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7

First prototype - the ARK

· · 20 comments

First prototype - the ARK

· · 20 comments

In last week's show and tell we talked about the Mini's successor. As promised, this week we'll let you in on our plans for what's to be the biggest bag in our work collection's lineup. So without further ado, we give you the ARK.

We all have our aesthetic preferences and there are a million things that can determine whether we like how an object looks or not. But when it comes to bags, the one thing we always found fascinating and impactful, at least for us, is their shape. We have a triangle (One), then we have a square (Two), and then there's a circle (Carry-on). It might be just us, but each of these shapes has a different feel to them. We wanted to balance the work collection by adding a circle to the mix. This brings us the ARK.

The thing is, we wanted to call it Arc for obvious reasons but during a meeting with our producer, Dom noticed that somebody wrote it down as ARK. It looked great on paper so we decided to keep it. The fact that it works with the entire bigger bag premise is another plus. We don't want to get biblical, but we think even Noah would approve. So how big is it?

We have no idea. Exact measurements will be done once we finalize the design. But when compared to the current TWO (2.2) it's around 3-4 litres bigger. In human terms, it means that there's room for an extra sweater and t-shirt. It gives us that extra breathing room we needed. The best part? It does it without compromising on visual size.

We were surprised just how regular-sized it is. The ARK's shape utilizes space more efficiently, which gives us more room without asking too much in return. It doesn't feel big, it feels spacious. We love that about it. But as they say - it's not all about the size of the ARK, it's about the motion of the ocean. Here are the highlights:

Wide-access main compartment

More space equals more stuff. More stuff equals more time spent looking for the right stuff. This is especially true with a top-load design. It only lets us stack things on top of each other and makes it harder to find anything that's beneath the top layer. Luckily with the ARK we won't have this issue. It has a wide front-access point that offers much more flexibility. To drop things in, we just open it partially. When we're not sure where something is, we can open it all the way. What about accessing the things inside the main compartment when we're on the go? No problem. It's only a matter of sliding the zippers to either side of the bag. It's great. But don't take our word for it. Here are some comments you wrote promoting a wide access main compartment:

Rob

"Recently bought a fliptop laptop backpack whose design affords multiple modes of incremental access (open the top, partial clamshell). It works great <...>"

Marcelo

"<...> I also prefer clamshell like Robin says. Way easier to get things in and out. <...>"

Robin

"For me a bag needs to have a clamshell opening.<..>"

Comments from First Prototype - TWO post

Now having wide access is all well and good. But as you can see from the pictures there's not much else going on in there. We are thinking about adding 2 pockets in the front flap for smaller items. One pocket would be flat, the other, slightly protruding and with depth. Just to reiterate, these pockets would be found inside the main compartment. We want to know your thoughts on this. We don't want to overcrowd the main compartment but at the same time, we don't want to leave it super clean like it is right now. What do you think?

G-man pocket

A pocket that means business. Instead of a standalone laptop compartment, we went with something more versatile. It includes a laptop sleeve, a few drop-in pockets, and a zip pocket. We are not sure about the zip pocket though. Instead, we are thinking about doing a second sleeve that could be used for holding a tablet or papers, business papers.

Other outer pockets

Like most of our bags, the ARK has a secret bottle/umbrella pocket. Also, there's a top drop-in pocket similar to the one found in the TWO.

Luggage pass-through

No other bag deserves a luggage pass-through as much as the ARK. Its size and easy access make it a prime candidate for work travel. But unlike our other bags, we also want to include a side handle, which would serve a functional and a visual purpose. The functional purpose is obvious - easier handle-mounting. The visual purpose has to do with how the bag looks. Right now the ARK is very clean. We think it's too clean. The handle should help dial-down the American Psycho vibe. We want to take it from too clean to the right amount of clean.

This is what we have so far and we can't wait to see how the final version will turn out. The proportions are a bit off and then there is a list of other details that need to be adjusted. But regardless, it's something new and we're excited about it.

All in all, we think the ARK will be great and we can't wait to finalize the design!

Next steps

The stockpile of toilet paper is the COVID-19 reality we're all living in right now. As a preventative measure, the entire country is in quarantine mode right now. Everything relating to production has come to a temporary halt. This means that the process will go for "a bit" longer than expected. Fun! In the meantime, let's stay safe, wash our hands, and follow us on Instagram because we'll want your opinion on a particular design (not work related) pretty soon....

P.S. If you have some additional thoughts on the subject, you can always leave a comment, email us, or hit us up on Instagram. We’re all ears. You can also leave your email here if you'd like to be notified of any new post relating to our process.

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