WHAT'S THE STORY WITH THE CHANGES?
At GRABmeGEAR we are a little obsessed with continual improvement so gear is an enabler to people getting out and enjoying nature; secure in the knowledge they have everything they need just to relax and soak it up. Saving the mental space to learn something about the place they are in.
We've listened to feedback and made observations of the gear in use, to make key improvements in v3.0 from v2.0. We have also made early changes to v3.0 based on feedback and the current model is now v3.2.
1. Addition of a single deep front pocket - this larger storage area with a drain hole allows for larger items to be stored seperately to the main chamber. It will fit 2 standard recovery straps + shackles + blanket for quick & easy access. Also handy for placing wet gear to drain & dry. If you want to seperate recyclables or soft plastics that can be done. Or it can be used for whatever you need handy, be it fire lighting gear, sunscreen, tackle box etc. loads of options depending how you travel.
2. Bag Liner - to be honest we have been a bit anti-liner for sometime. Our preference was for people to use the canvas for what it was designed for and not use a plastic bag inside, just wash it out when done. What we missed is that this is not always a practical solution. You are not always next to your vehicle when you need somewhere to put your rubbish (like National Parks) and your vehicle can not always get close enough to a bin to dump through the bottom zip. So a liner has been added that you can easily remove, use and return without needing a single use plastic bag inside or aother bag to do the job. While PVC is not our preference as a material, it is a good, tuff long term alternative to single use plastic. We'll see what else we can come up with that does the same job over time, suggestions, welcome! Being bright yellow also helps you see what is inside and helps to make sure it is not left behind. It looks pretty cool matching the yellow stitching too...
3. For the Bin Bags, we have moved to Australian Made Dfab canvas which is made in Melbourne, Victoria. Dfab are an innovative company that are aiming to produce a 100% Australian Made canvas. At present, all Australian Made canvas is made from an imported 'loom state' cotton fabric. It is then impregnated by Australian Manufactuers to their unique specifications for our conditions. We love the quality feel of this canvas that improves with age.
4. UV stabilised Polypropylene Webbing straps. Previously we had been using Seat Belt style webbing and noticed that is turns white from the sun within 6-12 months of constant exposure. The strength is still there it just looks worn. We've been wanting to find a better solution for sometime and this is the next best step. At the end of the day, the Australian sun and synthetics do not play well for long periods of time so some fade is to be expected. Seat Belt webbing is weaved then dyed so the dye can leach faster. With Polypropylene the strands are already dyed black plus UV stabilised then woven so leaching is significantly reduced and looks significantly increased.
5. Storm flap to protect the binding from sun fade and zip from dust / moisture. We just noticed the standard binding used faded white, like the seat belt webbing and did not look as good. While we had no specific complaints we wanted a solution to extend the working life and appearance. The first v3.0's had premium sleeved zippers and we found a standard zipper meets and may even exceed the performance in certain environments so have returned to the standard along with a storm flap in v3.2. They are not waterproof, so some moisture may get in from driving rain; that is OK as it will drain out via the bottom eyelett.
6. Addition of 3 D-rings. There are a few reasons for this; people want to be able to secure the bag to the vehicle to prevent theft so a wire cable can be run through the D-ring and attached to the wheel. The D-ring can be used for grip if needing purchase to move the zip. They provide more storage options, particularly for extended remote travel - shock cord can be run through to secure light gear on the lid, gloves, jackets, water bottles, lights etc. can be hung when parked up for easy access. We're keen to see what people come up with so please send pics in... :0)
7. We have removed the eyelets in the base of the main chamber and the front pocket so they are as sealed from dust as possible. Removes the chance of dust entering via the eyelet and moisture can be easily drained by opening the bottom flap.
8. At GRABmeGEAR we love gear to have a high level of style to match a high level of functionality. So we have gone all out with the yellow stiching throughout the bag. This is offset so well against with black canvas and is complemented with the yellow liner. We love how it looks! It's OK to hug a Bin Bag, isn't it?
Overall we wanted something that was both a joy to use and a joy to look at. We feel you should feel good each time you use a piece of crafted gear, something that does the job and puts a smile on the face at the same time! :0)
This is a premium bag with a goal to retaining quality, craftsmanship and manufacturing in Australia. Producing a bag of this quality locally is a challenging feat that comes with some additional costs as it is still done by a person with their hands. It can be made cheaper in higher volumes with machinery we do not have available and different materials. So when you purchase a premium product like this, you are also helping to keep small batch manufacturing and skills transfer alive. We'd love to see local, small scale manufacturing move beyond survive to thrive through innovative use of design and materials to meet future challenges that we can share with the world. This is a small step towards that goal.