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New crowdsourced product developments as we go along......

Discussion in 'Alpha One Niner (bags & gear)' started by HELM, Jun 21, 2014.

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  1. HELM
    • Sponsor - Manufacturer

    HELM Loaded Pockets

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    Having read and re-read the posts on this thread, I think we need to set some base requirements for such a pack. It appears that the wish list I am seeing can be a pack that is anywhere from the First Spear Comms Pack to our recent EDC. I can already see that it would be almost impossible to create a pack that is going to be to everyone's liking but if we are able to check off as many of the boxes as possible, we'll get close enough to at least meet the majority's expectation. So let's start by looking at the basics:
    1. Pack size - as I've mentioned, the idea was to start off with a daypack, something that most of us can truly use for E-D-C. A daypack should be somewhere between 1000 and 1200 cu in. For example, the Comms Pack is 980, Kifaur E&E is 1000, FAST Pack Litespeed is 1300 and the GR Echo is 980. Keep in mind guys that with a pack this small, the side cinch straps become questionable.
    2. I'm gonna assume Panel Loader becos there's no good reason for a top loader in such a small pack.
    3. To carry what exactly? I know we all have our EDC essentials but should the pack be designed to carry a notebook at the very least? From what I am reading, I'm going to say yes becos that's what most of us are lugging day in, day out. 15" max? BUT should it also be designed to accommodate a separate tablet?
    4. Can the notebook sleeve be in the main compartment (in a two compartment bag - back wall) or does it need to have a separate zippered compartment of its own? Has anyone seen a Booq Mamba backpack before? Go check it out - simplicity for those who only need it for an MacBook and iPad.
    5. Slick on the outside, MOLLE or 'meet me half way'. I have a funny feeling this is going to go down the middle and we might have to do two versions.
    6. If MOLLE do we cover the sides too or just have bottle holders? I hear the Nalgene thing in the background again ;)
    7. Hydration compatible or not? I personally have never cared for this but it's for all to chime. I also have a hard time trying to understand the need for both hydration AND a water bottle holder on the outside. Sorry it's just me.
    8. CCW? Can I say aye? Becos with the CCW compartment I have in mind, those that do not CCW can also use it for something else.
    9. I see a lot of interest for internal PALS webbing of the loop type. This is great for those who wanna attach AR and pistols mags. At the same time it is going to a great way for me to sell you more of our stuff especially the new Matroskya pouches! ;) (will show in quick vid).
    10. A pack this small does not need a hip belt but quick access pockets for your light and multi tool? Someone mentioned it earlier, good idea.
    11. If you haven't seen the video of our recent EDC pack, please spare me a few minutes and check it out especially the two zippered mesh pocket system in the front compartment. This has always worked for me but I'd like to hear your thoughts. I think Jon had the link somewhere earlier in this thread.
    I'm gonna go and take a quick vid to cover some other concerns I've read above regarding internal PALS webbing, adjustable (width) shoulder straps, etc. Will revert shortly.
    Thanks all for chiming in on this first EDC R&D project. On behalf of Jon and I, thank you.
    Helm
     
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  2. Brewer

    Brewer Loaded Pockets

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    Holy cow, this is one brave move! Ever seen anything designed by a committee? It's never good.

    Perhaps the real answer lies in designing a truly modular system, where people can build up their ideal bag from the components they need?

    Personally I have one 'dream' bag that doesn't seem to exist - a comfortable shoulder bag designed primarily for a LARGE water bottle, with a small number of thoughtful compartments for things like sunglasses, cellphone, compact camera, documents (eg tickets), sunscreen/meds etc. Top handle for easy in-and-out of the car, and some way to quickly stuff the shoulder strap behind a loop so it doesn't hang down and tangle on the gear shift etc.

    I know it's not quite what you're looking for here, but please put it on the list ;0)
     
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  3. JonSidneyB
    • Administrator

    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    What I think will happen long term is this will spawn several bags.
     
  4. HELM
    • Sponsor - Manufacturer

    HELM Loaded Pockets

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    And I thought crowdsourcing was supposed to make it easier ;)

    Anyway, as promised here's the vid but it ain't as short as I expected it. A photo of the Velcro holster kit that I touched on in the video can be found below.

