Behind the Launch & Design of the Large Series 2 Expandable Knack Pack
Knackpackers put our designs to the test in the real world every single day, and every bit of their valuable insight informs the look and function of our new products. As it turns out, we’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback about the Medium Series 2 ever since its launch - and some Knackpackers have wanted to know if we’d ever make a larger version of the same bag.
After 11 months of development, we finally have a prototype for the Large Series 2 Knack Pack. But as a small company with limited resources, it’s a big deal for us to make a new product.
The Large Series 2 Expandable Backpack - It's up to the Knackpackers
Before we put energy into launching the Large Series 2, we need enough Knackpacker feedback to know that our community really wants this bag. So after using Knackpacker feedback in the design process, we’re also letting Knackpackers decide whether we place a production order for the Large Series 2.
How does it work? If we get 100 reservations for the Large Series 2 by August 8th, we’ll launch this awesome new bag - and if we don’t, we’ll fully refund the reservation. Naturally, we hope our community is as excited about this bag as we are - so we’ve made the reservation price nearly 25% lower than the regular price of the bag.
This week, we’re sharing what went into developing the Large S2, and how community comments and insights influenced the design.
How Knackpacker feedback has helped us design the Large S2
We’re always listening to our community, we’ve heard some resounding opinions from Knackpackers that have helped guide our design of the Large S2 prototype.
Knackpackers love a minimalist aesthetic
We've made sure all of our Knack Packs have a professional appearance. But the Series 2 is super streamlined, because we put the organizational pockets inside the bag. This look is really popular with some Knackpackers:
“The Knack Pack Series 2 is a magnificent, convertible, multi-sized, professional travel pack for One Bag Life. Picture the nicest Swiss-army knife you can imagine: flexible, practical, but damn good looking.” - Michael L. about his Medium Series 2
“I have the Series 2 in Gray. I love the clean, contemporary design and material quality.” - Ken M. about his Medium Series 2
Of course, we agree that the S2 is a handsome backpack. It’s sleek - even when fully packed - and never looks bulky.
Based on the enthusiasm around the look of the Medium Series 2, we realize that a Large Series 2 will satisfy Knackpackers who love the S2 design, but want to carry more. Business travelers that often need to pack for 3-4 nights will be able to travel with Just One Bag, and still carry their favorite looking backpack to a business meeting.
Some Knackpackers want more room for their stuff
While the expandable travel compartment in the Medium Series 2 creates more than enough room for most people on a given day, some Knackpackers simply require more carrying capacity. And because Knack’s also a travel bag, we recognize the value in offering another style of a Large Knack Pack.
The Large Series 2 Expandable Backpack will have
- 30 Liters of room when unexpanded
- 46 Liters of room when expanded.
In a recent blog post, we wrote about how some Knackpackers can easily get by with a 13” laptop or smaller. But some people need a larger screen. The Medium Series 2 Knack has a 15” laptop pocket, but after so many positive comments regarding the 17” laptop pocket on the Large Series 1, we wanted to put the same size pocket in the Large S2.
“I was looking for a bag that could hold my large laptop and peripherals. This backpack succeeds in doing all that.” - Dan F. about his Large Series 1.
The Large Series 2 Knack Pack will have a 17”, side-access zippered laptop pocket. So those with big laptops can still live a One Bag Life.
Knackpackers like a lightweight backpack
Knackpackers know that living a One Bag Life sometimes requires that you carry a lot in your bag. The lighter the backpack, the more weight you can fill it with - so we spent a lot of time making our Knackpacks as strong but as lightweight as possible.
“The bag is very lightweight, especially when you consider the capacity.” - C.G. about the Series 1
“All in all, it’s an amazing bag. It’s also very lightweight yet durable and sturdy.” - Mark E. about the Medium S1
In fact, the Large Series 1 weighs only 3.4 pounds, or a little more than 3 grande coffees. The majority of 46 liter backpacks are too heavy to be used as everyday carry bags.
Our final S2 design weighs only 2 pounds 9 ounces - which is about 1-2 pounds lighter than the travel-only backpacks of competitors.
A 17" laptop backpack with YKK Zipper
We use YKK zippers in all of our Knack Packs because, well, they're undoubtedly the best zippers on the market. They are extremely reliable, and actually get more lubricated over time, unlike other zipper brands which tend to lose their coating and get stuck.
Challenges in designing the Large Series 2
Designing the Large Series 2 wasn’t as simple as taking the Medium Series 2 and making it bigger. It will have taken over 11 months from conceptualizing this bag to the final delivery, and we’ve spent six of those months prototyping to come up with the design.
The challenge in creating a large everyday carry backpack comes down to two factors - the weight and the proportion of the bag.
As we mentioned before, most large backpacks are too heavy to be used every day. While a 4 pound, 50 liter backpack might be acceptable for hiking, it wouldn’t be comfortable to take to the office. We make our large backpacks light enough that they’re comfortable without a bunch of support straps - though we did add a removable sternum strap, just in case.
To make the Large Series 2 so lightweight, we had to change a few materials. In the Large S2, we’ve replaced leather and PVC trim panels in favor of a super durable nylon. With this new material, the bag has the same professional look, but better wear characteristics - so you don’t have to worry about scruffing up the bottom panel on the airplane floor.
We wanted the Large S2 to have the same sleek and slim profile as the Medium S2, but sizing up in the same proportions would create a bag that’s visually unbalanced. So, we had to experiment with various body panel ratios until we finally found the one that’s attractive, and extremely comfortable.
But another challenge presented itself in adding the 17” laptop pocket. Lots of Knackpackers are frequent fliers, and adding a compartment for such a large laptop could easily make the bag too big to carry onto US airplanes. So with some experimentation, we finally found a solution - the Large Series 2 can easily fit a 17” laptop and be carried onto an airplane.
The final result
In spite of the challenges, we couldn’t be happier with the design of the Large Series 2. It’s lightweight, visually stunning, and allows you to fill up a whopping 46 liters while still looking like a professional.
With a 17” laptop pocket, room for 3-4 days of outfits, and the same thoughtful organizational pockets as the Medium Series 2, we think this bag is going to be a hit. But of course, we still need to get 100 Large Series 2 reservations before we can launch.
Could you use a Large Series 2 Knack Pack? Reserve yours and follow the launch progress on this page.
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Laptop & Travel Backpack In One Bag