Is this the last bag you’ll ever need? Our online editor and his one-year-old try to destroy the latest offering from Eqpd Gear and learn it’s aptly named.
It’s amazing something as mundane as a bag can be completely redesigned and turned into a lifelong tool. Yet that’s exactly what product engineer Jonathan Baker did when he launched his company Eqpd Gear in Twisp, Washington, five years ago. Back then the negative impacts of disposable plastic bags on marine life and ultimately our food chain were being studied. Now scientists, such as those with the UK Environment Agency, are claiming the carbon footprint of cheap, reusable bags make them just as bad for the planet. Baker’s solution is a simple, sturdy bag made from one piece of vinyl plastic, four stitches, six rivets and it’s guaranteed forever. Appropriately it’s called the LastBag.
“The best design does the most good for the most people,” says Baker, who has worked in the outdoor equipment industry for 20 years and has a ski helmet named after him. “Who doesn’t have a closet full of shitty reusable bags? By replacing them with one solution that’s manufactured in North America means we all win.” The LastBag features a waterproof exterior made from the same fabric as whitewater rafts and is used by everyone from diaper-carrying moms to masons who mix cement in it. It’s now available in a variety of sizes, styles and colours and is sold in all forms of retailers from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, to rural gas stations.
Snapshot: Eqpd Gear LastBag
- Pros: We can’t break this thing. It’s the most durable, simple, and versatile bag we’ve ever taken to the grocery store, beach and crag.
- Cons: There’s an initial sticker shock (the 21″ solid hand version is US$55) but when you consider you’ll never have to get another bag again, you get over it.
- Price: Starts at US$30 for the 13″ version of the LastBag
- Who Should Buy: Environmentalists as well as recreationalists, hobbyists, grocery buyers…everyone.
- Who Shouldn’t Buy: Nobody. Even Donald Trump would buy this bag because although it’s pro-environment, it’s also hand-made in America.
- Helpful Hack: These bags are made out of the same vinyl as whitewater rafts – if anything is spilled on or in them, all you have to do is hose it out.
- Author’s overall rating: 9/10
We were given multiple styles and sizes of the Eqpd Gear LastBag to run through the ringer. Below are three reviews, one written by our online editor Vince Hempsall and two by geologist, mom and athlete Jen Sabean who is an artist and environmentalist in her own right, repurposing bike tires into jewellery.
Test #1 – Eqpd Gear LastBag Mesh Hand Bag Reviewed by Jenn
This bag was made by people who understand what it is to be on the move. The size of the bag is amazing for so many things! It perfectly fits a pair of bike shoes with helmet and clothes, or two six packs and two bottles of wine, or everything you need for a beach day including space for a fedora that won’t get crunched. All that but it doesn’t feel like I’m carting around luggage. The felt base holds the bags’ shape, the mesh fabric allows for damp gear to breathe, and the sturdy handles are easy to grab and are built to last. I get so many compliments on it as I use it everywhere (it doesn’t hurt that the colours make it stylish) and it will long outlast any other reusable bags I have.
Test #2 – Eqpd Gear 365 Shoulder Bag Review by Jenn
This bag is built to last! The shape holds its own thanks to the sturdy felt base and tough fabric, but it’s still lightweight and folds up nice and small. It has been a constant go-to for our busy family for groceries, beach stuff, kids gear, etc. And with the choice of an adjustable shoulder strap or sturdy handles, as well as the waterproof fabric, it will continue to serve multiple purposes. For the amazing price (US$25) this bag is an easy choice – better than any other reusable bag I’ve owned. The only thing I’d like to see from the company is sourcing used materials from such as punctured boats from rafting companies for example, instead of using new.
Test #3 – Eqpd Gear LastBag Shoulder Bag Reviewed by Vince
I set out to try and trash this thing. I dumped a bunch of climbing gear into it and then hurled it around the base of some cliffs. I hauled it to the beach and dragged it across sand and rocks. I set my one-year-old on it. And I can honestly say it’s still in the same pristine shape it was when it first arrived. It’s hauled innumerable loads of groceries, 30 pounds worth of KMC magazines and used diapers. There’s been baby vomit all over and through this bag and I’ve simply given it one swipe with a Kleenex to clean it. The LastBag now sits by our front door always and is used almost every day.
Buy this bag. That’s all I really want to say about the Eqpd Gear LastBag. If you care at all about the environment or about supporting local business or you just want a kick-ass, indestructible bag that’s as useful hauling groceries as it is lugging tools, gear, dirt, school supplies and more, then this is the bag for you. Maybe the only thing the LastBag can’t carry is hydrofluoric acid. Our one criticism about the Eqpd Gear LastBag is we’d like to see it built with repurposed materials. However, after a conversation with company owner Jonathan Baker, I understand why that’s difficult given the unreliable quality of reused materials. But if that issue could ever be solved, the LastBag would be an easy 10/10 for quality, design, utility, environmentalism and awesomeness.
Eqpd Gear LastBag – The Deets
- MSRP: Starts at around US$30
- Made from vinyl plastic, four stitches, six rivets and it’s guaranteed forever.
- There are six versions of the LastBag including Solid Hand, Solid Shoulder, Mesh Hand, Mesh Shoulder, Leather and Heavy Duty.
- There are a myriad of colour options from orange to burgundy and there’s also a clear version.
- Sizes vary from 13″ to 21″
- For more info: eqpdgear.com