, social media sites, and customer service are not first f*cking class.

They are the class where you sit on the roof, then get thrown off onto the side of the road. Or tracks. Or possibly into thin air. Depends on what mode of transport you’re thinking of. Anyway, I call bullshit on that.

You also can’t register your product or activate the warranty because that link takes you to the Indiegogo page to buy the bag. There is no mention of registration or warranty.

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There’s the labelling on the actual bag. See how the measurements are different?

I chose the bag with the leather. There was also a ‘vegetarian leather’ option (what the fuck is that, it’s like vegetarian bacon. No such thing.) but I eat the things that leather comes from, so I’m happy to wear them too.

The leather is supposed to be full-grain. I’m not a leather expert so I’ve can’t comment, but just on the basis of the general unreliability of Använda I’m skeptical of the quality.

The pockets are exactly as described, and there’s a keyholder.

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

The keyholder is inside the main compartment and clips on and off. A pocket that fits with the pattern on the front, and a ‘hidden pocket’ big enough for a water bottle under the leather patch with the handle on the front.

These zips don’t look particularly sturdy, so we’ll see.

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

And the zips. The non-YKK must-have-our-logo-on zips. They’re logo’d up the wazoo. One side the brand, the other that fucking Ä.

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And again on the clips that attach the shoulder strap. Jesus, I have Fossil and Kate Spade bags that don’t have their fucking logo on the zips. Enough already.

Not an update, just something I thought of as I was going through editing this review: the logo’d zips were another thing described as an ‘upgrade’ and apparently cost more. I really don’t give a shit about logos on zips. I’d bet dollars to donuts that most other backers don’t give a shit about having logos on their zips either.

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

The (logo’d) zips on the main zips, top and side, have these leather tags on them. They are apparently a security feature, to make it harder for naughty people to open the zips to steal your shit. This is a good idea, especially on the side zip, which is convenient but not at all secure.

But they’re bloody fiddly to use. It took me several minutes to persuade the little brass things into the holes in the tags. I swore a lot. Even more than I’m swearing in this review.

The interior is a rather spectacular pinky-orange colour. 

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

Apparently it’s antimicrobial, so won’t get stinky. Nice touch, though I have no intention of carrying stinky stuff in there.

There’s the laptop pocket with velcro strap, plus two smaller inside zip pockets.

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The stitching between these two pockets is crap. I can see that it’s going to start to fray very fast. Huh.

As I mentioned above, I got extras.

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Shoulder pads, because I sometimes carry heavy shit around, and a short top strap, to carry the bag as a tote.

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

That’s as far as it extends, and it’s practically in my armpit. I’m not very tall. 

That’s a really short strap. 

It is fairly comfortable though, and having this option was important to me.

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

The shoulder pads clip on to the strap. It’s pretty clever how they use poppers that are already on the strap to attach the pads. 

Of course, if you don’t have the pads you’re really going to want to make sure the straps are facing outwards, or those poppers are going to dig in. 

But here’s a little problem.

Not being very tall, I wanted the shoulder straps on their shortest possible setting. 

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

And that meant that the adjustable buckle was right underneath the part of the pad that pops over the strap. 

See how they’re all bunched up side on?

I managed to attach them after a further five minutes of straining and swearing. It was rather like being constipated, but the end result was less satisfying. 

Looks like that wasn’t really thought through, design-wise.

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

So, this is what they look like on. I immediately thought it resembled some kind of military thing, with those flaps sticking up and all the poppers. 

They are, however, comfortable. 

Another thing to note about this picture. See the straps themselves? What’s all over them?

The fucking logo! Again! 

Is there anything they can’t slap the fucking word Använda on?


Let’s try loading it up.

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

This was a test, so I grabbed some shit I might take with me overnight. 

Clothes, water bottle, makeup, tablet, a book, washbag. 

Packing it was actually a little easier using the side zip, simply because there’s more space to stuff shit in.

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

It was pretty full. I didn’t include my purse and handbag stuff, but if I had it would have been jammed. 

Anvanda Bag Review Använda

The bottle pocket on the front is nice to have, but it does have one flaw. 

