Much like $10 artisan grilled cheese, the original Hucket skirted the intersection between between silly, functional, and “why don’t I just make this myself?”
Like anyone else, I like to get value for my money, and so I went into this product review a little skeptical, and wary that it would be worth shelling out for. Would this silly bucket really replace my trusty Patagonia Black Hole bag?
Still, the bucket concept sounded interesting. So in order to test the Hucket 2.0, I took it with me to every ultimate event for a month, including local Seattle pickup and sunny Santa Monica for the US Beach Open.
I was happy to find that with their second version of the product, the Hucket 2.0 proved itself to be more than just a bucket with a strap.
Travel & Portability: 4/5
First, you cannot run with the Hucket unless you’ve got two hands on it. This may not seem like an important thing, but when you are late for your tournament flight on Friday night, this may be important to you.
Secondly (and I took a bit of a risk here so you don’t have to), I’m happy to report that the Hucket DOES fit in the overhead compartment on an airplane. Place it sideways with the lid towards the aisle. As long as you avoid the hinges of the overhead compartment, it should fit just fine. Phew.
The Hucket is not designed, however, to be opened quickly. If you want to reach quickly into your bag for an item like your wallet, you’ll have to place it on the floor to take off the lid. This deducted a point from its travelability.
There were some great perks to traveling with the Hucket though. You automatically have a seat while waiting for rental cars and flights. I also discovered it doubles as a table. You could play cards on it, use it as a surface to write something down, or, while sitting on a real chair, use the Hucket as a table to eat some quick post-tourney food.
Overall, the Hucket proved to be a good choice to bring on a weekend trip. It was convenient, it fit on the airplane, and it was big enough to fit my weekend stuff. It doesn’t offer the sheer storage space that the Black Hole Patagonia bag offers, so you may choose to bring another small backpack on your weekend trip, but it offers lots of bonus perks during travel that a normal bag doesn’t provide.
Construction: 4.5 / 5
The Hucket is sturdy in both the straps and the body. The plastic is thick, has a nice gloss, and is a clean white color. Aesthetically, it is leagues ahead of the orange Home Depot bucket. Kudos to Hucket for choosing white in order to combat those sunny, hot days.
Of course, the main feature of the product is that it instantly turns into a seat. Hucket gets this part perfect. The lid has a piece of round styrofoam glued to it for sitting on and it’s quite comfortable. I find that even when it is raining, the styrofoam doesn’t absorb water and so your bum doesn’t immediately get wet when you sit on it. In cold weather, its insulating properties mean also that the seat is oddly warm.
The strap is a generic vinyl strap with an adjustable pad for your shoulder. The metal fittings that attach it to the bucket are sturdy and well done, but the pad is not the best cushioning for your shoulder. I think with a larger, more stable pad, the strap would have been better.
But adjusting my expectations and using it for it’s designed purpose, like weekend trips, I have no complaints and I appreciate the sturdy construction.
On-Field Function: 5/5
One step further to becoming a “rain” person
It’s my first full winter here in Seattle, and I very much appreciate that the Hucket is waterproof. That alone makes it my go-to for rainy weekday pickup. You will appreciate being able to throw your water, light and dark into the Hucket and jump in the car without worrying about bringing a trash bag to keep your bag dry.
Although stuff inside is safe from moisture, make sure you bring a separate bag for your street shoes or risk them rubbing against everything else inside your Hucket. And unlike the Black Hole, the Hucket is not big enough to place over your regular shoes to keep them dry. But those are small gripes- the Hucket is a great option for your weekday pickup games.
On the complete opposite end of the weather spectrum, the Hucket does very well on sand. Because the lip is so high off the ground, your stuff inside will be kept safe. As a person who hates emptying out sand upon coming home from the beach, this is a major plus. I report no sand at the bottom of my Hucket after a weekend on the beach.
Find your stuff quickly and get on with your game
The main design element of the Hucket 2.0 that sets it apart from its predecessor is the vinyl pouch structure that wraps around the top of the Hucket. It provides six internal pockets and an external disc holder. These inside pockets were easily my favorite part of the Hucket.
When at a tournament, you often want to have certain items handy, like your wallet, phone, snacks, sunscreen, or small items like ibuprofen. Instead of jamming these items into a traditional zippered pocket, it’s now very easy to access them with a circular design. It eliminates the frustration of an over-jammed main pouch. An added bonus is that since the Hucket is a hard shell, you can securely store fragile items like sunglasses without fear of them being crushed.
The one drawback to having these internal pockets is that the straps interfere with the lid closing. I found myself having to press down extra hard on the lid to get a full close. I had a couple instances where I thought the lid was closed only to have the lid fall off while I was walking.
The Hucket provides good protection for your noggin, but the lack of visibility will get you into more danger than you will be protected from. Unless you’ve got a cone for a head, in which case the Hucket would be the perfect hat for you.
One point for the protection, and one point for the ridiculous mental image of someone playing with this thing on their head.
Overall: 4.5 / 5
After using the Hucket for a month, I think it’s an overall great buy. In addition to quality construction, I kept discovering new ways to use it both around the house and on the road. On the field, I appreciated its unique pocket system that makes it easy to find your most commonly used items.
Overall, the simplicity and functionality of the Hucket won me over. It’s well-made, it’s easy to find your stuff inside, and it’s waterproof. And being able to throw my stuff into a bucket and head out the door is oddly satisfying. At this point, the Hucket is my go-to ultimate bag for local games.
You will enjoy the Hucket if the functionality of a bag that is also a seat appeals to you. In this way the Hucket exceeds expectations and provides it at a fair price that would roughly equal your cost and effort for a DIY solution.
The Hucket is not for you if you are really just looking for a bag with sheer storage capacity, or if you think the bulkiness will be a problem. Or if you couldn’t live with yourself if you bought a $35 bucket.
There are downsides, like it’s rigid shape, but overall its price point and its functionality make it a great buy (or a solid gift).