Before we began our next production cut of Brain Bags, we decided to make a few minor updates to the design. (Just one of the many reasons we have our own factory here in Seattle: we have the power to have a good idea and make it real.)
— You asked for it: six more (nine total) o-rings! Two additional in each main compartment and one o-ring each in the front left and right exterior pockets.
— The best combination of fabrics we can imagine: an exterior main body of 1000d Cordura with a 1050 HT ballistic nylon bottom and an interior of 420d Parapack.
— Reconfigured front left organizer pocket (fits your iPhone better).
And that’s it. The Brain Bag is solid, classic, and true; the longest standing design of our current offerings. We didn’t want to mess (too much) with a good thing.
The Brain Bag. $190. Available for backorder in colors Burnt Orange, French Blue, Olive, Navy, and Black. Ships by early August.
We’ve been hinting for the last couple of months that we expected five new designs to debut this summer. And you’ve been amazingly patient with us. Before the reveal, we just wanted to take a moment and say thanks for your excitement and support. It’s meant a lot to us as we worked really hard getting these five new designs ready for debut—no small feat for a company our size. Design patterns had to be finalized, names decided, pages built, videos shot, photos taken. You’d be amazed at how much of this came down to the wire; we even decided to change the name of one of the bags on Friday.
And without further ado, meet the five new designs (seven if you count their Packing Cubes) debuting today:
The little brother of the original Aeronaut (now the Aeronaut 45). You know the saying: don’t mess with what’s good, and we didn’t. Mostly, it’s the same Aeronaut people have come to count on as the carry-on bag, just smaller and better suited to travel on North American regional commuter jets, intra-European flights, or for folks who want to pack less and don’t need a maximum carry-on sized travel bag. Though the Aeronaut 30 is smaller in capacity, its fit is the same as the Aeronaut 45. In other words, if the original Aeronaut (45) fit you well, the Aeronaut 30 will as well. It’s no small feat to make a bag that is 20% smaller yet still fits those 6′ and taller (and shorter, of course). All that said, there were a few good things in the design of the Aeronaut that Tom realized he could make great. Design updates in the Aeronaut 30 you’ll find include: both exterior end pockets are zippered, the main compartment snaps have been replaced with zippered dividers, allowing you to turn the Aeronaut 30 into a one or two compartment bag when you need it to be, and the Aeronaut 30’s YKK Aquaguard® waterproof coil zippers have been flipped to be “right side up”, which basically means they’ll last even longer. (If you’re wondering: these design updates will make their way to the Aeronaut 45 in the next 2-3 months.)
$270. Available for pre-order in eight color combinations, including the new Coyote/Steel. First production run ships by mid-August; second production run ships by late September.
Packing Cubes for the Aeronaut 30 are available for pre-order here.
Night Flight Travel Duffle
Tom’s had the Night Flight concept on his (very crowded) design board for some time. So, when United Airlines announced their size new requirements for “personal items,” it was simply a matter of a few adjustments, some late nights, and the Night Flight Travel Duffle was made real. That the Night Flight Travel Duffle looks suspiciously like a scaled-down version of an Aeronaut is no mistake: we took some of the same winning design elements from our most popular travel bag and morphed them into a small yet totally fetching duffle bag. Worth noting: Packing Cubes for the Night Flight are an option, as are Padded Organizational Dividers that allow you to organize and protect stuff like smaller cameras (you can even configure them for a DSLR) and noise-cancelling headphones as well as snacks and other stuff.
$180. Available for pre-order in eight color combinations, including the new Coyote/Steel. First production run ships by mid-August; second production run ships by late September.
Packing Cubes for the Night Flight Travel Duffle are available for pre-order here.
Travel Laundry Stuff Sack
Based on a design from Tom’s archives (circa 1981) and inspired by his time hosteling around Europe, the Travel Laundry Stuff Sack works like this: start your trip off with the sack full of clean clothes, and as they become dirty, put them in other end of the same sack. A floating divider midway keeps the clean and the dirty clothes separated. The volume of the clothing doesn’t change, but the ratio of clean to dirty does.
Available for pre-order in two sizes —Aeronaut 45 ($45) and Aeronaut 30 ($40)—in colors Steel and Ultraviolet. Ships by mid-August.
Your solid, ultralight, and true companion for hikes, travel, even the daily commute. Similar to the Packing Cube Backpacks, though more pack and less cube. We want to point out a design feature we’re quite proud of: shingled internal pouches/compartments that, when packed with two pieces of clothing, say, a shell jacket and a fleece or sweater, effectively create a padded back panel. We have tested the Daylight Backpack on hikes long and short, hiking up to where the trees are smaller yet older, and then down to secret lakes, and it’s proved itself time and again.
