The SHAD Zulupack SW05 is a small waterproof bag that can be used to carry a camera, wallet and more.
The SW05 is the smallest of the many new Zulupack waterproof bags now being offered by SHAD.
The bags feature vinyl-coated fabric and sealed seams and the roll-down top that clips tightly on either side gives the SW05 its waterproof rating.
A smaller pocket on the outside of the bag isn't waterproof, for some reason (it has two drain holes) but adds extra storage.
The bag is designed for shoulder or waist carry but the two included straps aren't quite up to the task. If SHAD provided a true padded adjustable over-the-shoulder strap and a better waist belt, the SW05 would be a gem.
The bag can be attached to a motorcycle or to other soft or hard luggage, albeit with some difficulty.
We have some of the new SHAD Zulupack "100% waterproof" soft luggage currently in the review process, but the SW05 "Waterproof Small Bag" fit into our three-part "Handy Bags" series, so it's being reviewed separately. SHAD announced the Zulupack lineup at the November 2013 EICMA show.
We weren't sure how to actually employ the SW05 at first -- we thought it was supposed to attach to the bike. We discovered, however, that the SW05 is really meant to be carried over the shoulder or around the waist!
That was a surprise, but it's fine and actually, it's a good idea, because a small waterproof bag that can be carried on or off the bike is always handy. It can store a digital camera, cell phone or other precious items that need protection from the elements.
The SHAD Zulupack bags are all rated as "100% Waterproof". The exterior fabric feels like, oh, perhaps something like the vinyl used for an inflatable mattress. SHAD said that it's 420 denier nylon with a PVC coating on both sides. The zippers are waterproof and the bag top is the fold-down type with some hook-and-loop at the top.
Fold the top over itself 2-3 times and then keep it closed with the plastic male/female snap hooks on the side and the bag is definitely waterproof. We gave it the old "Bucket Test" and it passed.
The SW05 has a second pocket on the outside that has a waterproof zipper but it has two drain holes in it. So the external pocket is nearly waterproof -- the drain holes are pointing down when the bag is carried over the shoulder.
Once we figured out that the SW05 isn't really designed to strap on to the bike, it all started to make sense.
The SW05 is rated at 5 liter capacity (thus the "05"). It measures approximately 20 cm tall with the top folded and closed by 5 cm thick and about 15 cm wide. This doesn't count the external pocket that measures approximately 13 cm by 13 cm by 5 cm thick.
The only design flaw we found with the SW05 is that the carrying straps aren't really up to the task. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of the soft luggage manufacturers don't really have good strap, hook or attachment systems. It's almost like they run out of energy after designing the bag and forget about the straps, or run out of money to generate a good design.
In this case, the SW05 begs for a nice, adjustable padded shoulder strap with a wide top and a couple of safety hooks at either end. This would make it much easier (and better looking) to carry the SW05 the way it's designed to be carried -- over the shoulder.
Same goes for a waist belt. This shouldn't be rocket science -- or anything close -- but the minimalist straps that come with the SW05 kind of let the whole thing down. Put a kilo or so of weight in the thing and you'll be wishing for a nice padded shoulder strap.
The straps that come with the SW05 are basic webbed nylon, 3/4" (18 mm) wide. Each strap is 41" (104 cm) long and has one adjuster and a male/female connector. The plain straps seem odd, because it looks like perhaps the original shoulder strap is missing and the owner found some replacements. The straps just don't work very well as either a shoulder strap or a waist belt strap.
The straps fit either horizontally or vertically through a cross-type opening in the back of the SW05. At least the waist strap fits flat but the bag really needs a true shoulder strap like you'd find on a camera bag or similar.
Other than the strap issues, the SW05 is another handy "possibles" bag, similar to the Giant Loop Possibles Pouch (review) but probably more useful because it's truly waterproof.
The SHAD Zulupack SW05 has a lot of potential as an on/off bike small carrying bag for the purse-averse. It looks rugged and it is rugged and it's fully waterproof and nicely made.
It really needs a good padded over-the-shoulder strap to make it more useful.
From "M.S." (February 2014): "This is what I use as my handy bag. The Maxpedition Thermite Versapack."