Because the pocket is flat, the shape of the bottle essentially takes up space from inside the bag. Not a deal-breaker, but it’s inconvenient.

It’s something that often happens when a pocket is added because everyone wants to have easy access to their water bottle, but the designers don’t want to spoil the line with an actual functional pocket. (I’m looking at you Fjällräven. Love your backpack but can’t fit my water bottle in those handy side pockets.)

So, conclusions.

Is this a great fucking bag? Sorry, a great f*cking bag?

Well, no. It’s a nice bag but it has flaws.  

And I’m not going to refer to shit from other backers here; these are my impressions of this specific bag and this design.

I’ll start with the nice stuff.

I really like the bird pattern. It’s unusual, and it took me a little while to pluck up the courage to go for something so distinctive, but I’m glad I did. (Other colourways can be seen on Kickstarter.)

The exterior pocket has been lined up beautifully with the pattern on the fabric. 

It will – just – be big enough for overnights and for day trips with my daughter. Let me tell you, you need to carry around a lot of shit when you have a kid. I think I should be able to carry a picnic in there, though it’s definitely more of a city bag than an outdoorsy/woodsy-type pack.

It’s quite comfortable* (see flaws). 

I like the top strap; it will be handy when I’m carrying my violin, which is a backpack-type case.

You can fit a laptop in it, though I never carry my laptop further than the couch, and using a bag for that is overkill. 

The lining, while somewhat startling, is pretty useful for being able to see your shit inside. Bags that are lined with dark material are the bane of my life. 

The inside zip pockets are nice for little things* (see flaws).

The water bottle pocket is nice to have, because I refuse to fart about digging around my bag every time my daughter decides she’s thirsty* (see flaws). 

The zip pocket on the outside is convenient for little things. 

The raincover is useful, because this is the UK, and it rains a lot. Though it would be nice if the whole thing had been water-resistant, because water-resistant canvas is actually a real thing. 

Now the flaws.

This is where I get to bitch.

ALL THE FUCKING LOGOS. Seriously, they’re fucking everywhere. Straps, zips, that fucking raincover. The fucking marketing material says ‘it’s not a wearable logo’ so why the fuck have they put their fucking logo everywhere? I don’t want to walk around looking like an advert for this fucking company.

<deep breath>

It’s fucking smaller than advertised. I realise an extra 4 cm in length may not be that much, but actually, it would make a difference.

Incidentally, when early recipients started complaining about the reduced size, the first response from a customer service person on the Kickstarter comments page was that the D-rings were included in the original measurement. I call bullshit on that. They’re not 4 cm high, and in no world is hardware included in bag size.

The subsequent, and tardy, official update fessed up to the change in size, but tried to make it sound like a positive thing by labelling it as an ‘upgrade’. Again, in no world is something upgraded by being made smaller.

There are way too many extra bits. Poppers, studs, D-rings. It’s dangerously close to looking like some kind of bondage bag. There should be alternative instructions with ‘options for attaching your gimp’s leash to your great f*cking bag’. 

There’s a D-ring at the bottom of the back of the bag that I suspect is going to dig in when the bag is heavily filled. It was fine with the lightish load I tried, but I’m keeping an eye on it. It doesn’t need to be there. 

Shoulder pads that are comfortable yet badly designed. They don’t fit properly over fully shortened shoulder straps.

And on the subject of shoulder straps, they can’t be made short enough.  I’m not a tall person, and this is the ‘large’ bag, but even so, I’d like it to sit higher on my shoulders.

Poor stitching on the inside pockets.

The flat space-sucking bottle pocket. 

The bottom of the bag is unprotected. The second it’s put down it’s going to collect dirt. A leather patch would have going a long way towards preventing this problem.

ALL THE FUCKING LOGOS. (I know I said this already. It’s worth repeating.)

Would I recommend this bag?

In a word, no.

Not because it’s not quite a nice bag (though it’s not f*cking great).

Because the company that makes it is terrible. 

This should be studied as how not to run a Kickstarter campaign. 

Shit communication, contradictions, misleading statements, no tracking, disappearing tracking, wrong orders, missing orders, total absence of apology for, well, anything. 

