The last time we heard from British bike-rack makers back in 2016 we were in two minds as to whether their super light-weight, easy-fit, carbon-frame pannier system was an ingenious innovation or an answer to a problem that shouldn't need solving—should we really be carrying luggage on lightweight bikes not really designed for the task? Fast-forward just over two years and it seems that the Bristol-based brand have proved their concept with a successful Kickstarter campaign, numerous 5-star reviews and awards (hello RedDot 'Best of The Best') and a business that now appears to be shipping globally.
We couldn't help notice that Tailfin have returned to the crowd-funding arena this summer with a new product that actually seems to answer some of the questions we had for the original concept. If Tailfin's original 'T1' system was the reimagining of pannier racks for bikes across the spectrum, the new Aeropack—currently smashing it's £20,000 goal on Kickstarter (already up to over £140,000 at time of writing, with a couple of days still to go)—is the same principle applied to the seat post-mounted 'seat-pack'. In a similar vein to the first launch, the new product provides what looks like an exceptionally stable, secure and streamlined way to carry the essentials. The new product seems to have the same precision engineering and attention to design detailing that characterized its predecessors.
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Whilst right-tool-for-the-job purists might still discuss whether this new launch is just another attempt to fit storage in places where it might not be best suited, the product's Kickstarter campaign shares the helpful (if quite extreme!) use-case of trans-continental racer Ben Davies (interesting longer form interview with the man here). The story goes that Ben was regularly switching between Tailfin's pannier systems and smaller, but less sturdy seat-packs—the latter being practical, but prone to lolling and 'tailwagging' when filled. He approached Tailfin with the idea of making a product that was the best of both worlds and found that Tailfin founder Nick Broadbent was already on the same wavelength.
The Aeropack is designed to be as streamlined as possible—all contents stacked and tucked neatly behind the rider
The Aeropack comes in three flavors. The 'carbon' and 'alloy' racks offer the complete package with bag and rack integrated in one (below)—the carbon, of course, being the lighter and pricier of the two. The 'trunk' is bag only package, complete with gubbins that allows it to connect to the original Tailfin T1 rack.
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Waterproof rolltop bag looks like it could hold a fair few Granola bars
We look forward to seeing if Aeropack lives up to the promise. In the meantime, there might still be time to back the product on their Kickstarter.
Sam Dunne is a designer, strategist and writer based in London. Sam is founder of design strategy agency Cohere and Contributing Editor at Core77—reporting broadly on design, technology, food and object culture.