Bedouin, one of our favorite carry brands on earth. A brand with unmatched uniqueness, timelessness, storytelling, and flair. With products that aren’t your average – they’re beautiful handmade pieces of artwork.
As our Senior Editor, Laurence Fry mused in his Bedouin Barbarossa review (also, my personal most used bag of 2021 and 2022), some of my favorite lines of text in Carryology history: “This handmade masterpiece is charming and endearing to use. It truly feels like it has been loved into existence.” This pretty much encapsulates how I feel about all the Bedouin pieces that I own and use: the Barbarossa, Genghis, KHAN, Sharky, Balain, Barbary, Delireis, and Mamluke. It truly is a brand at the very top tier of Carry.
There is one man behind the helm of this buccaneer vessel, Silas Grant: artist, visionary, and a man I’m proud to call my friend. I’d make my way to Wales to meet him for our last design trip to the UK – he’s now uprooted himself, his family, and Bedouin, moving out to the picturesque countryside, and designs out of a new Bedouin HQ located in Berriew, Wales (population 283).
I was headed to Wales for the first time in my life. And my travel colleague Laurence (visiting Wales for the ten thousandth time) joined along for the rural hangs and to work on the newest Bedouin x Carryology collaboration project.
In a mutually despised rental Peugeot coupe, Laurence and I depart from Trakke HQ in Glasgow, Scotland down through England, placing a GCEP patch at Hadrian’s Wall on our road trip, and then crossing into Wales.
Laurence and I arrive at Silas’s home, an old farmhouse, with a sprawling lush garden and a large barn on the side, converted into Bedouin’s headquarters. While he’s currently using one small room in the barn for the office and design studio, he toured us through all the future rooms and their respective purposes – Bedouin’s future looks bright! – and then we got down to the business of dreaming up the next best project.
For the last three collaborations, we used high-tech Dyneema, buttery leather, and a hand-printed orange cotton drill liner, creating a little product family:
1. Balian (Design Article & Release Article)
2. KHAN (Design Article & Release Article)
3. Sharky (Design Article & Release Article)
So the challenge was, what’s next? We had already nailed, in our humble opinions, the best possible examples of a sling, a messenger, and a backpack that represented the Bedouin x Carryology concept direction. Two of the products were designed together from the ground up (Balian and Sharky), while the KHAN borrowed from the existing perfect messenger (Genghis). So what could we do now? A small accessory? Another messenger? We were proud of the work we had already done and the end users all loved them, each selling out in less than 60 seconds. So what if we didn’t create something new, just for the sake of it? What if we used what we already had?
Sometimes simplicity is best. Why mess with perfection? We’d re-release all three in a new vision. Being that Bedouin products are normally offered in Halley Stevensons waxed cotton canvas and our Bedouin collaborations have all used Dyneema, we all wanted to see these three previous products in the iconic fabric.
That was the brief, a full three-piece collection, which we’d call the Triptych Collection. Triptych means “something composed or presented in three parts or sections”. But we couldn’t just pick a color of fabric from the catalog. No, sir. Silas reached out to the Dundee-based, Scottish weatherproof fabric maker boasting 150+ years of manufacturing experience, and went in search of something unique and special.
The folks up in Dundee had just released a new technology to their production offerings, which isn’t very common with such a traditional manufacturer, so we were immediately intrigued with this news. Basically, they’d started offering up custom digital printing on their heritage waxed fabrics. One of the options was the screaming bold Swedish M90 Camo printed pattern (humorously nicknamed “the leaf pile” by Swedish soldiers), which we had used a variation of previously on our Carryology P06 morale patch. We loved it. Even though it was brand new as part of the Spring/Summer 2023 fabric collection, we just had to elevate it a step further… because… well, you know how this works by now.
So we called up the fabric gurus and played with a variety of different fabrics, scaling options of the M90 pattern (both larger and smaller), and we color-swapped out the bright yellow to our signature bright orange. We opted for the P400 Desert Wax Plus, a 100% cotton base fabric, digitally printed, with a natural dry wax finish, and coming in at a confident 537g/m² weight. After a handful of lab dip samples and playing with the swatches at Bedouin HQ, we had arrived at the final perfect fabric: the Halley Stevensons P400 Desert Wax Plus Bespoke Swedish Camo M90 Bedouin X Carryology Edition (AKA HSP400DWPBSCM90BXCE). An intentionally funny mouthful of word soup? Yep. Damn awesome custom Scottish-made fabric? Absolutely.
While we waited on the full production roll of custom fabric, we played with some different leather color options. We were really torn between using brown leather, just to try something different. But after a handful of mockups, the bold contrast of the black leather was the perfect complement.
Commemorating the Triptych Collection, Silas called upon the legend himself, the designer of many of Bedouin’s iconic artworks, graphics, and internal print liner, Zeke Wade. Zeke whipped up a few different graphic logo options for the custom collaboration triptych internal label. We finally ended up loving the geometric sphere, specifically a polyhedron based on a three-pointed star. Very Bedouin. Perfect.
Each of these three products is individually handmade in the small Bedouin workshop in rural Somerset, England. There are only 33 units of each. Yes, 33 of each. The reason there are so few? Because this is a small cottage maker who doesn’t focus on big quantities. That’s the way they do things. The old way. The slow way. Their own way.
To make the whole naming thing nice and simple, we added “TT” to the end of each product name. Each already has its own character or codename, which we loved so much, we didn’t want to reinvent them – TripTych = TT.