Let’s discuss with Aaron Tweedie, the inventor/designer of the Man-Pack.
What’s your professional background and how did you come up with the idea of the man-pack ?
I went straight into the military after high school, I was in Fort Benning Georgia at 17 years old and stationed in a reserve unit. After getting back home, I had my first sales job at 19. I was a car salesman. I sold Dodge and Volvo. I did very well. So much that I built a house. Then another, and decided to go to college. I put myself through college through building and land speculation.
A cabinet salesman left me a small promotional bag from their company. I started using it and found it useful to carry a bag. After I broke a few of these (I kept going back to get more) I started shopping around for something more durable and designed to my preference. I couldn’t find anything that was masculine, durable, utilitarian and affordable. I realized there was an unmet need in the marketplace for the average guy like me. So I decided to design my own.
From a idea to a real product, it take time and skills, talk to us about the team behind the Man-Pack ?
The team started with just me. I drew the designs by hand with pencil and eraser, and there was a lot of erasing before I got the design right. At first, it was hard to get people on board, but the more I refined my idea, and turned it into something concrete. The easier it was for people to see the potential. Not everyone has vision and imagination. I had to turn my vision and imagination into something that was tangible to get people to work with me. The company still consist primarily of me, but as I’ve come along, others have signed on and have become part of the Man-Pack team to include a design and prototyping company in Deleware, USA, a patent attorney, an exporter, and a factory. They are all part of the team because they are all part of the process, and we have a pretty good team. I’m even getting calls and emails from people interested in becoming part of the team since I started the kickstarter campaign.
What’s the man-pack ? What are are its key characteristics ?
The Man-Pack is a sling style vertical messenger bag designed with style and utility. It can be worn three different ways and has a bunch of great features to organize the modern male. It’s designed too fit standard 8”x11” notebooks and files, Ipads kindles and tablet sized PCs. There are also multiple interior and exterior pockets for things like your cell phone, wallet, pocket knives, really anything that a guy carries. There is even a collapsible beverage pocket. The strap is designed to be ergonomic. The weight stays over your lower back, and the strap is a full 3 inches wide to dispense the contact area. These features make the weight hang vertically over your spine and the width of the strap keeps it from cutting into your neck even when the bag is fully weighted. The new Man-Pack Classic 2.0 has additional and enhanced features including:
. A cell phone pocket that measures 3”x5” so it will even fit the google galaxy phone.
. Molle webbing on the strap to secure carabiners, tactical gear, or a pair of sunglasses.
. A new interior pocket layout with larger and repositioned pockets for better accessability.
. An oversized exterior pocket.
. And more discrete branding.
I designed the Man-Pack Classic to be just that… Classic. It has a retro 1930’s-1940’s era look with a 21st century design and features. I really like that Era. The way people dressed, the way they interacted, and the incredible spirit exemplified around the world during that era.
Who is the man-pack made for ? Who is your target ?adults, teenagers, suits and ties going to the office, … Surfers, snowboarders, …
The Man-Pack has been designed to accommodate males between the ages of 16-55. At first I thought of a specific lifestyle demographic that I would target, but through experience I have found that the applications span across many different demographics. Even gender. There are many women who see the utility in the product and buy it despite the fact it’s designed for men.
If I could give you a demographic I would, but I have sold these to bicycle and motorcycle riders who like the fact that they can access it without taking it off, to techies who like the size for their tablets, to high school students, to college students, and even diabetics who need to carry their supplies. And it is men as well as women. It is amazing to see all the walks of life that see the value in the product.
When do you use your man-pack ?
I use my Man-Pack every day. If I have to carry stuff (which I always do, either for myself, my job, or my children), the Man-Pack is on my back. I unpack and repack it with what I need for any given day. One day I may be hunting, the next at the office, the next traveling, or at an amusement park. The fact is that guys (and girls) need to carry stuff. The Man-Pack provides a functional and stylish alternative to the traditional messenger bag. It’s been described as “urban tactical” because of the tactical features that blend in with the urban design. Or military and law enforcement, this is invaluable. They want to blend in. When I carry the Man-Pack, I’m always prepared and that is important to me.
Next articles about the Man-Pack,
. “The Man-Pack, up close and personal”.
. “The Man-Pack, the test!”
More about the Man-Pack
. Follow @manpack1
. The Man-Pack on Kickstarter