No mass production or overseas workforce. WaterField bags are designed and made in San Francisco, where rent is high, labor is expensive and competition is intense. We wouldn’t go anywhere else!
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Gary, our founder, is a long-time cyclist, a former Boston bike messenger, and an admitted bagophile. In 1998, while cycling to his corporate job as General Manager of a Mountain Bike Company, he had an epiphany. Why not combine the best elements from his bike messenger bag (roominess and accessibility) with the organization of a company briefcase (lots of pockets)?
This eventually led to WaterField's signature product, the Cargo Bag. Gary’s designer friends, of course, freely expressed their opinions on the first prototype, and Gary took all their comments to heart and used them to hone the Cargo Bag’s design. Even now, customer feedback continues to be the inspiration behind the design of every product in WaterField’s line of bags, computer cases, totes, and accessories.
THE SECRET TO OUR SUCCESS: CUSTOM(ER) DESIGN
You ask for it, you get it. The VertiGo travel tote took on a vertical shape when customers complained of sore shoulders. The snug-fitting laptop SleeveCases were developed with university students who were looking for a simple protective covering for hauling their laptops to classes. Racer-X was originally created for Apple users who were looking for a case to protect their new Titanium G4’s. You talk, Gary listens.
From the non-slip material for the shoulder strap pads (which we found in Switzerland) to the self-locking zippers on our accessories (crazy expensive -but worth it), we meticulously research and test every detail. Industrial-strength hardware means you won’t spill your (bag’s) guts. No worries about the shoulder strap disconnecting from a heavy bag load.
We even do all the manufacturing locally so we can control every step of the process. (Okay, so we’re control freaks -- but customers don’t seem to mind.) Our goal is simple: to make products our customers will use, abuse, and adore.
A FEW OF OUR INNOVATIONS
We use black, ballistic nylon (used in bullet-proof vests) because it’s highly durable and keeps its lustre for many, many years. Our bags' inside liners are gold rather than black - not because it looks cooler (although it does), but because it gives you instant visibility of your bag's contents. Industrial-strength hardware is used for the buckles, zippers, and D-rings to easily and reliably hold and balance heavy loads. The opening on our Cargo pocket is a half circle rather than "U" shaped, so you can open it and access its contents with a single hand. We put a stiffener in the Large Cargo so it keeps its shape while still contouring comfortably to your body. The pockets and SleeveCases are designed for one-handed access. Really. (Even the aluminum aircraft buckle on the Cargo can be opened and closed with just one hand.) Gear Pouches use self-locking zippers so that your contents don’t accidentally spill out. The shoulder pad uses comfortable non-sliding material to prevent bags from slipping off your shoulder. And the beat goes on...
In a nutshell, WaterField products are ridiculously well-made, fastidiously designed, have more personality than you can shake a stick at, and are so "user-friendly", that you can actually operate them with one arm tied behind your back. This turns out to be a huge benefit for high-frequency travelers; the busy, laptop-carrying, cell phone-obsessed commuting types; or the dual diaper/carrying bag parents.
Sound too good to be true? Don't take our word for it; check out what our customers say on each of our product pages.