To introduce the Colfax Design Works Recon Pack, RideApart's Laura Llovet interviews the creator, Adam Shock.
Packing can be tedious, especially if you're a motorcycle rider. You need to remember not only what to pack, but you also need to make sure you find a backpack/luggage that can carry all of your belongings.
When it comes to my day-to-day moto commute, I usually pack shoes, a laptop, workout clothes, and my lunch. All of this needs to somehow fit in my backpack and make it to work. If I have to bring something extra, that's when things get tricky. At times, something gets sacrificed to make it all fit, and it's frustrating to keep organized this way.
Have any of these things ever happened to you?: Have you ever tried to stuff something in a bag only to have the zipper break or the backpack rip? (I know I have.) Have you ever stuffed an object in a backpack and suffer said object stabbing you in the back of your ribs during your hour long commute? (Yup.) Were your shoulders fatigued after that hour long ride due to how heavy your backpack was? (Totally!)
A Possible Cure for Your Packing Pains
Well, there's some good news fellow riders. Someone decided that enough was enough and created a backpack to solve a lot of packing problems. You see, Adam Shock was tired of not finding the perfect pack to suit his everyday moto commuting needs. Most bags follow what Adam calls a "series of tombstone shaped zippered pockets, from larger to smaller." As a result, common backpacks limit what and how much you can carry with you.
Adam created Colfax Design Works with the main product being the Recon Pack. The Recon is different from the traditional backpack as it has four main compartments that differ in shape and size. The larger main roll top pocket is great for storing your jacket while not riding. (The roll top also allows for expansion as needed.) There's a separated lower pocket that is perfect for an extra pair of shoes or extra visor, and the dedicated documents sleeve is ideal to store work related items like a laptop or paperwork.
Lastly, the Recon has a hanging top pocket for items you need easy access to. As Adam explained to me, "this simple idea of varying the pockets' size and configuration packing more intuitive. You place the size of the object in the corresponding pocket."
One of the Recon's main claims to fame is that its "durability is unmatched to what's out there in the market," while still being extremely lightweight for its size (12” W x 20 ½” H x 8” D) and load capacity (30 liters). It utilizes an advanced abrasion-resistant weatherproof technical VX fabric for its outer shell, paired with durable military grade components. The pack’s centralized suspension system is better suited to not only help with heavy load dispersion, but also allow for greater adjustments and better ergonomics to reduce rider fatigue.
In my opinion, the key component will be the pack’s ability to adapt and evolve with its user over time by allowing for different modular attachments to be made to the pack. Adam explained that this helps to eliminate the need for different backpacks to suit different needs. The Recon pack is the foundation to build out your perfect riding pack and it's also a great backpack to carry around while not riding too.
Adam also mentioned that the different modular attachments will be released soon and will include a removable padded waist belt, a wet/dry insert, as well as different sized external pockets for additional storage.
The Interview with Adam Shock
I had the opportunity to ask Adam Shock a few questions about his newly developed product. Before jumping into the interview, I have to say that I think it's awesome when a rider has the desire to create something innovative for both the sport/hobby and for fellow riders. I'm honored I was able to communicate with him in regards to the Recon and have mad respect for him. Thanks for creating something from a rider for riders.
So, without further ado, here's the interview with Colfax Design Works founder, Adam Shock:
LL: What exactly compelled you to create these bags (walk me through the though process)? What is the perfect pack?
AS: I was compelled to create these bags for a several reasons. First and foremost, I was compelled to create a better option due to my frustration from a lack of innovation focused towards commuting a motorcyclist. Most bags share the same formula or follow a standardized format. I felt compelled to question that standardized format and produce a product that could help you commute better.
Secondly, was to create a product relevant to solving my needs by answering a couple questions: What do I carry with me on a daily basis? How can I haul all my daily essentials in a more efficient way? And how can I haul it with me in a more comfortable way while commuting on my motorcycle? This circled back to the original reason, as the standard format pack just did not solve any of these questions.
Lastly was to create something that could evolve with me over time. I found myself having a number of bags that fit different purposes. It seemed wasteful to me not to have one bag that allowed me to adapt my pack to suit my different needs.
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LL: Have you created something that is one-of-a-kind? Essentially, is this something that you can't find anywhere on the market (or something similar)?
AS: I’ve worked as a product designer now for almost nine years now, designing and developing backpack, luggage, and other soft goods for some great brands. The process was not new to me—creating a backpack—but to push myself to create something like this was truly new. Another thing that was new to me was trying making it in the USA. My whole career I’ve used manufacturers overseas, but wanted to be part of the movement to help keep manufacturing alive in the USA.
LL: How long has this whole process taken (from idea to execution)?
AS: Short answer is from when I first felt compelled to come up with a better option, to launching with my first small batch bags was about two years. It went from a frustration, to some questions, to a list of ideas, to researching, to composing idea boards, sketching, drafting, sourcing materials, developing countless prototypes, and then working with manufactures on their production. That was the first year and half. The last six months have been working on handling the business side with the website and marketing collateral. The last two years have been challenging but also the most fulfilling with finally having the bags out there helping people commute better.
LL: Who would (what type of rider) would most benefit using this bag?
AS: I hope any rider would benefit from using the Recon Pack but definitely motorcycle commuters would benefit from it with its versatility. Also our two wheeled bicyclist brethren would benefit as well. The features and benefits of the bags transcend that of riding.
LL: What’s the feedback been like?
The feedback has been great and a lot of people are excited to see this type of product being made and made right here in the USA too. Everyone’s been very supportive and I cannot thank them enough for their support and feedback. Already sold through most of the first small batch of bags and about to make another batch of everything.
LL: What’s Colfax Design Works’ long time goal? Where would you like to see this product in the near future?
AS: My long-term goals are pretty simple. Continue to push what is possible for our products and help people with their daily commute to their global travels. In the near future, expect to see all the Recon Pack’s attachments to be released as well some other really exciting projects in the works.
At the time of writing, Colfax Design Works recently sold out of their current inventory so they are taking preorders at a nice discounted rate of $235 instead of the usual $285. Check back here on RideApart for a full review on the Colfax Design Works Recon pack soon.