$80. Available in seven color combinations, including Black Dyneema and Burnt Orange. In stock and ready to ship.
One day, Kieu (our Bartack Operator — see her work) surprised June and Darcy with two of these small pouches. Its shape is reminiscent of the Kit, a retired design, but the Q-Kit is much smaller. June and Darcy liked their Q-Kits so much that they thought we should make more and let you guys give ’em a try. Clever and awesome (just like Kieu!), the Q-Kit is great for keeping track of very small stuff: coins, keys, phone adapters, as well as charms, hair things, and gewgaws of all kinds.
$14. Various colors, all 1050d ballistic nylon. In stock and ready to ship.
Even after all of that, we bet you have questions. Head over to our forums, post ’em, and we’ll do our best to respond.
1000d Cordura® after test
We made mittens out of 420 HT ParaPack, 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon, 1050d Ballistic, 1000d Cordura® and 500d Cordura®.
We then rubbed each one on a volunteer office canine (we are opposed to animal testing, but he seemed to rather enjoy the attention).
All fabrics picked up fur.
But not equally so . . .
Both of the Cordura® fabrics collected lots more fur than the smooth nylons.
The difference between 1050d Ballistic, 420d HT ParaPack, and 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon; was negligible (though the fur is better camouflaged by the white Dyneema® ripstop grid.)
The bottom line? If you have pets, or work in a place where people bring dogs to work and don’t vacuum as much as they should (ahem), or simply want your bag to collect as little lint/foozles/dust particles as possible, choose our 1050d ballistic nylon, 200d or 400d Dyneema/nylon, or 420d HT Parapack fabric over bags available in Cordura (500d or 1000d).
See also: Badger’s test comparing the pet hair resistance of our 200d Dyneema/nylon fabric and 420d HT nylon Classic Parapack. Note: our results differed from Badger’s in that the difference between Dyneema/nylon and the 420d HT nylon Classic Parapack was not significant. Neither collected nowhere near as much hair in our tests as the Cordura® fabrics. Results may vary on the breed or type of animal, and probably the amount of ambient static electricity. It’s also worth noting that in our results the hair that did collect on our Dyneema/nylon was quite difficult to see until we looked really closely (hence the close-up photo).
It’s been a busy week (month? year?) around here…
We debuted a new fabric: 420d HT nylon Classic Parapack.
Tom authored several posts about the new fabric and two new designs:
Accessory Strap Holders: Return of an Icon
On Internal Frames and Frame Sheets
The Story behind 420 Denier High Tenacity “Parapack” Pack Fabric
Ballistic vs. Leather Pack Bottoms
On shoulder straps
On the design of The Guide’s Pack
On the design of the Founder’s Briefcase
Knitting Tool Pouches can be used on their own, or together as a system. They offer a new style of tool organization allowing for modular and expandable containment of as many or as few tools as you might use. Each pouch features an
Though designed with knitting and crochet tools in mind, these handy pouches can be used to organize and store anything you can think of that’ll fit in them.
Knitting Tool Pouches. $13 – $15. Available for order now; in stock and ships within one business day.
P.S. The Little Swift is once again available for backorder in these color combinations: Aubergine/Aubergine/Wasabi, Black/Black/Ultraviolet, and Black Dyneema/Black Dyneema/Iberian.
The recently introduced Synapse 25 wasn’t simply a larger version of the Synapse 19 — it also debuted five new design updates to the Synapse design. Four of those design updates have now been added to the Synapse 19 (the original size of Synapse.) If you already have or plan to place a backorder for the Synapse 19, rest assured that you’ll receive the new version.
The design updates include:
Webbing Loops for Cache with Rails system: Inside the main compartment are four unobtrusive webbing loops, two fore and two aft, to which you can secure the optional Cache with Rails (available in sizes specifically for Apple laptops and the iPad; most sizes fit PCs, too). When you add the Cache with Rails, the Synapse 19 becomes a “checkpoint-friendly” laptop backpack. You can even attach two laptops or devices inside the Synapse 19 (note that only one can qualify as “checkpoint-friendly” at the airport; for everyday use, it’s great). Note that all sizes of Cache with Rails fit in the Synapse 19 with the exception of the Cache with Rails, Size 4Z (for the 15″ MacBook Pro) which only fits in the larger Synapse 25.
Bottom Pocket Piping: The bottom pocket is now piped to help it keep its shape, even when empty.
Bottom Webbing Loop: Because we care about your safety, we’ve added a 1.5″ / 38 mm webbing loop on the exterior bottom of the Synapse 19 that’s ready to accept the Guardian DF Light Strap-Mount — highly recommended if you ride a bicycle or walk in the dark.
More O-rings: Yes, we listen — we’ve added several more O-rings to the Synapse 19, including one O-ring each in the water bottle pocket and top exterior front pocket.
