Inverting Gear: How our Backpacks are Designed
I was a boy scout growing up in Chile. I still remember when I got my first camping bag. I used it throughout my years in the scouts. It carried all my earthly possessions when my family moved to the US. I used it for years, summer trips while in high school, visiting friends in college. When it finally ripped after 10 or so years of use, it felt like a lost a part of childhood. How can I replace it?
I went down a rabbit hole of epic proportions, I had never realized there were so many bag options. It took months before I found a suitable replacement. I got an REI camping bag, which had the spirit of my old bag, it was just too big for most of my trips. I got a Tortuga backpack a year or so after and carry on only became my default mode of traveling. Living out of the backpack for weeks at a time on occasions. Between my childhood scouting and years of traveling all over the place carryon-only I have become a backpack snub.
So, it came time to design some backpacks for Inverted Gear, it took a long time to get my ideas together, and to narrow it down to 3 designs. Our rolltop bag is the first of these designs. While I had this love affair with big bags for camping or extended travel, I needed something smaller for everyday work or short trips to the gym. But I wanted the flexibility of being able to take it on a short weekend trip. So decided I wanted an expandable backpack. Then I remember the rolltop rucksacks some of my friends at boy scouts would wear. Sometimes talking to manufacturers later I found what we needed. I got samples from a few factories before settling on this model. My nephews have been wearing some of the samples to school. Here is a picture of them modeling them over the summer.
While it is intimidating, this is why I put it off for so long, designing a bag came down to the following. Unless you are trying to reinvent the wheel, your bag will fall into an established style of bag, Clamshell, rolltop, knapsack for example. Then you need to figure out how big you want said bag to be, to this day I am still confused why liters are used to measure carrying capacity. Followed by what you want it made of. Finally branding comes in, how many patches, woven labels, heat treatments or custom liners do you want on your bag. Here we follow the same principle we use on our gis, less is more.
Hope you got some insight into the design process for our bag. We have two more in production that will be released in 2021. Hope you choose to pick one of these up and it becomes part of your life like many of my backpacks have over the years.