January 31, 2022

Production & Design Notes: Le Petit Derriere (PPB)

Production & Design Notes: Le Petit Derriere (PPB)

What follows are production and design notes pulled from various meetings, our project management app, and our recollections. In some instances, we added to the notes to make them more descriptive of what we, in person, were discussing: folks appreciated our Luminary Pre-Production Batch, Synik Pre-Production Batch, and the Techonaut 30 and Techonaut 45 Pre-Production Batch notes but asked us to share more about design choices and considerations or explain more about aspects of the manufacturing process. We first experimented with this format for the Old School Carry-All; see our Production & Design notes: OSCA edition. Now, it’s the Le Petit Derriere's turn.

We share these notes in the hopes they give you a sense of what it’s like to be here on the factory floor and understand more about what goes into realizing the design of a pack like the LPD.

Le Petit Derriere PPB meeting notes ~ 

The Le Petite Derriere's (LPD) predecessor, the Le Grande Derriere (LGD) is a vintage reissue of a waist / sling / shoulder pack from the 90s. It has versatile functionality with its large main compartment, two different types of front pocket (flapped and zippered), and the option of a shoulder strap for cross-body carrying. We received a lot of positive feedback on the LGD, but some folks felt the large main compartment may be slightly too big for their body frames, so then the LPD went into the works.

The production team had finished their samples and were ready to show the rest of the crew the LPD! But we started off the PPB meeting with a bit of a technical issue - Tom and Nik were both offsite and needed to video call in, but the wi-fi on one end or maybe all ends was a little unstable. Combining that with trying to speak louder than the sounds of sewing machines at the factory, we had a bit of rocky start to the meeting.

Luckily, most of our technical issues sorted themselves out, and the rest of the meeting went very smoothly. (Perhaps, for the future though, we should figure out a better setup for video calls than having seven people gather around one laptop.) We compared LPD against the LGD. Most aspects of the build are the same, and they even look pretty similar at first glance, but the capacity of the LPD was significantly different at 60% of the LGD.

Given this is a smaller version of an existing bag, most of the changes requested by the production team were relatively minor. Lisa wanted notches for the fold on the back fabric and a drill hole to be added to the waist belt shell fabric to line up the webbing attachment. The drill hole will later be covered by the bartack. Fong requested notches for o-ring placements: two in the main pocket and one in each smaller front pocket. 

Then, we moved on to discussing the wings of the LPD. Lisa noted that the new wing design is much easier to work with. The wing foam is die cut in-house, using EV50 foam. 

We had to make a couple of decisions on the lengths of the webbing on the LPD. For the waist belt, if we apply the same webbing length as the LGD, we would end up with a shorter total length for the LPD, given it is slightly shorter wing-to-wing than the LGD. Tom would like the total length of the extended waist belt on the LPD to match the total length on the LGD, so we decided to compensate with a little extra webbing. The second question was around the optimal length for the buckle webbing on the front pocket. We didn't want that to appear loose, even with the front pocket fully stuffed. We put an iPhone Pro Max and some small pieces of paper into the front pocket to test it out and decided the webbing should be shortened by 13mm.

And finally, as a last aesthetic touch, we decided the LPD will have all black trim tape on the two front pockets, a departure from the multiple tape color options for the LGD. We may evaluate using only black trim tape only for the LGD in the future.

And that's a wrap! We're excited to see how the pre-order goes and which style (LPD vs LGD) folks will gravitate more towards.

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We're the TOM BIHN crew: we design bags, make bags, ship bags, and answer questions about bags. Oh, and we collaborate on blog posts, too.