March 28, 2016
As I get settled into the new studio setup and life in general down here in California, one of the first things on my to-do list was to make a batch of waxed tan and black gridwax Excursions. We'd been out of stock on these for a minute so I figured it'd be a good way to break the studio in.
There were a few changes I wanted to incorporate into the new batch which were all very subtle in appearance, but ended up being a huge design/engineering task (at least for my feeble brain). First off, I really liked the zipper integrating into the seam a la the unlined Olive version we did. I wanted to keep that, but I also wanted to line it, as the waxed tan doesn't have a lot of structure on it's own. Somewhere down the line, I got the idea of folding the fabric over at the top of the pack, essentially doubling it over and self-lining. I got sorta stuck on that so the challenge ended up being figuring out how to incorporate both those elements. I ended up on a pretty complicated and whacky construction but it definitely worked out.
I've been seeing awesome pictures of peoples' Excursion being well-used and worn in, but one thing I noticed was that there seemed to be excessive stretch/stress on the point where the strap met the front panel. Makes sense, as essentially all the weight is hanging off that point. Another challenge was figuring out how to reinforce that point, but without sacrificing the super plain aesthetic of the bag, as I didn't want to add any extra visible stitching. The solution was to stitch in webbing to the lining side that spans the length of the strap to the bottom seam, then tag the strap into that. Now the stress should be distributed out along the webbing (which is much stronger and less prone to stretch than the fabric) making it stronger, and also eliminates excess stretch.
Another big (but subtle) change was the shape of the bottom. The original pack had a straight circular bottom which in theory is rad, but made the pack somewhat unergonomic; the pack would sit off your back slightly. I played with a couple different shapes, but ultimately landed on somewhat of an elongated "D" shape. The pack sits snug against your back now and feels much more secure.
Lastly, I had an awkward amount of fabric left after cutting these so I decided to use the pieces as an internal pocket for keys, phone, etc. I find that nine times out of ten, I'll go for the zipper opening so I made it accessible from the zipper opening, rather than the top. Should come in handy.
I'm not sure if I made the construction of the pack harder on myself but all in all, I'm pretty stoked on this new iteration.
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