This is not really a sponsor special, but I didn’t know where else to put it!
As you will probably have noted (from all those tiny little banners at the top of your screen) we are working on a range of backpacks. We plan on having three in the lineup, with potentially a fourth in idea stage. The medium has been out in the hands of a select few, getting dirtified and analysed. People have been asking about it, so here is what you have been waiting for…
That’s a seriously sweet looking backpack. Construction looks pretty spot-on too, particularly digging the removable waist strap and the u-lock pocket and holsters. What’s the capacity (ie 6 packs) of the medium?
Not 100% finalised, but around $250. Once everything is finalised I should be able to give you a better idea!
As for 6 pack capacity… not too sure. I haven’t “measured” it yet. Definitely wouldn’t fit a complete unopened carton, but probably would when broken into 6 packs or singles. One of the boys in BNE says it just fits an Australia Post mailing box… one of those white core-flute ones.
My estimate in the good ol’ 700ml Bundy Bottles is 20 in the main compartment, and 3 in the external pocket…
I’m still waiting to borrow one of these from the test team for a closer look… but i was pretty stoked to see what you did with the design.
As always I’m liking some of the little touches in the design that set them apart from many of the other ‘bike backpacks’.
Two questions did spring to mind - Why no sternum strap? and why no compression?
I’ve always found both to be very useful in my packs… both for on and off bike. I do know that sternum straps have somewhat of a mixed reputation, but used well I find them to very more effective for riding, moreso than a hip strap (to the extent that i’ve actually removed my hip strap from my SGB bag).
I’m not sure on borrowing just yet, but you could come down to Human Powered on Saturday and check mine out in the flesh if you’d like, Nik? Plus I’m pretty Sure Tara has hers now too (if you haven’t already).
I also prefer a sternum strap, but find that in most instances are just used as a ‘patch’ for a bad design. A sternum strap serves no purpose other than to pull the two main straps together so it sits better on your body. If the straps were designed and cut right there should be no need for a sternum strap as the main straps would sit perfectly. So being the hard taskmaster that I am I didn’t include the sternum strap in any of the Abuser Team packs. This means I can quickly get feedback on the main strap shape and cut. That being said I will whip one up for those who are interested.
Another thing that wasn’t included on the pack was a hang/pick up strap behind the back of your neck. This was simply an error as I forgot all about it until the Abuser batch was done… A lonely piece of webbing lying on the cutting table suddenly made sense…
No compression comes down to two reasons:
First, the shape, cut and materials of the bag means it does not require one. The flap creases halfway along the side panels essentially creating a “compression” strap. And at the base of the bag a compression strap is not needed due to the thicker lining. The lining is reclaimed billboard PVC and is quite rigid even when empty; no sagging…
That being said I have had a lot of difficulty manufacturing the bag particularly at this base point. In one section alone there were 8 layers of nylon, 4 layers of PVC, and a strip of webbing and binding tape as well; in a batch of 15 bags I went through 5 needles alone at this section (and I use harpoons). The machines have no problem punching through it, but the needles keep snapping
So I am investigating a lighter weight liner which is also recycled and waterproof. Using this liner will mean that the bag won’t be as stiff at the base. As such I might have to include compression straps…
Secondly, and the major reason is price. I want to keep this bag as cheap as possible, yet unfortunately am having a hard time doing so. Any features which aren’t needed are being stripped. Manufacturing in Aus is expensive; labour is high, materials are high… and in this pack there are a LOT of both. So in an effort to keep prices low, the bag is designed to be as simple as possible.
The bag is not designed for courier work. It is an everyday bag. But I know some people will use it for courier work, so I guess some features need to be added and a compromise found…
Thank you to everyone for all your feedback so far! Keep the questions coming!
These look pretty amazing, cant wait to get my hands on one.
Just an inquiry, not complaining but the price is pretty high, especially when the Sindrome is a similar size for 70 dollars less and the Elephantitus is significantly bigger for the same price. What factors drove the price up so much?
i think dave answered that in his comments. backpacks have a lot more work (both in design and manufacture/sew) in making them, and this is why you find they are priced (comparatively) higher for all the ‘serious’ bagmakers.
dave: thanks for your earnest and detailed responses. as i mentioned in my email, i had a look at Jimmys last night and got a few of my questions answered.
i’ll have a closer look at the flap to see what you mean about it’s side compression function. i think i can visualise what you mean though. i agree that there is no need for base compression, I’ve found that for backpacks base straps tend not to be as useful as on sling bags and wear disproportionately quickly (possibly because the bag sits vertically more than a sling bag and so wear is concentrated on the base more). plus given the choice between a ballistic base and compression straps, a harder wearing base should win.
i’m also backing the cost minimisation/bag simplification approach. this sits in a different user market to the ‘proper’ courier backpacks, like reloads lighter-weight packs or freights custom packs they have made for pushbike/AHTBM.
rooster: i didnt really mean ‘borrow’, more take a long look at/try on. i’ll probably see someone with one again and give these ‘magic straps’ a go soon enough