The Last Bag Blog

When a Custom Solution Makes Sense

June 25, 2020

When a Custom Solution Makes Sense

Clients are often attempting to complete a job with a quick fix to a complicated problem. Facing deadlines and budgets, the quick fix is often off the shelf and serves a singular purpose. Sometimes, maybe even often, this works. What might not work is how this fix pans out over an extended period of time. 

We recently had a client ask for a LUSB075HD Origami Lift Bag. The bag measure 22" wide x 22" deep x 18" tall and they were using to haul 25 sections of rebar measuring 26" long. These would be inserted diagonally into the bag, stretching the bag and not balancing the load well. Does it work, well, yes, sort of. Is it right? Not at all. The proper method to carry them would be to build something that can properly distribute the payload to the lifting slings in a balanced manner. The problem will come on the wear and load stress on the bag itself, typically causing a failure in the fabric portion of the bag. 

I would always suggest asking if we have a custom solution to provide. Often, the MOQ is lower than one realizes, and the solutions will work safely instead of carrying a high degree of risk. Reach out if you have difficult task, and put our team of experts on the job for you.

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The Case For Drying Out

June 11, 2020

The Case For Drying Out

Countless gear advocates will tell you that the manner with you treat your gear is the manner with which your gear will treat you, and they are right. Soft goods, like harnesses and tool bags, are susceptible to the elements just like anything and their performance can degrade over time with exposure, even failing in some cases where proper care was not recognized. A rule of thumb states that daily airing out of your gear allows the gear to perform as it is intended, but there are more duties that we must be careful to execute on as well.

Daily inspection of sewn goods, especially for those working-at-height, is critical to proper drop prevention and asset protection. I often ask field techs to look at their gear twice a day, once at the start of the day and once at the end. Why? Because a lot can happen in 8 hours. Drop your wrench roll enough and a seam can become compromised. The next thing you know a 10mm wrench is hurling towards the ground from 100ft above - enough to kill an unsuspecting coworker. 

What do we look for? Well, remember when you were young and grandma had that fancy velvet couch with the tiny whole you stuck your peas in because you hated peas? Imagine if you kept jamming peas through it until you could fit 2 peas, then 3, then 4, and so on, eventually the whole is so big it exposes the insides. The same thing happens with bags - the more a seam is worked - stretched, saturated, dried, exposed to UV, etc, the more it is breaking down over time, then one day the seam fails and the contents spill out. That may take a long time, but the think the time you dropped that same bag on a composite roof and it slid 60 wearing the edge. Now you have a recipe for failure. Usually it is pretty easy to see when it is going to fail, but not always. Should you ever question it, stop using it and look for advice - we give advice out for free!

Water is a staple of life, but when it comes to bags, it can be killer. Nylon bags, like those made of 1000d Cordura, will saturate (Nylon is somewhat hydrophylic) and often any contaminates will remain once dry. Nylon also stretches when wet (lubrication) and can loosen a weave, thus making any sewn seam susceptible to failure. While it is a modern marvel of synthetic fiber and rugged and durable as all get out, Nylon does have its Kryptonite. In addition, Nylon is highly susceptible to UV damage over time, fading and becoming tough. 

Here is a great summary for reference:

https://www.jasonmills.com/blog/index.php/2019/02/28/nylon-vs-polyester/

In summary, while we use our gear everyday to support our work and lifestyles, we must also understand the complexities and vulnerabilities of the products so that we might protect them for many years of use. An ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure.

 

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We Outta Here!

June 03, 2020

We Outta Here!

Just about every vehicle based travel event has been cancelled this year. To some, this is heartbreaking, especially those who rely on the income from events and the stimulus it provides. We, too, are disappointed. Many friendships have been made over the last 10 years in fields, Walmart parking lots, campgrounds, and especially the trail meet ups where the exchange of greetings, handshakes, sarcasm and wit feed each other a much needed social elixir. This year we will forego much of that and meet in smaller groups along some barren intersection of highway where a gas station once hosted travelers from a time long ago. I'm OK with the solitude, I must say. I will be fine not attending the chaos of a rally where I might have stayed up too late, had too many festive libations, and stretched stories beyond their shelf life. I will do my best to promote my fellow gear manufacturers who work their tails off all year for this selling season only to be gut-punched by a wretched COVID-19 haymaker. 

We're heading out on the trail this week. We are going to visit our favorite local spots and some new territories as well. We hope we see you out there, in smaller groups, where we can carry a meaningful conversation through the dying embers of a fading campfire.

Please support your Overland and Gear manufacturers during this travel season. If you have the means to do so, it will make a difference. Most of all, be kind to one another. 

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June 29, 2019

NWOR 2019

Quick blurb about NWOR 2019. 1st installment!

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March 29, 2019

Spring Break

It's Washington spring break for schools, so as is ritual, I am traveling to look at colleges for my son. The good news is, I have wifi and can log in here and see what is happening. I want to thank those of you who continue to support us through our online store. This morning, I woke to a repeat customer's order and I was so thankful that we have gained your confidence in our products. As we continue to develop products for work-at-height, outdoor, and the overland market I hope you all feel you can let us know what we do right, what we need to improve on, and what we do wrong, especially. We are a small company dedicated to our customers, and we appreciate your feedback always. Send any inquiries, thoughts, poems, or feedback to info@lastusbag(dot)com. We all appreciate it greatly!

