New fencing bag prototype from H.O.M.!

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by Purple Fencer, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    It's on the way from the maker, so I haven't actually put my hands on it (that's in a week or so), but here's a pic:

    [​IMG]

    The major points....it's bigger than most single compartment bags. For example, a similar Linea bag measures approx 8" wide, 10" tall, and 44" long...kinda tough sometimes to get a weapon in there if you have a French grip...you only have about an inch to play with...and that's usually taken up by a mask.

    The new H.O.M. bag (haven't decided on the name yet, but I'm leaning towards the 4Cube) is a full 12" wide, 12" tall, and 48" long....4 cubic feet of space (hence the possible name). That should mean a LOT more ease getting gear in and out, not to mention room for more stuff.

    There are no interior pockets (didn't want anything getting in the way), but the 2 outside side pockets are 12"x 16"...the original design called for an expansion to 8" deep, but I'll have to measure that when it arrives. There are also pockets on each end of the bag that could obviously be used for stuff (my guess is the available room is 11" x 11", considering the stitching), but ALSO holds the possibility of holding a properly sized plate of something rigid to keep blades from poking out the ends. I'll have to play with that a bit.

    The single shoulder strap if something I need to look at. My design actually called for 2 straps next to the side pockets (similar to the side handles on a Linea)...I could probably have those added on, however.

    My only concern with the strap is the bag does NOT have a rigid base....both to hold the weight down and to allow for ease of storage/shipment. The long strap may make it sag in the middle a bit more than I would like, where the handles next to the pockets would keep that from happening.

    I have not seen the material, so I have no idea how durable it will be...same for the strap (although I certainly made it clear to the maker that I wanted good quality materials that wouldn't rip if you looked at it).

    Retail price TBD. After I evaluate it, I'll start thinking of a way to inexpensively convert it into a wheelbag....for now, tho, I finally might have my own bag design out!
     
  2. pacer

    pacer Made the Cut

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    Looks like you kept the design simple and in my opinion most useful. ( ah, the KISS principle) For day to day lugging around, I've been using a army surplus store hugs sized duffel. (it is either that or the hard sided golf bag since my son took over the roller bag and the banjo bag.)
    The lack of any extra pockets has been irritating. I understand what you mean about the lack of a rigid base and the shoulder strap - things tend to slide to the bottom. Two hand straps would make it easier to swing in and out of the car.
    However the size meant I could carry my foils and maybe a epee for fun.

    I'll be waiting when you get this on the market
     
  3. Fencergrl

    Fencergrl Rookie

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    I bought a similar cube shaped bag (slightly bigger) from a camping supply place. I used it to cart around 30 practise foils.

    Having a soft bottom & ends, I just bout some corrugated plastic/Coroplast and cut pieces to fit to give it structure. For a quick solution it worked (and I had some old signs laying around).

    http://www.buycorrugatedplastic.com/images/flutes.jpg
     
  4. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Sam, will it pass muster for airline flight, dimensions-wise?
     
  5. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    I'll look into that....I was thinking of the carrying capacity.
     
  6. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Just checked TSA....for most of the airlines, the largest checked size if 62 total inches (length x width x height). My bag comes out to 72....but if you think about it, any fencer traveling with a hard bag is going to be oversize anyway. Same for a soft roll bag...especially the larger ones.
     
  7. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Yes. Airline counter people can be perverse, though. :)
     
  8. SJCFU#2

    SJCFU#2 Podium

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    A few thoughts (now that I'm finally on a computer that isn't blocking the picture):

    Having used a TCA Hoffa bag for many years now, I would recommend both handle straps and the shoulder strap. The two handle straps provide a more balanced way to carry the bag, but when going up and down stairs or down a narrow hallway I often find myself squeezing my arm through the handles to use them as a shoulder strap.

    You might also consider padding the shoulder strap - often enough after using the handle straps as shoulder straps I'll have narrow welts on my shoulder where the narrow straps concentrated the load.

    Without a rigid bottom the bag will tend to sag but that hasn't bee much of a problem for me since I started keeping most of my blades in PVC plastic pipes.

    Regarding the pockets - external pocket are nice but you might consider one large pocket and two smaller ones on the other side. Makes it easier to keep small things organized (on my bag I keep body cords in one pocket and tools in the other - and often have to search for the right tool since it's always on the bottom of the pocket. You might also consider putting one small pocket on the inside for secure storage (wallets, keys, etc).

    You might consider adding a sleeve on the bottom through which you can slide a luggage cart (Absolute and BG's team bags have this) - makes it easier to convert to a wheelie bag.

    Rigid plates at the ends might also be a good idea (maybe have a sleeve inside each of those end pockets where you can slip it in or out as needed.