I don’t mind about delays. It happens, it’s Kickstarter. But you need to tell the people that have given you money what is going on. And nicely, humbly, acknowledging when something goes wrong or you fuck up.

And my god, they’ve fucked up.

The jokey irreverent tone of the advertising campaign was fine for marketing. But when you’re telling customers their delivery has been delayed yet again, and said customers have been in the dark for months, contrition is the way to go.

Regular updates containing useful information are desirable. To give you an idea of this company’s incompetence, one backer posted an example of a good update, copied from another campaign. The backer suggested that it was the kind of update backers wanted to see. 

So Använda copied it word for word and used as their next update. Including dates and information about hubs (which contradict previous updates).

Seriously. It’s from a completely different campaign. It was offered as an example. Sheesh.

At the time of writing there are over 5600 comments on the Kickstarter page. Apart from a few white knights they are overwhelmingly negative. The Indigogo page is quieter but still pretty damn pissed off. 

UPDATE It’s November 27th and there are now nearly 6000 comments. Again, the vast majority are negative fucking pissed off. 

So, don’t buy this bag. 

There are many, many other lovely backpacks out there.

This one is nice. It’s not amazing. The quality is ok, but nothing particularly special.

I’m incredibly relieved to finally have it, unlike a bunch of other people including almost every single backer in the US and Canada who are still being fisted. 

Unfortunately, this tortuous process has left a bad taste in the mouth. 

Should I ever see another person in the street with an Använda bag, I suspect we will exchange a glace of acknowledgement and quiet solidarity. Perhaps even a wry smile. 

I hope that person isn’t you.

UPDATE (Last one, I promise!)

Like I said, Använda contacted me on my personal email address, not the one publicly and freely available on this blog. It’s in the ‘About Me’ section. Not hard to find. Of course, you can find my personal email address online, but it’s much harder than simply looking at the ‘About Me’ section on this actual blog, just a click away. Creepy? I think so.

Tell you what, here is my blog email address: Now you don’t even have to go to the ‘About Me’ section to find it.

They also blocked me from commenting and liking on their Facebook page. (I’m not the only one.) All my comments have also been removed.

The ‘reviews’ section has also been disabled on the main Använda Facebook page, along with their (the last time I saw it) 3.1* recommendation rating. Many of the positive ratings were from months ago, people who were reviewing it on the basis they thought it looked cool and had backed it. 

So there you go. Judge for yourself what you think this says about them as a company.

They will definitely be getting coal in their stockings this Christmas.


Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment. That would be nice. Go ahead and share if you like.

If you think Kickstarter is always a nightmare, it’s not. I recommend Coalatree and Princess Awesome. They are both proper retailers, but I backed Princess Awesome right at the beginning, and I’ve backed two Coalatree things, and they have been flawless. That’s how you do it, folks.

Is the Anvanda Bag as f8cking great as the marketing campaign promised? Find out!





49 thoughts on “Använda Bag Review – A Great F*cking Bag?

  1. Great review. I’ll probably re-read it in 2020 when I’m awaiting my bag that will be delivered in just a few short weeks…

    1. Thank you Maggie! I really hope you get your bag before then, perhaps the Christmas elves are making it right now. Or it’s on a boat. Or in a hub. Or something.

    2. I think you mean Friday, December 9, 2022: The date that all backers SHOULD have tracking. Or maybe it’s Sunday, December, 9, 2018. Or Friday, December 7, 2018…. Who knows at this point.

  2. I also have my bag (UK backer!) and I think that your review nailed it ~ a good, unusual, slightly quirky bag but not a great bag (with or without obligatory expletive). I think that one of the many reasons so many of the backers are hacked off (apart from the fact that they still don’t have their bags) is the fact that all of us have been left feeling that we were suckered by the clever marketing which made us feel that we were buying into something which was, in some way, more than just buying a bag ~ the same thing Apple has always managed to have done because, in the end, an iPhone is just a phone. In the end we have learned that Anvanda is just another company, and not a good one at that.

    1. We sure were ‘lucky’ in the UK! I feel terrible for the North American backers. It’s miserable feeling like a sucker, as I think we all do.

