Building a Backpack updates (June 2023)

New Sample + 5 updates from the Vietnam factory 🎒

Thanks for reading this in blog-post mode. Here are the updates…

#1 – Check out our new fabric mockup!

Although we were excited about our first fabric mockup, we continued to iterate until we were 100% certain we were ready to move on to the sampling phase.

We started making this newest mockup right after I landed in Vietnam, and our goal was to finish it before I left for Europe.

And sure enough… we did!

Meet the final fabric mockup of the Fyro backpack…

Ain’t she a beaut!?!

OK, keep it together people, there’s a lot to discuss here 😉

First of all – remember – fabric mockups are all about determining the shape and structure of the bag.

Once that is established, we can then focus on bringing everything together (in the next phase – sampling).

For this fabric mockup, we tested a few important things.

We are experimenting with a new style of lid…

More on the lid later…

We’ve eliminated many of the pinches in the materials…

So much smoother…

We’ve put together a solid structure for the front compartment (aka, The Hatch)…

So stoked about this!

But most importantly, we’ve established a shape and structure that we are super stoked to move forward with!

New fabric mockup (left) is just so much better than the previous fabric mockup (right)

A finalized fabric mockup doesn’t have to be perfect – we can, and will, modify it later down the line – but it has to be close enough.

And we are finally there!

Now, the bag is…

  • Slimmer
  • Cleaner
  • Self-standing
  • Expandable by 5L
  • Equipped with a much better laptop compartment

This means we can now move on to the sampling phase.

#2 – Sampling phase… initiate!

In contrast to the fabric mockup phase, the sampling phase will take a magnifying glass over every last part of the bag.

This means we will add all of our features, slowly sexify the bag, and test new ideas to see what works best.

The Fyro team has a lot of hard work ahead of us for the sampling phase

I’m really excited to see what the bag looks like once we implement all the Fyro-elements, like the back panel, shoulder straps, internal pockets, internal materials, and continue refining the overall shape and aesthetic.

But some features will require more work than others…

#3 – The lid of The Hatch

The front compartment (aka ‘The Hatch’) is easily the most important feature of the Fyro bag.

It’s a completely different take on a backpack, and will give you a combination of accessibility and security that isn’t offered anywhere else on the market.

The good news? We’ve basically nailed the functionality of the entire compartment.

Right now the whole thing works perfectly.

The Hatch…

  • Opens seamlessly
  • Securely snaps into place
  • Provides plenty of space and organization
  • Protects your gear from the elements
  • Is highly accessible
  • Will SOON be lockable (not revealed yet – details coming soon 🤫 )

Here’s a quick sneak-peak at The Hatch so you can see the way it functions (only available to email subscribers like you 🫶🏽).

The challenging news though? We still haven’t nailed the lid of The Hatch quite yet.

Don’t get me wrong… it’s very close and it functions great… but it it’s such an important part of the identity of the bag, so it still needs a bit more work/development.

We plan to test out different types of shapes, materials, stitchings, and internal paddings, until we perfect it.

We added stitches to give the lid a more premium/rounded look and feel, which I really dig

John, Luke, and I feel like we are on the right path – more lid-updates coming soon 🙂

#4 – We are sticking WITH the expansion

We had gone back and forth on whether to include expansion on this pack, but ultimately we decided that it would give the pack so much versatility, that we couldn’t say no.

Initially we thought the bag could handle 8L-10L of expansion, but we quickly realized it wasn’t the right call. We wanted something more in-line with the design, which is why we’ve now set the expansion at 5L.

5 liters of expansion still offers amazing functionality (perfect for EDC + One Bag Travel) but in a way that better flows with the design of this specific bag.

I’ll be sure to clarify my thoughts more on why we went with this expansion in a video later down the line.

#5 – Picking internal materials

Now that we have moved on to the sampling stage, we can start doing some of the really fun stuff – like picking internal materials.

The goal is to find an internal material that is…

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Light in color
  • Unique, and on-brand for Fyro

Here are some materials that I’ve shortlisted…

These shortlisted materials were chosen for their patterns/weaves – colors can by changed/dyed later

Out of all of them, I think these two have the most potential…

These materials are basically the same, minus their colors

I haven’t seen any honeycomb patterns quite like these, and I love how they are actually multicolored, which helps to elevate the functionality and the look.

I really want to see what the gray material on the left looks like, but replace the red line with the copper line from the material on the right 😏

We are going to have to start testing internal materials and I want to hear what you have to say – surveys coming your way soon!

Closing thoughts

In my week in Vietnam I recorded a TON of footage, all of which will be published as Episode 6 of the Building a Backpack series.

It’s EASILY the best Building a Backpack episode yet as it will give you a true insider look at what it takes to build a backpack from the actual sampling room.

