Booq Designer Talks With Carryology

October 28th, 2014 in In The Media, Interviews, Meet The DesignersNo Comments

Booq Designer Talks With Carryology

Long time Rushfaster brand, Booq creates carry products that offer an incredible amount of convenience for the tech savvy individual.

Best known for their ever evolving design initiative, Booq offer products that go so much further than your everyday bag. With a selection of styles offering multiple features that assist with your everyday needs such as: laptop compartments, stationary storage, iPad compartments and much more, Booq is a brand that assists in helping you carry your gear in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Melbourne carry collective and friends of Rushfaster, Carryology caught up recently with Booq’s Senior Product Designer, Kema Subsomboon to talk about bags, design and getting ideas in the shower.

Check it out below.

Booq Cobra Courier

Are there any key insights that guide your stuff? What do you know that most others haven’t realised?

Designing bags requires a harmonious blend between human and functional elements. Having a deep understanding of how people use their bags and the importance of functionality ensures that we consistently create great products. It’s a learning process in which we discover more about ourselves and our audience. Over the past twelve years we have experienced all kinds of successes and failures. Utilising this wealth of knowledge helps us improve our designs with every new project we tackle.

What are your main channels for your creative inspiration?

I like to pay attention to objects around me, regardless of what they are, and make note of interesting designs or materials. For example, I draw a lot of inspiration from the material combinations in luxury car interiors. Car seats are essentially bags tailored to fit foam inside. The interior design industry is another source for my inspiration. They utilise multiple coloured materials to create different moods inside buildings, similar to picking fabrics and colours for a bag.

Where is your most creative space and why?

I enjoy working in a quiet place without distractions. Focus is key. For me that can be at my desk, at a park, the library, etc.

Booq Designer Talks With Carryology

Any unusual places or circumstances where you got an idea for a new innovation in carry?

Ideas are constantly popping into my head. Inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere. It’s a little bit of a Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. While working at booq I completely immerse myself into a bag-centric mindset. Wherever I go I unconsciously find myself looking at people’s bags and watching how they interact with them. There’s always room for improvements and the problem-solver in me never stops working.

Do you get a lot of ideas in the shower or the corner market foraging for organic dragon fruit?

I actually get a lot of ideas in the shower, but they are not all bag related.

Who do you look to in the bags world? Who does rad stuff (brands or designers)?

Côte & Ciel, cool stuff.

Are there any trends or things folk do in carry that drive you nuts?

Yeah, people who wear their shoulder pad upside down or when the pad ends up somewhere that is not where it’s supposed to be.

Booq Cobra Courier

What materials do you most like to work with? Are there any new materials you’re experimenting with? Anything that will break the time-space continuum?

I love working with any kind of fabric. At Booq we traditionally use lots of nylon because of its durable characteristics. However, recently we have deviated slightly by trying to incorporate more fashion-forward materials. Natural fibres have great appeal but finding a blend that doesn’t compromise durability can be very challenging. We’ve found such a balance in Bionic fabric which we use on a few of our new Cobra bags. The fabric incorporates an advanced technology utilising a hybrid of recycled PET and cotton. Sustainable, durable, and aesthetically refreshing. We hope to find more projects to fold this fabric into soon.

There are high-performance, high-end fabrics from Switzerland that I would like to use eventually. They are considered the unicorns of fabric and don’t come cheap. Maybe one day we’ll find an appropriate project to test them out on.

What products are you most proud of?

We are proud of every bag we designed regardless of what our customer thinks. If I have to pick one bag it would be Cobra Pack (CPK).

Cobra Pack

Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind them and their development?

The first generation CPK was great. All of us loved it and could barely find anything worth changing. But here’s the challenge: How do we make an already great bag even greater? After many discussions we decided to maintain the bag’s original integrity with minor adjustments for better results. We focused our efforts on reducing the weight while maintaining the overall protective functionality. We strategically modified, removed and replaced protective components and in the end we reduced the weight by about 20%. Aside from the weight, we simplified the bag and added genuine leather trims to enhance the experience of an ultra-premium laptop bag. CPK is definitely a unique, no-nonsense, highly-protective luxury backpack that we’re very proud of.