    Guys, I will be away from my desk mañana 'cos I'm working on another project elsewhere so if I don't reply in a timely manner, my apologies in advance. Thanks.



    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Grinch

    Grinch Banned

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    I hope it spawns little tripod legs :running:
     
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  6. CarpentryHero

    CarpentryHero Loaded Pockets

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    Colour me impressed, I really like the backpack in the video.
     
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  7. wsafetymode

    wsafetymode Loaded Pockets

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    Fluo colour interior, as already said.
     
  8. AK Adventurer

    AK Adventurer Ice, Ice, Tigre

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    Something that I've always thought needs work on 90% of all backpacks I've seen;

    • Water bottle pouch that cinches, folds, tucks, Does something! so when there isn't a water bottle in it, you don't have this hug open top scoop/pocket on the side of the bag to fill with dirt/etc, or catch on things..
    • A nice square form factor... a nice shape so things don't look boxy is fine, but no excessive taper to the top so that the top 1/4 to 1/3 of the main compartment stays at the least 90% the width of the rest of it...

    And this^^^^ I swear 99% of all packs out there assume you are 12" max across the shoulders, and never wear more than a light t-shirt. :nah_disagree:

    +1. All back packs and messengers/satchels should IMO, if not come with straps to do both sling and backpack carry, At Least have the attachment points built in so you can convert as needed!

    Some days a backpack is needed, some days a sling would be great... transfering between two packs is a P!TA. Especially when the need to transitions carry style happens 50+ miles/2+ hours from where you keep the other bag ;)

    I've got a great joke about SAK going hipster and getting a hip bag, ;) but I don't fancy being banned so I'll leave it out... ;) :p

    But I'll add myself as a +1 for a decent hip bag... I've been playing with the idea myself, since EDC bags(messenger, backpack, sling etc) in general don't work for me in an EDC capacity, but I tend to run out of pockets too. I don't have any specific ideas right now, but I'll keep it in mind and get back to y'all, especially if it looks like SAK and I aren't the only ones interested in the concept... :rolleyes_revamped: :cool:

    This post is gonna get Looonnnnggg if I keep quoting and commenting as I go... gonna read the last page, and post again; be back soon ;)
     
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  9. Schnurri

    Schnurri Loaded Pockets

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    Okay, here's what I'm looking for in a bag:
    1. I'd like a shoulder/messenger bag with detachable carrying strap - but add some D-rings at the bottom of the back so that the strap can be attached in a way that converts the bag into a backpack.
    2. 2-way zippered pouch at the back (zipper should be protected from rain)
    3. 2 front admin-pockets
    4. side pockets with flaps & adjustable closing-strap, big enough for a 1L-waterbottle
    5. expandable volume - Eastpak does this with a 3-sided zipper on the bag, making it possible to expand the bag's volume, if necessary
    6. large, high-viz main compartment and extra pocket for a laptop computer (15" is big enough, doesn't have to be padded)
    7. MOLLE on the inside is a good idea
    8. classic/timeless exterior - sth. like the Fjällräven vintage shoulder bag or the Filson Carry-on, but with the possibility of attaching a jacket or blanket with some additional straps on top of the bag
    9. rain-proof would be nice, but a built-in rain cover would be nice, too
    10. different colour options would be nice
    11. And a carrying-handle!
    I think I mentioned it somewhere else: for me, the almost ideal bag is the old German army assault bag, if it was only a little larger!
     
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  10. AK Adventurer

    AK Adventurer Ice, Ice, Tigre

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    Thats actually sorta me too... I Rarely(like once every 3 months) need a bag for anything.. But when i do, it'd be nice for it to work the way I need it to, and so far i have yet to come accross anthing that I think would work well. And honestly, if I find/we design something that I thing would work, I'd probably find a use for it more often. So, I got ahorse in this race, but its only got three legs ATM.. ;)

    Sounds good to me. Form factor/shape is usually more important than actual volume capacity anyway IMO... I've seen bags 3 times that size that would never be as useful as ones half that size because they were an odd depth, or width etc..

    +1, but also sorta just playing devils advocate here... I'd personally prefer panel loading as Helm calls it..

