January 19, 2017
It’s 2017! We made it!
The year is off to a fantastic start. Orders have been remarkably consistent despite the onset of winter. We’re a highly seasonal business, so usually sales dip sharply from December to February. This year has been different. Thank you!
Fatty Tool Roll
A few posts ago, we described the Fatty tool roll, and a bunch of advriders posted back that they wished it was waterproof. So we made a waterproof cover.
It’s an envelope-style bag with RF welded seams that the Fatty slides into. The loop handle on top helps when you’re pulling it out of the rear pockets on the BC35 and Reckless 80. With my tools, it’s a tight fit in the pockets, but it works. Your results may vary, depending on how many tools you carry. The hard thing about a tool roll rain cover is that we have to use an extremely durable material, otherwise it won’t be waterproof for long.
The strap around the outside with the blue buckle comes from the tool roll itself. When it’s wet outside, use the strap around the rain cover. When it’s dry outside, leave the rain cover at home and put the strap back on the tool roll itself. The rain cover also makes a convenient tool-tray for roadside repairs.
We added two extra webbing pass-throughs on either side of of the one for the strap, so you can strap the tool roll directly to a bike with Simple Cinch Straps.
With the addition of the rain cover, the Fatty will be the most expensive tool roll on the market. Probably $65-70. It’s an expensive little bag to make. I have one sitting next to me on the couch right now, and I can say for certain that when you actually hold one in your hands, it feels like a hell of a good value. This is definitely the most badass tool roll I’ve ever seen.
Tent Pole Bag
The tent pole bag is nearly finished. This will eventually replace the velcro tent pole holders on the Reckless 80, and will also be available for individual sale. This is a simple vinyl bag that replaces the flimsy OEM bag that probably came with your tent poles when you bought the tent. For those of us who store tent poles separate from the tent (making the tent itself much easier to pack), this bag will prevent your poles from wearing through the storage bag. We designed this for the Reckless 80 and Backcountry 30 duffle, but it should work in other applications as well.
The tent pole bag has this cool velcro roll top closure, so it can easily adapt to different length tent poles.
Once rolled, it clips closed with a side release buckle.
Scout 25 Pannier
I am really excited for this one. We sold out of the original Scout 25s last week, and we sold out of the Backcountry 25 panniers several months ago, so we’re anxious to get this new system in stock as soon as possible.
Andrew redesigned the front of the removable drybag to include top & bottom daisy chains for our Steelcore Locking Straps.
The harness looks great with the logos.
The removable MOLLE panels look & work great too.
We originally planned to use metal clips dipped in rubber, but our factory sourced these sweet heavy duty plastic clips, which we like even better. In production, these clips will sit in small cutouts in the metal frame, so the MOLLE panel can’t slide around. Even without the cutouts, the panel is remarkably secure.
On the back of the drybag we added these removable/replaceable polyethylene sheets to prevent abrasion where the bag rubs against the metal frame, mounting hardware, rotopax, and/or MOLLE accessories.
When the backpack straps are deployed from the rear zipper pocket, the velcro flap which holds the PE sheet in place can be folded back on itself, so the exposed velcro won’t agitate your neck.
More good news: the new Scout 25 will cost around $350-400 – which is exactly what we were hoping – plus an extra $15-20 each for the optional MOLLE panels. It will be weight-efficient, bomber, minimalist, modular, and super affordable. Ash and I are taking the latest prototypes to Sri Lanka for testing in a couple of weeks.
Mini Tank Bag
This is a minimalist tank bag, perfect for riders who don’t like tank bags. It fits a cell phone, wallet, compact camera, and maybe a couple of snack bars, but it’s still small enough to stay out of the way when you’re up on the pegs.
Inside, some basic elastic cable holders on the bottom of the bag.
There’s a clear cell phone pocket on top that fits an Iphone or Galaxy.
There’s an internal divider that folds out when you need it, and folds away when you don’t.
Underneath the waterproof insert, there’s a cable pass-through on the bottom of the bag, for charging cables and headphones.
This is still a rough prototype, but it’s getting pretty close. Hopefully the next version will be our golden sample for production.
Reckless 80 v3.0
Thinking ahead to a future Reckless 80 redesign, we’ve received some feedback that on bikes with asymmetrical back ends (for example, due to an exhaust bump-out, or a side-rear fueling gas tank) or on bikes with unevenly-weighted loads, the R80 tends to favor one side vs the other, causing it to sit slightly off-center.
We’re experimenting with a possible solution using Simple Cinch Straps, attaching them to the R80 harness with the same bolts we use to connect the 3 pieces of the v2.0 harness together. Anyone who currently has a v2.0 can modify their existing bags in this way, and we’re going to consider adding this additional connection point to a future version of the bag.
First we heated up a nail to make holes in the harness and webbing. A soldering iron would be easier.
Then we used the bolts and tee nuts from the R80 connection hardware kit.
One end of the Simple Cinch Straps bolts directly to the R80 harness.
The other end connects to the bike, either on the luggage rack or somewhere on the frame.
