First Look at the Redesigned Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion
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One of our favorite seat packs just got even better. The redesigned Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion got a revamped, gravel bike friendly rack, a new “DarkWhite” dry bag, the ability to run either 12 or 15 liter dry bags, and several more modifications. Find all the details on the new Mr. Fusion and an interview with Porcelain Rocket founder Scott Felter here…
The Canadian-made Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion has long been one of our favorite seat packs. Not only is it completely waterproof, but the mini-rack/holster system prevents sway and movement better than any other seat pack on the market. It’s also extremely durable (read my 5,000-mile review from 2016). Last year, Porcelain Rocket reworked the strap system and introduced Mini and XL versions. We awarded that in our Gear of the Year after extensive testing. Now, they’ve done it again, refining and improving the system even further. Here are all the details, lots of photos, and an interview session with founder Scott Felter…
The most structural change to the latest version of Mr. Fusion (version four, I think) is the re-engineered mini-rack. It has a more pronounced lower curve, which not only contours better with the bag/holster, it also reduces the amount of necessary exposed seat post under the saddle. In effect, this makes it more gravel bike friendly, given the longer seat tubes and higher top tubes typically found on more road-oriented bikes. Another major change is the new holster, redesigned to accommodate two dry bag options (12L or 15L), thus replacing the Mr. Fusion XL and making it an all-in-one solution. The new Mr. Fusion is actually a tad heavier than the old regular Mr. Fusion, but lighter than Mr. Fusion XL… as you’d expect. Reason being is the new “DarkWhite” fabric makes for a slightly heavier dry bag, but it’s far more durable than older Mr. Fusion dry bag, according to Porcelain Rocket. It definitely feels more durable, and I prefer the aesthetic of the lighter color fabric, so I’m looking forward to putting some miles on it.
Other changes include a full Hypalon lower holster section, “dangle points” (loops on either bottom side of the holster), and a full Hypalon upper holster, complete with strap slots for adding items with a Voile strap. Continue on for the full specifications and more information on many of these details in the interview below.
Installation of the new Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion is the same as the last two models. First, remove the seatpost and slide the collar on. A single stainless thru-bolt holds the mini-rack and a single strap wraps the post. Then, the ends of the strap connected to the top part of the holster must then be unthreaded and looped through the saddle rails. Once rethreaded with the trucker hitch strap, the hitch straps are buckled to the lower holster, creating very stable system. While it takes a little effort to install and remove completely, the benefits are worth it, and when not in use, the collar can be left on the seatpost without rack attached.
- Claimed 500g complete (including drybag, rack, seatpost clamp, and all hardware); Note that my sample weighed in at 567 grams on the scale.
- 4130 Chromoly mini-rack (built by Hunter Cycles in Santa Cruz ,CA)
- Proprietary RF-welded 210D PU-coated nylon drybag included, in our signature DarkWhite™ colour
- PU-coated 420D fabric in our signature LightBlack™ colour
- HDPE Stiffened side panels to avoid thigh rub
- Bartacked at all critical stress points
- Duraflex™ acetyl buckles throughout
- CNC’d 6061 aluminum seatpost clamps (machined in Calgary, by Fidelity Machine)
- Full stainless steel rack attachment hardware included
- Trucker Hitch 2:1 side compression straps
- Full Hypalon lower holster section
- Double-back main seatpost attachment
- Convenient, integrated #dangle points
- Handmade in Calgary, Alberta Canada
Mr. Fusion 12 requires about 8″ (20cm) between the saddle rails and tire (when rear suspension is fully compressed on FS bikes), and 4″ (10cm) of exposed seatpost. Mr. Fusion 15 requires 9.5″ (24cm) between rails and tire, and 5.5″ (14cm) of exposed seatpost.
- Weight 567 grams (as tested)
- Volume Up to 12 or 15 liters
- Place of Manufacture Calgary, Alberta CA
- Price $240 CAD ($180 USD)
- Manufacturer’s Details PorcelainRocket.com
Interview with Scott Felter, Founder of Porcelain Rocket
What led you to take on another redesign of the Mr. Fusion?
We’ve been building the modular, waterproof version of Mr. Fusion for about four years now, and there were little things about the design that I wanted to change. We have newer technologies that allow us to make things more efficiently and better, and I wanted to integrate these into the new design… finally. The lower holster section is the most significant and important improvement, and one that I’m particularly proud of. The one-piece Hypalon section is: 1. Easier to make. 2. More durable. 3. Will stay put, as it doesn’t rely on being stretched tight over the rack, as previous generations did. 4. Tough looking.
How long has it been in the works?
I’ve been fiddling with the new design tweaks for about a year now.
When will you have more in stock?
We are working on a follow-up batch currently, which will be available mid-September.
How can folks get on the waiting list?
Email us through the contact page on the website. We’re diligent about keeping pre-notification lists and actually emailing folks 1-2 days before a batch goes onto the site.
Can you tell tell us a little about your batch sales model?
Porcelain Rocket is definitely different in our manufacturing/sales model. We do not accept pre-orders, as it terrifies me to take someone’s money for an item that doesn’t exist yet. Regardless of best intentions, shit does occasionally happen (especially in a small manufacturing business world), and I’d rather only sell things I’ve actually made and have in stock. This keeps everything simple, honest, and my mind sane. These days, we typically build batches of 100 in our most popular items. A hundred of something is about the maximum amount I want to subject any of my employees to. Any more than that and the monotony of a task is most certainly increased. So, for products like Mr. Fusion, we aim to build 100 about every eight weeks. With this re-design, it was about 16 weeks between batches, as we had a few new pieces of tooling made for the new design. This is part of why this first batch sold out so quickly… there were lots of folks on the pre-notification list.
With the launch of the new website, we are sort of adopting the microbrewery model of batch building. The mainstays are things that we try our best to keep in stock, or On Tap. You can’t sell beer until it’s done though, and likewise we can’t sell a batch of bags until they’re finished. Mr. Fusion is our IPA. Why? Because I like IPAs. And just as a microbrewery will brew a special batch of something Seasonal only a few times a year, when things are slower in the taproom, we have our own line-up of Seasonals that only come around a couple times a year. Namely, the Dumpling brothers. It’s not that we don’t love these products, but they carry a far lower demand than other items, so it really only make sense to build them when we aren’t filling high-season demand. Often overlooked, it’s a business after all.
I’ve also maintained a solid belief throughout the history of the brand that I want to actually know the folks who work for me and who build the things we sell. So, we’ve grown more slowly than some brands, and we don’t outsource our manufacturing. There are also only five of us and we all work on nearly every pack that is built here. This is about the maximum size of business I think I could ever manage reasonably. I care about people and the things we make too much to ever take a more typical hands-off product manager role. I still want to design and make things. We’re also working out of a 600-square-foot garage in a somewhat sketchy neighbourhood of Calgary, and moving to a bigger, rented industrial facility gives me anxiety, so these sorts of personal decisions have driven the growth and model of the business. I’m proud of these things regardless, even if it’s not always the easiest way to do this thing we do.