      Thank you so much for commenting 😃 (Oh, and I’m an Android girl 😉)

  3. Excellent review, which sums up basically what I thought about it. Although I wasn’t as smart as you, and ordered the small size… should’ve gone for the large, because as it is, it’s completely useless to me, a Uni student who needs to be carrying around folders and books and notebooks all day, not to mention a laptop (I unfortunately got a new laptop between ordering and receiving my Anvanda bag, so it doesn’t fit in it…) I’m disappointed, and seriously wondering what to do with this bag that is too small for any use I could make of it! I have also been met with total radio silence by the team on kickstarter, despite sending 3 messages already. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in this. But, oh well, at least I received the bag – and the right one. I can only blame myself for not thinking ahead for the size!

    1. Oh no! Perhaps eBay? I’m sure there’ll be a few people who want it! If you do sell it make sure you give them the full Anvanda experience by describing it differently and then not sending it for weeks 😉

  4. Good review, The nice thing about being an American backer is that when I finally get the bag, time machines will have been invented and I can just deliver it myself to myself.

    1. Thank you! Perhaps that was their motivation all along, to inspire time machine inventors so they don’t have to go to the trouble of delivering their product.

  5. Excellent Review, I’m a Swiss backer and got my bag without tracking number.

    How ever if I look at your pictures, the Logo and the Ä seem more present than in my black version. So I checked if its different, but I got the same ridiculous amount of logos. Lucky for me you really have to know they are there, because black in black its not easy to see.

    I use the bag for daily work, since I got it and must add, that wearing it with heavy load (laptop adapter, etc.) the D-Ring in the lower back, does not press in any way.. but without the shoulder-pads (unfortunately I missed ordering these) the D-Ring on the shoulders are quite uncomfortable.

    Thanks for the detailed Pics of those Pads, now I don’t order them as well and use my army shoulder-pads because they fit and look far better 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading! I guess the lighter colourway makes the logos even more obvious.

      I’m not sure about the D-ring on the back because I’ve not yet carried the bag heavily laden. But I could feel it. It must also depend on the size of the person and where it sits on your back.

      Anyway, we’ll see! Glad you like the shoulder pad pics, the design flaw was so irritating!

  6. Thanks for taking the time to do this review! My bag arrived today with, get this, an ACTUAL KNIFE in the bottom of the delivery bag. Go figure. My bag was also meant to be wine red and is bright red, which I don’t actually mind but it’s not what was advertised. I got the small bag which is meant to be for a 13″ laptop, and although I haven’t tried it yet I’m not convinced it’s going to fit through the tiny zip opening at the top of the bag. I also ordered a camera insert which is too big to fit in the actual so useless…

    This company has definitely put me off backing campaigns again. The communication has been appalling, and you’re right, when you’re messing up deliveries again and again, a tongue in cheek email with a load of quirky asterisks isn’t acceptable.

    1. A knife?? WTF?? There’s surreal hilarity to that, as I’m sure Använda is furious about all the negativity. Perhaps it’s some kind of message…
      The colour switch issue has been discussed on the KS comments page many times, so it’s good you don’t mind the change too much. (If you haven’t checked the comments, do, they’re very entertaining and also depressing because so many people are having such a shit time.)
      Anyway, thank you so much for commenting 😃 I hope you enjoy your bag even if it’s not what it should have been.

  7. I actually was carrying my laptop and other sh*t and the strap simply disassembled. It didn’t break, the knob that ties it to the thingy in the actual bag came cleanly off. I contacted them and they offered to send me a new strap; problem is I’m kind of weary of putting again my laptop there; it could actually fell and get hurt, and it costs way more than the bag.
    Thanks anyway for your honest review.

    1. Damn, that’s really not good! I’m not surprised you don’t want to risk your laptop. It might be a glitch, but after all the bragging about how awesome the hardware was (those ‘upgrades’!) this is pretty crap.
      Thank you for reading! Hope you get it figured out one way or another.

  8. I received my bag a few weeeks ago, and honestly haven’t even unpacked it… got so annoyed at all the gimmicks and logos… thank you for a fun review.

    I’m off to consider who will be getting the bag for Xmas, I’m not using it.

