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Exclusive Release | Matador x Carryology EDX Lite

by , June 18, 2024

The time has come. A year after launching the Matador x Carryology EDX Series, it sold out and demand surged for its return. The Boulder-based Matador team responded to the Carryology community by deciding not to simply re-release the original. Instead, we refined the concept, resulting in the Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack.

 

This new version is lighter and more packable, yet maintains its utility, weatherproof design, and sleek vibe, making it the perfect light daypack for your travel adventures.

 

< SCORE THE EDX LITE HERE >

 

Shipping internationally.

 


Redefining One Bag Travel

This Odyssean journey begins with a concept we call “1.5 Bag Travel”, coined by our founder, Andy. We often extol the virtues of One Bag Travel—it’s easier, saves money, reduces strain, and makes travel more enjoyable. However, after extensive travel, our team realized this philosophy needed an update.

Consider this: no matter your destination or trip length, you don’t need everything in your travel bag at all times. Whether it’s 14 days in Japan or a weekend in Iowa, you need agility upon arrival. You need to leave your main pack behind and explore unburdened.

You don’t need five days’ worth of clothes when strolling through a Taiwanese night market. You don’t need your full toiletry kit or extra hiking boots while enjoying a beer in a London pub. That extra stuff is heavy and cumbersome. You don’t need it—at least not in the moment.

Deploy your secondary, smaller bag filled with EDC essentials, and leave the heavy load behind. This way, you have everything you need without the headache, backache, or hassle of a large travel bag.

We call this “1.5 Bag Travel”—the second bag is “half a bag” because it’s smaller, lighter, and nests inside your larger bag. Some prefer to use their secondary bag alongside their primary one, like a travel backpack with a small sling. Others opt for a packable backpack or messenger that fits inside their travel bag, ready to unfold as needed. There are many great brands, but the leader in the “packable” space is undeniably Matador. This is precisely the problem we solved with the EDX Series V1.

But how to improve upon a ‘home run’ community favorite? Well, you dive right into the feedback loop and listen to the original carriers of the collection, of course. 

Let’s hit the design table… 

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


Lightweight Becomes LITE-er (and More Packable)

How do you make a carry product lighter and more packable? As a well-educated Carryologist, you probably know a major element is the fabric. We were already using the space-age Dimension Polyant VX07 custom fabric in the last collection, so we needed something that matched or improved upon its properties. After weeks of testing and sourcing, we revisited a fabric we had initially considered for V1.

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


The Magic of Robic

“Magic” might be a strong word, but it feels warranted here. This fabric is not only lighter but more packable and even more tear-resistant than the VX07. Custom-made by Robic for this project, it features a black high-tenacity nylon base amplified with UHMWPE (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene), the strongest fiber on Earth. Matador designers found it so tough, it was hard to cut with fabric shears during prototyping. It also has a PU waterproof coating and C0 PFC-free DWR, ensuring the same water resistance you loved from the EDX Series. We used this custom fabric on five key areas (exterior front lower panel, exterior side panels, and shoulder straps), making the already lightweight backpack 13.4% lighter and 15% more packable.

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


Custom Dimension Polyant

For the remaining exterior panels, we retained the custom VX07 from the original EDX. This fabric uses a 70D blend of nylon and polyester with ripstop for durability, enhanced by a DWR coating for additional water resistance. It’s reinforced with recycled polyester X-Ply for strength, a 0.25 mil waterproof film, and a 50 denier polyester backing.

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack

Normally, we’d use an orange liner fabric inside. However, due to the bag’s complex patterning and to reduce weight, we custom-ordered VX07 X-Pac fabric from DP with a 50D polyester blaze orange backing. This choice made the patterning even more challenging, as mistakes can’t be hidden, but it allowed us to save weight and enhance packability. This was achieved through creative thinking and the expert execution of Sam Goodhue, Matador’s Softgoods Designer – bravo, Sam!

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


Auxikko Back Panel 

The back panel was a significant contributor to weight and bulk. Though we’re talking grams, they add up to ounces, and we aimed to shave off some ounces. So, we replaced the multi-layer, superfluous mono mesh back panel with our custom-made Dimension Polyant VX07 blaze orange fabric. We then added our custom Carryology auxikko pattern, inspired by samurai armor and Japanese geometric designs, for visual pop and awesomeness. 

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


Handle/Pass-Through

Eliminating the mono mesh back panel also removed the luggage pass-through — a crucial feature for a travel/EDC product. So, we reworked one of our favorite features from V1: the triple handles. We moved the two side handles to the center, creating a wide luggage pass-through that fits various trolley handles and doubles as carry handles for “briefcase mode.” We used the same webbing wrapped with heat shrink for improved grip and handfeel.

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


HydraGuard® 

Returning to our original brief, a primary goal was to ensure users could roam freely without worrying about their gear getting wet in a downpour. Seam taping every seam seemed like the only solution, but given the feature-rich patterning of these bags, it wasn’t feasible. Most seam-taped bags are simple, with one main compartment and perhaps one additional pocket. Our bags, however, have layers, pockets, and organization, along with magnets.

