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  • Writer's pictureGordon Greenroom

Proto-typing: Roninsparrow

How the Roninsparrow came to be is probably at least a little bit unconventional. It wasn’t really because anyone asked for a pack like this, nor was it because there was an obvious trend towards this product category.

I made it simply because I wanted something that was slightly smaller than my EDC at the time, the Sidekeep. It’s definitely not the safest way to design a product but sometimes you have to take risks.

The original Roninsparrow prototype

You see, the Sidekeep is a great EDC product that can store a lot of things. But when you fully load it up, it can be a lot of weight around your waist. I’ve even received feedback that in some cases it was even pulling people’s pants down.

And when I looked at what I was carrying in my Sidekeep, I realised that there was a lot I could do without. I don’t need to carry a tablet with me every day, for example. That then quickly became an exercise of finding out what else I could drop from my everyday carry.

L-R: Roninsparrow, OttoBook Travel

In terms of footprint, it’s quite similar to the Ottobook Travel we introduced back in 2015, but the front compartment now has its own dedicated space. The objective here was to have a place where I could stash my iPod and a pair of Bluetooth earbuds, but the added volume is also useful to hold bulkier items like a bottle of hand sanitiser or a pocket flashlight.

I also knew I wanted it to be a waistpack but I didn’t want to include a strap. I found that in a lot of cases, a strap around the waist introduces a lot of movement in the pack, and can cause it to slide forward or backwards which can be troublesome.

If you loop it around your belt, the chance of excessive movement isn’t as high. Yet, there’s also enough slack in the Roninsparrow’s loop to allow it to move out of the way when you sit down.

There is one last detail that I grew to really like about the Roninsparrow and that’s its name. It started, like a lot of our packs, with a community suggestion and voting process. At first, it seemed like just a random combination of cool words, but the more I used the pack and thought about the kind of people who might be interested in it, the name started to feel surprisingly fitting.

It’s absolutely a niche product and may likely be a one-off pack. But, if enough people like it we might just bring it back with some iterations because I’m already noticing some areas that I’d do differently for a V2.

In the meantime, I hope you like the Roninsparrow as much as I do because ever since I switched to it, it hasn’t left my side.


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