Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pakuma Akara K1 Backpack

Their logo is derived from the shamen symbol for man. Pakuma bags have quite a story behind them, you can read them here. This Pakuma Akara K1 bag was sent in for review by, you can find similar cool accessories at their macbook accesories page. Though you can get the Akara K1 in various colour combinations, our sample arrived sporting brown panels and green piping.

Unloaded the bag weighs 1.3kg, and it has an internal volume capacity of 23 litres, measures 34 x 16.5 x 51cm, and can hold most 15 to 17-inch laptops (the compartment's exact dimensions are 30 x 5.1 x 39cm). According to the Pakuma website it will take "all PC and Apple notebooks from 15.4" to 17", but we can't see it fitting a gaming monster along the lines of the Alienware M17xR3. At the bag's front you'll find a further two zippered compartments, marked out in brown to show their size and shape. The top one features an internal pocket to hold your MP3 player. It has some padding at the front but none at the back, so again you have to be careful what you put in the Akara K1's main compartment.

Unzipping the backpack's main compartment reveals the laptop pocket (which we'll get to later) with flap and space for other products in front of it. There's also a small mesh pocket with a Velcro fastening here, but its low positioning means that anything else you put into the bag is going to land on top of the items stored here, which negates its usefulness somewhat. Having this mesh pocket near the top rather than at the bottom of the compartment would perhaps have been more logical.


The K1 has a special protective pouch for the laptop. A specially designed fixed pocket that holds your computer firmly in place and cushions it with panels of high density memory foam (researched and invented by NASA). With your notebook safely in the COCOON™, there’s still plenty of room for magazines, papers, music player’s and all your other bits and pieces.

Last if not least the Akara K1 has two mesh side pockets with elastic tops for bottles and the like. Adjustable clip-straps at either side can lend extra support to the bag if needed, or help to keep it compact. There are foam pads all around the back so it's pretty comfortable to wear, the waist straps are padded too. Perhaps the best part of the Akara K1 is how comfortable it is to carry and wear. The top carrying loop is surrounded by a very soft foam-like handgrip, which never hurts your fingers. The backpack has very thick padding with breathable mesh both in its back and on the height-adjustable shoulder straps, which offer adjustment at the top to accommodate the exact degree of shoulder support you want and length adjustment to determine how high or low the backpack rides. 

While the backpack is not actually waterproof and doesn't feature a rain cover, Pakuma has made sure all zippered compartments are protected from water ingress for as long as possible with flaps that protrude over the zip.

Verdict: Even though I think that there's too much marketing talk at the Pakuma site, this bag does show some good value for money. If you've got a 100$ budget then this backpack might do the trick.

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