So, we needed innovation. We collaborated with Matador’s manufacturing facility to develop HydraGuard®, a water-resistant seam binding. This technology offers the same water-resistant barrier as expensive seam taping while allowing for complex patterns and layers in the design. HydraGuard® uses water-resistant seam binding and threading, preventing water from seeping through the seams like in traditional bag construction. And it adds an extra layer of defense against Poseidon and his buddies.

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


Minimal Branding

When traveling, you want your bags to be functional yet discreet—like an English butler: highly organized, stoic, unobtrusive, but always there when needed. Big branding is too flashy. To complement the all-matte black exterior, we added discreet screen-printed branding in black gloss. It’s nearly invisible until it catches the light, creating a sleek black-on-black, gloss-on-matte effect.

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


Organize and Improve (+Magnets) 

We didn’t haphazardly add pockets inside. Internal organization was a major challenge. Since these products need to pack flat, the pockets must also lay flat. This is tricky with 2D patterns creating 3D spaces and then flattening back to 2D. Matador’s expert patterning solved this, offering tons of usable organization that stays out of the way until needed.

We included a rear padded tech sleeve on the back interior wall to secure your phone, tablet, or laptop. It now closes neatly with an improved magnetic closure featuring a Woojin buckle and micro webbing. This design allows your laptop to fill the entire compartment while securely locking it in place. And yup, of course, the laptop compartment remains suspended for added protection.

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


Click-Click Magnetism

Speaking of magnets, the backpack’s water bottle pockets (yes, two—one on each side) feature magnetic closures. They fold away like Origami when not in use, seamlessly blending into the pack’s silhouette. The new Robic UHMWPE ripstop fabric makes it even easier for these pockets to seal tight.

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack

We sealed off the elements by using YKK AquaGuard zippers throughout the entire collection, with matte finish zippers for a stealthy look. Custom-designed thin cord with shrink-wrap tubing ensures easy operation and a jingle-free experience.

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


Micro-Mesh Straps

For comfort, we designed the underside of the shoulder straps with high-strength black micro-mesh and lightweight foam, offering breathability, grip, and all-day comfort while maintaining an ultra-minimal look.

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


Codename and Morale

Water and water resistance were key considerations throughout the design process, inspiring our product’s name. Drawing from oceanic mythology, we focused on Poseidon, the Greek god of the seas.

To pay homage, we enlarged the interior rear wall Velcro loop panel to fit a 2”x3” patch. Each backpack includes a TPU Velcro patch featuring Poseidon, carrying his iconic trident—a source of inspiration for the EDX Series V1. In a playful twist, we added the iconic Super Soaker 100 to his hands, just because… we love the ’90s! 

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


Triple Extras

This pack comes with its own custom breathable branded mesh pocket, now redesigned with a cinch cord instead of a zipper. This new design is easier and faster to use, saving weight and reducing the pack’s volume when cinched tight. 

You can roll or bunch it up to save space in your main travel bag, or use it as a small organizer to keep items tidy when laid flat. 

Also included are orange zipper pullers for customization, a nice extra touch from Matador and Carryology.

And as a final bonus, each backpack comes with an exclusive mini-comic designed by the Matador team, adding a fun surprise for users.

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


Features List

Matador® x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack

  • 22-liter capacity
  • Custom Dimension Polyant® X-Pac® technical fabrics, made in the USA
  • UHMWPE ripstop grid material is cut-resistant and provides infallible rip-stop performance
  • High-viz blaze orange interior 
  • HydraGuard® weatherproof seam-binding and non-wicking thread
  • Water-resistant YKK® sealing zippers on all external pockets + security loops
  • Breathable foam padded shoulder straps with strategic nylon monomesh for increased carry comfort
  • Secondary main compartment zipper for swing-to-front accessibility
  • Additional vertical zipper pocket on front
  • Dedicated laptop sleeve with protective false bottom and added security clip
  • Expandable magnetic water bottle pockets for streamlined aesthetic
  • Rolling luggage handle pass-through
  • Adjustable + removable sternum strap
  • Rubberized top and side grab handle
  • Includes MATADOR® x CARRYOLOGY® limited edition Poseidon collaborative artwork hook and loop morale patch
  • Custom printed back panel
  • Folds into included mesh storage bag or lays flat for travel
  • Includes orange zipper pullers for customized aesthetic

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


Specs

  • Volume: 22 liters
  • Weight: 13.09oz (371.1g)
  • Dimensions: 7.75 x 10.75 x 17.875in (19.6 x 27.3 x 45.4cm)
  • Packed Dimensions: 4.25 x 5.25 x 6.75in (10.8 x 13.34 x 17.15cm)

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


Materials

  • Waterproof Dimension Polyant® X-Pac® VX07, C6 DWR, PET film waterproof laminate
  • 70D Robic nylon UHMWPE (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) reinforced ripstop, PU waterproofing, C0 PFC-Free DWR
  • Number 5 YKK® PU coated sealing zippers
  • HydraGuard® weather-resistant seam binding
  • Non-wicking high-tenacity thread
  • Nylon monomesh
  • Systemmag® magnetic hardware
  • EVA foam
  • TPU Poseidon patch

Matador x Carryology EDX Lite Backpack


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