From the start, Radical Design has worked on durability, functionality and comfort. Fancy details, designed to enhance sales, do not improve a product and cannot be found on ours. Simple designs add to durability. We use our products intensively ourselves and we haven't worn through one of them yet. Because we're relatively small, we are able to give each product the maximum of care. Errors are normally eliminated because of this. Apart from this all of our products are designed with a big surplus of strength, so they should be able to endure a lot of abuse. Our warranty reflects on this.
Our warranty is good but you will probably never need it. We build strong stuff! We warrant our products for their life, against defects in materials and workmanship. This excludes damage due to normal wear and tear and incompetent handling. We will determine whether a defect is covered under warranty. If so, it is repaired or replaced, if not we can still repair it at a reasonable charge.
Whenever possible, we top-stitch our seams, the strongest connection in Cordura. When this isn't possible, we stitch seams for at least three times (sometimes five). All major seams are nicely rounded to prevent unnecessary stress points.
Radical Design uses fabric that is fully waterproof. All seams are stitched though, which means that they may leak. The point is we build stuff to last and perform for a long time. Our bags outlast all welded waterproof bags. If you're expecting bad weather and you want to be sure to keep your gear waterproof, use a rain cover or use a plastic liner inside the bag.
Fabric isn't selected on price, but on durability. We use Cordura® 500 and 1000 denier.
Why is Cordura® as durable as it is? Polyamide (nylon) is available in a great variation of concoctions. For packs it is important that there are good and bad ones. Cordura® is made of polyamide 6.6, a so called high-tenacity nylon, giving an incredible tensile strength. This nylon is air-texturised, resulting in a very high abrasion resistance. Fabrics with fantasy names like Kodra, Cordula and so on, are either made of polyester (when lucky), or plain polyamide. It is possible to attach a handsome coating to these fabrics and for the untrained eye it is nearly impossible to differentiate between them and Cordura®.
The best coatings for Cordura® are made of PU (Polyurethane). Radical Design uses 3 layers of PU coating.
PU coatings are very tough and through the method of applying the coating will find its way between the fabrics' fibers.
We use 500 denier fabric on places that receive less wear and wherever comfort is important (slicker). Cordura 1000 denier is used for abrasion-sensitive areas.
In all body contact areas a so called Spacer Mesh is being used. This 3D fabric is often used in the the shoe industry and makes for a very open ventilating layer between bag and body.
As aluminium we use 6061-T6. This aircraft-grade alloy is strong and shape-able to the back.
The buckles are made by National Molding, perfectly shaped and made of Delrin. Contrary to nylon this will not absorb water and withstands extreme temperatures very well.
Most of the foam is Evazote 50 kg/m3 (EV50). Imported from England and expensive. We like to call it 'memory-foam' because it always comes back after compression.
All zippers are continuous coil models from YKK and are self repairing, much stronger than their Far-East imitations. They open easily and don't jam. The sliders are all nickel plated, this not only looks good but makes them harder than painted ones.
We use UV treated high tenacity bonded nylon thread for the seams. All seams are taped to prevent fraying and to ensure their durability.
Radical Design use sustainable energy since 1998 and produce their solar energy themselves since 2013.
Radical Design products require very little maintenance. Keeping them clean and dry is about all you need to worry about. But after a trip there are several things to keep in mind:
Zippers: keep the zippers as free as possible of sand, mud and dust. These will accelerate wear on the zippers. If you used your bag near the sea, the salty spray may oxidate the slider. To prevent this, rinse the bag with water afterwards.
Coating: the coating is the most fragile part of the fabric. Please treat this with care and keep sharp objects away from it. The coating will dissolve in some chemicals, like nail-polish remover.
Cleaning: after a trip clean your pannier or bag. Shaking it out to get rid of dirt and small furry animals is a good start. Before storing your pannier or bag, make sure it is thoroughly dry to prevent mildew. If the bag is very dirty, hose it off or place it in a bathtub with lukewarm water and a mild soap. Use a brush to attack stubborn dirt and rinse well afterwards. The dirt might otherwise accumulate and accelerate wear. Be sure again to completely dry the item before storing!
Foam: the foam of our recumbent bags may deform when compressed for a long period of time. Therefore make sure the foam is always unfolded.