* Prices may differ from that shown
As many regular readers/reviewers probably know myself and my fiancé took up ju jitsu last year. In the beginning I only had a GI and water bottle to transport so we shared a backpack to take our "stuff" in. It wasn't long before we accumulated a whole heap of training equipment and realised one solitary backpack wasn't big enough for one person's equipment never mind two peoples. So we went on a google-a-thon to find a suitable yet cheap alternative, and came across the Lonsdale barrel bag.
I first saw this online on the sports direct website. At the time they were on sale at £5 (online) or £5.99 in store. As we needed one quickly we opted for the £5.99 in store price. Also postage would have been an added £3.99 (free on orders over £100) so we actually saved money buying in store.
The bags are available in many different colour combinations including pink bag with black writing, red bag with black writing, navy blue bag with white writing, purple bag with black writing, black bag with pink writing, black bag with yellow writing, grey bag with orange writing and a few patterns. At the moment on the sports direct website the prices range from £4 for a pink or purple version to £5.99 for most of the other colour combinations.
My bag of choice was the black bag with pink writing, and my fiancé chose the navy blue with white writing. They are identical apart from the colour.
The bag itself is a barrel shape (hence the name) with two small handles for carrying, it also comes with a detachable shoulder strap. I prefer to use the shoulder strap but my fiancé prefers to carry with the handles and so hasn't attached the shoulder strap. I like that there is the choice of carrying straps, and that the shoulder strap is detachable for those like my fiancé who don't like shoulder straps.
Enough about straps.....well ok one last thing..... there is a velcro strap which fastens around the handles to hold them together. not only does this make it look neater (I like things to look neat) but it makes it easier to carry when only using the handles. ok now I'm finished about the handles....
There is a zip up front pocket which is useful for keeping smaller items in for speedy finding. I keep my mouth guard, ladies things, rennies (I'm prone to heartburn), paracetamol, muscle rub, phone, keys, and any other small bits and bobs. it really is quite a big front pocket.
The main storage section is 26cm x 26cm x 54cm (H x D x L), which may not seem big, but let me tell you what I keep in it. in the main section I can fit: 1x GI top, 2 x GI trousers (I like to take a spare), my belt, boxing gloves, shin pads, and deodorant. Everything I need to train fits in the bag.
The bag seems to be made from quite thick and sturdy material. The handles are described as "tough woven" and they really do seem to be tough.
We've used our bags for over a year now and they show absolutely no sign of wear. the zips still work well, there's no pulling in the seems (which is surprising the amount of stuff we put in it) and no holes anywhere. The colours are still bright and vivid, and any marks or dirt usually just wipe off with a damp cloth or baby wipe.
I must say for £5.99 this bag is a bargain. It is well made, strong and big enough for our needs. For these reasons I would 100% recommend for anyone wanting a cheap bag for their sports equipment. I cant find any faults so a full 5/5 stars for this bag.
thanks for reading