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Accessories March, 6 2013

Selectism Q&A | The Making of the new T-Tech + Cool Hunting Backpack

In their second collaboration with tastemaking magazine Cool Hunting, storied travel accessories brand, Tumi has developed a sleek and stealthy multipurpose backpack that fulfills all the needs of active living. T-Tech by Tumi appeals to the consumer that is consciously aligned with the latest trends, while maintaining Tumi’s unparalleled heritage of superior quality and functional design

The backpack, dubbed the T-Tech + Cool Hunting Backpack, manages to be compact enough to carry day-to-day while being spacious and sturdy enough to meet the demands of world travel.

We spoke with Cool Hunting founder, Josh Rubin, on the inspiration and development of their new T-Tech + Cool Hunting backpack.

The new T-Tech + Cool Hunting backpack is available as a pre-launch exclusive on Fab.com beginning March 8. The backpack will available through Tumi.com starting March 12.

As this is now the second Tumi collaboration with Cool Hunting after the safari bag, could you discuss how this differs in terms of use?

The duffel we did with Tumi last summer was designed and built for all of our guests on the CH Zambia safari. We accounted for the size and weight restrictions imposed by the airline for our final leg of the trip, plus the color considerations for being in the bush. Our new backpack is similar in that it’s purpose built, but different in that it’s a lot more complex in terms of design and function.

The safari bag was created specifically for the safari and with the exception of all those who attended the trip only a very limited amount was available for purchase on tumi.com U.S.A. only web exclusive. This time around the T-Tech + Cool Hunting Backpack will be available globally on tumi.com globally.

What kind of features were you looking to implement? We see inside that they are internal chambers in the larger compartment to hold down items. Is this bag built to be versatile or did you have one use in mind?

The bag is designed to be versatile enough to use on my daily commute in N.Y.C. as well as traveling around the world. The overall form looks great whether the bag is stuffed or nearly empty. I typically have a Macbook Pro, iPad, Nikon D800 and many accessories with me. It’s not a full on camera bag, it’s not a laptop bag and it’s not an overnighter—but it is the best of all of those combined.

I like to keep things organized so there are a lot pockets inside pockets. There’s a dedicated place for keys within reach without removing the bag, an easily accessed sleeve for boarding passes or other travel documents, internal pouches for lenses or a glasses case and the requisite business card holder with pencil organizer.

What challenges did you face when designing the new T-Tech + Cool Hunting backpack?

The biggest design challenge for me was patience. We’ve been working on this thing for over a year. There were several iterations of sketching and samples—a process that takes a long time. I’m used to the instant gratification of the digital world.

What was the main inspiration behind the design?

The aesthetic inspiration was to combine military treatments with urban colors and materials.

What type of use is the bag most suitable for (outside of function)?

It’s my everyday bag, versatile enough for running around NYC and as the perfect airplane carry-on (it fits below the seat even when full).

We love the girth of the bag. It has more weight than the average backpack. Does this come in from extra padding on the back and sleeve?

The weight is partially from the waxed canvas shell, but you’re right that it also comes from the padding. We made sure that there was plenty of padding to protect all the gear it can hold.

The famous CH green trims all edges of the bag. What is the significance of the yellow?

I’ve always carried a black backpack and pretty much all of them also had a black interior which made it hard to see what’s inside. I wanted a bright interior color to make it easier to find stuff. Plus, I like that the bag goes from subtle and stealth to fun and poppy once you open it up.

If you could put the new T-Tech + Cool Hunting backpack on the back of a New Yorker, who would be your ideal model?

It’s for people like us. If Jeff Carvalho likes it, I’m psyched.

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