The build quality and attention to detail of the Cub Ruck shows not only was the pack built to
handle an energetic young adventurer, but with a parent’s mindset of necessity
and safety. Because the Cub Ruck has a lot of details and features specifically in a
pack for kids, I reached out to the founder of Cub Cubs to get some insight on the
development of the Cub Ruck. Graciously, Polly agreed to a Q&A interview:
Brian: Was the Cub Ruck always on the drawing board since the start of your brand
Polly: Yes, in fact the primary drive for creating Cub Cubs was to bring to market a
adult-quality US made pack designed specifically for outdoorsy kids.
Brian: When designing the Cub Ruck, what and who were your major influences?
Polly: I knew I wanted to use materials and construction techniques that most kids
packs on the market weren’t using: technical fabrics like Cordura,
MILSPEC edge-binding, closed-cell foam, highly functional admin and
water bottle pockets, and high-visibility reflective strips. I was seeing
folks replacing their kid’s pack once or twice a year as they were literally
falling apart; I knew I could do better. Additionally, as morale patches (or badges as I like to call them) are a staple for us, we needed a pack that had large loop panels incorporated into
the design to allow the cubs to customize their packs.
Brian: What was the development process for you like from putting a design on
paper till your first prototype?
Polly: The development process was an eye-opening experience for me and
frankly the most challenging. I don’t come from a design background, so I relied on the expertise of a technical artist to help with turning my three-dimensional idea into a two-dimensional drawing. Although a few tweaks were needed, I was very pleased with the first iteration.
Brian: What types of climate and terrain conditions was the Cub Ruck put to the
Polly: Virtually all the West Coast has to offer. We’ve used this little pack at the
beach, in the rain, in the snow, in the desert, and the urban jungle as
well. We use these rucks daily, for everything from camping, hiking, to
Wing Chun classes on Saturday and trips to the grandparents. They are
truly an indispensable item in my kids daily lives.
Brian: How many prototypes and changes were made before putting the Cub Ruck
into Final production?
Polly: I had three primary prototypes that we field tested for sizing and ease of use
for our prime demographic, ages 2-9. My kids were perfect product
testers in so many environments and situations. It was great to have my
own fit models to get real world feedback to improve the design. The
design process took about 18 months.
Brian: With the Cub Ruck available in two color versions (Moss Green and Wolf
Grey), will there be additional colors available in the future?
Polly: Absolutely, more colors are planned for the coming year, as well as a larger
version for bigger kids.
Brian: Speaking of future…. Are there any plans for more Cub Cubs packable gear?
Polly: Over the next year more clothing options and a few ruck accessories are
already on the drawing board. Stay tuned!