Booq Cobra Pack

How do you test your product? What do you look for when testing? How many prototypes do you go through before release?

First we do shear, abrasion, and water-resistance testing on all of our fabrics. This helps us better understand what we’re working with, and how to use it effectively on a particular product. Second we wear our prototypes on a daily basis to test the functionality. Only after everyday use can we really get quality feedback and find areas to improve, which we may not have considered before. When all is said and done, we probably go through four to five prototypes, making sure the ergonomics, functionality and durability are up to Booq’s standard before releasing it to the public.

Do you have any burning goals or desires for your career? Are there things you really want to achieve?

I’m still in the process of finding out what I want to achieve. Aren’t we all? I know it’s cliché, but I truly enjoy a journey and process more than actually reaching a destination. I’m afraid if I ever reach my goal I’d be too static and bored.

Do you have any favourite tips or habits for carrying better, either EDC or when traveling?

Carrying is an intimate topic. It’s specific to each person. Know what you are carrying and find the best fit for it and yourself. No other way around it.

Booq Cobra iPad Sling

You’ve been in the game for a bit of time now. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about design and secondly about the carry industry?

Designing bags is like designing everything else. Understanding human needs and addressing pain points are only half of the story. The other half is about understanding the fabric and construction so you can get the results you want.

One great tip about working with leather?

Leather is great material, but it is tough to work with. You need to take care of it and clean it, condition it, and appreciate it. You also need to know that it doesn’t come in square sheets.

What carry product (of your own creation, or anyone else’s if you feel like being generous) do you enjoy the most? What makes it enjoyable?

One of the perks of working for a bag company is that I can carry any Booq bag I like depending on my mood. I really do like all of them, though. As I mentioned before, they are all my babies. I even carry the discontinued relics so they don’t feel left out.

Can we see a pocket dump?

Sure thing.

Booq Designer Talks With Carryology

While you’ve got the camera out, would you mind taking a photo of your workspace, and perhaps identifying any tools or personal items that help you most in your creations? Specific drafting pencils or a lucky charm or an explanation of why your workspace is so tidy and ours is…something not describable using the terms of polite conversation?

Nothing special really. I draw with anything I can get my hands on. Blank paper and a pen are usually the best pairing for creativity. But if you want to get specific, I am currently using a rotring drafting mechanical pencil with a 0.5mm HB lead. It’s constantly sharp, which is very satisfying.

Booq Designer Talks With Carryology

 

Booq Designer Talks With Carryology

What bags do you run with daily?

I prefer not to run with bags; it weighs me down, and it’s not safe. Oh, you mean what I usually carry on a daily basis? I prefer to use either a small camera bag or one from the myriad laptop bags in the office; it really depends on my mood and what I need to carry.

Are there any materials you used to like, but now find impractical for your creations?

Moulded materials for bag panels – I think of it as a corner-cutting way to make bags look good. I learned to embrace how fabrics behave and utilise that knowledge during the design and development process. The end result has a more natural look, which I think works better as a Booq bag.

What wouldn’t the layperson know is essential to a good carry product? We all tend to appreciate convenient pockets, for example, but is there anything that we wouldn’t notice about an excellent carry product off-hand but a master of Carryology always would?

– The details a designer puts into a bag. Every part was consciously selected and belongs there for a reason.

– Durability, which is not always visible (zipper, fabric, components)

– Bag weight

– Protective features (i.e. water resistance, compartment padding, zombie-proof, etc.)

– Ergonomics – straps (angles, comfort), handles

– Warranty

– Terralinq (booq’s lost and found system)

Booq Cobra Brief Laptop Bag

If you weren’t making carry products, what would you likely be doing for a profession? Or do you have another passion that your carry creations help you enjoy more fully?

Any job that involves developments, access to a lot of materials, and the ability to try new things.

What would you tell a younger version of yourself (say five years ago) taking into account the experience/wisdom that present-day you has acquired?

