It was freezing cold but gallons of coffee made it tolerable. The closer I was to my destination, the more well-dressed people I saw and the more I was looking forward to seeing all the brands that came to Berlin to show their products. And even though I didn’t saw any revolution in the world of backpacks, the visit was worth it. So here some of my notes from the Seek Berlin trade show.
Seek is a contemporary fashion trade show. Clothing and accessories brands from upper streetwear segment go to Berlin twice a year to show off their latest new products. Most of the visitors go there not only to form new business relationships but also to get inspired.
Pinqponq introduces medium-sized versions of its recognized backpacks
Pinponq is a German brand that manufactures backpacks that are in line with my views of what more expensive backpacks should look like. I’ve already mentioned their Cubic Large in one of my articles saying that it deserves a closer look. And there it was.
What I like about the backpack is its organization and easy access to the main compartment. For users that aren’t that demanding, the size will be enough, but you might look for something bigger. For people like me, they have the Blok model with a volume of 40 liters (expandable to 45 l). It features a top and front access which makes it quite practical. This would be my personal choice.
I have good news for those who don’t need that much space in their backpack. For many people, Cubic Small was, well, too small. In contrast, Cubic Large was too big for smaller people, especially for women. So for the autumn season, pinqponq will introduce a new, medium size.
Pinqponq will also bring new colors. I didn’t like the original shade much. If I’d have to choose, I would go for black. I’d also love to have the logo in black, too. Even though the logo is easy-to-remember, it disturbs doesn!t jive with the look of the backpack.
The last news by pinqponq is their Click pouch for DSLR camera that fits into their backpacks. Professional photographers probably won’t find it very useful, but it is a godsend for amateurs who don’t want to buy a specialized camera backpack.
It’s not the only pouch on the market (not even the first one), but it’s still rare.
Sandquist introduced a new Aerial backpack line for travelers
When I came to the Sandquist booth, I saw old good backpacks with some new colors. Luckily, I asked about the news and found out that I completely overlooked a whole new line call Aerial.
And after a while, I realized that I couldn’t stop thinking about it, especially about the biggest of the models. Let’s start with Zuck.
Surprisingly, it’s not a backpack but a duffle bag that can be worn like a backpack. It’s all black, made of Heavy Cordura EcoMade (recycled polyester, more information can be found on Treehugger) which should be one of the most durable eco fabrics yet developed. The second material is 1680 denier ballistic polyester that not only sounds cool, but actually is cool – it was developed to prevent soldiers from flying debris and fragmentation caused by a bullet. It wasn’t that efficient but I’d assume it’s enough for a backpack.
It advertises many practical features: laptop sleeve, removable and adjustable sternum strap, compression straps and ergonomic padded shoulder straps with mesh. For most people, this will be a great backpack for a weekend trip.
For daily use, there are two other shapes – the Fabian rolltop backpack (28 l) and the Peter traditional backpack (13 l). Last, but not least, the price – it’s not set at the moment but I was told it won’t go beyond the typical Sandquist price range.
There is one more backpack I want to share – this Lars-Göran model could become your favorite, if you look for a less “techy” look.
Topo Designs and Poler Outdoor Stuff didn’t live up to my expectations
I expected too much from Topo Designs and Poler Outdoor Stuff. I respect them a lot that if I ever start a backpack company, it will be inspired by these two. In case of Topo Designs, there were only several new shiny colors. For some reason, making backpacks with shiny colors is significant for this brand.
So I focused on the Klettersack model that got my attention because it looks like my Big Walker backpack. At first sight, I saw a big difference in the quality of materials used. When I first reviewed Big Walker, I said my first impression was it looked a bit cheap. And now I know that I expected the quality of everything – materials, zippers, buckles – expected to be on par with Klettersack. But it’s fair to say Klettersack costs twice as much as Big Walker, which explains the difference.
Poler Stuff also brought some new colors, but it introduced a pair of new dry bags as well. You might not expect this type of materials and purpose on a fashion trade show. But as you’ll see in one of the upcoming articles, it looks like this is the trend in streetwear now.
Herschel Supply didn’t show their latest new products
Gone are the days when I found Herschel Supply cool. Don’t get me wrong, I still admire this company for what they’ve done to make backpacks cool again. I also see the progress they made and the innovations that they pushed. But I didn’t spend more than 5 minutes in their booth.
I was looking forward to seeing the ApexKnit material in person, but I didn’t get the chance. So I was looking for anything new in their offer. I was told they weren’t showing the new products there and they didn’t even tell me if it was announced already or if it was something completely new.
So I used the time to put my hands on the Trail Collection. It’s said to be a technical line of HS backpacks and I have to admit there are signs of utility. I’d say it might be good for a short trip when you need to carry a small bottle, a jacket and a map (I was holding the smaller version of the Mammoth backpack). But in general, it’s still a simple backpack where the look is more important than the function (and I’m not talking about its “biggest advantage” – the rain cover…).
So these are the most interesting findings from Seek from a backpack-lover’s point of view. In this article, I covered only five brands that were most important to me. But you can expect further information and inspiration from the Seek Trade Show in one of the future articles.
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