Very similar to Cordo's Tafelberg we reviewed recently, the Zuidkaap has a few alternative features that allow it to fill a slightly different niche.
It's still very much a laptop bag/pannier made from tough fabric with rugged straps and some great padding to protect your computer, but it's orientated the other way round from the Tafelberg. Where the Tafelberg is a horizontally shaped bag, the Zuidkaap is vertically inclined, with the laptop sitting end-on in the bag. Like its sibling, it's designed to carry a 15' or smaller laptop or notebook, with plenty of padding and a really well designed protective sleeve. There are plenty of pockets in which to store bits and pieces, but the Zuidkaap is more slimline than the Tafelberg, with a smaller cargo area (12 litres quoted storage rather than the Tafelberg's 19). There are still fold in flaps to keep the weather out and good reflective accents, visible whichever side of the bike you mount the bag on.
There's a pocket in which you can tuck away the carry strap, and there's a flap that fastens over the Velcro for when you want to carry it as a bag. It's a bag with a Jekyll and Hyde personality. The more vertical design does make it less carry-friendly as a briefcase type option, but the converse is also true, in that it's better suited to use as a pannier with its less intrusive dimensions- this orientation means it's a lot less likely to catch your heels when rack-mounted. Good solid adjustable Rixen and Kaul fastenings mean it's rugged and should fit most racks.
Essentially, the Zuidkaap is a pannier that can be used as an office bag, where the Tafelberg is an office bag that can be mounted as a pannier. The distinction is obviously a very fine one and the choice of which to buy will depend entirely on personal preference. For me the Tafelberg ticked more boxes, but if you're likely to always use the bag as a pannier then perhaps the Zuidkaap is a better option. Another good value rugged office bag though.
Well made, rugged and protective. Ideal for frequent use as a commuting pannier.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Cordo Zuidkaap Blue Laptopbag/Pannier
Size tested: Blue, 12 Litres
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Designed to be an office bag/laptop bag/pannier for commuters and students.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rugged fabric outer
Padded laptop liner
Stowable carry strap
4 zip pockets
Pouch pockets inside
Very well made from high quality materials
Performs exceptionally well as a pannier and reasonably well as a shoulder bag.
Not the lightest but you're paying the penalty for the decent levels of protection for the laptop.
Comfortable enough as a shoulder bag but better suited to being bike mounted.
Tough as old boots and really protective. You'll use it a lot.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Style, level of laptop protection, reflectivity
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A well made bag for cyclists looking for a pannier to transport and protect their laptop.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.