CLC Product Reviews

Velo City Bags Pedestrian Bag

Belt Buckle
“Do you wear belts?” This was the question posed to me by a fellow SLUG staffer one sunny afternoon. “Yeah, I use them to hold my pants up,” was my response.  Jokes aside, I have recently become very fond of the belt buckle.  I like the ability to change belts and keep the same eye-catching centerpiece perfectly positioned above my crotch. I was particularly stoked on this wooden buckle from local artist Isaac Hastings. IHSQUARED’s latest work is a walnut and sapele base with a figured maple inlay. My first thought was “Wow, this thing is baller. I could eat sushi off it.” After wearing it for a week, I was quite impressed by the craftsmanship and durability. The rear clasp is bomber and I will never fear my drawers dropping in public. You can check out Isaac’s work on his website at and at Craft Lake City on August 13. –Sean Zimmerman-Wall

Velo City Bags
Pedestrian Bag
Velo City is probably the best handmade bag company in Utah. All of designer Nathan Larsen’s bags are made to order, so you become the co-designer. With multiple colors to choose from for each part of the bag, the possibilities are nearly endless. The outer shell is made of heavy-duty nylon and the liner is thick vinyl so, short of taking it swimming, your gear is sure to remain dry. The bag I designed was the medium (14 in. wide) pedestrian. Of the many optional extras, I opted for the interior back pocket with Velcro closure as well as interior and exterior side pockets. The back pocket fits my laptop like a glove, and with all the other pockets, I don’t have to dig through the bag to find what I need. The only thing I wish I had also gotten is the shoulder pad—if you plan to pack more than an iPod, headphones and a notebook, the pad is essential. With the high quality materials and workmanship, I have faith that this bag will last me over 10 years. Velo City will be selling their wares at Craft Lake City starting at $25, and they are worth every penny. Take that, Jansport! ­–Eric Granato

Heavenly Sevens
Preston Smith at Heavenly Sevens has taken the hands-free convenience of a backpack and paired it with the aesthetics of a briefcase. Although an interesting idea, this briefcase/backpack hybrid serves better as a novelty than as a practical way to carry your belongings. The main drawback is the fact that you can’t fit much more than a laptop and a notebook inside, and if you’re riding a bike, the contents get thrown around quite a bit. The way in which the straps were attached to the briefcase is sturdy, but it seems like there wasn’t much effort put towards making it look seamless. Aside from that, the briefcase looks used, like it was found at the DI, which is either a pro or a con depending on the person. If, in your book, originality pulls more weight than practicality, then this pack is a perfect fit for you. Check out his work at Craft Lake City. –Chris Proctor

Sweet Kiwi Crochet
Pink Monkey Hat
One huge perk of being a parent is that you get to dress your kids up in crazy outfits all the time.  I have most recently been glad to throw one of Kandice Oster’s crochet hats into the clothing mix.  Through her company, Sweet Kiwi Crochet, Oster sells a wide array of handmade crochet hats and beanies, which resemble monkeys, birds, bees and other designs that are great for kids.  The designs are also available in a variety of colors. My daughter, Alice, was stoked to try on her very own monkey hat. The hat itself is comfortable and non-restricting, while appearing to be very well crafted and durable. Alice is a big fan of the design, and often pulls the hat off to have long chats with the monkey. Oster also makes hats in adult sizes and styles as well as other accessories such as crochet beards, flower headbands, and more. Make sure to check out pictures and ordering information at, and check out her booth at Craft Lake City.  ­–Ben Trentelman

Tiny Robot Factory
“I Hurted My Arm” SLUG-Bot
Since my landlord is a dick and has a “no dogs” policy (which is total bullshit … I’ve seen your puggle, second floor guy), having my very own robot seemed like a pretty awesome alternative. Even though Japan is years ahead of us when it comes to creepy sex-bots, Tiny Robot Factory is way ahead of the curve in the cuteness department. Each chubby little robot is sculpted by artist Sunny Tellone from clay and wire and finished off with acrylic paint. They don’t move, but since their primary functions include standing quietly and radiating love, that’s totally fine. Besides, my particular model sported a grossly adorable “hurted” arm, so if he were able to move on his own I’m sure something would’ve taken out one of his gigantic googly eyes. These darling little bastards start at $30, and each robot is completely unique. Throw your dog out the window and become a slave to the cuteness at Craft Lake City. –Ricky Vigil

Velo City Bags Pedestrian Bag Sweet Kiwi Crochet Pink Monkey Hat IHSQUARED Belt Buckle Heavenly Sevens Briefcase/Backpack Tiny Robot Factory SLUG Bot