Archive for July, 2011

New Duffbag Stealth bag video
29/07/2011

 

Many thanks to the Duffbag customer who has made this terrific video of packing up a bike into the Stealth bag. Kind of puts our in house production efforts to shame! We must brush up our video production skills or at least stop filming them on an iphone!

The bags are being used as part of a trip from the South of France back to London for a group of 10 riders, each using a Stealth to travel down through France on Eurostar and TGV, I am sure we will have some pictures of the epic journey soon.

Good luck and many thanks for the video Ted

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I am all duffed out
26/07/2011

 

I have got to know Gordon quite well (Gordon is the one on the right) – Gordon really likes duffbags, he has three of the kit bags, three of the messenger bags and a bike bag, in fact he uses so much of our stuff we often use him to test our new products and prototypes.

Gordon is quite the all round adventure sports guy – mountain biking, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding and camping, there are probably more that I don’t know about but let’s just say he likes outdoor sports.

While chatting with Gordon recently he says, “trouble is I am all duffed out” I said to him “what do you mean?” He says, “well I have bought all of your products that I need, in many cases three of them, there is nothing left for me to buy, why don’t you make something else?”

Good point I thought…

Looking back through our records we have many repeat customers (thankyou) they buy bike bags, messenger bags and kit bags, there must be a few more like Gordon who like the products but have run out of things to buy.

Best get thinking up some new products then…

Any ideas? What do you want to see?

I need a bag and I need it fast!
26/07/2011

Saturday afternoon the call came in, I was relaxing at home when a message from the office popped in, can you call back Mr X as he would like to collect a bike bag this afternoon…

Not particularly unusual, although our office is in London we do not keep stock there (it is too expensive!) all our stock is kept down at Whitstable in Kent and shipped out from there.

On calling the guy back it is apparent that he is super desperate for a bag, he is based in London and he is flying out to Portugal on Tuesday morning at 5.30am so he needs a bag Monday latest. The post has long gone so the options are limited.

We eventually arrange for Mr X to travel down from London on the train and I will meet him at Whitstable railway station to hand over the bag late on Monday afternoon.

Monday arrives and it is a blazing hot day, Mr X arrives on the 4.30pm train and I meet him at the station, very nice chap is planning on flying out to Portugal with his road bike in our Stealth bag and then riding back up to Calais, sounds like a super trip, hope to have some pictures along soon.

Duffbag vs Moonbag
26/07/2011

We initially developed Duffbag to suit our own needs – we like mountain biking and surfing and wanted a bag that we could dump all our wet, sandy kit in at the end of the day, throw it all in the back of our camper or car and head for home, tired but buzzing and sort out the wet, mucky kit when we got back.

We designed and manufactured some bags for our own use, friends liked them and asked us to make them some and duffbag was born.

Now we are selling them in the UK, Europe and Australia we wanted to look at what else was out there for stashing kit in at the end of a day on the beach – we kept coming up wit the Moonbag from Frostfire and thought – let’s do a comparison test, here is what we found.

Rather than do a bench or lab test we decided to take our two young budding surfers to our local surf spot for a bit of an early morning bodyboarding (bellyboarding) session and a spot of breakfast on the beach – a fairly typical outing for the four of us. We would need to take enough gear, wetsuits etc for a morning on the beach, pack it all up and take it home, plus of course the essential ingredient – some fun!

Our two budding surfers

The Moonbag from Frostfire is a simple design, it is a small bag that folds out to make a large changing mat, you stand in the centre of the mat, peel off your wet clothes and then gather up the cords to make a small bag to transport your gear back to base.

The Duffbag takes a slightly different approach  – the small changing mat folds out of the bag and kit is stashed inside the large bag.

Construction

Both bags use a nylon outer shell, with a coated lining, the duffbag is much thicker and heavier than the Moonbag, which adds some weight but feels more robust. Both bags fasten using cords and toggles. The Moonbag is available in a range of funky colours, the duffbag is only available in one colour – olive green, both have a white logo on the outside of the bag. Inside the Duffbag is a small pocket for wetsuit shoes or other bits and bobs, the Moonbag has no internal pockets. Both are able to be easily cleaned by turning inside out and rinsing off. The Duffbag is much larger than the Moonbag with nearly twice the capacity.

Changing mat

Each bag takes a different approach to a changing mat, the Moonbag converts into one big big changing mat, the Duffbag has a small fold out flap to place both feet on. Each is a compromise – the Moonbag gives a large space to stand on but then converts into a kind of bag. The Duffbag is a bag that has a large flap that kind of converts into a changing mat. In simple terms of stripping off and standing out of your wetsuit then the Moonbag is a good solution. The Duffbag requires a bit of balancing and moving from one foot to the other, but ultimately when you are finished you end up with a more bag like product.

