One of the most popular items on the Rock/Creek site right now is the KAVU rope bag, which means our customer service team fields more questions about this pack than almost anything else. I don’t blame our customers, either, since some of this information isn’t really available anywhere, and it can be hard to tell from the product photos. Have no fear: we’ve assembled this handy FAQ to answer your most frequently-asked questions. ~Jeff
Q: What’s the difference between the KAVU Rope Bag and the KAVU Rope Sling?
A: Literally nothing except the fabric. These two Kavu packs are identical, but the Rope Sling features quick-drying polyester and the KAVU Rope Bag features cotton canvas. This is the source of much confusion, and we sell many more Rope Bags than Rope Slings despite the fact that polyester is likely the better choice for hikers and river rats!
In order to make the distinction clear, we’ve actually tried listing the Rope Sling as “Rope Bag (Polyester)” on our site. Really, they’re the same pack. Pick by which color and pattern you like best, or fabric if you have a clear preference. The Rope Bag and Rope Sling aren’t typically offered in the same patterns, after all, so if you really want that print with the owls on it then whichever pack it comes on is the right fabric choice for you.
Q: Are these KAVU bags large enough to carry textbooks?
A: Unfortunately, the Rope Bag is not large enough for school books. However, check out the Paxton Pack, which is larger than either the Rope Bag or Rope Sling. Basically, it’s the extra-large size of the Rope Sling.
Q: When will the color I liked be back in stock? What about the colors marked “special edition” on the site? Can you special order the color I want?
A: Sometimes, a color that is no longer in stock can be re-ordered, and we’ll have more soon. Most times, though, colors that are gone are past-season colors that are no longer being produced. If we can get more of them, we always do… but we often cannot.
As for the “special edition” colors, these are limited-edition patterns that arrive at the beginning of summer each year and are produced in super small quantities. We’re generally not able to re-order them at all, so once they’re gone they are really gone.
Really, if you’re looking for a specific color, don’t count on more arriving once we’ve run out. Some colors sell much faster than what we’re able to forecast, and product availability varies rapidly. If you absolutely have to have the one you’re looking at, grab it while you can.
Q: Tell me about the pockets. Do the side zippers access separate compartments? Will the external pocket hold my phone securely?
A: So, the large body of the pack has a zipper on each side. One accesses the main compartment, which is the full height and width of the pack, while the other accesses a smaller, intermediate compartment that’s the perfect size for a paperback. The main compartment is padded, so the corners of your tablet won’t poke you awkwardly in the back on a bike commute, and there is a small zippered pocket that’s great for a wallet.
The outside of the pack features two small pockets. One is just barely large enough for a small smartphone (but not the newer, larger “phablet” type phones) and secures with a velcro flap. The other closes with a zipper. Most folks find that, with all the pockets, these bags carry more stuff than they’d expected.
Q: Why is the Rope Bag so popular with outdoor enthusiasts?
A: Sling bags are popular with our customers in general because (unlike a purse) they won’t swing around, and leave both hands free while hiking or scrambling. It’s also a much lower-profile solution than carrying a backpack-style daypack, which makes it great for low-profile pursuits. Furthermore, you can use this bag AS a purse when you’ve finished up at the crag, which doesn’t work so well with backpacks. The Patagonia Atom Sling is also a best-seller, so there is a well-defined place for a versatile sling bag among women who are active in the outdoors.