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Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter / Expedition Pack Review
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dan mchale
(wildlife) - MLife

Locale: Cascadia
tribute on 01/18/2012 21:23:36 MST Print View

It's the worst form of tribute. I hope you don't end up hating ME Luke!

Edited by wildlife on 01/18/2012 21:29:03 MST.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: simple on 01/18/2012 21:45:24 MST Print View

@Dan I hope to do business with you in the near future. Dealing with you will be a pleasure.

@Chris. I wish you success in your new position here. I think we both can learn something from this thread.

Edited by kthompson on 01/18/2012 22:38:55 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re tribute on 01/18/2012 21:54:06 MST Print View

No I won't end up hating you Dan.

Edit - I'm cutting out some of my comments just because I don't feel like I'm helping and I don't feel like this question is something I should be involved in or that should be done on the net.

Dan and Ryan I don't know what happened but I appreciate what both of you have contributed here and I hope whatever went wrong gets fixed up appropriately.

Edited by Cameron on 01/18/2012 22:27:27 MST.

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter / Expedition Pack Review on 01/18/2012 22:21:04 MST Print View

Well, as for the review, it was an informative mixture of subjectivity and relatively objective observation. I'm diggin'. Besides, doesn't Roger C. take the cake for coarse comments in reviews which are legitimately chocked up to personality + entertainment value?People seem to expect it and are not offended. Isn't this site about lightening up? :) I did not notice anything uncouth in the first line - it introduces a review with the accompanying expected sprinkle of editorial opinion; besides, I measure packs in ounces before I figure out how durable and comfortable they are. The latter is for the trail. Aesthetics? White+black is bad-a$$, no doubt.

Edited by biointegra on 01/18/2012 22:36:56 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Note for Dan on 01/18/2012 22:31:35 MST Print View


Edited by Cameron on 01/18/2012 22:39:20 MST.

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
New cottage manufacturer: McShale Packs on 01/19/2012 06:25:49 MST Print View

Hei all,

I just wanted to all inform you about the cottage I just started.

The name of my cottage is McShale (Shale as in soft, finely stratified sedimentary rock that formed from consolidated mud or clay and can be split easily into fragile slabs) and it will make very durable, ultralight and unique alpine packs. I think the name represents that very well. Possible similarities with other names I dismiss.

The foundation of my basic pack design I will <s>rip off</s> <s>copy</s> imitate from some French Canadian dude, who started some environmental friendly clothing company, from the 70s (no one will know, an he makes no more packs anyway), I will just enhance and update it with a few unique details like

- Daisy Chains (the Army would calls it a MOLLE System, but I'm not the Army and my lost love's name was Daisy)
- Strong and durable materials (other packs are made of the same, but I will just claim that my fabrics are superior - If I claim that just loud and often enough some will believe it)
- Fancy colours (Think Rainbow colours, and yeah, I will mix and mis-match)
- Ridiculously expensive (I don't want to sew too many pack per week as that would limit the time I can hang out online on forums and troll around)
- Hand made to order (You don't think I would want to be away from my PC and the forums, do you? Also, somehow I need to explain those absurd prices)

To make it difficult to buy from me I am going to have a hideous website which has never heard about User Experience - it will be a utter pain to navigate and find what you're looking for. Don't bother looking at it on your smart phone or tablet, Mobile First or Responsive Web Design, I could care less.

I also plan to spend a lot of time online, insulting other companies' products, call reviewers biased and whatnot, and make myself like the most unpleasant person to do business with (customer service, forget it amigo). That is OK, because some still will buy my absurdly expensive packs, and as I rather be online than really thinking about developing something innovative (let alone be outdoors testing my packs) this makes it a win-win situation.

My first pack will be called "The Moaner™" and will be a simplistic design, though its unique feature will be a slight moaning with every item you place into the pack, and a louder moaning when carried on your back. It will be highly annoying, just like me behaviour online.

I plan to introduce further down the line another pack called "The Whiner™", and I will make sure to <s>spam</s> inform you about it on reviews of other packs. I'm <s>not</s> looking forward to do business with you, and meet you online!

Brian Green
(bfgreen) - F

Locale: Charlotte, NC
Re: New cottage manufacturer: McShale Packs on 01/19/2012 07:19:14 MST Print View

Do you have any specs for The McShale Moaner™ yet, I'm curious to know how loud it wil likely get? Ha, well said. Flame responses below...

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
ouch on 01/19/2012 07:29:32 MST Print View

Wow. In a thread that has more drama than I see from my high school daughter and her friends, that was an "Ouch" Hendrik. Humorous, but kind of like pouring gasoline on the campfire...
Seems like a general trend on BPL these days.

