Day Pack Project

OK. This isn't quite an after hours project. It's for a class, an industrial design course for Textile Production Design: Mass Production. But I rarely get to work with fabric, let alone tactile materials, so this has been super fun for me and I've been getting way too into it.


Design a day pack that holds between 5 and 25 litres and must be a technical piece of gear for an aerobic activity such as trail running, hiking, cycling, snow sports, etc. The activity should dictate the size of the pack and will incorporate technical materials and construction methods. The aesthetic should be appropriate for the market and activity. The pack should include facility for hydration systems (reservoir and tube or water bottle) and must be ergonomic to fit the human body.

The class collectively chose 4 brands which we choose one to design for:

  • Patagonia

  • MakerLabs

  • Topo Designs

  • Y3

I chose to design a snowshoe day pack for Patagonia and started with these initial (rough) designs:

With refinement, and orographical drawings, I went with design 5. I wanted to keep it simple to reflect Patagonia's aesthetic of function over form and not to over design, especially because it's in my hands to execute this thing on a sewing machine.

Key components/details:

  • Front webbing with side release clips to hold snowshoes.

  • Top lid that angles downwards to help repel heavy precipitation.

  • Main zipper that runs around the pack for easy access into bag even if snowshoes are clipped in.

  • Zipper pocket in top lid for quick access to sunglasses, snacks, etc. This zipper is protected by a downwards facing flap to block rain/snow from getting in.

  • Mesh side pockets for water bottles, wet gear, magic carpet, etc.

  • Built in compartment inside the pack for a removable bivy pad - this pad also gives structure to the back of the bag.

  • Lumbar and waist straps which are both removable.

After prototyping my design out of cardboard and then translating that model onto fabric and a few days of sewing, I had a fully sewn prototype.

Feasibility study:

Thanks to my trusty (and very kind, too kind...) testers and classmates for the feedback/suggestions, I now have a long list of updates for my second version. Stay tuned!

#industrialdesign #patagonia #backpack #snowshoeing

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