First Look: Kuiu Taku Gear Bags
Kuiu has been steadily growing in markets outside of its extreme hunting focus, their products are at home in extreme environments, whether that be for hunting or other pursuits. Kuiu’s Taku line of gear bags expresses their ultralight ethic and penchant for choosing only the finest materials.
Taku gear bags are available in three volumes: 2,000, 3,000 and 9,000 cubic inches. Each bag uses a burly TPU coated 420d double ripstop fabric with fully taped seams, which are minimal in number due to the simple design. Foam filled webbing handles are attached on each of four sides as well as shoulder straps that attach via locking clips, making removal and reinstallation quick. One double pull #10 Aguaguard YKK water resistant zipper closes the bag. Crowdsourced choices determined some of the bags’ final features through a platform dubbed Giru. Graphics, straps, pockets, zipper size, and other options were put to the vote on the platform, with the most popular choices slated into production. The Giru platform, developed by Kuiu, has since been sold and is no longer in use by the brand.
I have used all three of the bags over the last four months. The 3,000 cubic inch Taku has been my everyday bag and received abuse transporting gym and climbing gear, kid care items, and even tools for work and play. The 2,000 cubic inch bag carried rock climbing gear for clients, surviving almost constant abrasion on rocky surfaces. The 9,000 cubic inch version was my go-to gear bag for adventure travel, both by truck and air, often overstuffed with climbing hardware or adventure motorcycling gear. Every bag took multiple turns being strapped on a truck roof rack or the tail of a dirt bike. The Taku bags were reguarly dragged, dropped, and overstuffed all in the name of testing, of course.
Each Taku gear bag emerged unscathed. The only visible signs of wear on any of the bags were the loss of some of the original fabric luster and abrasion of some of the plastic webbing hardware. The simple design and lack of outer pockets, daisy chains, and additional zippers kept the bag from snagging when being dragged or hauled up rocky faces. The fabric proved to be waterproof, and the generous zipper storm flap and water resistant zipper kept any rain, even on the back of a motorcycle, from soaking contents. The shoulder straps were minimally padded and the lack of structure or waist strap limited carries to short distances, but functioned as needed to get from curb to airport baggage drop or truck parking area to campsite. The zipper pulls were hard to get moving—our only functional complaint. The potentially desired features not present were compression straps to ease lateral stress on zippers near capacity and to aid carrying when partially filled. We missed having a shoulder strap on the two smaller versions.
The Kuiu Taku gear bags’ lightweight, simple and durable design ferries cumbersome loads through rough circumstances fending off abuse to last the long haul. The crowdsourced features list is unique, and although the Giru platform is no longer in use by Kuiu, the bags prove the worthiness of such measures.
MSRP: 2,000 cu in, $89.99, verified weight 1.19 lb, 3,000 cu in $99.99. 1.43 lb, 9,000 cu in $129.99 2.38 lb