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CiloGear 60 Liter WorkSack Backpack REVIEW
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Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
CiloGear 60 Liter WorkSack Backpack REVIEW on 12/12/2006 23:18:42 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

CiloGear 60 Liter WorkSack Backpack REVIEW

Graham Williams
(crackers) - F
Re: CiloGear 60 Liter WorkSack Backpack REVIEW on 12/13/2006 18:23:49 MST Print View

As the manufacturer of these packs, I'd like to make a some comments.

1)In the words of the reviewer from Alpinist Magazine:
"The instructions provided for fitting the pack ... were straight forward and easy to follow." He went on to describe the manual's clear description of how to use the straps. The manual lives online at wiki1.cilogear.com . We are always eager to develop better materials to make it easier to use the entire system.

When we supplied the packs to BPL, we sent an electronic copy of the manual to BPL, and they clearly stated that they had and understood the manual. The manual is clearly linked to in a number of places on our website. Like on the bottom of every page that talks about the packs...Obviously, the BPL reviewer was not able to find the link, and we will address that ASAP.

3) There is no 'reflective material on one side of the pack'. The DP cloth has a white polyester scrim which does make the inside of the pack very bright. There is also a piece of ScotchLite on either end of the internal compression strap.

In other news, the new packs are lighter, just as strong, and we've fixed several of the flaws of the first generation packs. For example, we have several accessory pockets and pouches that will be available in January. We also have a different geometry for the shoulder straps, a new method for the hydration bladder and several other improvements.

As a small company, we strive to improve our product as soon as we detect a shortcoming. We did this with the shoulder straps, and we'll continue to do it. We offer an update package for all of our customers, allowing them to get updated removable parts, like lids, hipbelts (yes, with pockets coming in the spring) and the like.

Please feel free to check out my blog at blog.cilogear.biz to see the new packs and see what else we've been working on...I know that the blog is mentioned in a thread over in the gear section, but I'm taking the liberty of pointing it out again.

Finally, we're updating our website and should have the new one rolled out on Monday. And we've got a moving / clearance sale on the '06 packs. http://www.cilogear.com/packs/sale.shtml

Graham Williams
(crackers) - F
Re: Re: CiloGear 60 Liter WorkSack Backpack REVIEW on 12/13/2006 18:29:09 MST Print View

In an effort to make the Manual easier to find, I changed the font size of all mentions of the manual on the website.

A visitor to the website can find a link to the manual on the bottom of virtually every page.

I will make sure that the manual is incredibly obvious and easy to find on the new website.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Graham, re:CiloGear 60 Liter WorkSack Backpack REVIEW on 12/13/2006 18:51:28 MST Print View

Graham,
Thanks for following up. I found the wiki no problem. There is one broken link on the strap page:
Error creating thumbnail: convert: unable to open image `/home/.beckie/cilo/wiki1.cilogear.com/images/thumb/200px-TwointoDee.jpg': No such file or directory

I have a suggestion. The straps and hipbelt are not described or photographed anywhere on your site, the wiki, nor the other online reviews. Only BPL did that. These are the critical parts of the pack which touch the wearer; and comfort can make or break a pack. If I knew the straps were so close, and perpendicular, I would hesitate before buying a pack. Did you separate and angle the straps for 2007? If so, show it with some pics on another wiki page?

I am just getting into mountaineering, and your multitude of strapping compression options is a strong selling point, but because your product is on-line, some clear shots of the harness would be critical to review before purchasing.

Good luck
Brett

Graham Williams
(crackers) - F
Re: Graham, re:CiloGear 60 Liter WorkSack Backpack REVIEW on 12/13/2006 20:25:25 MST Print View

Brett:

Thanks for your comments, and I will make sure to fix the broken link in the morning when I'm back at the office.

The angle of the straps was changed over a year ago. The pack supplied to BPL was supplied with that information. Check out the 40L pack that I supplied to BPL...

The new website does address some of your concerns about showing clear shots of the shoulder straps and the results of the variability of the compression / load transfer system. I will add some snapshots of the shoulder straps to my blog tomorrow.

Thanks,
Graham

Edited by crackers on 12/13/2006 20:26:57 MST.

Graham Williams
(crackers) - F
Re: Brett, re:CiloGear 60 Liter WorkSack Backpack REVIEW on 12/14/2006 07:00:06 MST Print View

Brett:

You wrote:
"I have a suggestion. The straps and hipbelt are not described or photographed anywhere on your site, the wiki, nor the other online reviews. Only BPL did that."

