April 02, 2021 3 min read
If you’ve ever seen the Sleep System, you know it is pretty beefy: 4 inches of the dreamiest temperature resilient memory foam atop of 3 inches of stable, durable drop stitch inflated base. It’s SO comfortable that many people have a hard time believing it is also transportable. The shocked look on customers faces when they realize that ALL of THAT fits into a messenger bag...
We agree, it does seem like a magic trick to the naked eye, but that’s what awesome product design can do! Here’s an unpack of the Sleep System’s messenger bag straight from our Mirona, our extremely talented designer who created it:
Coming Up With The Idea
A few of us at the studio were talking about pack-away sleep systems (and pack-away gear in general) and their associated pain points… stuff sacks that look great for merchandising but one can never get the gear back into again, gear that is bomber but comes with stowage that just feels cheap and not thought through. The conversation touched on the fact that most textile based gear stores in stuff sacks because they are simple and inexpensive. While this format works for some things like tent poles, for other products that have more volume and fabric, the use scenario is awkward; one rolls up an air mattress or tent and then holds it rolled up while gingerly trying to wedge it into the droopy often too small sack, that's fidgety and frustrating process.
If the product is larger, stuff sack stowage also often doesn’t have the right handles and straps to allow for easy carry. How often have we futilely grabbed at the taut nylon of an inflatable mattress, not getting enough purchase to successfully pull it out of the back of a car, then when it is finally set free the lack of handles makes one walk lopsidedly holding on to the cinch closure. We got dreamy talking about a bag that stays attached to the mattress, that one could just roll the sleep system into, cinch to prevent from expanding, flip the lid shut, sling over one's shoulder and be ready to go. Made of robust material. The small mock-up for the pop can was a proof of concept put together after that conversation before happy hour one day.
We wanted to balance robustness with low bulk so that one could feel as comfortable putting the bag in the back of a pickup truck as tucking it under the sleep system in a tent. DWR for a first layer of defense against dirt and moisture, robust woven for tear resistance, and PU backing for added moisture resistance and ruggedness.
It was a pretty seamless process. The core concept once identified stayed consistent, and we fine tuned details such as the position of the cinch buckles, the construction of the inner compression straps, the design of the pump stowage, via studio and factory prototypes, all to progressively improve ease of use.
The overarching goal for the bag was to make the experience of putting the Sleep System away as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Stowage and transport with no jagged edges. A smooth roll and unroll. Easy stowage of the pump. Easy carry. Easy on the eyes. The overall design, the execution of the details, the material and trim choices all worked towards this goal.