Friday, July 07, 2006

New Features and Pricing

Here at R.E.Load, we're constantly looking for ways to make our bags easier to use, longer-lasting, and more expressive of the individual wearer. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it - we like to think of this stuff in a positve light), this means that our product line goes through more changes in a year than most companies' do in five. Case in point: our newest catalog was rendered outdated within a month of it's print date!

Anyway, so we've gone out and made some MAJOR changes this time. Things that will take a minute to update on our site...I'm computer literate enough to deal with this blog, but not really enough to do what needs to be done for a professional [seeming] site. We've been operating with these changes for a few months now, as anybody who's contacted us recently will know, but I thought I'd use this space to put them in writing.

First up: Each and every shoulder bag we offer, with the exception of the Aika bag, now comes standard with an extra cordura base layer. The purpose for this is two-fold; it not only extends the life of the bag by reinforcing the corners (usually the first place to show serious wear after some years), but it also provides a stronger stitch area for the bottoms of our our bellows-style single and double-outside pockets. Happily, it also adds some color to even the most basic bag; you can choose any available cordura color for the base.

Second: We've changed the sizing on a couple of models to try and eliminate some of the huge variances in size, specifically between the Courier/Deluxe and the Civilian. This became and obvious course of action as we watched the 5,000th person struggle to decide between the two sizes only to finally go with a custom-sized option. The new dimesnions for the respective models bring them much closer to each other, which should keep most people from having to go with either "a little too small" or "way too big!". The Civilian is now 13" H x 18" W x 7" D, and the Courier/Deluxe is now 15" h x 19" W x 10" D. The Small Civilian has grown a bit, too, and now stands at 13"h x 15" W x 6" D. This makes the Small Civilian a great "average cargo" choice, with the Civilian getting a promotion to the "i've got a lot of stuff to carry" category, and the Courier/Deluxe still holding down the "who needs a refrigerator delivered?" crown.

Third: Little D-rings. We'd been thinking about this for a fairness, let me first say that this is a feature that has been on Pac bags for a few years. Anyway, so we've replaced the metal hardware on the ends of the base compression straps (shoulder bags) and side/base compression straps (midpack and backpack) with sewn-on plastic d-rings. This is cooler than you think, because it allows you to compress your bag with an incredible amount of ease. (***author's note: we've gotten some emails from people thinking that we are replacing the metal d-rings currently on our main straps with plastic....FALSE!!! We would never do this. we are replacing the thin metal "webbing ends" on the base compression straps with the new plastic d-rings. We chose plastic for tow reasons: weight and noise. There should be no problems as far as durability since this is a low-stress application).
Fourth: New Models!!! We've got the brand-spankin' Minipack

This guy's got two flat front pockets (like the DJ Mini it takes it's inspiration from), an inside front pocket, and a big flat pocket on the inside back wall (good for papers). Retail is $160.

Next up is the slick new Macro (so far this name is leading the competition, but it's far from set in stone)

This baby's a souped-up Messenger Mini with a single outside pocket, two big bellows side pockets (perfect for water bottles or...other liquids in containers...), a flat outside rear pocket (for papers), and a two-part inside pocket that spans the width of the bag. Retail is $130.

Fifth: Our laptop lineup changed a while ago too, and is reflected on the website, but just for good measure i'll mention it here. Check out our accessories page to take a look at our three revamped and completely protective sleeve options, available for any size laptop you might have.

Sixth: Slight changes to the celly holder and the strap pouch: we've squared off the flap of the celly holder -not for any real reason except we think it looks better - and we've changed the attachment straps so that they velcro on and off instead of being slid onto the main bag strap. This means you no longer have to disassemble your whole strap to add them to a bag, and they can finally be used with the mini straps (on our Mini bags). To top it all off, we've added a loop on each respective accessory so you can keep a pen close at hand.

OK, so now to the nitty-gritty...the new pricing scheme. We have been forced to raise our prices a tad bit - which we haven't done in years - due to the rising costs of materials (especially U.S. made goods) and materials transport. And of course due to the aforementioned additions to the bag features.

Shoulder bags are now priced accordingly:
Aika: $35
Micro Mini: $75
Messenger Mini: $80
Macro: $130
DJ Mini: $80
Small Civilian: $95
Civilian: $100
Courier: $105
Deluxe: $168
Executive: $233

Add-on options are now priced accordingly:
Ballistic Base: $5
Double Outside Pockets: $30
Single Outside Pocket: $25
Divider: $15
Handle: $15
Messenger Pad: $16 (regular), $13 (small)
Reflective Tails: $6
Pen Slots: $3

Thanks for bearing with us during this period of transition!