Product Review: The Heckler Duffel Bag

Preston Thompson reviews a new, ultimate-focused duffel bag.

Heckler Video Review

In the holiday season, shopping time is on for all of our beloved Ultimate specific companies. Let’s add one more company to that list. The Heckler Ultimate duffel bag was born on Kickstarter in June of 2014, and is finally able to start fulfilling orders. Let’s dive in to what makes this bag special.

Material 8/10

Already we have something new and interesting in the bag’s material. The Heckler is made from recycled billboard fabric. This fabric is light, durable, and water resistant. The only downside is the coloring option. I went with the standard “Bagheera Black,” but Heckler has come up with a great way to give you interesting color options. The “Wild Card” option flips your bag inside out, exposing the original design of the advertisements on the Billboard itself. This gives every bag its own unique design.

The material was a big risk, but it seems to have paid off. The bag is in fact as water resistant as they claim, protecting everything short of a flash flood. Its light, weighing only a few pounds when completely empty. And for the time being it appears to be very durable, but only time will tell. The only mark on this category is the look. Personally, I fly a lot, and this bag looks good enough for me to take on a plane. However, the everyday business man might have a few issues.

Features 9/10

The Heckler is designed “for the Ultimate player, by the Ultimate player,” and the features prove it. Most noticeably, the disc straps. These are straps attached to the side of the bag that will fit up to three discs. Great feature for not having to take up space inside the bag while traveling for tournaments.

Next is the cleat pocket. It’s a mesh ventilated pocket on the side of the Heckler. At first, my size 11.5 cleats barely fit. But with the flexible material, I was able to fit in some size 16’s. A little stretch goes a long way in this case.

It really comes down to all the little things. The small straps on the bottom for a foam roller or a stool, the band inside the bag for a water bottle to stand up straight. The small pocket accessible from both outside and inside the bag in case you need to get to your phone quickly. All the little things add up to a near perfect score in the feature department.

Practicality 7/10

I’m happy to say that i’ll be using the Heckler for tournaments. I bring a bit more than the standard amount of gear to an Ultimate weekend, and it all fits fine. The good part about it, is that the Bag will really only weigh as much as you put into it (plus a few pounds of very light fabric).

The kickstarter claims that the bag fits in an overhead bin, and judging on the online requirements of Delta Airlines Carry-On’s, it will.

The two points knocked off comes from the Backpack straps. The Backpack straps are themselves great, but have to be purchased as an extra feature. The shoulder strap that comes with the bag doesn’t work super well, so I would highly recommend spending the extra twenty bucks for the backpack straps.

Price Point 6/10

This is one of the categories you’ll have to decide for yourself, but for me, the bag is pricey but worth it. The standard Heckler will run you a pretty big penny of $100, with the optional (but in my opinion necessary) backpack straps adding an extra $20.

At first glance, I wondered why it was so expensive. But then I noticed the small tag on the inside. It reads: “Sewn by Kathy in Colorado. Sept. 2014.” This is a company that is home-grown, and culturally centered in the Ultimate community of Colorado. Their dedication to using only recycled materials and American factories raises the price point, and you get to decide if that’s something worth paying for.

Other bags of similar quality (Patagonia for example) run for about the same price with maybe a slightly better reputation. However, it should be noted that the Heckler comes with a lifetime warranty, and from what I can tell in my experience great customer service.

Would I Recommend It? (Overall 8/10)

In short, yes.

For the casual player, who travels to summer league once a week and only needs his or her spare jersey, you might not need something so detail oriented and extravagant. However, for the traveling competitor, this bag is practical, the right size, great looking, and unique.

  1. Preston Thompson
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    Preston Thompson has been a staff writer for Ultiworld since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama where he played for four years. He started playing ultimate in the AFDC in Atlanta, GA in 2009. You can reach him by e-mail (preston.james.thompson@gmail.com) or follow him on Twitter (@pston3).

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