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Press Releases

Black Ember Reimagines Waterproof, Rolltop Backpacks With WPRT Collection

San Francisco brand’s latest bags blend technical waterproof construction and intuitive organization

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SAN FRANCISCO (November 13, 2018) Black Ember, a lifestyle brand specializing in obsessively designed backpacks for the active urban nomad, today announces the limited release of its latest waterproof backpack line, the WPRT Collection, on Kickstarter. With elegant solutions to common rolltop backpack pain points, the WPRT brings a popular bag category into the modern era, and the first 50 backers have the opportunity to receive their bags months before other consumers.

Chris Gadway, Black Ember’s co-founder and chief designer, has long admired San Francisco’s de-facto bag of choice but felt the available options lacked functional elements key to an everyday bag.

“Typically, rolltops that have great waterproofing but lack organizational pockets and have restricted accessibility,” says Gadway. “The WPRT breaks this mold by combining multiple external, fast-access pockets and extreme waterproofing. Our proprietary no-seam, heat-bonded construction provides the best of both worlds in a minimal aesthetic package.”

The WPRT’s main compartment is built from a single piece of Black Ember’s proprietary three-layer, 800-denier textile, which is intricately folded before being heat-bonded along seams and to YKK Aquaguard zippers. Tested with a 1,200-PSI water jet, the WPRT’s IPX6 waterproof rating is ready to handle the worst mid-commute deluge imaginable.

To ease common access woes and boost organization, Gadway and team designed the WPRT around three independent compartments. The main cargo area loads through the large top opening and is quickly accessed through a side zipper, improving on-the-fly access to buried gear. A dedicated laptop compartment protects a 15-inch laptop while ensuring easy retrieval. The front pocket keeps mobile phones, keys, notebooks and other small necessities organized and at the ready.

The WPRT is available in two configurations: The Minimal prioritizes simplicity and clean exterior aesthetics while the Modular boasts compatibility with Black Ember’s existing range of 12 accessory pouches known as MODs. The WPRT is accompanied by four new MODs, including a WPRT-specific DSLR Pack, VERT Pack, Maglock Belt, and Maglock Key Chain. The modular attachment system combines German-engineered magnetic hardware and failsafe mechanical clasps for the perfect balance of speedy scalability and confidence-inspiring security.

As an incentive to early Kickstarter backers, the first 50 WPRT Minimal purchases will be fulfilled in January 2019, immediately following the Kickstarter project and a full three months before other backers see their packs in March.

For complete details, including options for backing Black Ember’s latest collection, visit the Kickstarter campaign at For a full press kit, please contact Brian Smith at


About Black Ember: Black Ember is a team of designers working at the intersection of urban lifestyle and technical backpack design. Designed and crafted in obsessive functional and aesthetic detail, Black Ember backpacks scale from minimal to maximal effortlessly, protect your precious cargo from the elements, and stand up to all the abuse along the way.