1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

For 2020, the U/Pathfinder backpacks!

Discussion in 'Alpha One Niner (bags & gear)' started by HELM, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. sleestac

    sleestac Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    89
    I’m all in on this pack when it’s available
     
  2. Bimmer4me

    Bimmer4me Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2018
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    125
    I’m saddened with the removal of the water bottle pockets
     
    hddeuce88 and BTG108 like this.
  3. hddeuce88

    hddeuce88 Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    13
    Agreed....I travel with young kids so the water bottle pockets are a necessity.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
    Bimmer4me likes this.
  4. hddeuce88

    hddeuce88 Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    13
    [​IMG]

    What about an interior water bottle pocket similar to this with an elastic pull on the top. Could be used for other things obviously but would be nice as a water bottle pocket for those interested.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
    sleestac and swedishelite22 like this.
  5. sleestac

    sleestac Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    89
    I like this idea. But I’m still OK with no water bottle pockets.
     
  6. HELM
    • Sponsor - Manufacturer

    HELM Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    2,328
    I gave this some thought last night and I think I might have a solution for this as an option. I’m still packing and shipping the EV2 right now and as soon as I’m done I’ll get right back on this.
     
  7. HELM
    • Sponsor - Manufacturer

    HELM Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    2,328
    Man, the video lighting kind suc_ks but hopefully you guys will the gist of it.........

     
  8. sleestac

    sleestac Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    89
    Thank you for the video. Way better than the pics and I was able to follow your thought process through the design.
    First, I like the size and concept. This will have a market for those needing a little more than the Chio and use for business.
    Size. If you’re looking at keeping the size down, the side zipper access for the laptop seems to be a good option. I like the clam shell opening of the laptop area for access to laptop and accessories. That said without a viable admin area this will be tough to use for business. I think keep the laptop compartment as is. It doesn’t look too bulky.
    Front pocket. I like the vertical zipper pocket. I carried the eBags slimline professional for a bit and it had the same. It was great for stashing boarding passes and receipts traveling. Personally I’d just use 5.11 pen and light in this compartment for my need to haves.
    Can you add Hook and loop to the back of the main compartment, like EV2? This could be a home for the admin panels without modifications to them. Not ideal but an option. Or add to frontside of main compartment (where top mesh pocket sits now) for access.
    The inside pockets and cord pass through are great features.

    I love the look of this bag and count me in when you launch.

    Sorry for any typos or half baked thoughts. Boarding a flight now and thumbs haven’t had any coffee
     
    #28 sleestac, Jan 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
    HELM and RED-FIVE like this.
  9. gaap master

    gaap master Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    35
    Helm - Thanks for the video.

    Here are my thoughts:

    1. Regarding the vertical front zipper - in my experience, I’ve only liked using those types of pockets for a couple of flat & thin items (such as boarding pass, phone, pack of wet wipes), not other admin & small stuff like pens, keys, backup battery, etc. Maybe a vertical admin section can be incorporated into the main compartment somehow, perhaps in place of the upper mesh pocket. Might not make sense for this bag, but another setup I’ve used before and liked was the Pacsafe Metrosafe LS450 which had two separate vertical admin pockets on the front. I don’t like very tall front admin sections where stuff tends to pile up in the bottom, so I liked that setup with the pockets which weren’t too tall. Forced me to put larger items in the main compartment. Maybe you could take that space with the vertical zipper and cut it in half...the lower portion to be a regular admin area accessed from above, and the upper portion still with a vertical zipper as a pocket for thin items.

    2. Maybe this was mentioned before and I missed it, but are the compression straps fixed or removable? If a clean look is one of the goals for this pack, the straps may take away from that.

    3. I understand the challenge about water bottle pockets. I think the collapsible version with magnetic closure is a good option.
     
    HELM and sleestac like this.
  10. hddeuce88

    hddeuce88 Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    13
    Helm,

    Thanks for the video. Definitely looking forward to the progress on this bag. And I am ecstatic you have decided to move forward with it. I was just about to drop money on the TAD Axiom 24 pack but would much rather wait for this to come to fruition.

