NATHAN STRIDE HYBRID PACK
Whether you hike, run, bike, climb, or all of the above, Stride can do it all. The hybrid daypack and hydration pack features an innovative crossed sling system that provides support and compression while expanding its capacity to catch whatever you throw at it. Wherever you go, remember to stride.
Project sponsored by United Sports Brands
in partnership with Ian Baker, Michael Jagerson, & Anna Olinger
The Nathan Brand
Nathan Sports caters to dedicated athletes of all stripes, from professional triathletes to weekend warriors. The company specializes in hydration and visibility products and is proud to deliver industry leading hydration belts, vests, bottles, and running packs to help athletes run longer and stronger.
The users of Nathan products hail from countries across the world and participate in activities of all kinds. What unites these customers is the universal need for mid-run hydration and nutrition and an eye for exceptional quality and innovation in their preferred gear. Nathan customers have come to expect durability, versatility, and bold style in their equipment.
There is an opportunity to design a singular hydration system that transitions between running and hiking.
From our set of ideation sketches, we began several rounds of rapid prototyping using prefabricated backpack components and a variety of fabrics with desirable properties like compression and stiffness. After testing our models in context at a local park, we were able to adjust the most problematic features and identify three promising concepts to take into further development.
The most identifiable feature of this concept is a set of wrapping wings made of highly compressible fabric that form the hipbelt of the pack.
The Hip Bladder
In order to accomodate both runners and hikers, we developed a model that sat high on the shoulders for intense periods of activity and extended to hold weight around the hips when hiking and carrying more gear.
The Triple Point Harness
The final concept utilized an existing Nathan feature of a triple contact webbing harness around the bottom of the bag to compress gear weight against the upper back.
After testing, the dynamic expandability and support provided by the batwing concept was most promising, and we chose to explore this idea further.
In context, the initial batwing prototype provided exceptional compression that significantly reduced sloshing of the water bladder, an innovative shape, and an opportunity for strategic internal organization.
The primary concern with this prototype was the difficulty the user had in putting it on unaided, and we feared that the concept might be too much of a departure from existing pack forms.
Our second prototype retained the compression feature we liked while improvig upon the dynamic storage capacity and making the hip belt more accessible for the user, making use easier. Preliminary user testing revealed that customers were excited about the concept and encouraged us to move forward with the batwing model.
Using existing brand language and design guidelines familiar to the Nathan team, we presented three possible directions for the compression wrapping system. The team overwhelmingly preferred the fast and simple aesthetic of the Stride concept, believing that it was innovative enough to introduce a new market while retaining the well-known Nathan look.
expandable storage compression pack
expanded: 46 in h x 60 in w x 25 in d
flat: 46 in h x 25 in w x 4 in d
four-way stretch lycra, Cordura nylon, compression molded EVA foam, sandwich mesh
This project was under an active NDA with United Sports Brands and Nathan Sports until June 2017. Components of the work will be incorporated into future Nathan products.