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R.E.Load Bags relaunch the Mid-Pack

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reload mid-pack bag

R.E.Load bags just relaunched their popular “mid-pack” messenger bags after a roughly eight-month production hiatus.  According to founder Roland Burns, the double-strap backpack model launched in 2001 in an oversize model intended to make messenger work easier.  These were followed by the “mid-” and “mini-” packs for normal size loads, and according to Roland, they were widely regarded as the best double-strap backpack-type messenger bags around.  They were sold alongside R.E.Load’s other bags (below) until late 2007, when the company stopped making the backpacks altogether.

So, why would they pull one of their more popular styles off the market?  Read more to learn why, and to see more examples of the incredible custom stitching they can do…

In 2007, R.E.Load started getting a few complaints about water leaking into the back-pack design.  The area in question was where the straps attached at the top, the stitching was going through the exterior cordura and the inner liner, and water was creeping in as the stitching thread became saturated.

“It was really only a problem for a tiny fraction of our customers in the Seattle and Portland areas due to the heavy rain they experience,” said Roland. “Since our reputation is largely based on the durability and functionality of our bags…we decided to revamp the model.

“Unfortunately…this process took much longer than anticipated, but the end result is a bag that I feel is pretty much the most amazing product we have ever offered.”

The redesigned mid-pack’s top flap comes over in such a way that folds the liner against itself, much like a dry bag, keeping moisture out.  It has new mesh side pockets, redesigned shoulder straps that are wider to spread out the load and an optional waist belt to keep it from floppin’ around if you’re riding all crazy.  The Mid-Pack retails for $250 and has several options and upgrades, plus (see bottom) you can have it customized with some pretty sweet stitching.

R.E.Load was founded by Roland and his friend Ellie, both messengers at the time, in an effort to cure what they saw as a lot of deficiencies in other messenger bags.  They’re based in Philly and have grown to seven employees. Besides the construction quality and variety of sizes, another cool thing that sets them apart is the custom stitching talent.  Here are just a few pics, and you can see a lot more examples of custom work on their Flickr pages and their website.  Turnaround time for stock colors are about 3-4 weeks, 6-8 weeks for custom work.


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