You are doing alright if your current work looks better than what you did in the past.

booq12

What’s next for Booq?

If I told you I’d have to kill you. Just kidding. What I can tell you is that we want to continue to learn about the people we design for and meet their needs in the most Booq way possible. What they carry will continue to change, but rest assured that they will always need great bags to carry with them, and we’ll be there ready for them.

Is there anything you’d like to talk about that I’ve missed?

I would like to thank you, Carryology, for this opportunity. I can’t believe I’ll be on your site, I’m so excited. You guys do awesome stuff, seriously.

Booq Cobra Brief Laptop Bag

You can view our complete range of Booq products at Rushfaster now.

Welcome, Clean Bottle

October 28th, 2014 in Product NewsNo Comments

Clean Bottle

Californian eco-friendly bottle brand, Clean Bottle is our newest addition to the Rushfaster family and we couldn’t be more thrilled! Let us tell you why…

Clean Bottle’s ‘Square’ bottle is a revolutionary new take on the everyday water bottle. Featuring a dual access system where you can remove both the top and bottom of the bottle, Clean Bottle is proving to be one of the cleanest, most eco-friendly water bottle brands out there.

The initial idea for the Clean Bottle system came about when a group of friends were together on a bike ride. Upon taking a break from their daily ride, they noticed a water bottle that they had filled up earlier had grown a significant amount of mould inside the bottom of the bottle. With their packed water bottle now featuring an infestation of mould and strange smells, it was then that the idea to have a bottle that unscrewed at the top AND the bottom was born – introducing Clean Bottle.

Clean Bottle’s square design means it won’t roll away when dropped, while its dual access system assists in an easier clean, keeping your water bottle cleaner for longer, minimising usage of plastic bottles. With 10 percent of Clean Bottle’s profits going to eco and cycling friendly charities, it’s safe to say that the brand has their priorities in the right place when it comes to designing a beneficial, eco-friendly product.

You can shop the Clean Bottle Square bottle range in a variety of colours at Rushfaster now.

A Short Film By Topo Designs

October 23rd, 2014 in In The MediaNo Comments

Topo Designs

Colorado brand, Topo Designs recently released a beautifully shot short film directed, filmed and edited by artists, Matt Shaw and Ry and Drew Cox.

About an hour outside of Nashville, TN lies a gorgeous stretch of river winding through quiet woods and farmlands where thick fog and “river smoke” roll in before dawn, setting an eerily beautiful backdrop for hours of great fly fishing.
Matt and the Cox Brothers were itching to collaborate on a film and when Matt shared a photo he’d snapped while out fishing, they knew they had found the subject for their first collaboration. Up before the sun they headed off to wade into this otherworldly scene with fly rods and cameras in hand.

Check out the short film by Topo Designs below.

 

Bellroy Elements Pocket Wallet

October 13th, 2014 in Product NewsNo Comments

The Bellroy Elements Pocket Wallet is made to offer additional security against the weather, while maintaining a compact, bulk-free silhouette. 

Featuring a water-resistant zipper and leather exterior, The Bellroy Elements Pocket Wallet is built to last in the toughest of conditions. It may present itself as a compact, minimal design, but don’t let that fool you as the Bellroy Elements Pocket Wallet comes jam-packed with an array of useful features. Offering plenty of storage and organisational features, the Elements Pocket comes with an incredibly handy key and sim card slot, four main interior compartments and the ability to accommodate up to 15 cards. The Bellroy Elements Pocket Wallet will be there to protect your pocket contents every step of the way.

Already becoming a Rushfaster favourite, here’s a rundown on what makes the Bellroy Elements Pocket Wallet stand out:

  • It features Bellroy’s water resistant all-weather ‘Elements’ series leather.
  • It has an extremely durable and water-resistant zip to assist in weather protection.
  • There are four main internal compartments to accommodate cards, cash and coins.
  • It has an internal key stash to help eliminate carrying heavy sets of keys, minimising pocket bulk.
  • The key slot also doubles as a slot for your sim card – an incredibly handy feature when travelling.
  • Measuring in at 10.5 x 7.5cm, the Bellroy Elements Pocket Wallet serves as one of Bellroy’s most compact styles.
  • Bellroy back it with their 3 year warranty.

