KIT | STOLT RUNNING ALPHA PACK
For the past year or so, Keijo Koistinen and his partner have been developing a product that on the face of it solves a problem in desperate need of being solved - how to carry your s*** when run commuting.
The company they've set up, Stolt Running, has set out to design the best gear for an active lifestyle in the city, and this is their first product, the Alpha Backpack.
Last Wednesday, Keijo came down to Club Night to drop off one of his prototype bags for us to test drive, and here are our thoughts on what he has created...
Keijo is originally from Finland, and you can tell from the design. The bag comes in one colour - a simple navy blue - with low key features including a zip with matte-plastic pull tabs and all-black straps. If minimal design is your thing, you will love this bad boy.
Here is where the year or so of development Keijo has undertaken shine through. With small order quantities, sometimes ensuring top quality can be difficult if working with third party manufacturers. Keijo tells me that he was dead set on one manufacturer but that their order quantities were too high for them - undeterred, he travelled overseas to meet them and built a relationship that led to the manufacturer taking on their project.
Feature-wise, most impressive is the design of the main compartments. Laptop & notepads closest to your back..a middle section complete with removable case for folded shirts..and far pocket for shoes...are perfectly-sized and just make sense. The shoe compartment is particularly well designed to ensure that you can pack it down and reduce space when not carrying any shoes. The removable case has elastic straps to hold any folded shirts in places and prevent them creasing while you run, while the finish on the interior of the laptop compartment feels premium; laptop slides in and out easily and the elastic straps aren't so tight you have to use two hands to retrieve anything.
Coming onto the outside of the pack, the back is generously padded. One problem with running backpacks is the jagged edges of shoes, belts and books digging into your lower back...but that problem is solved with the Alpha. The waist strap is supportive & buckles at the centre, while a second strap feeds around top chest; a nice touch is the tightening mechanism on the top strap which makes it easy to tighten and loosen without having to tug with two hands.
Being very picky, one area for improvement on the bag could be the pockets around the straps - the zips are a little tight making packing in debit cards and a phone slightly tricky - but perhaps that is personal preference given we use the Salomon race packs for trail racing [less suitable for commuting]!
Overall we're massively excited to see this come to market. With design on point, an authentic brand, and genuinely awesome people behind the product, we'd highly recommend checking Stolt out on Instagram @stoltrunning as we eagerly anticipate the launch of the Alpha and future Stolt products beyond! Thanks Keijo for lending us the pack, and we should mention that this is not a sponsored post ;)
Follow Stolt below!