    1. You’re welcome for the review, glad you enjoyed it! Totally understand wanting to give it away (I’m considering eBay) but it’s tough to figure out to whom it should be given, as it wasn’t cheap!
      If it’s not unpacked you might be able to return it, though it seems they’ve been pretty crummy to people who have wanted a return.
      Ether way, good luck whatever you decide, and Merry Christmas!

  9. The bag is a total disappointment. Parts missing(the extra straps).
    The quality is overall borderline mediocre. Certainly not premium as advertised.

    It just looks like sh*t to me.

    And not only the product is bad but they are lying in their emails as well.
    As soon as they missed their freest shipping date they said they can only issue a 40% refund or I should wait for the bag to arrive and then get a refund from them.

    It took 7 extra months …. and now they say they wont refund…

    So crappy product and crappy service….

    buyers beware, they are actively selling this cra*p and it will take years to receive it … and in the end be disappointed.

    By the time you get the bag this company will be out of business and won’t even respond to your questions.

    Take care,

    1. Damn, such a disappointment, huh? Will you try for a refund or gift it or eBay?
      I can’t get a refund because it’s been opened (of course, how else can you get a good look at it??) but am considering putting it on eBay and trying to get at least some of my money back!

  10. Toronto backer here and my bag just arrived today. I’m disappointed. I ordered the green-and-cream patterned bag with leather trim. In all of the marketing pictures, the leather was a pretty, lighter-coloured golden honey brown which would have complimented the cream in the fabric very nicely. What arrived today features leather trim that is a medium dirt brown with fabric strapping that is dark chocolate / deep brown in colour. The two shades of brown (leather & strapping) do not even match each other, putting aside how far away the whole aesthetic is from the original marketing materials. I would NEVER order this colour combination together – it looks awful. To make matters worse, there is a very visible stain on the front of the bag – a dark black blotch of ink or grease that no amount of scrubbing has removed. I shouldn’t have to scrub at a new bag (but I really do not want to deal with this company ever again with a return or refund request). My lack of cleaning success leaves me very little hope that the bag will ever be kept clean during reasonable wear and tear. The non-YYK zippers feel weak and cheap and have already caught on the lining more than once. Anyway, I do try to manage my expectations when it’s Kickstarter: it’s a bit like speculating on the stock exchange, to my mind: sometimes you win, sometimes not as expected. For me, all would have been forgiven (the delays, the poor communication, the cheap zippers) if the damn colours had been what I thought I’d ordered!

    1. Wow, how crap, I’m so sorry! It’s such a miserable feeling after waiting for so long.
      I totally agree with doubt about the durability, and great observation about the difference between marketing result. Then arriving damaged, damn.

      It’s a pretty poor state of affairs that Använda has wrecked customer confidence so far that people don’t want to risk a return.

      Kickstarter is indeed a risk (I count myself lucky with the other things I’ve backed) but this has been a litany of disasters.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, and happy holidays!

  11. Just got mine today in the US.This was my first experience with a Kickstarter campaign and I am trying to take it for what it is. It has certainly been a lesson. I ordered TWO bags! I ordered one regular and one large. I don’t hate them. All of what you have said is completely accurate. It was disappointing because when I ordered them, now almost a year ago, I was traveling a great deal for work and really needed them. I am changing jobs and took my last trip last week and NOW the bags show up. Well, expensive lesson learned.

  12. Got my bag today in Boston area. Spot on review. I’m rather underwhelmed with this f###$$g bag.

  13. Great review!
    I got my two bags yesterday. Luckily I don’t mind the bright red color – nowhere near what they said was Red Wine. There’s a spot of something (glue?) on the leather pocket. Ugh.
    Even better, the second bag…the top zipper opens in the opposite direction than the other bag! So, red bag opens left to right & the green bag opens right to left. That’s Quality Control for ya.
    I won’t even bother contacting them, tho the return address is in my state. Who needs more headaches after all the rest?

    1. Thank you! And damn. There seems to be a new report of some quality control screwup every other day!
      I can totally understand not wanting to contact them, but it might be worth a Facebook comment. Though of course the reviews section is still closed, as heaven forbid anyone should be able to give their opinion on this car crash!

