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by Alec Farmer

Since the very beginning, the Wee Lug has been a core part of our range, and over the years it could be found on the streets in a variety of different designs. So we thought we would give you the rundown of what it’s been, and maybe we’ll get a glimpse of what it’s going to be. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the bag design evolution of the Wee Lug messenger bag.

1st Edition

1st edition of the Wee Lug messenger cycling bag

Way back in 2010, the very first iteration of the Wee Lug was crafted in our living room. Like all of our bags at that time, it was made using reclaimed materials. The original design was also the most simple. It had a grand total of two pockets, a simple webbing strap and one of our original ‘name-tape’ brand labels.

2nd EditionEarly 2nd edition of the Wee Lug messenger cycling bag

In 2011, we began to develop this design a little further and as it was becoming harder and harder to find suitable reclaimed materials on the streets of Glasgow we dabbled with Cordura for a short time. We simply tightened up the details, improved some features and tailored the fit. This version had 3 pockets, and featured an updated label with the logo we used during that era.

The Mk1

The Wee Lug Mk1 messenger cycling bag

2012 saw a complete re-design, and marked a big change within the company. In line with the rest of our range, we introduced a completely new palette of British made materials, including our signature waxed canvas fabrics and stainless steel hardware.

This version, officially named the Wee Lug Mk1, was specifically designed for cycling and although it was inspired by our earlier designs, the features were developed in collaboration with local bike couriers. We increased the volume dramatically and spent a lot of time developing the fit and function of the bag. It featured a burly padded shoulder strap, Cobra buckle fastening and stabiliser strap for peace of mind and comfort. Inside, we doubled the number of pockets and debuted our first weather-resistant zips.

Mk1 Wee Lug Messenger Bag in Harris tweed worn by a women staring off into the distance

On launch day, it was available in standard waxed canvas or  Harris Tweed options, and we sold out fast. Before long, it had been voted ‘Best Active Messenger Bag’ by Carryology, and it quickly became our best-selling messenger bag.

Although a few details changed over the next couple of years, the next big redesign came in 2016. To be honest, we were nervous this time. The Mk1 had already won the hearts of our customers, as well as a couple of awards and you know how the saying goes – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Nonetheless we’ve always believed in using feedback from our customers to make better bags, and as a result we developed the Mk2.

The Mk2

man cycling with wee lug messenger

While the core materials remained the same, we focused on simplicity and weight. We omitted some of the details that weren’t working well, and simplified the overall design to create a pack that was more comfortable and versatile.

While the shape stayed roughly the same, we refined the pattern (which halved the weight) and rounded out the base to reduce the number of wear-points on the bag. We also realised that while many customers were keen cyclists, there was a core of people who wanted something more simple.

That’s why we took a modular approach with our whole range. Someone using it as their daily carry might only need the standard bag, while a keen cyclist will want a stabiliser strap to stop the bag from moving around on their back as they pedal.

Evolution of wee lug messenger

Thankfully, our most recent iteration was a welcome improvement and was voted ‘Best Work Messenger Bag’ by Carryology readers in 2016. Today, we’ve sent these bags all over the world. They’ve been used by bike couriers and businessmen, builders and botanists. From Newcastle to New York they have endured the worst weather, the steepest ascents and the longest commutes. And yes, they’ve won some awards too – but that won’t stop us working on the Mk3 soon!

Alec Farmer
Alec Farmer

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