Australian bag company Bellroy began making its latest backpack about a decade ago. Everything the brand has built since its founding has culminated in the Apex bag, a piece of gear that co-founder Andy Fallshaw calls their version of a concept car.
That concept, Fallshaw notes, is twofold. “The first is more analytical, where we leaned into the concept ‘fluid competence’ — that is, being able to go straight at your goals without turbulence or friction,” he says. “[The backpack] should be very capable, across diverse needs, in an effortless way.” The second is more emotional, aiming to achieve a design that leaves the wearer feeling energized when they engage with the design. “For a product to leave you feeling energized, it needs both genuine utility, as well as moments of delight,” he notes. “Essentially it needs to feed both your rational needs, as well as your emotional needs.”
On its face, the Apex bag looks like a minimalist backpack. But therein lay the challenge for the designers at Bellroy. While minimalism says ‘less is more’, Fallshaw says that the brand approached the bag from a ‘more, from less’ attitude. “We wanted each feature to perform in multiple ways, without compromising the overall cohesion and focus,” he says. “We spent months massaging every curve and element, demanding that every detail do more than its immediate duty.”
The bag appears to have a typical fold-over design but opens up into an easily accessible layout that doesn’t require the user to dig through a cavern to find their keys. Its pockets, similar to a tool belt, are built around the sides of the bag leaving the center cavity open and feature stretch fabric to keep your stowables in place. The bag is intuitive to use, featuring an array of magnet buttons and dual-entry zips.
The Apex bag is made with the Bellroy’s custom, 100-percent recycled Baida nylon, a lightweight material that excels in durability and water resistance. It has a capacity of 26L — plenty storage for everyday use — and an adjustable sternum strap for extra stability and comfort.
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