Brooklyn-based performance apparel mainstay Outlier is pleased to present their first foray into bags: the minimally-titled "Minimal Backpack" is a medium-sized roll-top style that is made from an exotic-sounding tech fabric called "nonwoven Dyneema."Like many Outlier products, this adventure started with the material. In one of their many fabric hunts, the guys stumbled across something so different it was almost alien. Nonwoven Dyneema is startlingly lightweight, fully waterproof, and ten times stronger than steel. When they saw it, they knew they would have to do something with it, they just didn't know what.
When Outlier encountered the elegantly understated, nonwoven Dyneema packs of Hyperlite Mountain Gear, they knew they were the right partners to work with. The premise was clear: to build the simplest and lightest pack suitable for daily use. Nonwoven Dyneema is extremely difficult to sew, so producing a simple design is crucial to making this stuff work.
The Outlier team tapped Mike St. Pierre of Hyperlite Mountain Gear to collaborate on the design—St. Pierre has been working with the material for years, and the "Minimal Backpack" is produced at his small factory in Biddeford, Maine.
The packable, waterproof backpack is a welcome addition to Outlier's line of highly functional yet stylish apparel. Given their philosophy that "the world does not need more design; it needs less," the Minimal backpack is a promising step towards a broader range of soft goods, and they're sure to deliver innovative new styles in the new year.
I gotta admit, the photography reminds me of that of E13's Day Bag. Either one would make an excellent gift for the modern adventurer; like Ignoble's "Cora" rucksack, both are made in the U.S.A., so it comes down to whether one prefers upcycled elegance (E13), myriad features (Ignoble) or tech-y performance (Outlier).
Those of you in New York City for the next week or so leading up to the holidays can check out Outlier's premium goods in person at the Deck the Halls NYC pop-up space in Soho.