Moonbag changing mat

Duffbag changing mat

Capacity

Each bag is designed slightly differently – the Moonbag is designed to carry wetsuits and swimwear and little else, the duffbag is designed to carry most of the gear you will need for a day and be able to carry damp gear home with you. It is a little unfair to compare in capacity alone, but to help you choose the bag that suits your needs here is what we could carry in each

Moonbag capacity

Duffbag capacity

As a bag

Again, each is designed from a different perspective – the Moonbag as a changing mat that can be turned into a bag, the Duffbag as a bag that has a changing mat. This leads to compromises all round, the Duffbag has a much larger capacity, and has a shoulder pad for comfort and can be used for a variety of purposes. The Moonbag is much smaller and is really a one specific purpose bag.

Moonbag as a bag

Duffbag as a bag

What other people think

We asked a group of Lifeguards on duty what they thought of the two bags and how useful they would be. They liked both bags and thought that the Moonbag was nice and simple and could see how they would use it, but felt the Duffbag was better made and could be used for more than one purpose. As an out and out beach type bag they gave a slight edge to the Moonbag, with Duffbag being acknowledged as a better all round bag.

Lifeguards liked both bags

Pricing and Availability

The prices for each bag is quite similar with the Moonbag at £14.95 and the Duffbag at £19.95, which makes both bags very competitive in terms of price. The Moonbag is quite widely available both online and with retailers. Duffbag is available on-line direct from Duffbag or through selected specialist retailers.

Conclusion

Both bags have pros and cons, we have tried to be objective and weighed each aspect;

Moonbag

Pros; Large changing mat, cheap, simple

Cons; Does not make a great bag for carrying, quite flimsy

Duffbag

Pros; Big bag, hard wearing, versatile, multiple uses

Cons; Smaller changing mat

So there you have it, if you want a bag just to get changed on and are not bothered about carrying gear around then the Moonbag may be the bag for you. On the other hand if you want a bag that you can use for a variety of sports and pass times and carry larger amounts of gear with you the Duffbag maybe the answer.

Duffbag Surfbag – or any watersport that involves sand, water and wetsuits
05/07/2011

Duffbag is a tough, hard wearing bag made from a hi-tech material that has a thick,

PVC lining with excellent water resistant properties.

  • Tough 600d hard wearing outer shell

  • PVC, water resistant liner

  • Built in changing mat

  • 50 litre capacity

  • Ideal for wetsuits

  • Keeps the inside of your car or camper clean

£12.95

We developed duffbag for our own use, we enjoy surfing and body boarding as well as mountain biking and wanted a tough bag that we could throw all our wet, sandy gear in at the end of the day. We travel by camper van and after a few days sand everywhere is all you need.

We looked at other bags on the market, dry bags, parachute type bags and felt they did not do exactly what we wanted. We wanted a bag that would suit our favourite sports as well as being a useful bag for camping trips and other adventures.

We tried army kit bags but found that being made of canvas they leaked all over the boot of the car when you put a wetsuit in them. So like many ideas, we made our own solution. After many prototypes we eventually found this really cool material that is a thick nylon on one side and thick PVC coated on the other. We experimented with different colours and eventually decided on black as this seems to show the dirt the least, plus we think it looks nice!

Special PVC water resistant liner keeps moisture and sand at bay

£12.95

We then added some features that make this “more than just a bag” –

Built in change mat

A built in changing mat was a must

We have got changed in enough car parks or on sandy beaches to know that getting your feet dry and clean is one of life’s essentials, we built in a mat large enough to stand on, both feet at a time and sort out your pinkies.

A built in shoe pocket

No having gone to the trouble of getting your feet nice and clean and dry, we wanted a shoe pocket just inside the bag so we did not have to rummage around for dry socks and shoes, so just inside the bag is a nice, big shoe pocket.

Easy fastening

Summer is no problem, but in winter with a bit of a breeze blowing you do not want to fiddle around with zips and poppers, our bag uses a simple drawstring and toggle, you can do it up easily with icy fingers

Easy cleaning

If you are going to throw wet, mucky stuff in the bag inevitably it will need cleaning. Our bags are designed to be really easy to clean. Just turn them inside out, give them a good shake to remove any dry material and then give them a good hose off. Hang up to dry and hey presto you are good to go again.

We made a few for ourselves and inevitably friends said they wanted one, so we made a small batch of 50 and they sold out pretty much straightaway.

We now manufacture these in bulk in the Far East and they have fancy labels and barcodes and everything, they look really great. We sell these direct and keep the price down to £9.95 . There is a full 60 day no quibble, money back guarantee, so if you are not happy with your bag, just send it back for a full refund (has not happened yet, but there is always a a first time for everything I guess)

That’s about it, duffbag is a really well made, quality, hard wearing bag, that just makes your life a bit easier – more time on the water, less time cleaning out your car.

£12.95