Gauging interest in a pack design
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Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Gauging interest in a pack design on 07/21/2011 12:33:28 MDT Print View

I've been heavily discussing a pack idea with a couple of local friends and BPL members and would like to see what kind of interest there might be in it, were we to decide to offer some for sale.

For all intents and purposes, think of a taped cuben Golite Ion with the ability to attach modular components.

Brian Green
(bfgreen) - F

Locale: Charlotte, NC
Pictures? on 07/21/2011 13:01:29 MDT Print View

Are you willing to share photos yet to receive input on what you have so far? The text description leaves a lot to be desired. I'm even close enough to check it out in person if you want a beer and feedback :-)

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Pictures? on 07/21/2011 13:05:10 MDT Print View

We're sewing a few protos next week and I can post some teasers then. I was intentionally vague. :-)

Philip Delvoie
(PhilipD) - MLife

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Gauging interest in a pack design on 07/21/2011 13:14:56 MDT Print View

Looking forward to seeing the pictures of the prototypes Chris. I would be interested.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Pictures? on 07/21/2011 13:16:48 MDT Print View

Definitely looking forward to seeing your pics, Chris!

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Gauging interest in a pack design on 07/21/2011 13:18:30 MDT Print View

Of all gear, backpacks seem to have the most competitors, even on the UL scene. How do you plan on differentiating yourself?

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Re: Gauging interest in a pack design on 07/21/2011 13:27:56 MDT Print View

We're not starting a gear company (at this point), so it would be a limited product run.

But, for arguments sake, the pack body would have a contoured design. It won't be your standard square or tubular stuff sack with shoulder straps attached to it. That's one of the major differences. The other would be the ability to attach modular components. Dan McHale has that nailed down on bigger packs, although I do know of a new pack coming with a similar option. Dan's packs and the new pack, though, are both large. This would be somewhere in the 1500 cu (25 L) range off the shelf.

We plan on making a few for ourselves, I'm just curious if there would be enough interest to make a few more and offer them up.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Gauging interest in a pack design on 07/21/2011 13:29:15 MDT Print View

"How do you plan on differentiating yourself?"

Well, we know it's cuben, so insanely light but strong materials. Fantastic design. Impeccable workmanship. And insanely low price. I am sure. :)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Gauging interest in a pack design on 07/21/2011 13:30:04 MDT Print View

Chris,

I would build your own and then go test them. Once you have worked out all the design elements, then gauge interest.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Gauging interest in a pack design on 07/21/2011 13:31:49 MDT Print View

Well, we do have it worked out on paper. I just don't want to give too much detail (think Backcountry Boiler and mKettle fiasco).

I forgot that it will be completely waterproof.

Ron Jameson
(tigerpaws) - M

Locale: Upstate SC
BIG TALL on 07/21/2011 13:35:26 MDT Print View

Will It fit big tall 6'5' 240. Us big guys like to go light weight too!
Ron

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: BIG TALL on 07/21/2011 13:46:32 MDT Print View

Ron,

I'm sure that could be accommodated.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
or small on 07/21/2011 13:48:07 MDT Print View

5' tall 107lbs

S Long
(Izeloz) - M

Locale: Wasatch
new pack on 07/21/2011 13:58:06 MDT Print View

I would be interested depending on specs and how the prototypes come out.

Kim Clements
(wrestling_dad)

Locale: Ohio
Gauging interest in a pack design on 07/21/2011 14:13:21 MDT Print View

I have been thinking about the same idea but I have no sewing experience or time right now. Here are a few of some of the things I was thinking:

Simple bag like an ION ( I have an ION and love it) but maybe with an external sleeping pad pocket.

Waterproof Zipper lid like ION but with a lid sized zipper mesh pocket inside the lid.

Multiple 1/4" webbing attachment points on the back and both sides of pack. The points might be 2" apart to attach external pockets and bungee cords.

The pocket options would be sized to fit 1L, 2L, and 3L platypus bladders. Maybe 2 sizes of front large mesh pockets. A few smaller sized pockets to attach to the sides for miscellaneous items. Also maybe a long (length of pack) side pocket for a tent.

The abilty to attach a sleeping pad to the top or side.

Edited by wrestling_dad on 07/21/2011 14:18:13 MDT.

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Re: Gauging interest in a pack design on 07/21/2011 14:34:58 MDT Print View

Is this something along the lines of a smaller/lighter version of the "featureless" pack Ryan had been working on with HMG? I definitely like "featureless," sometimes like modularity. But the latter is really only appealing if separability adds useful function. A modular pack whose components are always together loses to an integrated pack with the same features (in terms of weight, simplicity, aesthetics).

Long way of saying: "tell me more about the modules." :)

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Re: Re: Gauging interest in a pack design on 07/21/2011 14:53:36 MDT Print View

Devon, the pack Ryan has been working on with HMG is pretty large. His personal pack is actually even larger than the model they plan to sell (I have one of the current protos). It's a bit more expedition sized.

With a smaller 2-3 day pack, a lot of people like them stripped down. Some add-ons might be a stretch mesh pocket for the front, water bottle pockets for the sides, or even expansion packs for when you can't quite get it all in the main pack. Those are just thoughts at this point.

With the HMG, I've made a stretch pocket for the front and huge hip belt pockets. I also may make water bottle pockets for the sides. In my case, the mesh pocket on the front will almost always be used in my home area. Whether I take one, two, or no hip pockets will vary by trip. In other areas I might switch the mesh pocket out for a solid fabric model. I like having one pocket I can vary the features on. Right now the HMG is my only pack. I hated having a ton of redundant gear lying around for specialized trips. I'd rather have a generic pack I can attach specialized pieces to. Of course, I may be completely alone in that line of thought.

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Re: Re: Re: Gauging interest in a pack design on 07/21/2011 15:29:34 MDT Print View

"Right now the HMG is my only pack. I hated having a ton of redundant gear lying around for specialized trips. I'd rather have a generic pack I can attach specialized pieces to. Of course, I may be completely alone in that line of thought."

You're certainly not alone in that. I've been doing a lot to shorten my gear list - not what I take on trips, but what I own. It often means that short/fair weather trips are heavier than they would be with specialized gear, but I'm not too sad about that.

One pack is part of that, and I've come very close with one of the older Jams. All compressed, it's a luxurious day-pack. Packed to the gills, with the Ridgerest on the outside, it does winter. It was only the obnoxious bear canister and shared shelter responsibility that proved too much for a trip to the Sierras last summer.

So what I'm really interested in is the pack that can stay an "only pack," but that diverges from this thread. I do see how modularity allows for optimality (font mesh for summer drying, front solid to keep out winter drift) with one pack. I'll be interested to see it when you're good and ready. :)

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Murmur on 07/21/2011 15:56:48 MDT Print View

If I were ever to go back to the Uber Ultra-lightweight side, I'd probably opt for a GG Murmur. Being waterproof is not a big deal for me, I use an internal plastic bag to keep my gear dry anyway.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re on 07/21/2011 16:56:16 MDT Print View

Sounds promising. More cuben packs are a plus since not many being made right now. The modularity is an interesting concept, but seems difficult to pull off effectively. So far all attempts I've seen are a little shoddy looking.

Ryan