The most linked review of these packs on the internet, to be found at http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=1288501 has about 13 pictures, including three of the suspension. In the discussion following the review, there is substantial discussion of the suspension. I would also recommend checking out the review of the 40L worksack on rockclimbing.com, which has more photos and discussion of the suspensions.

That said, I will continue to develop better methods of ensuring that everybody knows how to find the manual and that there are ample photographs of the suspension. To be honest, since I'm basically out of stock of the old packs and waiting for the new ones to arrive, I've taken a lot of material down from the website. The new website will have a lot more information on it, and I will start making two new pages exclusively about the suspension and the usage of the Dee-Clips and straps.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Thank you Graham on 12/14/2006 08:26:47 MST Print View

Thank you for the prompt replies; your responsiveness to potential customers is really excellent, so I expect your follow on service would be as well. Glad to hear about the improvements. I just packed my Mountainsmith 45L for an alpine trip, and its too small. Im going to take another look at your 60L; it looks very versatile.

Greg Vaillancourt
(GSV45) - F

Locale: Utah
Re: Re: Brett, re:CiloGear 60 Liter WorkSack Backpack REVIEW on 12/16/2006 10:46:04 MST Print View

Graham,

Where are your packs made?

Graham Williams
(crackers) - F
Re: Greg, re:CiloGear 60 Liter WorkSack Backpack REVIEW on 12/18/2006 08:18:40 MST Print View

Howdy Greg,

http://www.cilogear.com/oem/ends.shtml but I anticipate that page changing in the next week. I will make sure that it drives you to the new page automatically, which will be http://www.cilogear.com/corp/ethics.shtml

All of the high value inputs are made in the USA, as much as we can determine. We do the sewing in Turkey. We do our prototyping here in New York City and over there in Istanbul. I also do a lot of outreach in Turkey, the only Muslim majority member of NATO and the USA's only democratic Muslim ally.

Our goal is to keep the high value work / patents here, while delivering excellent value for the customer's dollar. Basically, sewing is a dead end in the USA, and pretty much only exists for very small and expensive operations or the military. The textile business in the US is incredibly bizarre, and dominated by the military in terms of production and very powerful lobby groups in terms of tariffs.

Most of the value of the fabric in our packs is represented by the Dimension Polyant stuff. The fabric is a laminate made from five layers. The most valuable layer is Cordura. however, the Cordura is manufacturered in Japan under license of Invista using (most of the time) Shell's nylon 6.6. The work done by the DP workers is definitely the most skilled labor, and I am glad to support my regional economy as much as possible.

I source the vast majority of my fabric from Connecticut and Rhode Island, and virtually all of my buckles and webbing from Long Island, New York.

By way of an example, if the waist band of a pair of pants hasn't been attached, and you attach it in the states, your pants are now made in the USA.
Another example: in conversations with the former CFO and current CEO of Malden Mills, they stated that the only reason they still make stuff in the USA is because the US military demands it. None of the rest of their major customers are interested in buying their US production.

Sorry about the long winded response to your short question.

Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Manual on 12/21/2006 07:33:19 MST Print View

Yep, there is one and we missed it. I've added an addendum to the review so folks who might not read the forums know the manual is on the website. Thanks for working with us on this Graham!

Jeremy Cleaveland
(jeremy11) - F

Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
comfortable carrying weight on 09/18/2007 22:11:00 MDT Print View

The review mentioned that the pack carried comfortably up to 35 pounds.
I carry up to 30 pounds in my frameless Golite Gust; compared to the Gust, this pack is a major load hauler, suitable for heavy loads.

I have had a V1 60L for a year and a half, including 2 summers of wilderness guiding, plus carrying rope solo trad gear, and backpacking. It is really a great pack.
I have carried up to about 70 lbs in it. I was guiding a jr high backpacking trip, so went ultralight on my personal gear, but then carried a really heavy meal for 12 plus 2 full 6L water bags for a dry campsite, plus 3.5L of my own water. It was not comfortable - 70 lbs is never ever comfortable - but it was very doable. This August I did a trip into the Winds for 8 days with rock climbing and glacier gear. The pack was heavy, but again, performed well.

In regard to not having waterbottle pockets, it was initially designed for alpine climbing and mountaineering, where outside waterbottle pockets can get in the way while climbing. I use the crampon pocket for a bottle and a hydration pack for drinking on the go. Maybe make a version for backpacking with features like waterbottle pockets and hipbelt pockets but without the crampon pocket and with only a single basic ice axe loop. Anyone with basic sewing skills could do these mods. The fabric could also be lightened up for a non-mountaineering pack.

the dee-clip system is especially useful when carrying big items like snowshoes, since straps can be linked together to go around the snowshoes.