The design of the Zephyr (the smaller Empire Builder) is being finalized as this post is written. We will post preview pictures of the Zephyr soon (we’d like to take a picture for you now, but Tom is continually sewing, tearing apart, and re-sewing the current prototype to get the details just right for upcoming production of the bag.) The Zephyr is expected enter production in March or early April, and will be available for pre-order around then, too.
As originally conceived, the Zephyr featured all of the same features and details as the Empire Builder. Fortuitously, while designing the Zephyr, Tom reworked that front pouch to look even better, especially when it’s full of your gear. Most importantly, the new front pouch design fixes the problem some of you have experienced of your Empire Builder: tipping over when there’s too much stuff in the front pocket. The new design actually adds stability to the briefcase, sort of like an outrigger on a canoe.