    Panel loading is probaly overall better... BUT in a relatively small pack, top loading isn't that bad, since your not really gonna have that much in it, to have a problem if you need the bottom item... A outside pocket or two, some Molle/or whatever attachment system, but don't cover the thing in it, and a good top flap, and top loading can work. (DEFFINETALLY go with a top flap if nothing else... the MR booty bag would be mine, and get a lot of use if it had a freaking flap on it, and a water bottle pocket or two...)



    I'd say yes, sepperate tablet pocket, or a devider of some sort for the laptop area, or a smaller padded pocket IN the laptop area that will take the average tablet? I rarely carry both, but a tablet floating around in a 15" laptop pocket would be anoying.

    , and like twogunmojo said, why not do the laptop compartment, and also have the little bits needed for hydration built in, the area can serve double duty.. (watch, we'll get several responces from guys that always need a hydro bladder, and their laptop at the same time ;) )


    I vote for meet me half way... I Hate the look of that stuff, but a variable attachment area of some kind IS nice to have.


    If you MOLLE the sides instead of pockets, then how about at least including a medium molle water bottle pouch with the bad at no extra cost? sorta another 'meet me half way' makes it simpler for the guys that will never change things, but the option is there...


    Yeah, sure, small hide away space is always handy, but can i stress AMBIDEXTROUS for CCW areas, for those that are southpaws(and those of use that are truly ambidextrous ;) )

    I can go either way on internal PALS etc.. But I Hate the 400 built in pockets of odd sizes concept that some companies do.. 1/2 of them are never a useful size, and the other half are never where you need them. I like the fuzzy/fleecy interior that velcro will stick to, as another thought for ya. :)


    As long as the belt is Removable. :)

    +1... I could even go for similar to black/foilage/coyote; like maybe, a grey, a different green, and a darker brown? A dark or medium blue maybe? thats a nice middle ground color that doesn't scream "here I am" but at the same time doesn't scream "I'm a bag that wants to go to Iraq/'Nam/ ninja school ;) and fit in Perfectly with any miltary! " :p

    I mean, nothing bright is needed, we don't need to go all florescent green or orange here, but something less military would be nice. :cool:


    I'd like to say Thank You to you both!
    This is a big undertaking to start... Crowdsourcing design is a 50/50 thing, it can make design so much easier, but it can also be a real P!TA when No-one can agree on anything...Been there, done that..

    (I was actually soposed to do something similar to this and get EDCF input for a product idea I had that Jon and I talked about doing, but I havn't had the gumption to try to deal with this much input/opinions... No, I haven't forgotten you @JonSidneyB! Just been putting it off.. :oops: )

    It takes a LOT of guts to be able to jump in with both feet and start something like this! So, Thank YOU again for the time and effort your putting in to do this. :cool:
     
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  11. jma78

    jma78 Loaded Pockets

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    Hmmm, i think i might a little something to contribute tot this thread:)

    First of all, as mentioned earlier; the problem is that the "perfect" backpack is a very subjective concept. Not only it depends on the purpose that a person has for the pack, but also his past experiences and thus, what features he has found useful.

    I have made like.. 35 custom packs now? And there are three things that have a great influence in the way i design my packs; a) 15 years in the military b) a year in Afghanistan c) my idea of a relaxing holiday is to travel across China or India by train, drop off at a random station and go explore the country.. (well, it´s far from relaxing but for some strange reason i like it:) ) So naturally, those 3 things mean a great deal when i´m thinking about a perfect pack.

    I always try to make my packs different than what i have done before; making the same design over and over again, kind of takes all the fun out of it. However, there are few features i have noticed, that i keep getting back into.

    The first one is #7 on Helm´s list on top of this page; Now that i´m a REMF, i need to carry a laptop around quite often. But i also try to spend time in the field as much as i can. That´s why i have grown to like a dual purpose compartment that can be used to either hold a hydration bladder, or a laptop. See the picture below; (not the best pictures, but you´ll get the idea)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then there is either a beavertail/cargopanel/whatever you want to call it, or something i call a "stash" pocket; A pocket in the front of the pack, under which you can stash stuff..