Wondering what the design update was that we included in the Synapse 25 but not the 19? The reconfigured organizer pockets in the left front side pocket. In the Synapse 25 left side pocket, there’s one pen/pencil slot and two wider slots for multitools/knives. In the Synapse 19, we chose to keep the three existing pen/pencil slots just as they were.
The new Synapse 19. $160. Colors Black/Steel, Black/Iberian, Black/Wasabi, Conifer/Steel, Olive/Steel, Indigo/Steel, Navy/Iberian, Navy/Ultraviolet, Nordic Dyneema/Steel, Steel Dyneema/Wasabi, Steel Dyneema/Steel are available for backorder and ship by late May. Color Steel Dyneema/Ultraviolet is available for backorder and ships by late June.
Photos of the new Synapse 19 will be posted soon.
So many new things debuted last week that we thought we should post a recap, just in case you missed anything:
The Synapse 25 — a much-anticipated larger version of the Synapse 19 — was introduced. Discussion on the forums followed. Loaded Pocketz published a First Look review of the Synapse 25 and tCook posted a photo in the Forums of the Synapse 25 with the Synapse 19 and Smart Alec.
Introduced in conjunction with the Synapse 25 was the Cache with Rails — a protective laptop sleeve that allows one to use the Synapse 25 as a checkpoint friendly backpack. (See this Loaded Pocketz video demonstration of how the Cache with Rails works.)
We shared two new videos: in our Everyday video, the Synapse 25, Swift in Cork, and Ristretto for 11″ MacBook Air are shown. The second video — Synapse 25 — has just the Synapse 25 footage from the Everyday video.
Ready for order is a 5′ / 1.5 m Glowire electroluminescent wire kit for the Smart Alec backpack. Tom’s design choice of allowing you to add or remove the Glowire with ease ensures not only that you can remove the Glowire on days or trips you don’t anticipate using it, but also that, should it fail, you can simply get a replacement Glowire instead of having to chuck the entire bag.
Another exterior safety light option is also now available: the Guardian DF Light Strap-Mount: it features a clever base that allows you to mount the light securely to either a 1″ / 25 mm or a 1.5″ / 38 mm webbing (strap) and works well with the Brain Bag, Synapse 25, and Smart Alec.
The Synapse 25 is a carefully calculated, supremely organized backpack, designed for day hiking, everyday carry, and ultralight travel. No mesh pockets clutter the exterior of this bag, nor extraneous straps festoon it; in it, you’ll be able to carry more than you would imagine, and no one will be the wiser.
You guys have been asking us for a while to make a bigger version of the Synapse 19 — here it is. Seems easy, right? Just make the whole bag bigger? Not quite. Take the water bottle pocket, for example: if we had simply made the Synapse 25 a larger version of the Synapse 19, the water bottle pocket would have been needlessly long. That’d be wasted space, plus you’d have to reach farther in to pull your water bottle out. Instead, we took that volume and allocated it to the bottom pocket (where it can serve good instead of evil).
And we didn’t stop there. The Synapse 25 debuts five design updates:
Webbing Loops for Cache with Rails system: Inside the main compartment are four unobtrusive webbing loops, two fore and two aft, to which you can secure the optional Cache with Rails (available in sizes specifically for every Apple laptop and iPad; most sizes fit PCs, too). When you add the Cache with Rails, the Synapse 25 becomes a “checkpoint-friendly” laptop backpack. You can even attach two laptops or devices inside the Synapse 25 (note that only one can qualify as “checkpoint-friendly” at the airport; for everyday use, it’s great).
Bottom Pocket Piping: The bottom pocket is now piped to help it keep its shape, even when empty.
Bottom Webbing Loop: Because we care about your safety, we’ve added a 1.5″ / 38 mm webbing loop on the exterior bottom of the Synapse 25 that’s ready to accept the Guardian DF Light Strap-Mount — highly recommended if you ride a bicycle or walk in the dark.
More O-rings: Yes, we listen — we’ve added several more O-rings to the Synapse 25, including one O-ring each in the water bottle pocket and top exterior front pocket.
Reconfigured Organizer Pockets: Instead of three pen slots in the left front zippered pocket, the Synapse 25 has one pen/pencil slot and two wider slots for multitools/knives or just more pens.
Synapse 25. $170. In colors Black/Steel, Black/Wasabi, Black/Iberian, Olive/Steel, Navy/Iberian, Navy/Ultraviolet, Steel Dyneema/Steel and Steel Dyneema/Wasabi. Available for pre-order; ships by mid-May.
We’ve updated our Planet page with additional efforts: we’re operationally carbon neutral, members of 1% For The Planet, we offer a vegetarian company lunch, and over 80% of our materials are bluesign® and/or OEKO-TEX® certified.
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