Incidentally, I'm in Bozeman, MT and it is dumping an inch or two. Nothing more beautiful than Bozeman in the spring...

Will

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Wind Turbine Talk

March 04, 2019

Wind Turbine Talk

Last week we were exhibiting at AWEA O&M in Coronado. This is a special event where we have the unique opportunity to sit with the folks that use our products, learn from their experience, and come back to set some revision strategy ahead. A common theme we hear constantly is that we need to increase the longevity of the products in the field.I do not disagree. In fact, I applaud this concern as responsible and the right direction for us all. 

During the show, we illustrated some key features on our products for future builds that will allow for a lifespan increase on the products. How are we doing this? Technology... To date, most bags are made from vinyl or canvas, two excellent fabrics that work well enough and hold their own. The problem is that in the environments we are asking them to work in they can fail too often. Not their fault, rather ours for not pushing the envelope in higher grades of material. Over the last 8 months we have been working with Honeywell on developing a fabric based on the Spectra UHMWPE material that is highly puncture and abrasion resistant, while being incredibly light and "10x stronger than steel." That last part might be hyperbole, but not really. This material is incredibly strong and provides significant challenge in the manufacturing process, yet added into a heavy haul lift bag we see dramatically improved performance and longevity in the field. Couple that with bases and waterproof liners that that can be replaced when worn or damaged, and the incremental cost to keep in the field over time is significantly lower than replacing the whole bag.

Yes, it comes at a price! Due to the cost of raw materials and labor, these new products will be a bit elevated over today's offering, yet the ROI on this is so obvious anyone will realize the benefit. We are excited to be launching this shortly and look forward to seeing you put it to work in the field...

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Absent without leave!

February 14, 2019

Absent without leave!

Wow, been a while yet again. I used to be so diligent about posting here, now not so much. I am working to be more punctual and attentive, however...

New things have been happening at LUSB. We continue to develop a new ERP system to help the back end, have a new plant manager in Greg Pokvitis,and the front has some new faces as well in Grizel Esquivel. Overall, we are expanding our resources rapidly to meet new demands and also develop our own product to better serve the industrial market and consumers. We'll be at AWEA O&M in February 26-28th, and then at various shows through spring and summer, including Overland Expo, NWOR, ORNGA, Boy Scouts Annual Meeting, etc. Lots happening with many new products to speak of, but never enough time to get the word out properly... That needs to change!

Maisy is almost 9 months old now and settling down a bit. For those who didn't know, we brought on a shop dog to make life more hectic and it worked to perfection. She barks at the most annoying pitch ever and can't help herself when someone new comes by, or someone familiar for that matter, or when a bird flies by, or a pile of snow is next to her, or... You get the picture. Puppies are a lot of work...

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NWOR 2018

July 10, 2018

NWOR 2018

Special thanks to all of those that visited us at NWOR in beautiful Plain, WA. As expected, we met a lot of great folks, reconnected with many from last year, and developed some new partnerships that will be launching in the coming months. I wanted to personally say that the crowd this year was as friendly and kind as ever, and I appreciated getting to know some of you in more depth. People like Alex & Barb, Casey, Lauren, Curtis, Dade, Bob, Karin, Hans, Cec, Christina, Keith, Dan, Jackson, Mercedes, Colin, John, Jeff... and many others that I cannot remember off the top of my head. A special thanks to Nate and Rachel of Selway for entertaining us, Matt with Dragonfly for putting up with us, and Adam from Step 22 for being a brother in thread...Cannot wait for next year! Next up: Big Sky Overland Rally on August 3rd - Looking forward to this event, Josh - thanks for organizing!

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April 19, 2018

Where's Wildo?

Hey there. Came out from under the rock. 

Much time has passed since I was last here to word-vomit on you. Over the last year, our site has grown dramatically and with a lack of organized care associated with it. I am here to say that we are committing to fix some of these issues we are dealing with, such as poor formatting of images, lack of a category-subcategory architecture (you can slam Shopify stock themes for that), and some products not being published at all. It takes time, resources, and discipline to do all this, and at any one time we may be deficient of one of those! 

We are going to be working with a new branding company to assist us here and bring the site to a level we are happy with, but most importantly, that works well for you. Please be patient, I promise it won't be painful to you all.

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September 29, 2017

End of Year

It's the end of the fiscal year for us. It was a rewarding, but difficult, year indeed. We have made many strides in becoming more efficient, creating better processes, and delivering our orders on time and keeping higher levels of inventory. I applaud our staff for continuing on through the improvements and contributing so much to the cause. The site is not yet right, but it is getting there. The plant looks chaotic, but there is a method. And the staff are eager, but patient to allow it all to come together. It isn't easy, but we love it here. At least, most of the time... :)

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New Site Launch

April 11, 2017

New Site Launch

Within the last year we converted from an outdated ecommerce platform to a much more robust platform As it stands, the new and improved turned out to be too complicated to deal with, so we are now launching lastusbag.com via Shopify. This platform is not totally new to us, and we know it can be just as powerful as the previous without the cumbersome back end. We hope you enjoy the new site. Let us know how it is working for you.

The bummer with this switch is that customers with logins from the previous site will have to re-register. We apologize for this inconvenience and will assist however we can to make this as painless as possible...

1-800-688-8442 for help, complaints, accolades, or just to chat...

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