Blog Post #9: Bikepacking Frame Bag : Top 5 specifications, top 5 constraints

The biggest priority for my bag is to achieve the outdoor minimalist aesthetic. To achieve this my project will need to be/have a…

-Well built: because I want the bag to feel like other high end outdoor equipment. I want to use high quality materials and good sewing techniques to give this feeling. The design achieves this if product has no exposed seams, equal proportions, minimal mistakes, and sounds crinkly when you hold it.

-Unique color way: so the product stands out. Outdoor products utilize crazy colors to standout from the natural environment. A great example is Cotopaxi. All the products they build feature tons of panels with different contrasting colors. I will know I succeeded if my bag has numerous contrasting colors that are still cohesive to the overall vision.

-Ultralight: This is a specification of outdoor products that are no frills. They choose the highest quality materials, with the least amount of features to give the user a product that is durable and strong while cutting away all the unneeded features. I will know my product is ultra light by removing padding, interior pockets and leaving the bag as simple as possible. This means just a single zip to access the contents of the bag.

-Form fitting: so the bag is customized specifically towards my mountain bike. I want the bag to be very sleek and fit perfectly within the frame. Anyone can go to their local outdoor shop and buy one of these bags but it is never going to fit properly in your bike frame (unless you are really lucky). Having something that maximizes the available space is what is really important to be because I want this bag to be functional in the future.

-Easy to use: Some zippers on bags can be a real pain to operate, especially once they get dirty. I wanted to ensure my bag had a fool-proof solution that was tried and tested. On previous bag I have attempted to use waterproof zips but they always seem to give my trouble. This project should use a molded tooth zip that is super reliable and easy to use. The pull tab should be big and easy to see/grab to ensure the user can operate the dynamic aspects of the bag with cold and wet hands. This limits the bags water resistance but it is a necessary sacrifice.


YKK® Double Pull VF VISLON® Molded Tooth Zipper – #8


Water-Resistant and Waterproof Zippers for Outdoor Applications

The biggest constraints I face is the materials needed, the access to sewing machines, the timeline (since I procrastinated), the fit of the bag, and the quality of the final product. After the mid project updates before spring break I realized I wasn’t super happy with my project. I have built one of these bags in the past and it seemed that my new design was going to be very similar to it. I want this project to be an iteration on that previous project not just an identical copy. Therefore, I have changed material choices, and made other design changes. As a result, I will have to find a new place to purchase the fabric. This feeds into the timeline aspect since the shipping of the material is a few days and I have already procrastinated so much on this project. I think the sewing machine will be easy to fix using the idea forge. I am mostly nervous because I haven’t sewed in a year and have never used their machines. I hope the learning curve isn’t too steep. Finally I face some risk of how well the bag fits in the frame. I think you can do all the measuring in the world but each bag will fit slightly different due to the way you sew the corners of the bag, If the corners aren’t sewed properly they can protrude too far and negatively affect the final fitment.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • […] Blog Post #9: Bikepacking Frame Bag : Top 5 specifications, top 5 constraints […]

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  • Alex Fitzgerald
    April 24, 2024 8:06 pm

    I like the idea of having contrasting colors on the bag to make it pop! Do you know how much the final product will weigh?

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