Cora Rucksack Ignoble Bags Review

Every once in a while around here at Nerve Rush, we take a look at the gear that enables us to do the adventures we love. Today we take a look at the Cora rucksack from Ignoble Bags.

Meet Cora

Nerve Rush meet Cora. Cora meet Nerve Rush.

I discovered the Cora last year and knew I had to get my hands on it. Over the last year, I’ve taken it through my trips to the Carribean, the Middle East, Texas, the West Coast– even Canada (yes, we are extreme). On almost every adventure I’ve done this year, the Cora has been there right along side me. The experience has been really incredible.

The Description

The official description from Ignoble Bags reads

Constructed from 1680D ballistic nylon with a fully lined nylon Ripstop interior, YKK branded nylon zipper closures and nylon webbing, the Lenore Capsule Backpackis an ultra-soft, ultra-robust travel bag. The pack features padded straps, a padded airmesh back, a padded exterior duffle bag style handle, left and right exterior stash-pockets, and a dual-zippered main compartment with internal hanging-pocket and book-sleeve. Lenore also features a simple but effective shoulder strap restraint system that allows the backpack to be quickly converted into a mini-duffle, for convenient and balanced carrying via the bag’s padded duffle handle.

IGNOBLE bags are quality made in the U.S.A., hand assembled in small runs by a military-grade soft goods production facility

That’s a lot of words to say the Cora is a drop dead gorgeous, made in the USA product thats super soft and can still hold up  in the toughest conditions – as tested first hand by yours truly.

The Looks

Let’s not beat around the bush. The Cora is SEXY. Seriously, the first time I saw it, I knew I wanted it. I’m sort of a bag guy, but man, it’s beautiful. But I’ll shut up. Just take a look at some of the photos.

The Space

Cora has enough space for all your stuff. I’ve done 2-week trips to Austin, 2 month trip to the Dominican Republic and a 6 week road trip with the Cora bag doing most of the heavy lifting.

At the same time Cora isn’t a pain to lug around. If you’re the entire container, you can cinch up the top of the bag to make it smaller. If you need more space later on, it has a pull-string top that gives you a few extra inches of space at the top of the bag. In fact, I found that the more items I added to Cora, the more sturdy and durable she became.

It’s the perfect intersection for a bag. Light and easy to carry around, but plenty of space inside to hold your gear.


Durability is a little tough to describe so I’ve put the Cora through hell. I’ve traveled to several countries and done several trips with JUST this bag. It’s absolutely phenomenal. It’s tough to describe it, so I thought I’d share a story.

One time, I found myself stuck in a 15 minute downpour on the way to meet some friends at a coffee shop. I immediately thought about all the stuff in my bag that would get soaked and be rendered useless

  • My laptop
  • My clothes for the week
  • My kindle
  • My notebooks

I wanted to freak out, but I realized that anything that was soaked, was already wet. There was no hope…

Then I got to the coffee shop and opened up my Cora…

I fully expected my bag to be carrying the same 20 pounds of extra water weight that I was carrying around no my sweatshirt and jeans that I was currently wearing.

You can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I found out everything was dry! Everything. my laptop, my clothes, even the paper in my notebooks. I really couldn’t believe it. I thought for sure that my laptop or clothes or at least the paper that I had in the bag would be ruined, but nothing. Completely dry – definitely more than I could say about my clothes at the moment.

While Cora is definitely great at keeping out water, it’s also held up to being dropped, thrown around, stashed in every mode of transportation from airplanes to buses to camels without a scratch on it. I don’t know Dean and his brother are using to make Cora so freaking durable, but whatever it is – it’s working.

The Cons

My biggest (and only) complaint with the Cora is that it doesn’t have any laptop sleeve area for travel.

Thanks to our friends at the TSA, this makes things a HUGE pain if you only travel with one bag and try to fit your laptop in your backpack with a bunch of other stuff. Because of it’s form factor and top-opening, it’s not easy to pack and unpack the Cora quickly if you’ve packed it tight.

That said, you can easily get around this by bringing a standard issue backpack along with you and carrying your laptop in that, but it is worth noting that there is still room for improvement in this bag.

The Specs

Here are the technical specs on Cora

  • Average Weight: 1 lbs 14 oz (857 g)
  • Bag Dims, Nominal: 11.25″ W x 20.5″ H x 8″ D **
  • Bag Dims, Actual: 11.25″ W x 26″ H x 8″ D **
  • Internal Book-Sleeve Dims: 10″ W x 12.5″ H x 5″ D
  • Total Capacity: 36 Liters 

As well as some of details on the extras included throughout the bag.

  • Padded Shoulder Straps and Padded Airmesh Back
  • Fully Adjustable Hood
  • Large Main Compartment with Draw Sack
  • Zippered Front Stash-Pocket
  • Zippered Hood Stash-Pocket
  • Dual Side Utility Pockets
  • Side Compression Straps
  • Bottom Bag Compression Straps
  • Internal Hanging-Pocket
  • Internal Book-Sleeve
  • Top Exterior Webloop Handle

Final Thoughts

The Cora is my go-to travel bag these days and I put it through hell and it’s still holding up. While I tend to pack light, if you’re looking for a bag to hold everything you need, look no further – especially if you can look past the missing laptop sleeve. Not only is this sexy backpack going to look good while you’re traveling, but it’s collapses and stores away when you’re not using it. If you’re a digital nomad looking for you next back, check out Cora at Ignoble Bags.

Cora is listed at just $164.99 at Ignoble Bags. You won’t regret it.

Use the code IMPOSSIBLE at checkout and Ignoble will donate 25% of the purchase price of any bag sold between now and the end of the year (Dec 31, 2012) to the Impossible HQ campaign to build an #impossible school in Guatemala.

Joel Runyon

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