When you think of gym bags for BJJ and MMA, DATSUSARA isn't the only one coming to mind, but it is definetely one of the best. With their innovative style, quality build and original materials, it's no wonder why DATSUSARA and HEMP are two words on the tip of everyone's tongue. DATSUSARA bags are truly geared toward the final user with excelent details and carefully engineered practicality in design.
VHTS presents DATSUSARA GEAR BAG CORE and COVERT EMISSARY BAG REVIEW.
When we started to look for a great gear bag, one company and one product came to mind: DATSUSARA. We really wanted to try them out and have a taste of what everybody is calling the best BJJ gear bag in town (or any town for that matter) so we chose to focus on the GEAR BAG CORE a big equipment bag really usefull for everyday work and training, and great for comutes and/or trips where you need to be able to pack everything you need without it taking a lot of bags.
And we'll also be reviewing the COVERT EMISSARY BAG much more of a stylish work bag where you can have your documents, laptop, books and other stuff. So we got you covered all through your day, be it training or working.
GEAR BAG CORE:
I don't train for a living (saddly) I have a steady job (kind of a 9 to 5) so to me it is very important to be very time efficient, training before and after work is the period of time I have at my disposal. I need to be able to pack a bag with MMA and BJJ equipment for early morning practice and still be able to pack a change of clothes and toiletries so I can inmediately go to work and after work go to MMA training at night. I am able to pack all of this but need a lot of bags. What if I forgot my work shoes? What if I didn't pack a towel?, Ineed a spare kimono today. I need to be able to manage all this and it can be an easy feat if done correctly (or with the correct equipment bag) enter DATSUSARA.
The GEAR BAG CORE looks and feels ENOURMOUS even when it's empty (and to think theres still the GEAR BAG PRO a bigger beefier bag than the CORE). The gear bag core measures 14" in height, 21" in width and 13" in depth. If you're like me and get overwhelmed with this huge bag, wait till you see it full and you'll see why being big is a great thing for this bag. One thing I think is a testament to the well though out design is the fact that even though it's a really big bag, it still feels comfortable when you use it (more on that later with photo evidence).
Besides the main compartment (about 14" x 16" x 13") which features a small bag (for wallet, id, keys, etc) and a thick/hard carton (to maintain the bag's form) there are also a total of 2 huge zipper pockets at each end, 4 mesh pockets or holders (2 at each end) and 4 smaller pockets on one side (2 small ones, one medium zipper and a big velcro pocket).
What can it store?
- 3 Gis (VHTS of course, but any other brand will due fine, just not great!)
- MMA gloves
- MMA/Nogi equipment (rashguard + spats + fightshorts)
- Tripod and Gopro camera
- Boxing gloves
- Boxing Headguard
- 1 towel
- A Water bottle
- A change of work clothes (CAT boots + Jeans + Shirt)
- A post training hoodie
- and still have room for toiletries, wallets, keychains, cell phones, mouthguards and a 7" tablet
If that doesn't sound like a lot to you, let's see all this in the bag and outside the bag as well.
I'm not the biggest of guys (5´3" tall) and even with my frame the bag feels really comfortable. This is due to all the extra details it has, it manages it's weight accordingly and feels really balanced, the shoulder strap is diagonal so it distributes it weigh, just a tug on the strap and you have it to your prefered sizing.
If you prefer the carry handle you may do that also. Is it a heavy bag? Well, I must say it is not, the heaviness factor manly comes from what you put in your bag.
So, is this just a great big gear bag? the short answer is No. This is a really thoughtful highly detailed gear bag made from an unconventional (but for us a much better), fabric. The velcro is heavy dutty and all the stitchings feel super strong even the zipper is bigger, chunkier and beefier. It literaly has everything you could want and could think of improving in a BJJ and MMA gear bag. Plus the added benefits of HEMP wich we will speak of in a moment.
COVERT EMISSARY BAG
If you're looking for something for your work or where you study, DATSUSARA has you covered as well. This is a much "simpler" bag in the sense that it has less space and is designed for a laptop and books, documents and stuff like that. I would't imaging using it for the gym although it can be used in that way, more than anything it's a super stylish messenger bag that gets a lot of eyebrows lifted (you should see me entering a business meeting with it).
