Invisible Backpack TWO 2020 (2.3)
Before we get into the TWO and its changes, we'd like to ask you for your help. We ran into a size dilemma with the laptop compartment. In short, we need to decide on its size and we want to double-check with you before we reach the point of no return. You can help by telling us what's your laptop's size here.
Did you do it? Yes? Thanks! Let's continue...
We spent the last two weeks talking about what you and we think makes for a great work bag and the direction we will take with this year's designs. But the time has come to put our money where our mouth is. Let me introduce you to the first update of the year:
Dom and I are not particularly flashy, and at first glance, neither is this update. But don't be fooled - this is the biggest change the Two has seen since 2017, if not the biggest.
Adding an extra pocket or changing its placement might seem trivial in terms of technical execution. But if you ever dabbled in any kind of production of physical products, you are probably already sitting there with a smile that says - "you have no idea". Indeed, when we were starting out, Dom and I had no idea of the amount of communication, let alone time, it takes to turn a sketch into a physical object. This is especially true for unique/untested designs, which involves a considerable amount of trial and error no matter how skilled the production crew is. But now, as I'm looking at this prototype, I can't help but feel excited.
First of all, we didn't Multipla(te) it. A sketch is not a bag and the way something looks on paper can look completely different in reality, and not in a good way. But after playing around with this prototype I'm loving the look and overall feel of it. Apart from being much more practical, the bottom front pocket adds a slight Japanese aura to the entire design. It might only be us that thinks that, even so, the design feels right and not at all like a Fiat Multipla. That in itself says something.
"One of the best things you can say about a bag, or any design, is that it just feels right. The way it looks, the way it acts, or the way it sounds. Everything, for the most part, seems to be where it needs to be and how it has to be. It doesn’t make you ask why is something there? You understand it and what it's all about, no explanation required."
Secondly, our production partner keeps on getting better. Bags are produced by people, not machines. If you care about quality, you need to care about the people. When we were starting out, we quickly realised that quality production takes experience, good rapport, and mutual respect. These things take time and are not built overnight. That's why all our bags are produced by the same manufacturing partner and have been from day one. I bring this up because this prototype is the best one I've ever seen and is a direct result of our decision to build trust and not shop around. Here's to our partner and our mutual journey of continuous improvement.
But as excited I might be about the look and production, I'm even more excited about using the updated TWO. Our main goal was to make it more "work friendly", which I think it definitely is. Here are the highlights:
Separate laptop compartment
The most important item in our bags will once again have the best seat in the house. We removed the separate laptop compartment and opted-in for an inner sleeve back in 2018 for two reasons: quality and size.
Usability and quality were a problem due to the old zipper placement, which we changed in this year's model.
The size issue, however, hasn't gone anywhere. The thing with side-access laptop compartments is that the size of the bag is dependant on the size of the laptop. If we want to carry a larger laptop, we need to be prepared to carry a slightly bigger bag. But how big of an issue is it really?
This year's survey showed that we wouldn't mind having slightly more room for all our stuff. Check. But let's not forget that bag size is measured not only by the amount of stuff we can fit inside but also by the way it looks when we wear it. We have a few tricks up our sleeves when it comes to minimizing a bag's visual footprint. After testing the prototype on our shorter friends things are looking good.
Even so, the laptop compartment size is crucial, and every centimeter (not to mention inch) counts. We want to make sure we get it right, which is why we created this laptop size poll. If you haven't done it yet, we would appreciate it if you did. Thanks!
By far the biggest and most noticeable change is the front kangaroo-type pouch. Gravity dictates that it's easier to drop things in than it is to slide them in, which is why we decided to work alongside it on this one. An additional benefit is that it's now possible to see the things inside the pocket, which was impossible with the earlier layout. This pocket alone takes the TWO to a new level of usability we think you will appreciate.
The main compartment has never been too kind to small items. Our reasoning was that there are plenty of pockets to choose from elsewhere on the bag. But the survey showed that we still want a bit more organizational options in the main compartment. We completely agree, which is why we added a separate zipper pocket to store smaller items, as well as, a document sleeve for all our business paper needs.
The last item on our highlight list is a never before done luggage pass-through for a more pleasant and classy business trip. I know, it's horizontal. In the final version, we intend to swap it with a vertical one. Unless you think that a horizontal pass-through is better? Let us know in the comments below!
The next step
This is still a prototype and there are still certain details that need to be ironed out and improved before we can move on to production. But we're close, very close. In other news, we are working on multiple prototypes right now and expect to bring a completely new bag that will replace the current mini to next week's show and tell!
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.← BACK TO THE PROCESS