How to find a Rucksack and Sports Bag Factory

If you are looking to produce rucksacks, luggage or sports bags, then finding a suitable, quality factory is tough going.

Sure, there are sourcing websites out there that will guide you to 100s of backpack factories, however, trying to locate a quality travel bag factory that produces bags for other, quality brands will be almost impossible to find.

Many of the factories that you will find on the sourcing websites will claim to make for established sports brands and may even show a branded sports bag that you could rebrand with your logo and order 100pcs. This sounds too good to be true and unfortunately, it is. Ask yourself, why would an established factory want to sell a small brand the identical sports bag or waterproof rucksack that they produce in the 10’s of 1000’s for one of their largest customers?

You also need to understand that established brands don’t want their bag suppliers to advertise the fact that they make their products. Product sourcing and supplier partnerships are part of the cornerstone of any brand and therefore they will make sure that their suppliers NEVER advertise, promote or disclose what they produce for them.

The factories that do produce for the big brands usually have a terrible website as they don’t need to advertise or promote their business as they already have a great reputation and a large network of clients that produce their ranges of bags, sacks and luggage every season.

So how do you find the perfect factory to produce your rucksacks, luggage or sports bags?

One way would be to talk to fabric mills that produce the fabrics for the type of bags you want and ask them for recommendations. Alternatively, you could come to us and tap into our network of factories.

Remember, a factory is only one part of the process to produce your range of sports bags. You need to start with a clear design, trim pack (shoulder-strap, zip pulls, labels, buckles, badges etc), a detailed Tech Pack and a BOM so that factory understand the design and how to produce the samples for your approval.

You will also need some understanding of fabrics and test methods to make sure the fabrics you select for your bags are up to the job in terms of strength and durability and you may want to consider some field testing of the samples if you don’t have the knowledge of durable bag construction. It’s easy to make a bag look great from the outside but the bag needs to look great in 6 months time and be able to carry your customers kit without buckles, zips, fabric and straps breaking under strain.

Having an understanding of how the industry works will also aid communication with the factory. If you open the discussion with the factory without the required Cad design, sources fabrics and components, tech pack and BOM, the chances are the factory will either ignore you or claim they are too busy to accept new customers right now. Understanding the sample, lab dip and strike off process will also be key to making sure the factory stay engaged as it’s not their priority or job to teach you as you go. Some factories may even capitalise on your lack of knowledge by skipping some critical approvals samples

If you are thinking of starting a sportswear bag, luggage or rucksack brand or looking for a new supplier, please get in touch.

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