    With regards to the water bottle pocket, my personal opinion is it is a necessity. The low profile magnetic pocket is awesome but my only concern is without and elastic retention on the top of the pocket will small bottles like a regular 16oz bottle fall out? What about also adding a hidden elastic drawstring similar to what Vertx puts on their bags.

    I could really go either way with the laptop pocket. I do love that it currently has a full clamshell opening and also love the mesh pockets within that compartment. Nice having some organization in there in addition to the laptop sleeve. The smaller side zip for laptops and tablets is nice as well, it really streamlines the bag which is nice. But can that space be added elsewhere to accommodate for the loss of capacity? And if you go that route with the smaller side zip can a zipper be added to both sides?

    I would say the front “admin” pocket definitely needs some work. Doesn’t seem very useful the way it’s designed thus far, except for like you said, boarding passes and travel documents. I understand the thought and agree with keeping it streamlined but I think some sort of admin area on the front is important.

    I guess like the saying goes, opinions are like :censored:s......everyone has one. But just my 2 cents.

    Either way I’m in and can’t wait for this to be a finished project.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
    Bimmer4me, Myrddraal and HELM like this.
  11. HELM
    • Sponsor - Manufacturer

    HELM Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    2,328
    Keep it coming guys, love reading what you've got. Always more good reasons to crowdsource product design and development. Thanks!
     
  12. HELM
    • Sponsor - Manufacturer

    HELM Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    2,328
    Brother I can’t promise as to when I would even be able to get this product development done and into production. I do have two back to back long hauls to Singapore and Seoul coming up within these two months and I’m jonesing to get this tested. That said I always find room for improvement which would require more tweaks in the sampling room.

    The AX24 is a helluva pack from what I’ve gathered and I don’t want you to miss any opportunities to own one.
     
  13. hddeuce88

    hddeuce88 Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    13
    Appreciate it but I can wait. Not a big deal. Love the Axiom but not the material it’s made out of...that’s one of the reasons I was so hesitant.

    Also, depending on what it done with the front pocket, can you incorporate the attachment loops for the matroskya pouches in there. I can see putting one of the small pouches in there as well.

    And I also agree with the removable compression straps like the EV2..much better option.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
    Bimmer4me and HELM like this.
  14. Chris C

    Chris C Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    758
    Looks like a great start and I’ve been wanting another smaller pack for more EDC. The EV2 and EV1 is great but my needs have changed and don’t need a pack that size often anymore.

    I’ve actually been using my Tom Bin Synapse 19 more often now and this pack actually sort of reminds me of it due to its shape.

    Several recommendation and/or observations;

    1) As someone else mentioned if you are going for a cleaner look either have the compression straps removable or remove them all together. Also if there is someway to manage the load lifter straps to make it more clean as well.

    2) For the admin section I would try maybe adding different size pockets to each of the side pockets and if possible add a little depth to them. Maybe a bigger pocket on one side to hold a phone or wallet and on the other one with smaller ones for a pen, flashlight, slim knife or multi-tool.

    Another option for the admin section is to remove the upper mesh pocket inside the main pocket and add a velcro panel there. Then create smaller versions of the admin panels from the EV2 and Chio.

    3) Since you mentioned being able to share some of the accessories from the EV2 I would add the velcro strips into the main compartment so if someone wanted to quickly move part of their kit from the EV2 molle panel over they would be able to rather quickly.

    4) Definitely would like to have water bottle holders. Like the idea of having them flat when not in use. As someone else brought, what happens when you put in a smaller water bottle? Could you integrate some elastic within the water bottle pocket to give it some retention?

    5) Having waterproof zippers would be nice. However all my packs that have them, overtime starts coming apart and they don’t look that great, however they still seem to do the job. Maybe the ones you used don’t? But if you do use waterproof zippers could they have the zipper teeth facing out so if they do start shredding overtime it won’t show.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    HELM, Bimmer4me and hddeuce88 like this.
  15. HELM
    • Sponsor - Manufacturer

    HELM Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    2,328
    First of, let me say thanks again for all the input. It got me thinking quite a bit so much so that I had to pull a bunch of old samples from various brands I’ve owned in the past and have another good hard look at some of these.

