I recently spent a month travelling around Europe and decided to carry out an experiment. This time, I would leave behind my trusty Akra backpack and take something smaller. I wanted to see if I could use a smaller pack and still fit everything I needed, so I set out to travel for a month with Saxon: the smallest backpack in our carry-on range. Could I get by with just a 23L pack for a relatively long trip?
It wasn’t just a case of survival -- I actually really enjoyed the experience! The advantages of taking a smaller pack were immediately obvious. It was easier and quicker to pack (once you have figured out the truly essential things to take), lighter to carry and overall gave me freedom.
Me, using Saxon as my pack for a month
But the practicalities of taking a smaller pack weren’t the only thing I was thinking about. Really, it’s a philosophy or a mindset. Taking the care to consider every item I took with me really showed how little I actually need. And taking less with me really did seem to make me happier. I have never felt so unburdened as sitting on the Paris metro with all of my stuff on my lap, rather than worrying about getting in other people’s way. Not having to worry about whether there would be space in the overhead locker (there always seems to be room for a smaller pack) and having the freedom to roam around all day with my one bag.
This little experiment was something I did in reaction to some of our customer feedback. Much of our business is in response to what our customers tell us, and it seems that many of them don’t need or want a backpack as big as Akra. They want to travel with a smaller pack, take only essential stuff and enjoy the sense of freedom it brings.
Our latest round of products is, in part, a response to this customer feedback. The objective was to design one main pack which was smaller than our flagship Akra pack, as well as an accompanying pack that folds away into a tiny package. Then lastly, something to compress clothes - that way you can still take as many clothes as before, but in a smaller package.
We’re really happy with the result - Oxna has already had some positive feedback and responses from reviewers and customers. And having used it ourselves, we can say confidently that it makes packing and travelling more efficient than ever before.
As a relatively new business, introducing a collection of products represents a significant investment. We’re now at a point where we need to raise enough funds to cover the first production run and take our products to market. To do this we’re once again returning to Kickstarter to try to drum up support from fresh backers, as well as giving an opportunity for our existing customers to get their hands on Oxna at a big discount.
Our first Kickstarter campaign was a full-size pack with sturdy but relatively heavy materials. The Arcido Bag was a success, but ultimately we decided not to continue manufacturing it as we preferred the durability and lighter weight of Kodra. Our second project came after a change of factory to Vietnam (read why we manufacture there in this post), and also introduced the concept of our interchangeable laptop harness. This third project is different again; smaller and made from recycled black Kodra, Oxna is a true minimalists backpack.
These products couldn’t have been developed without the feedback from our customers. For ARO (our foldable backpack), we asked our customers what their grievances with similar products. Lack of padding on the straps, low-quality materials and not being waterproof seemed to be the common themes we noticed. In response, Aro is made from high quality materials including YKK waterproof zips and includes some padding in the straps. Read about two secret weapons that make our backpacks to last.
OXNA has a lot of ideas that our customers suggested that we hadn’t thought of for our previous products. A charger pocket on the side takes the burden of storing that in the laptop compartment. And an outer stretchy pocket is designed to fit a wet jacket or a jumper; the thought is that not everything needs to be inside the backpack at all times.
Lastly our COMPRESSION CUBE is an evolution of the packing cubes we brought out last year. This one fits exactly inside Oxna, which means you’re using the maximum amount of space available without wasting any. Compressing your clothes this way allows you to take as much as you might in a bigger pack, but in a smaller volume. This compression cube is made of the same durable materials and YKK zips as the main product - it's as important to us as the backpack itself.
If you haven’t already signed up to get updates on when we’re launching you can check out our Facebook Messenger bot here. We’re also running a competition to give away a full set to one lucky subscriber. Good luck!