It will also give you all the additional details for where the project currently is, and what the next steps are.

It should be live in a week or so – I’ll be sure to send you an email once it’s published.

Be sure to head back to the email to check out what else has been happening in the Nomads Nation community this week!

Written by Aaron Radcliffe

City dweller. Dumpling crusher. Aaron is a serial entrepreneur, and the founder of Nomads Nation. Connect with Aaron Radcliffe -

33 thoughts on “Building a Backpack updates (June 2023)

  1. Aaron – coming along nicely and definitely love the side view and how it stands on it’s own.

    Perhaps repetitive at this point, but hope the hatch flap can be integrated into the bag a bit more and not contrast so much with the rest of the bag.

    As to the interior, I would vote for orange (be bold) or a light grey (just makes things really visible and easy to find). I like the texture/pattern of the dark grey sample (to the right of the yellow) in the fabric sample pics above, but would want it lighter.

    1. Totally agree – The Hatch and its lid needs to be better integrated. We’ve got some really awesome ideas we are working on now to make that happen – more details coming soon!

      1. Aaron – first, Happy 4th of July to you. Probably not a big deal in HK, but hope you’ve had a good day none the less.

        Second, can’t wait to see the next update on the bag and all the decisions you are making.

        Take care!

  2. Bright interior all the way! Great decision on the 25L max with the 5L expansion. Keeps the sexy look for sure.

    Whatever the dimensions, something that can pass as a personal item is key for me. Even if the dimensions on paper are bigger than allowed for some discount airlines, if it can easily fit in the personal items cage at the gate, I think it would be a huge win.

    I like the look of the flap, but maybe a little less ’round’? My only worry with the hatch is the amount of space between the top of the pocket and where the flap attaches to the bag. Too much of a gap and I’m afraid my stuff will fall out if the back is flipped around or while the pack is horizontal on a bus and on a bumpy road for hours.

      1. Another random thought! I love how the Minaal bags have the built in/hidden rain cover (also doubles as a very hidden pocket!). But, even if Fyro isn’t going the rain cover route, making sure it is possible to put a rain cover on is important to me. If the straps attach at the very top of the bag (like the Synapse 19) rain covers aren’t able to ‘hook’ the elastic around the top of the bag and the rain cover slides off. Keeping the straps attaching just below the top edge of the bag like you have above is perfect! Can’t wait for the next update!

  3. Getting better and better! Cream interior would look awesome! Sorry, but…no handle? Or I haven’t noticed it…

  4. I’m a sucker for that orange honeycomb pattern.
    I agree with the previous comments regarding the hatch, currently it looks a bit out of place.
    What will the dimensions roughly be? To get a better idea of what airlines’ personal item/carry-on compliance will look like.

  5. Nice pack. The current lid design clashes with the overall esthetic, imo. Streamline that sucker or narrow it down so it chases the packs elegance . Kinda looks like the back of a christmas beetle.

  6. I was really excited to see the ‘close to’ being finished product but was disappointed to see you stayed with the front vertical zipper. That really limits the usability of the space.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, but I disagree on the functionality of the front zipper. Being vertical and centered makes it easy to access from either side, and gives a nice overall balance to the bag 🙂

  7. My comments:
    Lighter colored fabric for the interior.
    20-25 l size is good.
    Hatch idea is great but I don’t like the look of the flap right now, it looks like it’s just stuck to the back rather than part of the bag.

  8. Super duper!! It’s really coming along. The hatch does need tweaking but it’s original and will perform great…especially with magnets! I think a light honeycomb fabric is the way to go internally, cream is a colour that would elevate it. Can’t wait to see the next phase. The team is doing a super job

  9. 20-25 litres is definitely a good idea. More than that and it will become a fat bag. Looks sexy on the side.

    It looks quite tall from the front. But could just be because of the photo.
    Otherwise looking forward to see how the flap will work. It’s gonna be the main image you see everytime you look at this bag.

    Good luck.

    1. Great work! Enjoy following your endeavors and progress ;-). Has overall size (w x h x t) been mentioned? I do love the 20L to 25L but also am interested on h x w and hoping Fyro bag doesn’t turn into a behemoth

    2. Cheers Ryan! Yea it does have a bit of a taller look rn – we might shed some height from the top, or round out the design ever so slightly. It’ll be really fun to see where we take it next

  10. ‘cream’ for the interior would be my option too, I agree that it would elevate the bag and give it a luxury feel.
    ‘The Hatch’ – I’m really looking forward to see how this is tweaked, I’m not quite sold but very interested.

    Great job. Love your work and dedication. Thanks.

  11. Surprised you did not include a ‘cream’ colored fabric for the interior–this gives the bag a rich feel and easy to see effect. Otherwise love the look and agree you need to work on the hatch size

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