During these last weeks, i was asked why i chose this moment, in the middle of a global pandemic, to drop new accessories (in several sizes) together with a new run of ATD1 backpacks? Wasn't it risky?
Yes it was. But it also felt like the right time to widen our offer, the right time to provide people who wanted to approach our company with products that are less expensive than our ATD1 pack, the right time to develop that ecosystem around our main product to make it even more usable. Plus, i had some time to actually work on it, so i saw no reason not to do that
I had done pouches before, and packing cubes, and totes, but this time i wanted to approach their development the same way i did with the ATD1, in order to have products that were simple but clever, recognizable but stealth, delivering that extra functionality that makes them stand out among other options. This is what i came out with:
AFP Pouches - Xpac®
There is plenty of flat pouches out there, most of them are just a rectangular piece of fabric, folded twice and closed by a zipper on one face. Simple, effective, i use them as well and we also made pouches like that in the past. They just work.
But, this time, i din't just want them to work. I wanted them to be compatible with our main bags and to solve the access and visibility issues that regular flat pouches could have: the pals and the L-shaped zipper addressed these problems without affecting the convenient one piece construction.
The three sizes were chosen to fit most uses: 7’ tablet and A5 notebook in the Large one, passport and cables in the Medium one and the Small one for smartphone or credit cards. I oriented the pals on the Small one vertically, so it can be used as a shoulder strap pouch on almost any backpack using clips or Velcro® strips. All of them are also compatible with our ATD1 and ARB tote (via Pouch Link) and can be worn thanks to our Modular Shoulder Strap.
Well, i rarely used a sling. When i don't carry a pack, my on-body EDC is so streamlined that it can be comfortably split between jacket and pants pockets. I just never liked or needed one. But during summer or in hot places, with no jacket, bulky pants pockets have always been an issue for me. A couple years ago i started adding a random strap to the EDC pouch i carried in my pack for hot weather, pack-less situations, and soon i begun designing a pouch that could actually be a good sling or a sling that could actually be a good pouch. Size was something i couldn't decide between so i made two, and the ASPs were born: they can be used as standalone pouches for toiletry, hung in a backpack (via Pouch Link) with cables and tech accessories in it, paired with a Modular Shoulder Strap and worn as sling or fanny pack with daily essential: a true cheat code for travel and EDC.
Basic internal organization makes it easy to reach content, pals on the bottom allow for some additional external carry and the Large one has a padded back panel. The angle formed by the strap attachments makes the sling comfortable to be carried both cross body and at the waist, as a fanny pack.
So, a cube is just a cube right?
I still value packing cubes as one of the most useful packing tools ever, the ATD1 itself was designed with packing cubes use in mind. And, even if any silnylon cube could do the job, i wanted to step the game up.
Available in two sizes, Lightweight but structured, highly waterproof, these packing cubes will manage the content of a main luggage while the sliding handle creates grabbing points on three sides allow easy unpacking in any situation.
ARB Roll Top Tote Bag - Xpac®
Some years ago i designed some simple but sturdy rolltop tote bags for a shop here in Milan and had them made by a local manufacturing partner. I was satisfied of the result then, but as our quality and design complexity increased, the ones remaining in our stock were forgotten. Last year, i put them back on the website at special price to declutter our stock and they were surprisingly well perceived by customers: they sold out and people started asking for an updated version.
I wanted to create a tote for the non-tote people (like me): a roomy, expandable and versatile bag for the office, the weekend escape, the night out, the grocery trip or the day at the beach or park.
The result is something i'm really proud of: the roll top closure keeps content safe in crowded areas, folds inside when i need it to disappear for quick access and low profile, or stands up to expand the bag's volume whenever some extra room is needed. The padded and adjustable handles adapt to the roll top configuration and carry style, the roomy front compartment has enough space for frequent use stuff, an internal zippered sleeve is suitable for a folded shirt, A4 documents or a laptop. Compatibility with rolling luggage handles and our pouches complete the game: this bag is a versatility beast.
Featuring Duraflex hardware and Fidlock magnetic V-buckle for quick one-hand operations, this fully adjustable and fully customizable strap will turn our ASP Sling Pouches or AFP Flat Pouches into proper sling or waist bags, or let you carry your ARB Roll top Tote Bag cross body. Needless to say, the sleek padding is removable.
We chose to sell our modular shoulder strap separately, and not together with totes and pouches, because you just need one shoulder strap, whether you pick one or all of the items listed above, and it would be a waste to have (and pay for) more than one strap. You may also already have a favorite strap, or even skip it at all because you don’t plan to carry your tote or pouches that way: in all these cases, an included strap would be a waste of materials and money, an unnecessary production of unnecessary goods.
Accessories, cubes, pouches and the tote are already in production and will be shipped within the first half of March. ATD1 will ship within the end of May. I know it’s a long wait but the global pandemic affects logistics too, so i prefer setting a longer deadline and just shipping earlier if moving on faster.