It has a lot of details and since a picture is worth a thousand words I want to ilustrate it's first features and later go into each one:
The flap is really strong and heavy and it has PAL webbing (small pencil holder like straps where you can place other accessories). You can see it has a top zipper (and it's super strong and big) this protects the laptop compartment which is waterproof. Also this zipper is used so you can acces the rest of the bag without opening the flap (I must say this is really useful). The flap has 2 big zipper bags (big enough for a 15.9" laptop) and 4 smaller pockets (1 huge velcro, 2 smaller velcro and a medium zipper bag with the DATSUSARA logo). The strap has a rubbert texture to it which feels really nice and comfortable. The handle is really tight, when I say tight I mean the velcro almost industrial grade feel great when closing it.
The shoulder strap has a really thick and heavy duty parts, the strap is also adjusted by velcro and at the end has more PAL webbing. One thing interesting to me is the buckle, I hope the photograpsh does it justice, ITS MASSIVE and really strong which I loved.
You can see a closeup of the PAL webbing on the front and the zipper pockets. On the bag the mon star embroidered logo (everyone asks me about this logo), and some detail of each pocket, as you can see really heavy duty.
The infamous big strong zipper I was talking about earlier, which is really useful when you want ot open the bag without opening the flap. At first I though this would be all that great, Until I started to use it on a daily basis. More PAL webbing on the side and another closeup of the big velcro compartment.
The COVERT EMISSARY is like a military grade messenger bag for everyday use. I use it for work and travel, have a laptop with all the accessories and is covered with books, tablets, notebooks, binders and other documents. It is an amazing bag and as I sadi really detailed parts with thorough design. Each bag is diferent but I'm sure the design process is very similar and it consists of looking at every part of the bag and deciding how to make it better and how to use the best parts.
Chris Odell is DATSUSARA's owner and an advocate for Hemp as it is good for the enviroment. We had a chance to speak with him and this is what he had to say:
What is your martial arts or BJJ background?
I did some Koei Kan Do when I was a kid but hated the authoritarian style and the lack on functionality, I think I spent 5 months learning one punch that wouldn’t work against a 5 year old. Then later, around 2005 I got into JKD as the concepts behind it made perfect sense, use what works and reject what does not. But I found that scene to be full of in fighting and it suffered from instructors that wanted to teach what Bruce Lee was teaching vs. evolving the art as intended. I then finally saw UFC 1 and decided to try an MMA gym, I enjoyed that and started training regularly in 2006, mostly the kickboxing classes at first then after my first amateur match I decided getting hit in the head often was a bad idea for me so since then I have been focusing on BJJ.
How did you get involved with hemp? and what exactly is hemp?
I have been involved with hemp politically since the age of 13, I always saw it as a useful resource that was only held back by illogical laws. Hemp is the same plant as cannabis that is used medically and recreationally except that it’s a very low (less than 1%)THC relative of sorts so it isn’t psychoactive and can’t get you high.
Why is the company called Datsusara?
I liked the phrase as I feel that people should have more time to do the things they love in life vs being enslaved to a job they hate just to make ends meet. It’s not a lazy thing, it’s about spending your time being truly useful in a way you find fulfilling (Datsusara means "to leave the salaried/corporate worker's life" in Japanese).
Why did you start the gym bag and gear bag buisness?
I wanted to get out of the line of work I was doing and so I took my current love of MMA and my long love of hemp and decided to put them together to make something people would find useful and environmentally friendly.
What is on the horizon for DATSUSARA
We are woking to get our gear out to a larger more general sports market which means expanding and making sure we have enough bags and apparel to support that. We are always working on new products but for now we are spending more time refining quality on the current lineup.
Something else you'd like our readers to know about DATSUSARA or HEMP?
Just that we really appreciate all of the support and love we get from the community, it means the world to all of us here. Thank you.
In conclusion DATSUSARA and it's bags are truly amazing. I've been reading on FB and other BJJ blogs about DATSUSARA and I must admit I liked the astetics and wanted to own a bag for myself. But now, after having one I must say they are far better than what I though, it's a truly "you had to been there" kinda feeling but more like "you gotta try one for yourself".
Be sure to follow DATSUSARA on Facebook and for more info on hemp and the rest of the gear bags be sure to go to www.dsgear.com where you can also see some great videos of each product they have.
Do you have a DATSUSARA gear bag? if so let us know your thoughts on this great product.
V H T S
very hard to submit