Last year, when we were preparing for our Sling Week feature, I reached out to a small maker based in Poland. At the time, Earth Workshop Studio were relocating from Warsaw to the coastal city of Gdansk, and had reduced their products to a single offering: the Everyday Bag 2.0. Since then, founder Michał has greatly expanded his range, adding the Moonrock waistpack as well as a number of modular accessories, any of which can be picked up in a wide variety of colours or fabric patterns, being customisable at the point of order.
Running a small, bespoke outfit, Earth Workshop have been solid contributors to The Perfect Pack’s Makers community, launched in June and already connecting thousands of makers, sewers and designers with fans (and potential customers). This iteration of the Moonrock took shape in full view of the group, and it was very cool to see Michał’s process as he got the design ready for market.
Primary Material: 500 denier Cordura.
Dimensions provided by Earth Workshop, weight measured by reviewer.
Quality & Comfort
The Moonrock is designed to be worn around the waist like a classic ‘bumbag,’ or across the chest like any number of sling designs we’ve seen in recent years. The whole thing is sewn from a single piece of Cordura, folded at the bottom. The outline sits very flat against the body. The included strap is spartan but adequate for a bag this size, and features additional compression straps in the ‘wings,’ giving the Moonrock a lower profile than any other sling bag I’ve seen. I found I could easily conceal the pack beneath a loose jacket or the hem of a long shirt, but open the zip and compression very quickly whenever needed.
With an item like this coming from a small maker, part of the charm is knowing exactly where, and by whom, it was sewn. The flip-side is that a one-man team can’t work to the same output as a factory, and sometimes it shows in the results. Scouring over the pieces Earth Workshop sent me, some of the stitches are out of alignment, or not quite finished. These imperfections don’t seem to affect durability, but for folks who are finicky about their stitching, it’s something to look out for.
Being slim with a broad footprint, the Moonrock was comfortable throughout my testing period as well. The metal hardware bit the strap firmly, meaning that it took effort to adjust but would not slip once fitted properly. Buckles are offset so that I could position things, on my chest or waist, to not interfere with a larger pack on my back; I could drive without discomfort, and even cinch the Moonrock down to hold nothing but my phone and keys, without severe bouncing or swinging on a 5km run.
A consequence of the Moonrock’s shallow profile is its simplicity, inside and out. The main waistpack is a single open space, accessed through a top zipper. The only internal feature is a paracord loop, which I’ve hooked my keybiner onto a few times – that same keys-and-phone combination may have been comfortable for me, but rubbing the glass screen against the sharp metal keys could have gone very badly. Primarily, I used the Moonrock at work, carrying small gear that would usually live in the pockets of my trousers, such as a multitool, flashlight and a tyre gauge as well as the more recently added face mask. With all that I still had room for my wallet, house keys and maybe a snack, though anything more bulky than that has a hard time.
External mounting is an option, to an extent. There is a D-Ring near the buckle, as well as loops hidden within the strap which I used for a Grimloc. Alongside the Moonrock, Earth Workshop sent over a Sunglasses Case, Cobra-Buckle keychain, as well as two items not listed on their site at time of writing: a notebook sleeve, and a separate flat pocket which attaches to the rear of the waistpack itself. Webbing across the backside functions as a grab handle as well as mounting points for that extra pocket, or even a bike U-Lock if needed.
In use, I could see the intent behind each of these add-ons, but each came with their own issues. The sunglasses case was well sized for my Julbo Shield glasses, and lined with spacer mesh rather than a fleecy nonscratch material. I gather that Michał’s intent was for the mesh to direct sand (a constant issue in Gdansk) away from the lenses. However, the first time I used it, I noticed small flecks of red lint across the glasses – after that I went back to using a microfibre bag inside the case.
My experience with the Keychain was similar. Working with vehicles I saw the appeal of having a secure but quick-release solution for the various keys through the day. The chain fits around the wearer’s belt by a generous webbing loop, and makes great use of the Cobra buckle. However it ends with a closed D-Ring, meaning keys need to be threaded on by an extra split ring. I found the process of adding and removing keys this way slow, and the resulting chain having too many ‘links’ for my preference – for my use, I had a better experience clipping keys in and out of the Grimloc on the Moonrock’s belt.
- Slim profile and minimalist style remains unobtrusive but accessible in use.
- Rides comfortably on the waist or across the chest.
- Simple design limits organisation of small items
- Room for improvement on build quality.
For some folks, the Moonrock may run too small, or too simple. It won’t carry even the smallest tablet computers, or keep cables tidy. For me however, it had a definite practical benefit. By moving my keys, wallet, odd tools out of my pockets and into the bag like this, I found them more comfortable, more secure and more easily accessible, which I’d call a solid win.
For folks who feel self-conscious wearing a sling or waistpack but are seeking the functionality, this might be a good option. Ultimately, a ‘pack’ the size of the Moonrock is best considered an accessory, worn to complement a carry system or an outfit.
Disclaimer: The Moonrock Waistpack and accessories were provided by Earth Workshop Studio for use in this review. The contents of the review were not shared prior to publication. Our reviews are impartial and never changed to keep a brand happy.