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This MODERN DAYFARER review will put you in a different state of mind. One where new brands like MODERN DAYFARER can take over the world.
- Price $86 (€79) on moderndayfarer.com
- Dimensions Length 26.5cm / 10.5″ | Width 14cm / 5.5″
- Weight 220g / 0.45lbs
- Made in Vietnam
In an ocean of stellar bag brands like TOM BIHN, GORUCK, and Aer, just to name a few, it takes courage for newer brands to brave the rough sea of competition.
With humble beginnings as a Kickstarter project, the MODERN DAYFARER is one such brand. While some brands try and fall flat, this is one with tremendous potential.
The design and material choices of MODERN DAYFARER are impressive throughout their products and they stand a good fighting chance with some of the big boys in the industry.
After my last review of the DAYFARER Sling, this is a review of the active version. As the Active Sling is designed to be a smaller and lighter version of the regular bag, you are probably going to find a lot of similarities.
Following a prevalent trend in the industry, the bag comes in just one color option, black. As someone who only reviews and wears exclusively black, I have no complaints.
The entire exterior of the bag is black but accented with the X pattern which is the signature of the X-PAC material. The flap, which contains a piece of hard card for rigidity, is covered with a smooth, matte fabric that isn't X-PAC.
There are magnetic catches in the front that lets you close the flap at three levels of tightness. If you close it at the loosest level, you will be able to see the bottom of the catch from the front.
While the product description doesn't include the depth of the bag, there are 2.16 inches (5.5cm) of depth at the base. From the base, it tapers down towards the top. The way the flap folds down fills up the taper at the top to create the same depth as the base.
At the back, there are flaps to cover the joints of the strap. While this is meant to make the back look cleaner by hiding the joints, I found it a little awkward-looking.
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There is no branding on the exterior of the bag, but on the inside, you'll find a MODERN DAYFARER brand tag, a Dimension Polyant brand tag (which supplies the fabric), and a “Made in Vietnam” tag.
Overall, the bag looks very minimal, yet stylish with the choice of material. At the same time, it doesn't look that much more unique than many of the bags out there.
One thing that's easier to get right for bags is the material. If you are as obsessive about gear as I am, you'll find yourself first looking at the materials before anything else when choosing a bag.
The DAYFARER Active Sling has a bunch of top of the line materials, including many that I've had experience with.
The main fabric used is the Dimension Polyant’s VX21, which is actually not just a single laminate, but a 4-layer laminate, which consists of;
- 210D nylon with DWR and UV resistant coatings
- Black polyester “X-Ply” (Also what gives the criss cross pattern)
- 0.25 mil (that's 0.001″) PET film
- 50D polyester taffeta backing
This means it is (almost) completely waterproof, is tough even under stress, and rigid enough to stay in shape. Since rain isn't the only element your bag will be facing, the UV protection quality of the material will also help protect it from the sun.
I've had experiences with this fabric on bags like the Tortuga Outbreaker and it's one of my favorite and most reliable fabric.
Like the regular version, the buckle is from Fidlock, but a different type which allows you to snap it close with just one hand. The strap also has a quick-release Fidlock clasp.
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Since the interior isn't going to see as much abrasion as the exterior of the bag, it uses a regular ripstop nylon lining.
On the only zippered compartment, the zipper is, of course, from the industry's best, YKK from Japan.
DAYFARER Sling vs DAYFARER Active Sling
If you take a look at MODERN DAYFARER's product line up, you'll also notice a non-active version of the sling. For those who are deciding between the two, this section is for you.
Before I dive into the differences, here are the specifications of each at a glance.
|DAYFARER Sling||DAYFARER Active Sling|
|Dimensions||Length 31cm / 12.2″ /|
Height 23.5cm / 9.2″
Depth 9cm / 3.5″
|Length 26.5cm / 10.5″ /|
Height 14cm / 5.5″
|Weight||450g / 0.99 lbs||220g / 0.45 lbs|
As you can see, the Active version is designed to be a smaller, lighter version for active use. Apart from the size and weight, the base material used is also different. Like the 1733 Side Pack, the Active Sling uses VX-21 from Dimension Polyant® while the Sling uses 1680D Cordura Ballistic Nylon. This is also a factor that contributed to the reduced weight.
While there are obvious differences in aesthetics, it's unlikely that you will feel any difference in quality between the two. Ultimately, the choice between the two will come down to the size of the pack you want and perhaps, the aesthetics of the front face material.
The size of the pack depends you need depends on what you want to have in them. An easy way to decide is to see if you want to carry a tablet in your sling bag or not. The DAYFARER Sling is the only one that holds a tablet out of the two.
Due to the size of the pack, the organization is very basic. The front face (where the buckle catch are) is part of a zippered pocket which is the size of the entire front face.
Within the interior, there is a padded divider. While the divider is attached towards the back of the interior, it's has a large enough space to essentially take up the entire interior.
Two mesh slots can be found on the divider. The mesh slots are great for containing smaller accessories like my Apple iPods, but was a little awkward with larger accessories like the NOMAD Powerpack.
Since this is a relatively small sling bag, the usage is pretty straightforward with some complexities brought forward with the Fidlock buckles.
While closing the magnetic buckle is indeed a one-handed operation, it won't magically snap into the buckle just by pressing down on the flap. You need to intentionally push one of the buckles into the catch and usually the other buckle will snap into place.
While there are three levels for the catches, you often can't choose since you can't really judge exactly which level the flap is going to snap into.
By closing the flap, the top of the bag would fold down to secure the contents of the bag even more. I thought this was pretty cool, although it would cause you to misjudge the amount of stuff you can have in it at first.
While this is an “active” sling, I can't really imagine carrying this while working out. This has nothing to do with the product itself, but more like I can't imagine carrying any kind of sling bag while working out.
Given the size of the sling, you might not need this during colder seasons since your jacket's pocket would likely be able to carry everything you want to fit into the Active Sling.
Like the regular version, the Active Sling comes with a swivel at the pivot of the straps, which makes it more ergonomic to your body. Although, since you aren't going to be carrying anything too heavy with a bag this size, this is arguably unnecessary.
While I love the look of the Fidlock clasp along the strap, I found it functionally unnecessary. While the mechanism to open and close it is very simple to use, I can't imagine it being simpler than simply pulling the strap over your neck.
For a brand that is relative young, this is another solid bag. I have very few problems with the quality or design of the bag, but more with the size. Most would not need a bag this small, since your pockets would likely suffice.
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