    One of the things I’ve noticed is the zippers. Most if not all the Japanese packs I’ve owned come with the Vislon zippers versus the coiled ones. And Red-Five and I was just corresponding about the concerns surrounding waterproof zippers. Personally I don’t care for them, I would prefer ease of opening and closing especially when pack is filled to the brim, AND durability.

    On the subject of the main compartment, the first order of business would be to put those 2 vertical strips of loop in cos not only can one port the PALS panel from the EV2 but I might be able to offer other options for specific use and these in turn can be used for the EV2.

    On the opposite (front) wall I am considering re-designing the mesh pockets to accommodate an organizer of some sort. Another consideration as someone as pointed out, would be to consider using the side pockets as organizers. I think this was in the Tom Binh Synapse if I am not mistake. I have one, just can figure out where I left it!

    What I am going to do is is to test out 2 designs; I’m gonna make another with the back zippered sleeve pocket for the notebook and see how that works out. And I will make sure the water bottle pouches are there but I would revised it some. I will also make sure the compression straps are removable.

    H
     
    FiaOlleDog, sleestac and gaap master like this.
  16. steeps

    steeps Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    639
    I’d recommend making the water bottle pockets a lot taller.
     
  17. Chris C

    Chris C Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    758
    If at all possible it would be nice to have this pack closer to 20-22L as the EV1 is great already for a pack in the 25L range. More of an pack to carry the minimal EDC items with a little extra room. Also lighter as well if possible.

    Yes, if you made the side pockets similar to the TB Synapse that would be awesome. My favorite part about is the convenience of being able to access those side pockets similar to how you would with a sling bag.

    Edit: Forgot to add. If possible could you put one of the those elastic webbing organizers that you have on the top portion of the load lifters on the bottom portion of them. On the EV2 I have a lot left over after I adjusted them and they just kind of flap everywhere.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    #37 Chris C, Jan 13, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
    Happygodavid likes this.
  18. sleestac

    sleestac Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    89
    After carrying the EV1 as my EDC for the past year plus, I still really like it. I'll post on the EV2, my impressions there, to summarize all the great pieces of EV1 with improvements. The size is more of a overnight bag, one bag carry.

    IMO, the Pathfinder needs to know what it's purpose is. The EV1 and EV2, I believe have their rolls. If the Pathfinder, is a more business, classic clean look then this needs to be more business and less EDC. I know they cross over. I use a backpack for work. I've tried a lot of different bags, Tom Bihn, eBags, Camelback, Ogio and Tumi. The eBags, Ogio and Tumi are all business first bags. I love the Tom Bihn but it just didn't work well for my needs.

    I think the Pathfinder is closer to a business bag than the EV1 or EV2. An admin panel is a must. I like the idea of a side pocket admin as has been mentioned. A place for some pens and some cards. The 21-24 liter is the right size so as to not overfill. A legitimate laptop space, protected and easy access. Place for files, yes most people still carry some files. Cord organization is also a big factor in this space and where most bags fail. Trying to fill multiple roles causes most bags to fail or not completely satisfy any one role.

    The 2 strips of hook and loop, are great for the PAL but any other pouch/pocket can attach there. I have 3 of the organizer panels from A19 and it fits fine there. I love this addition. The elastic in the main compartment, as shown in video, in the Pathfinder would be great to help files, when the back panel hook and loop isn't used.

    I'm in the no water bottle pocket camp. I do carry a water bottle/coffee bottle, a HydroFlask. My issue with water bottles is when I put it under the seat on a commuter plane, it's not a great fit.

    Just my opinions. I'm still in on this Pathfinder due to the size and A19 quality.
     
    #38 sleestac, Jan 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
    FiaOlleDog and Bimmer4me like this.
  19. sparktofire

    sparktofire Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    18
    I like water bottle pockets to tuck an umbrella in, small tripod, etc. But...for this pack, maybe stay truer to your vision. You guys make great stuff at a fair price. As I say that my opinion would be having some sort of velcro or minimal molle on the backpanel of the main compartment would be super nice.
     
    FiaOlleDog and sleestac like this.
  20. RED-FIVE
    • In Omnia Paratus

    RED-FIVE Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2016
    Messages:
    554
    Likes Received:
    800
    @HELM it's nice to see the progress! Thanks for the peek;)
     
    sleestac and twin63 like this.