Over twenty years of handy haulage

The Rope Bag is a bonafide KAVU Klassic. First launched back in 2003, in the last two decades it’s become one of our most popular and enduring creations—loved around the world thanks to its unique and seriously useful design. Here’s the story behind it…

First off—what is it? For those unaware, the Rope Bag is a shoulder bag made from hard-wearing cotton canvas, designed with both form and function in mind. Named after that signature rope shoulder strap, it’s a seriously handy bag just the right size for carrying a day’s worth of supplies—whether you’re hiking into the hills or catching the bus into town.

Like other classic KAVU creations such as the Throwshirt or the Strapcap, the Rope Bag was designed to answer a question—in this case, the question of how to carry your stuff comfortably, and keep it close to hand. Hip-packs were handy, but lacked the space for a full day out in the hills, whilst backpacks were too cumbersome and unwieldy for those times you need to be reaching for your keys, cash or phone.

The Rope Bag sat somewhere in the middle. Expanding up to 10 litres, it was big enough for a long day out the house, whilst that clever over-the-shoulder design meant it could be worn on your front when you needed stuff close to hand.

Knowing that there’s little more annoying when it comes to bags than having to search through one big pocket just to find a train ticket or set of keys, the Rope Bag was created with two big internal pockets so you could divide things up easily, along with a sneaky internal zip pocket and two front pockets (one velcro, one zipped) for that stuff you need to grab fast. Somehow seeing into the future, that lower zipped front pocket is just right for your smartphone (or a Nokia, if you want to keep things 2003 correct).

And that’s before we mention that strap—this thing isn’t called the Rope Bag for nothing. Just as the Strapcap repurposed nylon webbing to solve the problem of wayward headwear, the Rope-Bag took climbing rope off the cliffs and onto the shoulder to solve the problem of awkward straps once and for all. Spreading the strain over four ropes, not only was it comfortable, but it was strong too—especially when combined with that heavy duty buckle.

As this was a KAVU design, a bit of extra sauce was added in the shape of some seriously tasty prints. Over the years this has something that has only gone further—with new colours and prints added all the time, as KAVU main-man Barry Barr explains, “The Rope Bag is always limited edition, we release 60-plus one-of-a-kind prints a year, which are very rarely remade. So if you find a colour you like, you better buy it.”

Combining all these features together, it’s maybe not much of a surprise to hear that the Rope Bag has gone on to become one of the most well-loved day-bags around, renowned around the world for its functional and fun nature. These days it’s also available in a few new versions, keeping that classic Rope Bag DNA, with a few subtle twists.

The Mini Rope Bag is pretty self explanatory. Whilst the regular Rope Bag sits more in the ‘day pack’ category, its Mini sibling is perfect for those outings that don’t require quite as much space—just the right size to use as an easy-to-reach purse, or as a reliable pack to hold your point-and-shoot camera ready to snap. 

The Rope Sling Bag has all the classic Rope Bag details, but is made from tightly woven polyester instead of that 12oz canvas—making it a bit more water resistant when the clouds open. This is where you’ll find the wildest prints too—from cartographical contours to Haight-Ashbury-approved tie-dye. There’s also the Rope Sack Bag, made from lightweight nylon taslan, and the Beach Rope Bag—made from a seaside-friendly polyester mesh. 

So yep, whatever you’re doing—there’s a Rope Bag for it. 21 years after its initial creation, it’s still the perfect companion to your KAVU day. As KAVU founder Barry Barr says, “The climbing rope strap, its signature tear-drop shape, the multiple storage options, the way it fits on your body… it’s timeless.”

See the full range here.

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