When we decided to reimagine our classic messenger — our original gangsta, beloved work horse, our bread and butter — we turned to you. Your stories and ideas are always surprising and always push us to think differently about our product, process, and what is possible.
So first we asked you to show us your messengers. We wanted to see what 25 years of messenger heritage looks like. How have our bags aged over time? What is working? What is not working? What materials work best? Is anyone still carrying a Scumbag from 1989?
Hundreds of photos streamed in (see the greatest hits here).
Seeing bags from different vintages — 1993, 1997, 2001, 2009 — quickly made us aware of two things. One, CORDURA nylon ages really well and two, our cam buckle has changed dramatically over time.
On CORDURA: Used for Timbuk2′s launch in 1989, CORDURA is an outrageously durable nylon coated with polyurethane for water resistance. Significantly lighter than ballistic nylon, CORDURA has a clean, matte finish and exceptional abrasion and tear-strength, which means it will last a really (really) long time. In a head-to-head comparison with the 16800 Ballistic Nylon we’ve used for the last decade, we discovered that the latest CORDURA has to offer really is superior to Ballistic (see below). So we made the switch. Now our ready-made classic messenger and our custom messenger are available in a rainbow of CORDURA. We’re really happy with its look and performance and think you will be too.
On the Cam Buckle: Designed for speed and ease of use, our cam buckle has seen half a dozen iterations. But modern times call for modern measures, so we decided to reinvent the cam buckle once again. Our senior designer Bopanna is secretly more of an engineer than a designer, and he found a way to make the cam easier smaller, lighter, stronger, to use with one hand, and perhaps most importantly, intolerant of excess webbing (i.e. no more webbing loop dangling behind you).
Next we dove deep into the photos you’ve shared on Whatsinyourbag.com to better understand what you carry and how that has changed over time. And guess what? What we carry has changed! Flip phones, CDs, and super-sized laptops aren’t so hip anymore.
So we arrived at a simplified, more flexible organization solution fewer, larger pockets — phones are back to Zack Morris size these days — distributed throughout the bag for a balance carry.
Finally, we turned to Facebook to ask for super specific feedback and ideas on how we could improve our Classic Messenger. We had 72 ideas on how we’d improve it, but we wanted to know how you’d improve it. So on September 26, 2012, we posted this to Facebook:
58 Likes, and 3 shares later, we’d arrived at the most-requested features we built into our new Classic Messenger. Comments that actually drove features include:
But the best, most frequent suggestions were keepers. We also tossed in a few of the features we’d been dying for like a more refined, modern look through our updated branding and hidden SR buckles. We’re confident this is the best messenger we could make and we’re really proud we made it together. Thank you for the inspiration and for sharing your always-better-than-expected and watch-out-cause-we’ll-use-them ideas.