December 8, 2015
We got first round samples of the new Reckless 80/40 drybags last week. They look great. Really stoked to have some more sophisticated welded bags in our design arsenal. Looking forward to visiting this factory in person next week.
Reckless 80 Tail Bag
We’ve been working on a new R80 tail bag that works as a) a component in the Reckless harness, b) a standalone tail bag, c) a backpack for day-hiking/errands, and d) a carry-on for fly-to-ride trips when the rest of the R80 is checked as luggage. We made it a side opening roll-top, and added these lightweight, stashable mesh backpack straps for off-bike carry.
It’s really the perfect size for a backpack.
We wanted the top to be super low-profile so it fits inside the R80 harness, so we added a flat, water resistant top pocket with 4 lashdown points.
This bag is nearly done, we just need a little more length in the throat. You can see in the pic below that the roll-top isn’t quite long enough relative to the width. With that and a few other small tweaks, it should be ready to go.
Reckless 40 Tail Bag
The R40 tailbag is getting an upgrade too. Same as the R80, this one works as a separate tail bag without the R40 harness, or works as a small pannier topper as well. We’re looking for a way to add some simple but functional backpack straps.
It comes with 4 tie-down loops that stash in a little rear pocket when they’re not needed.
When the bag is separated from the R40 harness, the tie-downs loop through a bike frame or luggage rack and then back to the ladderlocks on the side of the bag.
This version has a little pocket on the front. It’s small, flat, and lacking volume. We’re calling it the ‘condom pocket’ Not crazy about the functionality, so we’re looking at some other options for this space.
Reckless Leg Bags
The new leg bags also look great. You can see how nice the welds are on the front panels.
They still have the rear stiffener and the handle, which are sewn to a welded rear panel.
We experimented with an air release valve, but it interferes with the harness and roll-top, and it’s not really necessary, so we’ll probably ditch it. Could be a handy thing on some other bags though. Maybe on a larger roll-top duffle.
We’re also experimenting with ways to add beavertails to drybags. At the moment, the leading idea is a removable beavertail with a map/document sleeve on one side and MOLLE webbing on the other. If you don’t need the MOLLE, run the beavertail with the map pocket facing up. If you want the MOLLE – say, for carrying fuel bottles or water – flip the beavertail and run it MOLLE-side up. the beavertail would connect with webbing straps that run through a series of daisy chains, which also work as tie-down loops or pass-throughs.
In these pics we’re using a standard kayak drybag with the map pocket from my old Touratech tank bag to illustrate. This same principal would apply to a roll-top duffle as well, with the beavertail connecting over the roll-top.
The beavertail would connect with 4 side-release buckles, so it can be removed entirely if it’s not needed. Possibly the beavertail could even be mounted somewhere else on the bike using the same straps and side release buckles.
On a traditional simple drybag shape, there’s some real estate available on the bottom of the bag as well (black circle in the pic below). We’re thinking this might be a cool spot for a little stash pocket. It’s easily accessible when the bag is horizontal on the bike, so a good spot to tuck garbage or other wet/dry stuff during the day. This space would not be available on the roll-top duffle, because that’s where the closure buckles live.
To get around the “flat welded drybag pocket” problem we’re looking at maybe a bellows, like in the pic below. It wouldn’t be waterproof, but would have some volume to it, making it a bit more functional.
For the beavertail map pocket we’re looking at possibly a waterproof closure like the one below (shown on an Outdoor Research ipad sleeve).
We’re also looking at options for backpack straps for the larger bags and shoulder straps on the smaller bags, as well as a the idea of a mesh pocket on the inside that holds a crushable wet/dry ‘shoe’ bag for dirty/mudy stuff, and some other things like that.
Please keep the drybag ideas coming! Andrew has been working on drawings and some high-level specs this week, and I leave for Asia Sunday.
Last week we got some pics of the molds for the new Backcountry pannier wedge/frame. They look kinda’ badass.
We’re stepping up our trade show display for the NYC show next weekend (and the rest of the shows this winter) with the addition of two fancy ipads (refurbished ebay purchases… $150 apiece) that display a rolling slideshow of pics. The idea is that, at shows, we run into a lot of people who have never seen the blog or advrider thread, so with the slideshows we can provide a little more context and history for Mosko. If you’ve posted any bike/riding/travel pics on our FB page keep an eye on the slideshow… they’re probably in there.
And we got some acrylic risers for the Reckless bags, which have been kind of challenging to display.
Lastly, we went through and issued all our factory and materials purchase orders for 2016. This time of year there’s a lot of money going out and not much coming in, because even though we are selling some stuff to the southern hemisphere, it doesn’t cover our monthly operating costs. Last winter was the same. We’re a seasonal business. Doing our best to be ok with that. It’s easy to see why so many moto companies start making snowmobile gear, and vice-versa.
If all goes well my next post will be from Asia. Still waiting on expedited visas, hope they get here in time. With this trip to China, then Vietnam right after, and then the Africa trip in January, I’ll be on the road for much of the winter.