Anyone who knows me needs not look far to figure out that I’m a Mooto fan. From sparring gear to bags, uniforms to clothing, when I say I’ve got a closet full of Mooto stuff, I literally do. The reason, I truly believe in the quality of Mooto’s products and rarely if ever have a found a product I didn’t like. Having said that, this isn’t a raving review. Instead this is my unfortunate experience with my least favorite Mooto products, the Soul Box.
Late last year around November I received the Soul Box backpack as part of a holiday promotional order. A anxious as my old bag was starting to meet the end of its life I decided the Soul Box would be a great replacement.
Eagerly I opened the plastic and immediately liked the color and square look of the Soul Box. Bad review or not, Mooto makes great looking products. Dimension wise the bag was a nice size, inside there’s decent padding on the sidewalls. I did notice the bottom was a bit lean but decided it livable as I don’t often drop or slam my bag on the ground. On the outside, the Soul Box housed a couple of utility pockets and on top, the flip style cover offered a convenient “easy access” pouch which is great for routine items. One oddity, inside the bag’s top there’s a very poor Korean to English translation that included a misspelling of the word, “product” as, “priduct”. I was a little concerned at the oversight and wondered if I had an early prototype.
Moving in I started shuffling contents from my old back to the Soul Box. After unzipping the laptop area, I was immediately heart broken, my computer (17” Mac Book Pro) didn’t fit. Not willing to give up, I persisted and found that my computer would eventually go inside but not without considerable effort and practice. The reason, the zippered opening is quite small and if you have a larger computer (a wide screen) you’ll note a similar issue. Another immediate dislike, I noticed with the bag fell over that many of the contents slid out of the top. It was then I realized that the stringed “purse” style liner had to be pulled tight when the primary storage area housed any smaller items. The new bag packed and few issues aside I started hauling the Soul Box daily.
Fast-forward three months and my level of disapproval only increased as it became clear that the bag offered little usable space and zero compartmentalization in the primary area. You see, the Soul Box is like a miniature version of a military sea style bag. In other words, if you don’t pack items in the order you need them, you’ll find yourself often dumping the contents out to find a single item. Also within just a few months of use it was clear that the plastic parts started to show strain. I was growing more and more unhappy but again as a Mooto fan I wasn’t throwing in the towel.
Ten months in and the top of the Soul Box started to come apart. Bummer! I continued to monitor the ripping which was coming loose on both sides of the bag. I also noticed that my laptop was showing signs of impact damage on one side as again, the bottom of the Soul Box offers no padding. Now aware of all the Soul Box’s problems, it was clear I was working around the bag as opposed to it helping me throughout my day.
Now one year later, the top of my Soul Box has almost completely come apart as you can see in the photo below. With only a few days of life left, I’m forced to seek out a new daily bag and laptop carrier. My gut, I’ll go back to a Mooto 540 (which is an exceptional multi-purpose backpack with tons of features) with a sadness as I so wanted to love the Soul Box.
Conclusion: If your bag shopping, spend the extra few bucks and upgrade to the Mooto 540 Back Pack.