    Sometimes i make it like this; sides and bottom from cordura, so it really doesn´t expand all that much.. but because it has a solid bottom, it can hold securely what ever you want to carry in it

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And sometimes i make the sides from shock cord, so there is really room to expand

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have also used a combination of a beavertail and a stashpocket; Basically a beavertail with sides from a mesh fabric, and bottom permanently attached into the pack. The mesh that forms the sides is pleated, so it has room to expand quite a bit

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As fr #6 on Helm´s list, here what i have been doing quite often;

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Pals or no Pals? Personally i don´t really care what people think about the "tactical" packs that i usually carry (and in Finland, no one will look you twice even if you happen to carry one), but a couple of times, when going traveling into certain countries i have made myself a discrete pack, void of any military features. So what Helm said about making a version with Pals and the second without, would make sense.

    I have actually once designed a pack that i would think would be a great all around daypack, with a lot of potential. However, having the design manufactured in US (because that´s where the markets would be) proved to be such a :censored:, that i really wasn´t worth all the hassle:)

    That´s a really nice looking pack on Helm´s video! I like the idea of the width of shoulder straps being adjustable. However, i have found a plain, flat backpanels to be quite uncomfortable during hot weather

    Anyway, here´s my .02 cents..
     
  12. Ironside

    Ironside Loaded Pockets

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    Thick extremely durable zippers. I've seen otherwise good designs be value engineered too far through inferior zippers.
    Great zippers and fabric are no good if stitching is compromised however.
    I have an Arteryx pack that's one of their first designs. The zipper is very beefy and still works well after 20 years but still failed however as its stitching to the pack is weak.
     
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  13. tkill

    tkill Loaded Pockets

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    I really like that laptop/tablet/accessory organization layout of the booq mamba.

    I personally always prefer separate compartment for laptop separate from main.

    Love the internal loop Pals system with mastroyka pouches in Helm's video.

    Love the CCW compartment in Helm's video.

    I prefer water bottle pockets over hydration system.

    Keep the large padded webbing handle of the current EDC backpack. That is a really nice touch.

    Sent from my Nexus 10 using Tapatalk
     
  14. Myrddraal

    Myrddraal Loaded Pockets

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    I might as well chime in here!

    My perfect bag would be/have:

    1) Somewhere between 1000 and 1800 ci
    2) Side water bottle pockets large enough to hold a 32oz Nalgene, but that can be folded and zipped flat (Tactical Tailor's Urban Operator pack has exactly what I mean) This is the big one for me. This one feature is what's missing in so many bags that would otherwise be darned near perfect for me.
    3) A decent admin pocket for smaller tools, pens, hard drives etc.
    4) A padded laptop sleeve in the main compartment.
    5) An expandable beavertail/stash pocket on the front for extra layers, helmets or whatever.
    6) A fleece-lined electronics/optics pocket (with a port for headphones?)
    7) A separate rear pocket that could serve as both a hydration pocket and a CCW pocket
    8) Mesh pockets on the front flap of the main pocket, like the Rush 12/24
    9) Some Molle would be nice, especially on the upper sides.
    10) A velcro strip for patches.
    11) Weather resistant.

    Sorry if these are redundant with other's posts.
     
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  15. BeantownJ

    BeantownJ Loaded Pockets

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    I think I will just be redundant with many of my wish list requests, so I will try to keep this in terms of bags that already exist. I think many of us have purchased a pack only to say, "This would be perfect if it only had...". So, for me, the Kifaru Xray is as close as it gets to a perfect EDC pack from an overall design standpoint. I think the the VERTX Gamut EDC tried to get close to this (in many ways) but in my opinion it just missed the mark - it was too big and way to many pockets that aren't functional. Basically, if the Kifaru Xray, Mystery Ranch ASAP, VERTX GAMUT EDC and your new SERT EDC bag had a love child, it would be my perfect pack. In list form, this is how I would break it down:

    - Kifaru XRay in terms of access designs (can be accessed through a top lid and accessed through a panel flap). LOVE THIS! I also love that it has another pocket on top of the lid where you can keep small items that need to be readily accessed.
    - Take away the molle, strip and down and make it an "urban" version.
    - Slightly smaller - I think 1500 CI is the PERFECT EDC pack. To me, 1000 CI is far too small but when you get over 1600 it becomes to large.
    - Move the compression straps to the side (the Xray has straps that wrap all the way around).
    - Add a separate compartment, or at least a divider, for a laptop can can accommodate a 15" MBP.
    - Keep the inside somewhat start with molle and hook & loop. Give each user the ability to make the bag their own. I hate when a bag has a million compartments with place for pens and other gear. Since everyones load out is so different, those set ups end up making the pack work for only certain users.
    - 500D. I think this is the perfect balance - super rugged, but not as tough as 1000D with the vast majority of EDCer's don't need anyway.
    - Add water bottle pockets on the side. Just a simple pocket, in the same cordura material. That way, if it isn't being used for a Nalgene, you can slide something else in there (umbrella, boarding passes, etc.).
    - KEEP a frame sheet or stays of some kind. I know some may argue that a daypack doesn't need it, but to me it makes a world of difference in how it rides.
    - Keep ONLY ONE small area to add a patch, and put it right on top of the bag like the Kifaru Xray does.
    - The zipper pulls form the GoRucks
    - Now here is the bonus - I LOVE having the ability to have a beaver tail. Super handy and it brings the functionality of a pack to the next level. Maybe this is something that can be an optional add on? I know this would be tough to due, but I think it would be great and would work since you can access this pack from the top also. Take a look at the VERTX GAMUT EDC to see how they executed this.
    - This goes without saying, but all top of the line material - YKK all around, top of the line mil spec buckles, ect.

    So, in summation - a slightly smaller (1500 ci) Kifaru Xray in 500D, with no molle, a dedicated laptop pocket (or area), water bottle pocket/slots on the side with a possible beaver tail. To me, this would literally be the perfect EDC pack.

    Thanks for the great thread - I really hope this comes to fruition. VERY EXCITING. Please keep us updated!
     
  16. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Loaded Pockets

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    I have been looking for a pack for a while and haven't found anything that is worth spending my money on. Backpack for sure, for me the stability and load balance of two straps beats out the convince single strap bags. I carry a backpack almost everyday because of this and my need to transport a work laptop, lunch, stuff for my kids, clothing for weekend trips, or on the really fun weekends camping gear.

    Contoured straps with VENTILATION on both the straps and back panel. A lot of "tactical" packs seem to miss the mark on this. Some form of light weight frame system would be welcome even if just a simple sheet. One main compartment with a full clamshell opening with a padded laptop / bladder sleeve or a separate compartment for laptop / bladder. Laptop sleeve should fit full sized laptops, I'm not sure how a 15" MB became the standard but not all of us drink that Kool-Aid. Zippered organizer pockets in the main compartment to help keep stuff off the bottom would be nice. Admin compartment with places for pens and other smaller items would be a must. Compression straps, 2 on the sides and 2 on the bottom that could be used to attach a bed roll or jacket would be nice. Side pockets capable of holding Nalgene bottles would be a must. The pack should be somewhat wide and tall but not too deep keeping the weight close to the users back and preventing bulge at the bottom of the pack.

    Molle, beaver tail, CCW pocket would all be take it or leave it for me.
     
  17. carrot

    carrot Loaded Pockets

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    I don't really think I am in your target demographic but I continuously see people here clamoring for a bag that is high quality, tough and simple with good rugged looks and a few must-have features but not over the top and not too complicated.

    GoRuck has filled this niche well, but doesn't suit everybody.

    I think if you simply downsized the Penumbra, streamlined the shape a bit (make the bottle pockets go to the interior) and replaced the interior organization with webbing mounts for customization (keep some of those mesh pockets though!) you'd have a pretty sweet hit on your hands.
     
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  18. CarpentryHero

    CarpentryHero Loaded Pockets

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    I like the adjustable shoulder straps.
    -Padded compartment for iPad would be nice, even though I don't own one.
    -Spot for hydration carrier
    - molle Velcro inside, molle front and sides for full customization ability
    -two smaller compartments like the mesh with zippers would work.
    - A few handles and anchor points for caribeeners
     
  19. Xader

    Xader EDC Junkie

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    Sounds like what Vanquest does-at least on the Envoy. There's a large bottle pouch on each side with compression straps that cinch it flat, and PALS loops to attach pouches when it's cinched.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Sent from my HTC One Max using Tapatalk
     
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  20. jma78

    jma78 Loaded Pockets

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    You mean the use of spacer mesh in the straps?
     
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