- Buyer's Guide
First Look :: AustriAlpin COBRA Sport Buckle
Carryology is extremely excited to have the opportunity to have the exclusive first look at AustriAlpin’s brand new offering to the carry and accessories market; the COBRA Sport Buckle.
From AustriAlpin: “This new aluminum 7075 buckle is designed to perform at impressive thresholds and still retain the sexy look and exceptional precision and function of our original COBRA series. Ideal for applications where a lower cost, high quality, superior function buckle is required. Great for backpacks, fashion apparel, clothing, general sports equipment, luggage, accessories, and so much more!”
Like its big brother, the original COBRA buckle, the COBRA Sport Buckle shares much of the same DNA. It is still made in Austria from extremely durable materials (7075 aluminum and brass), with the exact black KTL finish (other colors available), in the same high end manufacturing facilities, and with the same high tolerances. It delivers all of this, yet it comes at a fraction of the cost.
AustriAlpin, like us and everyone else paying attention, started seeing a huge demand for their COBRA buckles on various accessories across multiple industries (bags, belts, personal flotation devices, etc). And while these original COBRAs are a great option for these products, they’re major overkill.
The original COBRA was designed for extreme load-bearing applications, built to handle between 9-18 kN of load before breaking (that’s 2,000 and 4,000 lbs of force, for those counting). Your EDC commuter backpack will very likely never experience these forces. Honestly, let’s face it, never in a million years will your pack need to support 2,000+ lbs, because the nylon would shred to bits before the buckle even flinched. Over. Kill.
Since 99.9% of the COBRA buckles being used on high end consumer grade products are being used for aesthetics and to improve the quality of the product overall (via their tactility and that audibly satisfying *click*), they created the COBRA Sport to fill this market gap.
The COBRA Sport weighs in at a fraction of the weight of the original, the 25mm version coming in at 18 grams versus the same size in the original at a hefty 54 grams. When you’ve added 9 COBRA buckles to your own backpack like I did, that weight really adds up (486 grams/1.07 lbs versus a svelte 162 grams/0.36 lbs).
Our personal take? While they are significantly lighter and less “beefy” than the original, they don’t feel any less serious. New customers who have never been been exposed to COBRAs before will still give that same “oooh, ahhh” expression that we all had when we experienced our first COBRA buckle. AustriAlpin sent both the 25mm (1″) and 19mm (3/4″) COBRA Sport options, and they both feel as if they will be right at home on a messenger bag flap or roll-top backpack closure. Plus, the addition of the 19mm option is new to COBRA, where before they only went down to 25mm. That gives makers more options.
So, back to the biggest selling point… the cost. Just how affordable are these buckles? Well, as mentioned above, adding the 9 original COBRAs to my backpack wasn’t cheap. Each 1″ COBRA original comes in right around $25 USD. That’s $225 in buckles alone. Well, now you can get that same aesthetic, feel, and quality (without the excessive overkill for load-bearing or weight per buckle) at only $13.95 USD (retail price, less for wholesale).
That is very exciting news to us. Why? Because in the next few months and beyond we are going to see a whole lot more carry brands jumping on these new COBRA Sport buckles to utilize on their gear. And now that they won’t have to build in an extra $50-$100 in cost or more per unit, the overall cost to the customer will dramatically drop. And you’ll still get those sexy AustriAlpin COBRA buckles on your carry.
Learn more at austrialpin.at