      Anyway, happy holidays, and I hope you figure something out, even if it’s eBay!

  14. Got my bag in the US the other day but didn’t have a chance to open it and check it out until tonight. (Never got a tracking number; go figure.) Attempted to fit what I could into it, but I was just in denial of how disappointed I am in the bag. I immediately searched out reviews and found yours at the top of the results. At least I know I’m not alone! On the one hand, parts of it feel nice, and my 13″ Macbook actually does fit. The side zipper confuses me because I’d still need to open the top zipper to get the laptop out or to access those inner pockets because of their orientation. The place me of some of the D rings just baffle me. That clasp that goes across the top zipper just gets in my way. Overall, it’s too fiddly, too much without being enough. I should’ve gone with my first instinct which was not to get a bag at all, but oh, I’m such a sucker for marketing sometimes.

    The good news is that this reminded me of the really nice bag I have for work but had hidden away in the closet for the summer months, so that’s what I’m using tomorrow morning.

    Great review. I had fun reading it, even if it just further reminded me of how much I wish I spent the money on something less soul-crushing, like bills.

    1. That’s so kind of you, thank you for such lovely words!
      But bummer about the bag, it’s so horrible feeling like a sucker! Believe me, I feel exactly the same.

      I’m glad you’ve rediscovered another lovely bag though! A bit like finding cash down the back of the couch after paying a tax bill 😄

      Anyway, happy holidays, and I hope you find something you can do with the bag!

  15. Hi Merith!

    I tried to post a comment a couple of weeks ago on my ipad, but it got lost in alphabet heaven. But that was before I received my GFB…

    I live in the US/Midwest, and just got my GFB last Friday, and I like it. This Anvanda bag was the first proper one I’d bought for my use since a laptop backpack 20-something years ago that still works very well. I was looking for a lighter laptop/tablet bag that I could stuff books and notebooks into and think I have a keeper.

    Yes, I was attracted by the campaign, and signed up days before the first hard deadline (July 1), and probably should’ve thought twice about it all things considered. But, again, I liked what I bought.

    When I started seeing people getting pissed about the “lateness” of the delivery of these GFBs, I sent a private FB message to ask a couple of questions (politely), got some straight answers and felt relieved my GFB was coming.

    As far as the lateness that people are angered about… I get it. However, this Anvanda GFB was one of about 60 projects I’ve funded over the past five years via KS and Indie A Go Go. And, this isn’t latest project I’ve funded by a longshot either.

    Of those 60 projects or so, one creator died suddenly, so I received some digital rewards but nothing else and that was OK. I’m still waiting on one project from 2015 for a documentary, and I know the creator and feel OK about that one. And a third one has been delayed for an extra year due to serious health issues with a parent of one of the creators whose Mom had to go into a nursing home.

    The tardiest KS project I funded for me and my granddaughter (the first or second one I ever did from 2013) didn’t get fully fulfilled (for me) for about 54 months! Before I wrote this, I checked the KS page and discovered there were still people who hadn’t received their dolls or artists commissions. For this reason and others, I’m not supporting any future solo projects she does, and rightly so.

    I’m not mad about the GFB, but if I had to wait for 4+ years — even 1 year — I wouldn’t be happy and, again, rightly so.

    Does this sound sensible to you?

    Cheers from across the pond… Wayne

    1. Hey Wayne!
      Thank you for reading and commenting!
      I’m really glad it’s all worked out for you and you like the bag.
      Of course there are going to be a range of opinions, and I’ve certainly seen positive comments, but I think (aside from quality control issues etc.) a big downer has been the appalling handling of the campaign.
      No one likes feeling cheated or being lied to, dismissed, or sassed, and all of those things have happened. (Once in a while there’s a list posted in the KS comments of all the crap that’s gone down. It’s pretty bad.)

      Kickstarter isn’t a store, of course things can go wrong, but the disparity between marketing and production has caused a lot of problems. Använda’s attitude has been less than optimal, and I think a lot of people, including very experienced Superbackers got sick of it very fast.

