King Kong Junior Kong Bag
The King Kong Junior Kong Bag, by King Kong Apparel, is a gym bag that lives up to its skyscraper-scaling namesake from the popular movies.
King Kong's products are roomy, durable, and versatile. The company is so confident in its wares that each new purchase comes with a 25-year guarantee. The guarantee applies to fasteners (buckles and zippers) as well as the stitching. If you experience a jam or tear, they will ship you a new bag.
The company's product lines include duffel bags, backpacks, and travel luggage like rolling suitcases. You can also get tote bags and slings (a backpack, but with a single oversized strap). Crossfit dominator Annie Thorisdottir helped design a series of bags that bear her name. Finally, this company makes bags with insulated compartments for lunches and meal prep. All their products are geared towards active people, with features like odor control, stain and sweat resistance, extra compartments, and ergonomic handles that won't strain your back or spine.
The King Kong Junior bag is a scaled-down version of the flagship King Kong bag. The Junior has one sealed waterproof shoe compartment, and that's just the beginning of everything this great bag can do.
Comes in 7 colors, including camo
Solid steel buckles that won't work loose
1000D nylon fabric, favored by the military--no tearing, no mildew, keeps everything dry
Room for one pair of shoes, in a separate sealed compartment
Lots of central storage, plus multiple zippered pockets for keeping small gear easy to find
King Kong Apparel offers 100 day no questions asked returns
Material is durable, but also soft and easy on skin/.body contact
Outdoor boots and some high top shoes will not fit in the shoe compartment
Can't fit oversized water bottle in any external pocket (standard 16 ounce only)
Designed for CrossFitters, and may have too many options for other athletes
By The Numbers
COLORS: black, charcoal, camo, teal, red, digital camo, blue
DIMENSIONS: 11 inches high/18 inches wide/11 inches deep. Shoes bigger than size 14 women/size 12 men may be a tight fit, but they will go in. You can also use the shoe compartment for wet towels, and odor won't be a problem if you get to the laundry the same day. The towel will not leak and get the rest of your things wet. The same 1000D nylon used for the exterior is what separates the shoe compartment from the rest of the bag.
MATERIAL: The nylon is the same used by some military and paramilitary groups out in the field. It looks and acts new, even after several years of regular use. While the nylon isn't waterproof, it is water-resistant. You wouldn't want to leave it out in a thunderstorm, but outdoor use won't hurt this bag. Many less expensive bags will be made of polyester. Polyester is fine for light-duty and has good abrasion resistance, but it wears and looks ragged faster. The nylon used in the King Kong Junior bag is virtually tear-proof. And it's slick enough that one of the heavy-duty zippers won't jam in it and cause problems with opening or closing.
ZIPPERS: King Kong calls the multiple zippers on this bag "#10 YKK." We looked it up. The number 10 is the width of the zipper when it is closed. #10 zippers can be metal, molded plastic or resin, or rhinestone for more decorative zippers. We can't tell from the pictures King Kong Apparel provides, but the zipper closures appear to be flexible steel. That makes them suited to both horizontal and coiled opening and closing (check the zipper on your jeans--chances are its horizontal action). The teeth on the zippers will not break off easily, are big enough for secure closure, and will generally keep the pockets secure with no unwanted opening. The pulls are covered in King Kong logo fabric, stitched and with texture to make holding and pulling easier.
YKK refers to the fact that the zipper halves come completely apart when unzipped, which makes it easier to remove or replace items in all the pockets.
BUCKLES: made of steel, they are able to handle heavier loads than plastic buckles can. They also won't break, unless you fill the bag with Quikrete and let it dry overnight. Even then, we'd bet money that your back and shoulders would weaken before the buckles did. If you're looking to purchase bumper plates at a brick and mortar store, you can probably carry them home in this bag.
This heavy-duty gym bag has an 8.7-gallon capacity, 30% less than its bigger sibling the King Kong. The bag weighs about three pounds with nothing in it. One reason for the smaller size: customers wanted a bag they could fit into a typical gym locker. The original King Kong was too big for this. Pockets range in size, with the central compartment being big enough for a set of dumbbells with room to spare. Most of the pockets are sized to naturally hold phones, keys, protein bars, extra socks, and other gym essentials. This would also make a good travel bag, and you may be able to take it on a plane as carry on luggage. That would depend on which airline you use, though.
King Kong Apparel offers free shipping in the U.S. Orders are filled within 24 hours, and you can expect delivery in three to five days. Stitching, buckles, and zippers are all covered under the 25-year guarantee (They actually call this a guarantee, not a warranty). If you are unsatisfied for any reason in the first 100 days, you can box the bag up and send it back for a refund or replacement. If customer reviews are any indication, that's not a promise the company has to keep very often. Athletes love this bag and often recommend it to each other.
The only accessory we could find on the King Kong Apparel site is a meal prep insert bag. It is insulated and also made from 1000D nylon. The insert bag has a handle, so you can use it without the rest of the bag. The meal bag looks big enough to carry two sandwiches, a protein bar or two, a piece of fresh fruit, and perhaps a 16-ounce protein shake in a bottle. Be careful packing it with regular ice, as the ice may melt and leak through the zipper.
Who Needs It
The product page, customer reviews, Amazon listings, and commercial website reviews we found all touch on one thing: this is a bag for CrossFit enthusiasts. Your speed rope will ride in the King Kong Junior just as easily as one or more kettlebells will. The multiple pockets are great for snacks and supplements, carby or otherwise. You can put resistance bands, of almost any size and thickness, in the center hold or in one of the many pockets. And if you're traveling and have to hit an unfamiliar CrossFit box, you won't have to worry about them not having your lucky brand of pull up gloves. You can throw a pair and a backup pair into the King Kong Junior when you pack for the trip.
What People Are Saying
We did find a few 3 and four-star reviews on Amazon, and even 2 single star reviews. One of them said the bag arrived without a shoulder strap. This sounds like a mistake on King Kong's end, and we're certain their customer service team shipped a new strap as soon as that person called. The only other complaints were loose threading in the shoe compartment and handles that cling together with magnets instead of velcro. The handle thing sounds like an aesthetic choice; it's not a reason for passing on this bag. Again, we're sure King Kong Apparel honored their hundred-day guarantee and replaced the bag that had threading issues. It was the only craftspersonship complaint we could find out of over 300 reviews.