By: #CPGgang Member
Readtime: Approx 6-8 mins
“Why would I pay X for a backpack when I can find one on Amazon for a quarter of the price? Look, it has 18,000 5-star reviews and I’m sure it is just as good.” Today let's look at two bags; the Cannae Legion 2.0 and a no-name clear knockoff that was issued to me by my current agency. A top to bottom comparison should show you the clear differences in quality and design.
Starting with the top of the bags is the top handles. You can clearly see the difference in materials. A durable rubber grip vs cheap vinyl. Quality is seen through thick strap and accurate stitching on the Legion. There are two ports for a hydration tube secured by Velcro on the Legion and none on the other bag. If I had to load both bags with any sort of weight and lift them, I know which I would choose.
Moving on to the front of the bags, it’s easy to see that they follow the same structure: a small sunglass pocket at the top and larger front pocket. Both bags have Molle webbing. The knock-off has 6 rows of 4 slots, while the Cannae has a 4x4 layout. The similarities end there for the most part. The stitching on the Molle sections of the Legion is doubled up and consistent. The Molle appears to be in spec to attach anything your heart desires. The knock-off bag, however, has single stitching that is inconsistent and even incomplete in some places. The Cannae has a padded and protected eyewear pocket while the other bag has no padding or rigidity. The Velcro on the outside of the Legion is about a quarter of the way from the top of the bag, while the other is strangely and inconveniently all the way at the bottom. Inside the front-most pocket of the Legion 2.0 are multiple zipper pockets and organizational pouches. The knock-off is completely bare inside.
The main compartment on both bags unzips and folds down completely. On the Legion 2.0, there is an open top sleeve for a laptop or hydration bladder and a loop of Codura to hang a bladder from or dummy chord items to. There is a removable interior pouch on the flap-side that is secured by Velcro. On the knock-off, there is one large pouch for a laptop which is secured by Velcro and two zipper mesh compartments. Have you ever bought a costume from one of the pop-up seasonal Halloween stores? That material is what the knock-off bag feels like. From only 3 weeks of use the interior of the knock-off bag has runs a-la nylon stockings inside. The Cannae barely looks used even after multiple rucks and camping trips.
The quality difference of the strap side of the bags is tremendous. The shoulder straps on the Legion 2.0 are padded but not bulky. The chest strap is adjustable for height and length. All buckles appear to be quality and durable. The straps on the knock-off bag are bulky and not breathable at all, and the chest strap is not adjustable for height and barely for length. Though the cushioning on the knock-off may seem to be vented, it is HOT and not breathable; it feels like there is a layer of cheap cooler Styrofoam inside. In comparison, the back padding on the back of the Legion 2.0 feels breathable and has almost memory-foam levels of comfort.
While it may be tempting to go the “cheap” route, when placed side-by-side it is truly easy to see the difference between these products. There are many details I left out, but hopefully this overview has shown what a quality product looks like in comparison Find the Cannae bag that is right for you, and check your local thrift shop or dumpster to see my issued knock-off for yourself.