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Develop - what's new from the Alpkit Design Team

Seat pack developments

By Ben Meakin
01, Nov, 2016

New out of the factory, our expedition seat pack and a lighter, smaller Koala for bikes with less clearance

The wait is finally over, Big Papa is being made as I type. We have taken our classic Koala seat pack and developed it into a touring Tardis. A seat pack for expedition riders who want to take the kitchen sink and more.

Wanting to make the Papa an Almighty seat pack we have made the undercarriage out of 1100d Cordura. It is our most durable fabric, highly abrasion resistant and eminently fit for purpose. We have also added a Hypalon panel which sit underneath the saddle and down the seat post to strengthen the pack and stick better to the contact points. This will help prevent wobble while you are riding off-road. 

There is a stiffener along the spine with an additional lightweight stiffener along the bottom flap. These add support and give the pack pre-shaped form, handy when you are lugging unusually shaped equipment. Moving away from our traditional and well loved webbing ladder system for attaching the pack to the seat post, we have evolved to 50 mm Hypalon straps - and you get two. These are super clingy and will give greater grip and support to your set up. 

Webbing retainers are a nice addition to the Big Papa. They hold the webbing loops securely in place stopping them waving around when you're riding your perfect single track. Simply made with 10 mm webbing they keep additional weight to a minimum. 

You need not stress when the weather can't make its mind up and you are struggling to decide which layers you need to pull on. We have added a shock cord webbing net on the top side of the pack for your waterproofs or anything else you need to get hold of at a moments notice. You can even carry some flip-flops for the river crossings!

With the increased length of Big Papa making it sit as stable as possible on the bike was a top priority. I think we have done a real neat job here. Pack it well, synch down the straps and you are going to have a solid ride on single track, gravel, road and anything in-between. That’s probably 90% of your bikepacking itinerary but we know what you are like.. you won’t be able to resist shooting off down some steep technical descent. OK, booming down the Rangers Path it is going to wobble around a bit, but its going to stick with you just make sure your teeth don’t fall out. 

With all these features Big Papa is heavier than Koala, but at 368 grams it is still light and you get far more durability. Big Papa has a capacity of 17 litres when packed out, but you can easily reduce that with a few rolls of the roll-top closure if needed. Big Papa is going to be a great expedition pack.

What else is new? Well, we are also making a slimmed down version of the Koala. The Wombat will be perfect for the riders out there with small frames or running suspension. Being slimmer it requires less clearance between your seat and your tyres. If you find the Koala too large and the Kowari too small the Wombat could be the critter for you.

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