We've got some big updates to share on the Travel Duffel and Travel Duffelpack. But first, we've got something equally as exciting to share:
Introducing Grizzly Country, a short film directed by our good friend Ben Moon and produced by Peak Design. Grizzly Country tells the story of Doug Peacock: veteran, eco-warrior, author, and modern-day legend. Doug was the inspiration for Edward Abbey's character George Hayduke in The Monkey Wrench Gang.
After serving in the Vietnam War, Peacock spent years alone in the Wyoming and Montana wilderness observing grizzly bears. His time in the wild changed the course of his life. With the protection of Yellowstone grizzlies now under threat, Peacock reflects on the importance of habitat and why he continues to fight for wild causes. Grizzly Country makes us think critically about the relationship between humans and nature. As Doug puts it, "without our arrogance and firearms and dominion, we're just another flavor of meat."
Aside from Adam's Packing Tools Instructional Video, this film might be the most poignant, beautiful piece of content that Peak Design has ever had a hand in. We funded the production of Grizzly Country as a part of our 1% For The Planet membership. Advocacy projects like this would not be possible without the foundation of support our Kickstarter backers provide. If you're reading this, you also had a hand in this film. And if that makes you feel good, we'd love it if you shared Grizzly Country (grizzlycountryfilm.com) with the world.
AND NOW FOR A BIG OL' DUFFEL UPDATE
Right before Thanksgiving, we shared the latest and greatest Duffel and Duffelpack prototypes (see Update #20). We then surveyed y'all to get some final input as we hit the home-stretch of design. 1287 backers responded. Here's an update—not only on what we learned—but on how we've incorporated those insights into our latest round of prototypes.
The 35L Duffel wins the popularity contest.
It's not a popularity contest (as our moms would remind us), but there are considerably more folks interested in the Duffel than the Duffelpack. 93% of respondents had ordered or expressed interest in ordering the Duffel, whereas 62% of respondents said the same about the Duffelpack.
This makes plenty of sense to us: the Duffel is a more classic style of bag and it's at a lower price point. Plus, most respondents already own our 45L Travel Backpack, and the 65L Duffelpack has a little more functional overlap with that product.
You plan to use the Duffel + Duffelpack with Packing Tools.
So, we have continued to hone the size/shape of these bags to perfectly fit our Camera Cubes and Packing cubes. That said, not everybody plans to use these bags with our cubes, and these bags most certainly work just as well without 'em.
Moreover, about half of respondents plan to use the Duffel + Duffelpack with photo gear, and half don't. So, like every other bag in our Everyday and Travel Lines, these duffels are designed to filled to the brim with photo gear, or with anything else.
You're happy with the sizes of these 2 bags.
So, we're sticking with these sizes:
Duffel: 35L volume, fits 3 units of Packing/Camera Cubes, max carry-on size.
Duffelpack: 65L max volume, fits 4 units of Packing/Camera Cubes, check-in size.
For the Duffel, side shoulder carry and hand carry are heavily preferred to cross-body sling carry.
So, we're optimizing for those two carry styles for the Duffel.
You're stoked about backpack-style carry for the Duffel.
So, we're pursuing backpack-style carry aggressively. We've done 2 rounds of prototypes on the hand-carry straps to solve for a backpack carry scenario. We're going to give it our best shot, being careful not to compromise other more important Duffel functionality.
Also, we just wanna take a second and give it up for Hyden, our model-slash-intern. What can't this savvy, Boosted-Board-riding, expense-report-auditing post-millennial do?!
And while we're giving out well-deserved props, let's here it for Sean from our Flagship Store team. Sean is mastermind behind the lens who took all these shots. His most famous work, however, is from our Flagship Store promotional video.
Ok, back to biz.
You liked both external pocket styles we developed for the Duffel.
If you recall from Update #20, we were developing 2 different styles of external pockets on the Duffel: straight zip (clean, classic styling), and trapezoidal zip (better access and more volume). Respondents clearly liked both styles, and wanted the benefits of both. So, we evolved the Duffel to incorporate both pocket styles on each side, for a total of 4 external pockets.
We also evolved the external pockets on the Duffelpack, making them easier to access and more voluminous. The Duffelpack's external pockets (1 on each side) can fit a full-size water bottle now.
You think a few internal pockets would be nice on both bags.
So, we're incorporating 2 internal pockets inside both the Duffel and Duffelpack.
On the Duffelpack, most people want hip belts, some want sternum straps.
We had questions earlier regarding whether or not the hip belt and sternum strap were must-have features. The survey gave us valuable info: for many folks, they are. So, we've incorporated both into the Duffelpack. The padded hip belt—similar to that on the Travel Backpack 45L—will stow away with the shoulder straps. The sternum strap will be removable and stowable as well.
As far as materials go, you have a preference towards durability, reasonably balanced with lightweight.
The survey results were pretty clear here: you want a balance between lightweight and durable, erring on the side of durability. So, we went ahead and upped the denier of the fabric from the last samples, and did it without adding weight to the bag.
We're incorporating hand-carry handles into the Duffelpack's shoulder straps, because it looks and feels awesome.
You can get a good look at these handles if you scroll up 2 images. The more we use and abuse this bag, the more we like having these handles here. You may not use them all the time, but they're extremely handy (GET IT?!) when you're shuffling your gear around the home, airport, or hostel.
Duffelpack's has legendary strap stowage.
This is less of an insight from our survey and more of a shameless plug. We're real excited about how Duffelpack's strap stowage has come together:
We found a really nice way to resolve the zipper path on the Duffelpack.
If there's one thing we know about Peak Design Kickstarter backers, it's that they're 86% more likely than the average person to totally nerd out on zipper path resolution. So, this one's for you.
If you watched our most recent Duffel/Duffelpack Hangout you know that we've been doing a lot of brainstorming on how to give the Duffelpack superior accessibility with a simple, straight, easy-to-open zipper path.
Now, we're closing in on a solution that ticks all the boxes.
And that's where we are. We've got one more round of prototyping before we expect to have golden samples of the Duffel and Duffelpack. Once we do, we'll begin production.
As mentioned in our previous update, some of the details of these bags have taken a little longer than expected to dial in. Because of that, our estimated delivery date has slipped from April to May. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause folks, but we can assure you that the few extra weeks of waiting will be well worth it.
Questions? Thoughts? Let us know. This is the first time we've brought customers into our product development process at such an early stage, so we're eager to hear what's on your minds.
And finally, for all of you who are still reading this, hi Stu.
The PD Team