      However, it’s awesome you like your bag! It’s good to know there are some happy backers out there.
      Happy holidays!

      1. Hi Merith: Being a freelancer who satisfies multiple people on daily/weekly/monthly deadlines, my approach is to be realistic. Under-promise and over-deliver every day and all the time is my motto.

        I’d venture to say most of us “fell for” Anvanda’s marketing approach hook, line and stinker. Their greatest sin, in my opinion, was over-promising, under-delivering, then not communicating when that was their strongest suit in the first place.

        Also, I really believe, as others have expressed, that many people who jumped on this campaign aren’t familiar with how KS and Indie A Go Go work. With rare exceptions do things turn around smoothly and quickly.

        BTW, some of your criticisms — too many damned logos — are spot-on.

        Thanks for responding on TW.



  16. Hi Merith: I tried responding twice to your blog (on my tablet and main computer), but for some reason I’ve been blocked from posting a long response. I’ve filled out the name and email address info, but nothing. Do I have to hit the reply button for my response to appear? Thanks… Wayne

  17. Hi Merith

    Thanks for your great review. If i ever receive my bag i feel much more prepared for the disappointment when i open it / temper the excitement that was building after waiting so dam long … .

    Hopefully someone with more talent than me will see this campaign + your review and other comments from the site and acutely make a great f’ing bag.

    How to market is included there, communicate, run a successful campaign and product logo free product … As from all this you can see there is a demand for a great F’ing bag just a shame Använda couldn’t do it.

    1. Thank you! I’m so sorry you haven’t got your bag yet, though there are some people who seem to like it, so maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones!

      It also looks like someone else has already made a better bag…

      Looks like they’ve sold out too, I wonder how many disgruntled Använda backers have bought one! Lots of US backers have signed up for when they ship there too.

      Anyway, thank you so much for reading the review, and happy holidays!

  18. My son finally received his bag on Dec 17, in the US. He went to pack it up to visit me for Christmas and the metal piece that holds the backpack strap to the bag broke. He had not worn it yet. I have a photo if you’d like it.
    This is RIDICULOUS.
    I’ll let you know if we’re able to return it and get a refund. They’ll probably insist on replacing it.

    1. Oh no! That’s awful. You should certainly get a refund, not that Använda seems to be receptive. Though I know at least one backer has done a successful chargeback with their credit card company.
      Have you seen the Kickstarter comment thread? There’s also a Still Waiting On Använda group on Facebook, it would be fab if you could post the pictures there too!

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, and Happy Holidays!

  19. I went to their site to send them a message and the contact info form is all messed up. Why am I not surprised?

  20. Finally got my bag today here in the US after having “shipped” back in September. I stopped reading the backer comments about a month ago as it had induced high levels of buyer’s remorse, but I’m relieved to finally have it in my posession.
    I haven’t field tested the bag yet but I could already tell that the “asshole” handle seemed strangely placed and makes the bag a bit lopsided while carrying it. I actually stumbled upon your blog by searching for functional ways to wear the damn thing. Your review of the bag (and the company) was spot on and a great read! Here’s hoping that the rest of our journey with Änvanda is much less disappointing.

    1. Hi Nate, thank you so much for reading and commenting! I missed the notification for this which is why it’s taken ages to respond.
      Glad you enjoyed the review, the asshole handle is indeed most peculiar. I really hope you do end up enjoying the bag, even with the nightmarish process of receiving it in the first place.

  21. Just saw your review, Merith. Good stuff, thanks for sharing. I received mine back couple months back but haven’t used it that much as it’s heavy once I pack my laptop in. On reading your review, I just realised I didn’t get the top strap and the shoulder pads. Did you just get lucky receiving the extras or are they meant for all buyers/ supporters? Thanks.

    1. Yep, all that hardware really weighs it down!

      The (tiny) top strap and (poorly fitting) shoulder pads were all optional extras.
      I regret getting them now because they don’t work for me, but hey, I regret getting the bag!

      I’m glad you got your bag in good time though, lucky you! It’s really been kicking off in the Kickstarter comments, still huge screwups and delays, so you were pretty fortunate. (Maybe…)

      Happy holidays, and thank you for reading!

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