Guest Config: Nancy – Black Kite Cycling

Nancy Zan, got in touch about sharing her loadout, but I loved the unique idea behind her Kickstarter project so much that I just had to know more…

1. What is your current go-to pack?

The Black Kite Cycling Commuter Pack. As a daily cyclist / commuter / errand runner, this pack is the perfect go-to because it’s really easy to get out items like my wallet, phone, and U-lock. If I have one pet peeve, it’s having to take off my bag and put it on the floor to take things out. A pocket along the bag’s back padding, and a side zippered compartment that’s also accessible from the top eliminates that need. At 16L, and 16 ounces, it’s also really light, so it never feel like I’m unnecessarily carrying extra weight.

2. What items can always be found in your pack?

  • Kryptonite evolution U-lock
  • Muji notebook
  • Archival pen
  • Kindle
  • A cashmere / wool blend wallet that I made (not sure why I thought I needed to keep my money warm, but it’s the perfect size, and it has some nostalgia recycled into it from a bit of old leather from Nepal that was made into the wallet loop.)
  • A hand woven toiletries pouch
  • Patagonia Mixed Guide Hoody or Rab Windbreaker, depending on the season, but it always gets cold at some point in the Bay Area.

I’m a bit of a minimalist, so I don’t like to carry much, but for my commutes to work, I carry a lot more, including my lunch kit (I love to cook), Vans shoes, a black puffy for the office, and a spare change of clothes.

3. Can you tell us a little about what you do?

I’m a designer working in the outdoor industry. I freelance for brands like The North Face, and usually focus on outerwear apparel, but in my free time I love designing and crafting backpacks and bags for all my favorite end uses, like cycling, climbing, and carrying cameras.

4. What is the passion that drives the brand?

I love creating with my hands. My father is an engineer who spent a lot of time teaching us how to build things and work through fabrication issues growing up, and I think I get a lot of that from him. Combined with die hard need to constantly be riding, Black Kite Cycling was born. I wanted to work through an issue that I always had as a rider, which was accessibility of my most used items while on the bike. I knew there had to be a better, simpler way, and so I worked to try to find that solution. I want to create products that help us navigate our every day, in a way that fits in well in an urban environment.

5. How would you describe your level of pack organisation? (Chaotic, Casual, Pack Jedi, Scientific)*

Between Pack Jedi and Scientific – I hate heavy loads so I hardly ever overpack, and I always know exactly what is my bag and it’s exact location. I’m kind of obsessive about the order in which I pack my bag, but without sub-compartmentalizing into different organizers.

Editor: If you love the look of this pack, why not jump on the Kickstarter link below and back them. For only $98 I think it’s definitley worth taking a look.

*Pack Jedi – Some disorder, but the precise location of every item is known to you. Maximum flexibility.
*Scientific – Systematic and catalogued order. Zero flexibility.

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