Edited by BER on 01/19/2012 07:35:03 MST.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re The Whiner on 01/19/2012 07:32:50 MST Print View

How many gallons can The Whiner carry? I like a nice red.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: New cottage manufacturer: McShale Packs on 01/19/2012 10:38:03 MST Print View

Hendrik - that is a nasty post. Really. Uncalled for and hasn't advanced the discussion one bit.

dan mchale
(wildlife) - MLife

Locale: Cascadia
hiking in.... on 01/19/2012 11:34:47 MST Print View

Looks like we got to another reviewer - the guy - how appropriate. Talk about thin skin. He must have gotten tired of being positive all the time. Get it out man and then maybe you can talk about the real issue since the guilty guy can't really defend his actions.

I'm glad you posted though Hendrik because it lends balance to the side people usually see of you. It's always good to see how people really think.

Oh, the unbearable lightness of being a gear reviewer!

Edited by wildlife on 01/19/2012 11:42:50 MST.

Mike D.
(mpd1690) - F
Thoughts on 01/19/2012 11:49:11 MST Print View

I must say that I think that Dan's packs are different than most packs out there (in a good way). Really nice packs for sure.

It also would have been nice to have a review from a person that did not have input in the pack design. I can't read the review, as I am not a member, but it seems like a conflict of interests. Also I sure hope Chris addressed the linear strap connection point after his thread he started earlier.

Edit: Why would the HMG pack not have extended stays above the straps? That seems to really take away from the load carrying capabilities. Really limits the adjustment ability to take the pressure of the shoulders if you really want to load it down.

Edited by mpd1690 on 01/19/2012 11:51:50 MST.

John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Porter / Expedition Pack Review on 01/19/2012 12:17:22 MST Print View

"Hendrik - that is a nasty post. Really. Uncalled for and hasn't advanced the discussion one bit."


Shame to see this place, which was once good and fair, degenerate so much.

And to think, some of you guys pay money to behave like this.

Get a grip Hendrik, if you haven't anthing to contribute, why bother stirring it up with vitriol?

In my opinion, BPL should edit the review, which really is the source of much bad feeling, and apologise/ explain why the attitude. All Chris or Ryan have done is deflect and dodge any comments critical of the tone and content, if they've bothered to respond at all.

When I hike here in Spain, I am always preaching the UL way, and recommending BPL. Next summer season, I don't think I will recommend this place to new people.

I get more chilled info from the GG newsletter, which is all about hikes and technique, rather than ego.

Typical subculture behaviour, with emerging alternative philosophies that preach independent thinking and approach. When that which they value most becomes institutionalised, the holders of the keys to 'power/ knowledge' inflate themselves to guru status to preserve the power structure and maintain their position, at the cost of the initial philosophy itself, and group harmony and progress.

I think I'm going to limit myself to Trip Reports from now on, ironically the least active part of BPL. Says something.

Over and out, Fred.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: New cottage manufacturer: McShale Packs on 01/19/2012 13:06:07 MST Print View


That post is not fair to Dan McHale, and not typical of you.

When I read the HMG review my first thought was, "that sure looks VERY similar to my McHale LBP."

I made a comment earlier in this thread after David Ure posted a picture of his McHale pack, that if he looks closely there are a lot of similarities between the long-lived McHale packs to the "new" HMG pack. Note that I did not use the word comparable. I cannot make any comments on the over quality or functionality of a HMG pack because I do not own one nor have I ever seen one. To me, looking at the HMG pictures, a McHale is sewn much better. And no one who is familiar with a McHale pack questions the quality of construction. Over the past 45 years I have owned a LOT of packs, and no one approaches McHale's quality; Period. Even the BPL reviewers questioned the seams and potential frame compression on the HMG.

McHale Website -- This is not a point and click Website. You can't even order a pack online! There is no small, medium, or large size. Each pack is made to EXACTLY fit the owner. And Dan does not want your torso size. He needs 4 different measurements, none of which are your torso length. He will determine that himself. Or you can go to Dan's shop and he will personally measure you, which is not practical for most people. So if you want a McHale pack you call Dan and he asks a lot questions to determine your wants and needs. He also will answer any questions you have. At this point he may have you go online and will walk you through his Website to show you packs and discuss features and benefits. After this exercise the Website is easy to use and understand. At this point he will recommend a pack that he feels is right for you, based on all the information you provided.

Next step is to send you a demo pack so you can USE it. You will need to take pictures or videos per Dan's instructions and send them to him. He then analyses the fit, how you adjusted the pack, how you packed your gear, etc. Then he may have you change things and do the process over. I probably sent Dan 5 or 6 sets of pictures, and there were numerous email exchanges. When Dan is satisfied that the demo fits properly, and you are satisfied that this is the pack you want, then he builds it. Dan spent at least 10 hours on the phone with me... that is 10 hours before the pack was built to make sure it was perfect. That is time which is part of the cost. I also learned a lot about packs in general during the process.

