About this project
What is a RECON ONE*?
I've been lugging a tablet all over the world since the iPad 2 was launched. I've used it extensively and have written some of this experience on the iPad Forum. The thread I started has been turned into a stickie and you can still find it here.
I travel extensively and one of my pet peeves is digging through the back seat pocket for stuff that has sunk all the way to the bottom, whether it be my reading glass (sigh, old guy here), my pen, phone, iPod, etc. By the time I got my first tablet, I started thinking about finding a better way to organize all my stuff. Being in the product development business helps so I started tinkering with some basic ideas which finally lead to the RECON ONE.
The RECON ONE is a smaller version of your traditional notebook bag, built to the same standards I've made in the past for milspec products. All the know-how and experience I have designing and producing bags and cases for elite military and police units around the world has gone into this bag.
FEATURES & BENEFITS
- Exterior made of authentic Cordura nylon
- Genuine YKK zippers
- Removable nylon shoulder strap with reversible non-slip padded pad
- Reinforced webbing handle
- Nylon lining
- Exterior dimensions - 13.5" (Width) x 11.25" (Height) x 4.5" (Depth, this includes the padded front pouches) (34.3cm x 28.58cm x 11.43cm)
- Weight - 2.2 pounds (1 kilo)
- Fits all iPads, Tabs, Nexus tablets, Kindles, Nooks, etc.
It comes with two padded pockets outside with nylon webbing flaps that have magnetic closures. Unzip the YKK zippers to find a detachable flight caddy (padded tablet caddy/sleeve) on one side and an organizer on the other.
It is this flight caddy (below) that makes this bag truly unique. Unless someone points out something similar out there, I believe that this is the only flight tablet caddy cum organizer in the world!
NOTE: Kindly advise as to which tablet you have when you decide on a pledge. The reason why I ask is to determine the location of the charging port on your tablet and make sure that you will not have any issues. See FAQ below for more info. Thanks!
The original design/layout (see early prototype photos below) called for a mesh pocket for your earbuds & charger, a padded pocket in the middle for your iPod, phone or in the case of old geezers like myself, reading glasses, and 3 sleeves for your pen, pencil and highlighter. That however changed recently when I noticed the tremendous interest in portable rechargers for tablets and phones. That prompted me to made an important revision to the Recon One; I made it easy for anyone with an existing portable charger to charge your tablet and phone on the go.
A padded pocket is now in place opposite the caddy and you can easily put one of the many portable chargers here. In the photo above I have one of NewTrent's iCarrier heavy duty dual port charger which I use to charge both my phone (sitting in the next pocket) and my tablet. Keep in mind that the Recon One does not come with any chargers, it's designed to hold one of your existing ones or one of the many models available out there. The charging cable routes through the bottom of the pouch and into the side of the tablet sleeve. Excess cable length is kept tidy inside a Velcro sleeve at the bottom.
For reference, the padded pouch for the portable battery is: 5.7" (Deep) x 3.5" (Wide) x 1" (Thick).
The photos below were taken during several flights to Africa & Asia. As you can see that the Recon One tablet sleeve attaches easily to the back seat pocket. Sorry about some of the photos 'cos I had to take in on the fly (no punt intended) with my iPhone.
As I've mentioned in the video, I cover a good 100K+ flight miles each year and I have seen a lot of seat pockets. As you can imagine all are NOT created equally! Some seat pockets have a top metal wire/rod but most are just elastic. The caddy works exceptional well on all of them but I had that one occasion where the seat pocket on this flight to Heathrow was just pure blah. The elasticity was shot and the pocket sagged. In such a case where the pocket was loose, I clip or simply place the caddy on the inside. Don't forget that the goal is to have our tablet and essentials organized and it works just as well in such a case.
A dopp kit (toiletry bag to some) is one of our travel essentials. Problem is most kits are either too large or too small. I've been looking for one that is compact yet large enough to hold my toiletries. So what is a guy to do when he can't find the right one? He designs one!
The Recon 8 is essentially a compact version of a traditional dopp kit with one practical feature - a row of milspec elastic webbing in the side pocket that allows you to organize your grooming essentials such as tweezers, nail clippers, travel shaving brush, collar inserts, trimmers, etc.
The dimension of the Recon 8 is 9" (L) x 5" (W) and 4" (H).
The kit is also fully lined with 210D Oxford nylon. The combination of this lining and the external 1000D Cordura helps prevent any leakages should one of your bottles or containers break or left open accidentally. It would be an easier clean-up!
Here are some photos of the Recon 8 dopp kit. This will also be available in the same 3 colors; Black (red lining inside), Med Navy (light gray lining) and Coyote (matching Coyote lining).
TSA Compliant Toiletry Bag
Finally a carry-on toiletry kit that's design to be TSA compliant. Gone will be the days of using those zip lock bags that are available at TSA. The next time you check-in at TSA security, all you have to do is place this T-Kit in the bin or on the tray and collect it pronto after the screening.
We already have the production studio and all the logistic support in place. All that needs to be done is to order the materials and get the production going! As such, here's a detailed out line of our projected timeline:
- Finalize design and any revisions required.
- Order all the materials required.
- Get the production underway
- Deliver the TSA compliant toiletry kits by end of the month.
- Complete production and get QC and final inspection going.
May 2013 : Get thank-you videos and deliveries to all the backers underway!
Risks and challenges
I've been doing product development and production for almost 20 years now and the one thing I know is that all projects have their risks and challenges. Lately it has always been the unforeseen circumstances that creates a setback of some sort.
At the moment I have all these checked off my to-do list:
- Prototypes are completed and have been extensively tested.
- A factory is already in place to produce all the products. I've worked with this production studio on past projects so we do a past performance of working together.
- Sources for all materials have been found.
Only potential issues that I can foresee are the last minute unavailability of materials, last minute scheduling issues with the factory and natural disasters. All these will result in a delay in production and understandably, delivery.
That said, I will endeavor to stay on top of this project for the duration and make sure that there are no surprises that will delay the effort.
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