Côte&Ciel is a brand that has been around for quite some time. They have a wide range of products, from clothing to shoes and accessories. Their latest product is the Isar M EcoYarn Grey Review. This review will be about this new eco-friendly yarn from Côte&Ciel.
Over the years, we’ve tried a ton of different bags from a variety of other manufacturers for a variety of various uses: travel, EDC, hiking, climbing, picnics, you name it. What category, though, does the Cote&Ciel Isar M EcoYarn belong in?
Cote&Ciel, a Paris-based brand, was founded in 2008 to produce beautiful, functional daily-use bags and accessories. The Isar M EcoYarn is just one of their daypacks that showcases their futuristic design and features.
Aesthetics & Materials
This daypack has a very abstract structure that gives it a distinct appearance. Its style has received a dismal reception from our Instagram followers, with just 10% of them giving it a thumbs up. You may not like how it looks, but this bag has some redeeming qualities, so don’t dismiss it just yet.
The Isar is available in three distinct sizes, four different fabrics, and five different colors at the time of this review. Depending on your storage requirements, you may get it in small, medium (the size we’ve been testing), or large sizes, as well as ballistic nylon, nylon, coated canvas, or EcoYarn (the material we’ve been trying). Depending on the fabric you select, you may choose between colorways like Black, Ballistic Blue, and Mountain Ore Red.
Excess branding isn’t required since the bag’s design makes a big enough statement on its own. The Cote&Ciel emblem is imprinted on a tiny leather tab down the front of the pack as a modest yet elegant touch.
You may be wondering what EcoYarn is. The question was the same for each of us. Besides the fact that it’s a robust, sustainably sourced polyester fabric, the company doesn’t provide much information about it. It’s a thick cloth, but it doesn’t feel very luxurious—we’ve also spotted a black stain on the back panel that seems to be permanent. Otherwise, it performed well throughout testing, which is a positive indication.
YKK zippers are virtually impossible to go wrong with, as Cote&Ciel knows. So far, we haven’t encountered any problems with their functioning, but we have a quibble about access to the rear compartment—stay with us to find out what we mean.
The hardware on this bag, unlike the zippers, is unbranded, so we’re not sure where it came from. Although we appreciate that it’s made of metal, the adjusters are very hefty and contribute to the bag’s total weight. We’ve also observed that the paint has begun to crack, particularly at the bottom of the bag, where the adjuster is located.
This occurred to us as well when trying the Cote&Ciel Isarau Small sling. It’s mainly cosmetic damage, and we’re still pleased with how this hardware looks—we’re simply unhappy with its longevity.
Components from Outside
The strap mechanism on this backpack is well-made for a pack of this size. However, because it’s a rather tall backpack, we’ve discovered that its carry caters to taller frames. We put it to the test on some of our smaller team members, and the shoulder straps are a little too broad. Of course, your results may differ depending on your frame and body type, but it’s worth noting.
The shoulder straps are thickly cushioned and provide a comfortable cushion for the shoulders. You may adjust them to fit your needs, but we’ve found that the adjusters lose tension with time, so we’ve had to re-adjust a few times. There are also no elastic keepers, so you may have to cope with a hanging strap.
We’d also want to point out the additional fabric surrounding the shoulder straps in case you weren’t aware of them. They have the appearance of tiny wings, yet the bag cannot fly (a bummer, we know). They don’t really have a function other than to contribute to the pack’s general appearance.
There’s no sternum strap or hip belt on this item, and there aren’t any separate ones available for purchase on Cote&Ciel’s website. Given its size and the fact that it only holds 15-24L, neither has been required during testing. We’ve been satisfied with the excessive padding in this pack’s harness system. Of course, your results may differ.
The rear portion of this bag, like the shoulder straps, has thick, soft cushioning. There are also built-in air passages to keep you cool and dry on more extended wear or while you’re out in hot weather. This is the location of the dark mark we described previously. We’re not sure where it came from, but it’s here to stay—if we’re going to deal with a stain, we’re happy it’s in a place where no one but us will see it.
