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Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
ULA Camino on 02/22/2010 07:28:22 MST Print View

From ULA:
"In April, we're planning to release a new backpack...
The Camino backpack will be our premier lightweight panel loader."

Also a remake of the Arctic pack known as the EPIC.
The Conduit will be renamed the CDT (ConDuiT.

Gary Boyd
(debiant) - F

Locale: Mid-west
I'd love to see... on 02/22/2010 07:32:37 MST Print View

A smaller volume pack from ULA. I like their pack design, but I really want something no bigger than 38L... Been considering the MLD Burn.

Justin McMinn
(akajut) - F

Locale: Central Oklahoma
Re: ULA Camino on 02/22/2010 07:59:24 MST Print View

Hope they post some pictures. I've been looking for a new pack.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
ULA Camino on 02/22/2010 09:55:03 MST Print View

Found out the Camino is closer in size and weight to a Catalyst.

Still hoping for a beefed-up hipbelt on the Ohm, for us larger folk.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
ULA Camino on 02/22/2010 10:13:45 MST Print View

I too would like to see a 40L pack, full dyneema gridstop, delron hoop.

Brett Peugh
(brettpeugh) - F

Locale: Midwest
el on 02/22/2010 10:36:13 MST Print View

Maybe they will have an optional add on 'bed' for more hauing volume and it will be the El Camino.

Robert Carver
(Rcarver) - MLife

Locale: Southeast TN
ULA on 02/22/2010 11:49:05 MST Print View

Yeah, wouldn't a 40 liter Circuit be a great addition to the pack line? I would buy one yesterday if they had it.

Edited by Rcarver on 02/22/2010 11:51:17 MST.

Gary Boyd
(debiant) - F

Locale: Mid-west
Contacted Chris about the possibility of a smaller pack... on 02/22/2010 12:11:58 MST Print View

I contacted Chris and he said:

"Gary, I would love to make a smaller pack, but making everything in the US means it's very difficult to make anything that sells for less than $175 and turn a reasonable profit, so for now we are going to continue to focus on larger packs// Thanks for your interest///"

And unfortunately he's right, he seems to have a lot more overhead than Joe at Zpacks solo mission.

Robert Carver
(Rcarver) - MLife

Locale: Southeast TN
larger? on 02/22/2010 13:08:59 MST Print View

With equipment being able to pack smaller and smaller, why the need for larger packs? I use my Circuit for winter trips up to a week in length and my Conduit for week long summer trips. I've only used my Catalyst for one trip and that was to haul party supplies two miles to a shelter in the Smokies for an over night trip.

Guess I'll probably have to break down and get an Exos 34 for my summer pack.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Contacted Chris about the possibility of a smaller pack... on 02/22/2010 17:45:17 MST Print View

"Gary, I would love to make a smaller pack, but making everything in the US means it's very difficult to make anything that sells for less than $175 and turn a reasonable profit, so for now we are going to continue to focus on larger packs// Thanks for your interest///"


Et tu, Brute?

Let's face it, there is little profit in making UL gear. The market is too small.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: larger? on 02/22/2010 18:51:53 MST Print View

"Guess I'll probably have to break down and get an Exos 34 for my summer pack."

There's always the MLD Burn. And zPacks makes some great cuben packs.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Contacted Chris about the possibility of a smaller pack... on 02/22/2010 19:01:04 MST Print View

""Gary, I would love to make a smaller pack, but making everything in the US means it's very difficult to make anything that sells for less than $175 and turn a reasonable profit, so for now we are going to continue to focus on larger packs// Thanks for your interest///"
"


Sounds like GM's take for making bigger cars rather than smaller cars!! :)

But I wonder if boutique gear makers can handle special orders? After all, isn't being more nimble and more responsive supposed to be the strengths of a boutique gear maker?!?