The Bellroy Elements range is the calm within the storm. Keeping out rain, snow, sand and grit, these wallets are designed for people that grab life by the horns. Each style has been crafted for those times when you’re on the move and need more protection for your pocket contents. That doesn’t mean they look like a weird travel belt, or zip-lock bag though. Bellroy’s signature approach keeps things sleek, slim and functional.

Bellroy Elements Pocket Wallet

Available now to purchase from Rushfaster, you can shop The Bellroy Elements Pocket Wallet in Black, Slate and Cognac.

JanSport Houston Backpack Review

October 8th, 2014 in Product ReviewsNo Comments

The JanSport Houston Backpack is a handsomely crafted bag designed for your everyday needs. Featuring an internal padded laptop compartment and tablet compartment, JanSport’s Houston Backpack offers a considerable amount of functionality topped off with an attractive heritage aesthetic. 

Since its inception in 1967, JanSport has remained a reliable and trustworthy, go-to brand. Their unwavering commitment to enduring style and uncompromised quality is evident throughout their impeccable range of products.

Our very own Rushfaster photo and video ninja, Ed Cheng recently wrote a great review outlining his experience with the JanSport Houston Backpack.

Thanks for the fantastic review, Ed. Your JanSport Houston Backpack is looking pretty fine! – The Rushfaster Team.

Jansport Houston Backpack

THE PACK

Working at Rushfaster, you slowly develop an eye for the best products out on the market. JanSport is well known as one of the original backpack brands. They’re known to be well made and use quality materials in all of their products.

Jansport Houston Backpack

The JanSport Houston backpack lives up to the brand’s name. The Houston comes in a wide range of colours and patterns; the pack featured here is the ‘Desert Beige’. Picking up the Houston, I find it to be quite light – considering the premium cotton canvas fabric that’s used for the bag. The premium faux leather bottom and trim details are a nice touch. I use the bag on campus and as a regular on-the-go backpack.

Jansport Houston Backpack

FEATURES

When you consider all the backpacks out there that have a similar look to the Houston, you’ll think of “simple, typical college backpack, carries books – does all you need it to do”. The backpack exhibits the same look and feel of a heritage campus backpack but you’ll find the Houston is very deceptive in its look. It features various pockets for easy access and to separate your various items: sunglasses, tissues, keys, snacks, things like that – just to keep you organized on-the-go.

Jansport Houston Backpack

The Houston’s 26L main compartment is quite spacious and features a padded sleeve for up to a 15” laptop, (I reckon it could fit a 17 laptop) and a nice tricot lined sleeve for your tablet. The zipper loops are a handy feature; makes it extra easy to get to my stuff in a rush. The Houston is pretty comfortable to wear; it’s fully padded and fully adjustable. Being a college student myself – the comfort helps on those longs days on campus with my laptop, textbooks and binder. Might seem like a small thing but it does make the difference.

Jansport Houston Backpack

CONS

Although the cotton canvas material is strong and durable, it’s not as waterproof as I’d like it to be – considering the things the gadgets I could be carrying in it. And although the premium leather bottom is a nice touch and extremely soft, it doesn’t have sufficient padding for my laptop. So when I put my bag down, I have to put a conscious effort to make sure I don’t impact my laptop in the process.

Jansport Houston Backpack

SUMMARY

The Houston is a fine backpack. Versatile, but ideal for the student. Simple, campus aesthetic, but packs a punch in feature practicality. If you like your bag to have that simple, college look but want it slightly pimped out in features and organisation – this is a bag for you.

Jansport Houston Backpack

You can find the JanSport Houston Backpack along with the  rest of our great JanSport range available at Rushfaster now.

Enjoy making videos and/or taking great photos? Want to review a bag on our blog? Contact us and we’ll send some info to help you on your way to writing the perfect review!