The straps pass through the rear fueling hole on the R80 harness and tighten against each other, providing a sturdy new connection point, and preventing side-to-side movement. With these added straps, the harness feels extremely taught, though we haven’t had a chance to test it yet since all of the Gorge is covered in snow at the moment.
If you want to try this on your bike, send us a note through the website and we’ll send you the nuts and bolts for free (not the straps though, those are $17). Ash and I will try it in Sri Lanka. We’ll have more feedback after traveling with it for a month.
In general, we’re starting to think about upgrades to the Reckless 80 and Backcountry 35 systems for the 2018/2019 riding seasons.
Nomad Tank Bag
After my last post on the Nomad tank bag, several riders requested measurements. Here they are. Keep in mind that this is with the bag fully stuffed, and with a full water bladder inside. It sits noticeably flatter with less stuff in it.
At first glance, compared to other tank bags on the market, the Nomad is very long, much longer than standard toaster-style bags. However the base of the bag is actually much smaller than the bag itself, which enables the Nomad to fit on a smaller tank, and also to be rigged farther forward on the tank.
Mounted on the bike, the Nomad sits much farther forward than any tank bag I’ve ever used. On my 950, I push it all the way out over the gas cap almost to the handlebars. Rigged that way, it doesn’t interfere with my riding position
Outdoor Retailer Show
Last week I flew to Salt Lake City for Outdoor Retailer, the major outdoor industry trade show. I met up with Maia from the S-Group and we walked the show together, looking at fabrics for our new riding apparel line.
First we met with Toray, a major fabric supplier from Japan, who makes the Dermizaz NX membrane that our friends at Kuiu and Trew Gear use for hunting/skiing apparel. The trouble we’ve run into with Toray in the past is that they don’t make high abrasion fabrics that can stand up to motorcycling.
Then we met with Sympatex from Germany, who does have some cool high abrasion fabrics, two in particular that we liked. Their membrane has impressive breathability stats. I love this little MVTR field-tester. Place the membrane over a hot cup of coffee, and you can observe moisture condensing on the mirror above.
If you’ve ever wondered what the waterproof/breathable membrane sandwiched between the outer and inner layer of your ski gloves looks like, now you know.
We also met with Schoeller from Switzerland. Man, these guys have some cool stuff with really high abrasion stats. Very expensive though, nearly twice the cost of eVent/Gore/Sympatex. We did some quick math, and assuming 3 yards per jacket, a jacket made entirely from Schoeller fabric would cost $250-$300 more than a jacket made from any other membrane. That’s a challenge. Still, we like the fabric.
Our last meeting was with eVent, and this was one of the more interesting meetings of the day. eVent has some new high-abrasion fabrics they developed for snowmobiling, using their proprietary waterproof/breathable air-permeable membrane. We’re waiting on samples, but based on what we saw at the show, this could be a really interesting direction for our apparel. They have this cool little bubble tester to demonstrate the air permeability benefits of of eVent over Gore-tex.
The blue fabric is Gore, the orange fabric is eVent. Both are 100% waterproof (note the lack of water in the bottom of the tester)
When you add air pressure to the bottom of the tester with a hand pump, look how many bubbles come up through the eVent side. Gore is not air-permeable, whereas eVent is. The term ‘breathability’ so frequently thrown around in outdoor product marketing usually refers to moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR), not air permeability, which is a bit misleading.
I caught up with Chris Pew from Trew Gear at the end of the day for a beer, and ordered a new snowboard jacket (the Cosmic, made from Toray). Can’t wait to use it this weekend!
Dusty’s been busy at the New York and Washington DC Progressive International Motorcycle Shows. Thanks for representing us Dusty, and a big thanks to all the riders who stopped by to show support!
Over the Holidays, Ash and I joined our friends Josh & Agnes for a moto & mountain biking trip to Moab. It was really neat to have these epic slickrock trails to ourselves.
Andrew & Jos went to British Columbia to visit family and do some backcountry skiing. Back in Oregon, they headed into the Mt Adams wilderness, tracking wolverines for Jos’s research on predators. Jos uses her snowmobiles to carry bait and game cameras deep in the backcountry. Her panniers are packed with emergency supplies and camping gear.
With the unusually cold winter we’re having in the Pacific Northwest, Mosko has been pretty liberal with the snow days. Everyone on our team skis & boards, and Mt Hood has been epic!
Aaron & Billy from Ninkasi Brewing and Bryon Dorr from Exploring Elements came to the Gorge this week. We’re partnering up with Ninkasi to sponsor happy hours this summer. In other words: come visit our booth and we’ll hand you a cold Ninkasi!
Check out this couch…
Our buddy Dale from the Horizons Unlimited event in Mariposa, CA sent this awesome rotating disco light for the Mosko shop, and for parties.
Ash & I welcomed Kade to the family.
Andrew & Ashley just left for the Vancouver motorcycle show this morning. If you’re going to the show, please stop by and say hi. The rest of us are snowed in and working from home after two days of freezing rain in the Gorge.
In 12 days we’ll be in Sri Lanka. Stoked!