Edited by ben2world on 02/22/2010 19:01:48 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Contacted Chris about the possibility of a smaller pack... on 02/22/2010 19:48:04 MST Print View

I don't know. Since the ULA change over it seems like almost all the focus has been on how to make a profit rather than on partly sharing with customers a love for packs and backpacking. There is something impersonal about it and has made me extremely reluctant to even consider buying a pack from ULA now. One of the great attractions about buying from and staying with companies like Gossamer Gear, TarpTent, or Mountain Laurel Designs is that sense that you are being personally catered to and that your needs are, at least partly, being heard. I've never once gotten the sense from any of those companies that their profit is more important than my needs as a customer.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Re: Contacted Chris about the possibility of a smaller pack... on 02/22/2010 19:57:28 MST Print View

I don't know. Since the ULA change over it seems like almost all the focus has been on how to make a profit rather than on partly sharing with customers a love for packs and backpacking. There is something impersonal about it and has made me extremely reluctant to even consider buying a pack from ULA now. One of the great attractions about buying from and staying with companies like Gossamer Gear, TarpTent, or Mountain Laurel Designs is that sense that you are being personally catered to and that your needs are, at least partly, being heard. I've never once gotten the sense from any of those companies that their profit is more important than my needs as a customer.

+1

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Re: Re: Contacted Chris about the possibility of a smaller pack... on 02/22/2010 20:05:35 MST Print View

"But I wonder if boutique gear makers can handle special orders? After all, isn't being more nimble and more responsive supposed to be the strengths of a boutique gear maker?!?"

I'm curious about who the longest lasting boutique maker has been?

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
ULA on 02/22/2010 20:12:39 MST Print View

Does anyone know what Brian Frankle is doing now?

I think you might be a little hard on ULA - I mean, I made some comments about how Golite was going mainstream and I had my testes handed to me on a platter by some - "Dave, it's all about profits. Leave MLD and Zpacks to cater to the SUL fringe....."

Edited by FamilyGuy on 02/22/2010 20:14:32 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: ULA on 02/22/2010 20:41:01 MST Print View

I'm curious about who the longest lasting boutique maker has been?

McHale and Stephenson's have got to be two of the oldest boutique gear makers, no?

"Dave, it's all about profits. Leave MLD and Zpacks to cater to the SUL fringe....."

Living in Japan where it's considered extremely bad taste to push aside a customer in favor of reminding them that you are in it to make a profit, I have to politely disagree. Remember that it is the customer who ultimately determines whether or not the manufacturer is going to make a profit or not, and it is definitely NOT the customer's responsibility to help that manufacturer make a profit. Sure, making a profit is the manufacturer's goal, but in order to do that they have to appeal to the customer, and image, especially for a boutique manufacturer, is everything. Reminding a customer who queries you about possible needs they have that you will not do something for them because you can't make a profit off it is just a slap in the face and is sure to turn a sizable number of customers away, the last thing you want to do. Even if their question is counter-productive, the least you should do as a manufacturer is word your answers right, so that the customer feels welcome and catered to. What other reason is there to be a boutique manufacturer if not to build up trust and loyalty? It may be inconvenient and a lot of extra work to maintain the dialogue with customers, but if you look at the company reviews in the reviews section here you will see the words "trustworthy" and "listen" used over and over again. There is a very good reason for that.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: ULA on 02/22/2010 20:45:51 MST Print View

I think it's perfectly OK for a company to say "no" if that's just not the direction it wants to go.

It's all a balancing act, of course, but I also think that it behooves boutique companies to try their hardest to serve their customers -- hence, my statement above that maybe ULA can consider taking special orders. If a customer is willing to pay -- why not go an extra mile?

And at the end -- we the customers all get to vote with our wallets!

Edited by ben2world on 02/22/2010 20:53:49 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
ULA Camino on 02/22/2010 20:48:26 MST Print View

Are you disagreeing with me? Sounds like you are reading from my playlist.

My point was that I felt that Golite was abandoning its roots but was told that this is okay and done in the name of profitability. Why is it not okay for ULA to move in this direction but okay for Golite?

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: ULA Camino on 02/22/2010 20:55:03 MST Print View

Why is it not okay for ULA to move in this direction but okay for Golite?

I think we are in agreement... but you did mention that a lot of people criticized you and you seemed to be , er, "faltering". ;-)

I'm not sure I follow you about GoLite. Where did I say anything about their philosophy? I agree with you on that, too. After all, Golite's name is "Go Light", right?

That being said, I've always wondered what really happened between Ray Jardine and GoLite just before they went their separate ways. Jardine may be an eccentric, but I always felt there was something fishy and underhanded about what GoLite did, and that Jardine's reaction was one of bitterness and distrust. It may very well be this whole unsavory "profit above all" attitude that caused the rift in the first place.

Edited by butuki on 02/22/2010 21:01:15 MST.