Materials. Not all materials are the same. Dan orders materials to meet his specifications and does a lot of testing. By the way, you can now buy a Cuben pack from McHale Packs, and Dan has spent the past 6 years or so working with the material before he brought it to market. And he ordered special Cuben to meet his specifications. When you by a pack you can generally choose Cordura, Cuben, Dyneema Gird or Spectra. He probably has other fabrics I don't know about. And you can mix different fabrics on your pack, with Dan's guidance of course. He uses the best hardware and does not use 'run-of-the-mill" aluminum for his stays. Most McHale packs have Spectra bottoms.

Colors. Most of the packs on his site are packs made for customers and the colors are what the CUSTOMER wanted. Not all fabrics can be dyed. And every Spectra or Dyneema pack I have seen are white, except Dan's... seems he is the only person who can dye it.

Options. Most McHale packs have a plethora of options. Kangaroo pockets, water bottle pockets, different kinds of hip pockets, should pockets, shovel pockets, ice ax pockets, loops, several summit lids including a special configuration for bear canisters, hydration options, etc. Additionally on many packs you can get an optional system to lengthen the stays and a patented by-pass harness that includes load lifters. This system can be removed or added as you need it.

I have used my McHale pack almost exclusively for the past year, and every trip I like it even more. The exception is a small inexpensive cuben pack I bought from another company to test the fabric. I am working with Dan on the purchase of a smaller pack (the Bump) and wanted to have a feel for Cuben before I order the pack, and I am not sure I even want that material. But my next pack is going to be a McHale. I will then own 2 McHale Packs and they will last me for the rest of my life, and will bequeathed to my son when I die. And all my other UL packs will be sold or given away.

Now when someone posts something negative about a manufacturer who I had a good experience with, I will state that. But I have never gone to the length of this post, because McHale Packs are not comparable to anything on the market, they are better IMO. Now we can philosophize about the merits of 4oz frameless packs, but that is not the purpose of my post.

Before I even thought about a McHale pack, my perception of Dan from his posts was that he was one very knowledgeable guy and I knew little about his packs. I will tell you that my purchase experience and the customer service was hands-down the absolute best I have ever received from any company; for any product. Also before I called Dan I spent maybe 6 months reading every single item on the Web that had anything to do with McHale packs. I was shocked that almost 100% of McHale owners were completely satisfied, as a matter of fact the term is probably more that they are all McHale Pack advocates.

Kyle Meyer

Locale: Portland, OR
Re: Re: New cottage manufacturer: McShale Packs on 01/19/2012 14:01:48 MST Print View

I applaud Hendrik for not coddling an aggressive, arrogant man like Dan McHale. I know that if I wouldn't tolerate an in person conversation with Dan where he complained bout petty differences like daisy chains and belittled other companies while buttering his own bun. Why should we expect less online?

Every invention and innovation is born from previous work. The Porter brings something new to market. Sorry that hurts your feelings and/or bottom line Dan, but you should get over it and add some new value to the world.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: New cottage manufacturer: McShale Packs on 01/19/2012 14:11:04 MST Print View

To blame Hendrik for how ridiculous and rude this thread has become....seems hardly fair.
This kind of discourse is quite likely to turn people off, no matter the quality of the product; I am learning a bit of that firsthand. But hey, Hendrik is all the way in Finland....

dan mchale
(wildlife) - MLife

Locale: Cascadia
conflict on 01/19/2012 14:20:39 MST Print View

This is about Conflict of Interest and nothing more.

1) We have reviewers that had a hand in developing the product they are reviewing and recommending.

2) We have a reviewer that chastized the entire cottage backpack industry only to say his current favorite pack stood out from all the losers, without disclosing he had a hand in developing the pack.

3) We have a reviewer that takes in gear from countless companies to review and test them and then takes his inside knowledge of this gear, some of which can be proprietary, and helps other companies develope their products with that knowledge, possibly and probably without the company or companies knowing the source of the ideas.

Edited by wildlife on 01/19/2012 14:27:24 MST.

Kyle Meyer

Locale: Portland, OR
Re: conflict on 01/19/2012 14:26:53 MST Print View

4) We have a pack maker claiming the invention of the daisy chain and claiming intellectual ownership of the idea of a backpack without pockets.

dan mchale
(wildlife) - MLife

Locale: Cascadia
? on 01/19/2012 14:29:24 MST Print View

You really don't get it. I am claiming no such thing. I don't own the daisy chain or the spacing and that is not the issue, but possibly you wrote your post while I was writing my last post. We will find that the Daisy Chain is symbolic as this advances.

number 1) through 3) are true. #4 is built on assumptions.

Edited by wildlife on 01/19/2012 14:37:41 MST.

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Re: Re: New cottage manufacturer: McShale Packs on 01/19/2012 15:02:49 MST Print View

Kat P re: "To blame Hendrik for how ridiculous and rude this thread has become....seems hardly fair."

Yep, Hendrik should only be blamed for contributing to how ridiculous and rude this thread has become . . . to be fair.