    Also bear in mind that while volume is nice, the larger you make it the more that will go into it and the more it will weigh. When I first got my Hoffa bag a friend pointed out that if I were ever to fill it it would probably be too heavy to carry around - turned out that he was right.

    Finally, since it's a single compartment bag you might also include a flap on the inside that can be used to separate weapons from sweaty whites.
     
  9. Wetmelon

    Wetmelon Made the Cut

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    Yeah, i have a TCA bag with shoulder + handle straps. I have to carry this bad boy to the bus stop at least twice a week, and I use the shoulder strap for that. Going up and down stairs, however, and just moving it around means I use the handles. It works great :) Too bad the bag's still crap.
     
  10. Fiat Slug

    Fiat Slug Rookie

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    Purple, I'm in the market for a new fencing bag so I have a few thoughts about your new design.

    Your concern about sagging is valid but I don't think you need a rigid plate to solve the problem. I agree with you that if you simply move the handles next to the pockets, then you'd be fine. Personally, I would prefer a pair of long handles instead of the should strap. Handles make it easier to take the bag in and out of a car while the longer length enable them to double as should straps.

    I like the size of the outside pockets. I would probably keep my body cords in one side pocket and gloves in the other side pocket. This way, the sweat from my gloves do not accelerate the oxidation on the body cords.

    Are the end pockets big enough for a jacket and a pair of knickers? If so, then that would help to keep the moist clothes away from the weapons.

    It doesn't look like there's a pocket long enough to hold a rolled up lame. An ideal bag for me would have one such pocket.

    When you gave the overall length as 48", does that include the end pockets? If so, then the inside dimension is probably closer to 44"-46", right?

    I would be interested in buying your bag if you're willing to throw in one of your American body cords. :)

    .
     
  11. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    As I said in the OP, the original design had those same straps...I was planning on having them added on after I see the proto (probably a strap at each end as well, for helping to haul it around)

    Loot at the picture again...the strap DOES had a pad.

     
  12. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Geez, people want everything, don't they? :)

    Personally, I have not found it onerous to add things to a basic bag. D-rings would suffice for me, for instance, so I could attach my own shoulder strap. Find myself two pieces of rigid foam for the end plates...add almost no weight. Maybe another to go in the bottom. Free if you have access to a shipping and receiving department, they throw away tons of that sort of stuff. Or a frame of PVC pipes. Or...

    Or maybe I'm not so much ingenious and undemanding as cheap? :)
     
  13. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Well yeah....I think we all KNOW that!

    You reminded me that I saw someone with an interior pvc frame on their bag a few years back.
     
  14. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Well...the prototype arrived....some good and bad points.

    The good points:

    Workmanship appears very good.

    The material feels more sturdy than material on bags I’m currently selling.

    The zippers are robust and should hold up well.

    The expansion of the side pockets is sufficient(3 inches...8 was a bit of overkill), as is the same on the end pockets.

    The interior room is plenty wide enough...but now we come to the bad points.


    The bag is not long enough. I specified 48" long inside....the interior length is only 40". The end pockets are 3" deep themselves, but the interior length I specified is not present....I can’t even fit a French gripped adult length weapon in there!

    I can give this bag to my salle to haul a bunch of masks, but that’s about it....it’s not suitable for a fencer to carry his gear.

    A new sample needs to be made...with the correct dimensions (and the addition of the original handles)

    Posted, I will keep you. :jawa:

    *who yet Yoda in here?*
     
  15. SJCFU#2

    SJCFU#2 Podium

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    This is why I'd never make it as a vendor - I'd continuously be banging my head against the wall in frustration (something I find myself doing that enough as it is, and that's just being an engineer).
     
  16. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    It was irritating...I could've at least kept the proto for myself if they'd only followed instructions! I even sent a drawing!

    urgh..
     
  17. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Update....2nd proto being constructed...made it VERY clear they were to follow my dimension requests....we'll see when it gets here!
     
  18. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Just saw the pictures of the completed 2nd prototype....looks good so far...will know more after it arrives.
     
  19. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    YAY!!! I got the new prototype today and it looks GOOD!

    Pics!

    The exterior pockets are about 25 inches long....bigger then I'd planned, but I'll keep 'em!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is the interior pocket for small items like keys and wallets
    [​IMG]


    Very hard to see here, but there in one large interior pocket that runs the length of the bag....zipperedfor wet clothes.


    It's a biggie...right now it's carrying my mask, 1 epee, 2 foils, 2 sabres, another foil for repair, my chest plate, and my instructor's plastron in the main bag. Inside the interior pocket are my jacket, underarm protector, and glove. In the outside are the incidentals (body cords, manchette, etc)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Aaaannnd....me carrying the bag (hand straps use as shoulder straps)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  20. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    You look...different somehow. :D

    ( And sleepy. ;) )
     

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