Review: Knomo Kobe has high-class charm
At a Glance
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The Kobe is a stylish, upscale messenger bag that excels at holding all your daily gadgets and items—but its price makes it out of reach for many.
Knomo, a London-based company, specializes in stylish high-end laptop bags. The Kobe, named for the sixth largest city in Japan, is no exception—with a body made from soft, full-grain leather and a lightweight fabric made from recycled bottles, there is nothing about this bag that doesn’t say ‘classy.’ The Kobe even boasts a “soft construction” designed to mold itself to your body so the bag is effortlessly comfortable to carry.
Measuring 15.7 inches by 10.6 inches by 3.3 inches, the Kobe weighs about 2.6 pounds and can fit laptops up to 15 inches. The front flap and two front pockets are crafted from the soft leather, with the bottom and back of the bag made up of the lightweight fabric. The rear fabric panels of the bag are divided up into a large pocket, with three smaller pouches sewn into the side; the bottom of the largest fabric panel can also be unzipped so the bag will slide over a trolley or luggage handle.
The front flap of the bag is outfitted with two magnetic buttons that keep it firmly shut, and lifts to reveal two leather pockets—one with a zipper on top, and one with two pen pouches and two small pockets. The interior of the bag is a smooth, olive green colored fabric. In addition to the two front pockets, the main compartment of the bag features one large zippered pocket that runs along the front portion of the bag, as well as three pouches made from a flexible banded fabric. There’s also a quilted and padded sleeve section for a laptop or tablet to fit into.
The whole package is quite stylish—carrying it made me feel like I’d stepped out of the pages of GQ or Details; it’s understated yet professional enough to look great when you’re on an interview or to carry papers and a laptop to a formal work function. The leather and fabric feel high quality, the design is functional and focused on the bags strengths—namely, carrying around all your day to day gadgets and items easily.
The Kobe was great for my usual items: A magazine, two notebooks, a checkbook-sized wallet and a slightly smaller make up bag, as well as other odds and ends. There were just enough pockets and pouches for me to have places to hold my bus pass, keys, and headphones. Not only that but because of the bags design, everything was neatly at hand and I never found myself hunting through it in order to find things.
However, this stunning satchel comes with a similarly swank price tag of $325, making it a serious investment item out of reach for many of us. If you can swallow that alarming price tag, you’re likely to get your money's worth as the bag is solidly constructed and well-designed enough to be your daily carry-all. That is, as long as you stick to the basics: I ran out of room when I went to add items like morning pastries or lunch items I was carrying to work, which required me to carry an additional bag. Still, if you want a bag that makes you feel like a sharp-dressed man, the Kobe can definitely help you hit that mark.