Bikepacking Bags – Main Project Plans

My main project will be the creation of bikepacking bags. Bikepacking is similar to thru-hiking but instead of walking, you ride a bike. The idea is you can cover much more distance on a bike than you can walking. After riding your bike all day you can simply unzip the bikebags and grab your tent, sleeping bag, food, and water. I’m hoping to have the opportunity to create multiple functional bags that can all attach to my bike. The goal is to have all the bags use a similar color scheme/materials to tie them all in together. I have attached an image of my old previous bikepacking setup below. The issues I had with this previous design was that the bag didn’t hold up very well after a few uses. I also think the color I chose was somewhat boring. I hope to incorporate more colors and potentially a logo to make the bag fit the outdoor minimalist aesthetic I’m going for. To give some context I only sewed the bag in the middle of the bike frame. The rest of my gear was strapped to my bag.

I have drawn some initial sketch concepts for the different bag ideas I have. I don’t know if my schedule this semester will allow for the creation of all these bags. I plan to get as far as possible given the time constraints. My primary material will be XPac. This is a very robust and water resistant fabric that I used on my previous bag. I think I will need to add expansion joints to the bag to prevent the seams from tearing like they did on the first iteration. I previously made templates using cardboard prototypes to get the correct size of the panels. I think trying to use a fabric software would be a good way to create more consistent templates. I also think I will plan to create prototypes using cheap disposable fabric before using the expensive Xpac.

My aesthetic (outdoor minimalist) was heavily inspired by 20th century design movements like De Stijl and Bauhaus. My bags should have very simple colors and serve a very specific purpose. I don’t want the bag to feature excessive design elements because it takes away from the simplicity of my designs. The design movements I mentioned earlier are responsive for inspiring lots of modern and contemporary architecture, which I think found its way into the fashion industry over time.

Composition No. 10, Piet Mondrian 1949-1943

My upbringing in was in Colorado. I was exposed to the outdoor industry from a young age and quickly found a liking to the products they sell. I do find there to be two extremes within this industry. A very utilitarian design whether numerous straps and places to hook things. This is somewhat inspired from military gear. The opposite of this is the minimalist designs that feature nothing but a big pocket to stuff things into. This design may initially seem worse but offers lots of benefits in terms of simplicity and weight. My aesthetic is definitely falling with in my comfort zone. I am happy about this because it means I will create a product I am excited to look at and use.

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