Quality & CraftsmanshipThe Pulse of a Mile 22 Bag
Introduction to Mile 22’s Quality & Craftsmanship
When Mile 22 Bags started in 2008, we knew as much about what it takes to make a quality custom designed bag as one does when they are first starting to run. Like a beginning runner, Stef our founder, just wanted a way to tell her story by carrying her achievements with her; instead of just leaving them to hang on a wall or be stuffed in a bin in her closet.
Have you ever purchased a bag, you know from a major retailer, and hoped the money you just spent would be worth it? Only to have the zipper break or the lining tear before it should have?
Simply put, just like those running shoes, bicycle, comfortable fitting swim goggles, or whatever equipment is required to do your sport; you know that quality and craftsmanship trumps price and inferior components every single time.
When you carry your achievements with you; you should do so with the confidence that your Mile 22 Bag was made in America, by Americans (some of whom are disabled veterans), with American parts and materials. We don’t support low quality, slave labor or ruining the environment with chemicals; just so we can make a few extra dollars along the way.
We know you run life’s race for more than just yourself, and we want your Mile 22 Bag to tell your story for years and years to come.
Chapter One – Solid Materials
So one day, one of our team members was out for a run. This particular run was just after some rainy weather. Between dodging the mud slicks and water puddles amongst the occasional dry patch, the sole of their shoe became detached. Now for those of you who have had this same unfortunate experience; probably the only thing worse is discovering your kayak developed a leak while a long ways from shore. It just plain sucks!
We feel the same way about a bag that can’t hold it’s own weight!
Solid, high quality materials are the foundation of every Mile 22 Bag.
We use high quality, outdoor grade CORDURA® fabrics; the same quality materials used by Kelty, Mountainsmith, CamelBAK, Timbuk2, The North Face and other great outdoor companies.
What about zippers that separate or if the teeth get out of alignment…just in case that happens, we use a patented self-healing zipper. Simply run the zipper pull back over the teeth and voila; good as new! We also invert the zipper bail so it is more protected from moisture and dust and dirt.
Our thread is not the thread you buy at Wal-Mart or Jo-ann Fabrics, but is a thread made of nylon or polyester which has a marked improvement over cotton and is what top quality (not from China) bag manufactures use. Where cotton thread does not handle moisture or sunlight and falls apart with very low friction, nylon thread, that we use is well known for its strength, flexibility, and tinsel (stretch). These threads are strong enough to be used in critical items such as the sails of ships, vehicle airbags, as well as top quality boots and garments due to their resistance to chemicals, dirt and grime, and their ability to withstand sunlight over time.
Thread and fabric aren’t the only components of our bags. Just like the zippers we use, any other hardware selected for a Mile 22 Bag must meet our “virtually indestructible” standards. Our general guideline is, “if its great enough for critical occupations (such as the military, fire and rescue, police and security forces); its worthy to be included in a Mile 22 Bag”.
Chapter Two – Art Meets Quality
The brilliance of a Mile 22 Bag is the marriage of artistry.
There is the art supplied by you and through the sweat, tears and sometimes blood that it took you to earn your memorabilia. (please wipe off blood before including) 🙂
We then take your hard earned accomplishments, lay them out into a design that works with the bag design you chose, and marry it with the artistry and craftsmanship of extremely competent seamstresses and seamsters right here in Ocala, Florida, USA.
Great quality starts with great design. By paying attention to the details, before we even begin sewing, Mile 22 products transcend simply being good, to being great!
Protecting Your Memorabilia
Look…you worked hard for your achievements. Most bags you buy “off the shelf” use significantly more quantity of pieces than a Mile 22 Bag. This means most bags you buy have more seams than they need. In fact, the more seams that exist the weaker the bag is due to the reduced integrity of the original fabric. Mile 22 designs our bags with as few seams as possible in order to maintain the original strength of our high quality CORDURA® fabrics.
Additionally, we secure your memorabilia with two methods to ensure both a secure and finished look to your custom design.
Lastly, we incorporate right into your bag design a protective layer which prevents moisture and dirt and grime from reaching your memorabilia. Ensuring your achievements look great for years and years to come.
Chapter Three – Add Some Great People
People, Process, and Product.
These three overarching areas of focus are what guide every decision Mile 22 makes. The most important is for sure our People!
This is why Mile 22 cultivates incredible talent. We know that your custom bag is only going to be as great as the people we have on our team. Our Team Leads are some of the best stitchers, seamsters and seamstresses around. With a trained eye for detail and quality control; they truly are freaks of nature (just like some of you health freaks out there)!
Our goal with our customers is for you to love your Mile 22 Bag.
You can’t love your Mile 22 Bag if our people don’t love your bag first. In order to retain this talent we cultivate and foster this love with further training and resources. We pay people what they are worth. We are not running a sweatshop abroad or locally. We want to pay people well so that they and their families are well taken care of. We employ people from all walks of life. Male, female, veterans, people with disabilities, people without disabilities, non-military…you get the point right?
We find people that will love your bag as much as we hope you do.
Conclusion – Why Mile 22
In a marathon, Mile 22 is known as a point of transformation. It can be the most challenging part of the race – a time when one may feel vanquished and many runners often succumb to the stress of the race. They hit the wall…
Mile 22 can also be the moment when a runner taps into a part of themselves that gives them the power and strength to push through the emotional and physical challenge and finish the race.
Like many circumstances in life that require this kind of effort and where one may question their ability to succeed, there is a positive turning point. This understanding of personal power can push anyone beyond that which they thought they were capable. This is true transformation—in running and in life.
Our customers are involved in a variety of sports ranging from running, to CrossFit, to cycling. We have triathletes, dual-athletes, sprinters, marathoners, and every distance in between. Water lovers (rowing, kayaking, and swimming) winter lovers (skiing, snowboarding, and skating), and even a few book lovers (sorry we don’t have the list of books). Whether you are a shooter, an equestrian, a bowler, a cheerleader, an adventure racer or hiker; you are Mile 22!
Mile 22 customers are unified by the belief that sports are more than just a competition. Our customer’s sporting achievements are a way for them to share their “Mile 22” story.
Carry Your Achievements With You,
Stacey and Jason Ansley
Owners, Mile 22