March 08, 2017
The Venture. It's a pack. A relatively simple one at that—but I tend to design from a very personal standpoint and some of the functions/details end up being somewhat specific. Of course, I try to keep things generally functional all around, but I thought it'd be good to outline some things and give some insight into the design for all you beautiful Venture-carrying folk out there.
The roll is specifically designed so that it rolls nice and neat, somewhat tucking into the profile of the bag (not spilling over). This may seem like a small deal, but it was one of the main points that I wanted to address in the design—enough that I built in some features to encourage it to roll cleanly.
The sides of the roll are meant to fold inward, forming a sort of gusset, so that it rolls nice and tidy without the sides spilling out. There's actually webbing inserted into the hem that stop short at the sides, giving the front and back more rigidity and informing a fold point. The LT's go a bit further with the addition of a tack stitch to help initiate the fold-in.
See that stitch running across the top of the pack? That's meant to create a subtle lip for the roll to sit into, further tidying up the look.
The Mag Pocket
The front pocket of the Venture actually came from a very specific need - a place to stash mail (on the island, our mailbox was located at the bottom of a gravel driveway, a three minute walk from our house), doubling as a stash pocket for books and magazines while traveling (especially air travel). I'd been using a Filson briefcase for a while which has open pockets across the front and back, and I found it super useful to have a pocket to stash random things (the things mentioned above in particular) without having to open up the bag.
The OG Venture had a snap button closure that we added only to keep the pocket from gaping open. I decided to add a zip closure on the LT versions to boost the pocket's functionality, but I really wanted to maintain it's original intent, so the zip is sewn in in a somewhat unorthodox fashion—staying hidden, and keeping the DNA and function of the magazine stash pocket.
Water Bottle Pocket
Personally, I only put a water bottle in this pocket when I need to access it time and time again. If there's room for it within the pack, it goes in there. I usually end up using the pocket for little things like phone, glasses, etc. Of course, there's times when it's handy to have a water bottle instantly accessible, which is why we added the pocket in the first place.
The webbing that runs across the back is intentionally sewn in a way that you can stick your finger underneath the snap to snap the roll closed. This way, you're not having to push against the bag to engage the snap. The OG Venture has several more snaps, and all these will have similar finger tabs as well.
Ah, the pack. Done right, it keeps your backpack comfortable, balanced, and looking good. Done wrong, well...it's all wrong. Here's how I tend to do it: pack from the bottom up, placing the heavier (or non-fragile) items on the bottom, keeping the weight and space balanced as you move up. Place things strategically, with the things you'll need to get to more frequently near the zipper (or top). It may seem like a lot of strategizing just to throw things in your backpack, but it becomes second nature after some practice.
That about covers it. You've spent your hard earned money (thank you!) on a (in my opinion) pretty sweet backpack, hopefully these insights will help keep it functioning and looking it's best.
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