The Isar’s handle attaches directly to the shoulder straps rather than being connected to the top of the pack. It’s also cushioned and handy for transferring the bag from place to place, much like the rest of the harness system.
Compression straps are also visible on the front of the bag. These enable you to tighten the bag down for a more minimalist appearance while carrying a smaller load and increase the front compartment’s capacity when you need it. Unfortunately, these straps lack elastic keepers, so the extra strap has nowhere to go. It’s hardly a deal-breaker, but their absence detracts from the bag’s overall streamlined look.
The Inside of the Pack
Only one exterior quick-grab pocket on the bag’s side is available in terms of pockets. Because this is a more stylish bag, the zipper is covered by extra fabric to prevent pickpockets and give a cleaner appearance (depending on your taste). It makes entry a bit more complicated, but once it’s open, you can easily insert your most often used items, like your phone or passport, and ensure they’ll be safe and secure.
Aside from that, there’s the front compartment—at least, that’s what we’ve decided to name it, though we’re not sure whether it’s the primary one since there’s another, separate compartment with a decent amount of room (which we’ll discuss next).
A tiny zippered pocket is located on one side of the bag. We’ve been utilizing it as a secondary quick-access pocket for anything we didn’t want to put in the first—a wallet, face mask, keys, and so on. If you’re carrying them, you may also use them for pencils, personal care products, and other tiny accessories.
It’s difficult to see, but at the very top of this compartment is a tiny zipped pocket that may hold your tinier valuables, such as an essential flash drive, backup batteries, or a small amount of emergency cash. We didn’t utilize it much during testing since it’s not the simplest pocket to get to, but if you can think of a purpose for it, go for it.
You may fill the remaining space with your heavier daily items. A light jacket and a water bottle (such as the YETI Rambler 18oz Bottle we’ve been using) are a good match. Packing cubes may assist you to accomplish greater segmentation if you’re searching for it. You may also use the compartment’s inbuilt compression straps to secure them. This keeps them safe while also helping to trim down the bag’s profile.
The last compartment is the rear (main?) compartment. Our greatest complaint is how difficult it has been to open up during testing. To go inside, you must fold the shoulder straps completely out of the way due to the location of the entrance. Otherwise, unzipping and getting things out will be a battle with the large, heavy shoulder straps.
Starting with the sleeve against the rear wall that can accommodate up to a 15-inch laptop, this compartment has greater organization than the previous one. It’s highly cushioned on its own, but the padding on the rear panel supports your laptop, giving you all the cushioning you need to keep it safe on your travels. There’s also a fake bottom to shield your device from drops, so you won’t need a second protective sleeve. But don’t let us stop you if you value your peace of mind.
There is a pocket in front of this sleeve that is covered by a fabric welt but has no real closure. It’s not very deep and has a little stretch to it. We haven’t seen many pockets like it in other bags, but that doesn’t mean we can’t utilize it—it’s the ideal size for storing a Nintendo Switch. Greetings, gamers!
A built-in divider is smack square in the center of this section. You may put your tablet on one side of the bag, but keep in mind that this section of the bag does not have a fake bottom, therefore a protective cover is advised.
On the other hand, there’s enough space for a tech pouch, such as the Aer Cable Kit 2 that we’ve been using. If you store anything heavier here, bear in mind that the only thing separating this area from the front compartment is a thin fabric lining. As a result, anything like an electronics pouch may take up valuable front-seat real estate. However, this isn’t a major issue. It hasn’t been for us, at least. We’ve simply got to figure out where the most room is required, and you’ll have to do the same.
Finally, against the wall, there’s a medium-sized zipped compartment big enough for bigger wires like a MacBook Pro charger and adapter. If you don’t want to use a pouch, you may use it for any cables or other electronic equipment. We’ve been utilizing it as a third quick-grab pocket, which you’re free to use as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Côte mean?
Côte is the French word for hill.
How do you pronounce Côte?
It is pronounced like the French word cote which means edge.
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