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  CB-01 vs. WL-25 - I have..., October 31, 2013
By lai...
CB-01 vs. WL-25 - I have both.

Summary (full review below):
WL-25 is less expensive, larger (good for several A4/US-size folders or notebooks), and feels cheaper in quality. The straps are poorly designed and not very ergonomic, especially considering that you'd presumably be carrying a heavier load in this larger bag. There are fewer pockets and they do not feel as useful as the CB-01's pockets. The main compartment can fit a laptop, but the bottom of the bag is as thin as the rest of the bag, so you would NOT want to bring a laptop without a protective cover/case.

CB-01 is smaller, more expensive, more ergonomic, the straps are much more appropriately reinforced/designed. The pockets are far more practical (for me at least) and there are more pockets overall. Smaller size means less notebook/folder capacity (for standard US-size folders and notebooks, A4 I believe).

Detailed review:

WL-25 (larger, cheaper) is definitely of a poorer quality. The back and straps are not as well padded or reinforced, the straps are not ergonomic at all (compare the pictures), despite the contents likely being heavier - why else would you buy the larger bag? Its compartments are also less functional than the CB-01, at least for my purposes. There are also much fewer outside pockets on this bag. There is one pocket in particular (the top one which has a vertical zipper) which I find particularly cumbersome, as whenever you open it to get something out, smaller items you may keep in that pocket will fall out. The outside pockets also do not extend as far out from the bag.

CB-01 is smaller and better designed overall. The straps are better padded and designed - the structure of the straps is such that the weight of the bag is more evenly spread out on one's shoulders. There is this one great pocket pocket on the back of the bag (flat pocket, with a zippered opening on the side to the right if you're wearing it) that can easily be opened by reaching for it, but can't be easily accessed unless you are specifically trying to go for it (harder to steal, I think?) - you kind of have to arch your back in a specific way to get to it. I use this pocket to hold a small flat wallet on a bungee cord for RFID-based public transit or private-entry systems (the kind where you hold the card up to the scanner without having to swipe anything), but it can really be used for any small item that you'd want to keep somewhat concealed or would want to be able to access without removing your bag.

The CB-01 is smaller, which means less space for large items such as A4/standard US sized folders/notebooks/textbooks. I've managed to fit a few notebooks and folders, but sometimes the top corners will bend due to the size/shape of the bag. This bag is AWESOME for anything smaller (shorter) than US/A4 sized notebooks/folders. The top-front pocket is actually amazing for planners or smaller size notebooks (I have one that's about 6"x9"), and it will fit several of them!

Conclusion: the CB-01 is awesome if you don't use a whole lot of standard US/A4 notebooks. The CB-25 is OK, but I wish I'd have gotten a similar bag by a different brand instead.
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