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New Bear Can Design.... Design Stage Feedback
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Tom Casperite
(tcasperite) - F
New Bear Can Design.... Design Stage Feedback on 09/10/2012 19:32:32 MDT Print View

Hello fellow backpackers,

I am looking for some more feedback on our current bear canister design. I know I have asked for your help before, and sorry for the lack up updates. This project has taken much longer than I expected but I think we are getting really close. We are on our second prototype and hopefully it is just a matter of confirmation of design and demand before we make this thing a reality.

You can help us refine our design with you feedback by taking our survey here:

(Design Images Start on Page 2)

You’ll get to see some design images and the inter-working details of the features. Before you post questions regarding how much it weighs and how the approval process works here is what you need to know. The approval process cumbersome and tough, but its possible. Weight is hard to predict until you really get a production unit on your hands. That being said we have crushed all of the competitors (physically), studied a variety of material choices, and found a proprietary plastic blend that will make this thing light and relatively affordable. We’ve used computer simulations for structural tests and we think we have a great chance of making a 650 cuin model at 33oz.

Anyway, let me know what you think. Make sure you stay tuned because we will have some color concepts & more renderings soon.


Thomas Casperite

Edited by tcasperite on 09/10/2012 20:36:22 MDT.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Any plans for a smaller one? on 09/10/2012 19:43:48 MDT Print View

Any plans for anything to compete with the Bare Boxer Contender?

I think that one of the biggest issues with current bear canisters is that they are overkill (both weight and size) for the most common trips -- weekends (up to 3 days).

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: New Bear Can Design.... Design Stage Feedback on 09/10/2012 20:01:14 MDT Print View

2 years ago. 7 months ago. Now yet another survey...

I'll take it again.

Really want to see the test videos.

Survey only lets you choose 1 canister under which do you own.

Is it a support rod or a beam?

And it all comes down to being approved. Then actually being manufactured. Remember the Bearier?

Here is the thread from January

Good Luck

Edited by kthompson on 09/10/2012 20:20:56 MDT.

Paul Maguire
crushed the competition? on 09/10/2012 20:12:31 MDT Print View

How has this crushed the competitors? The Bearicade weekender weighs a few ounces less yet has the same capacity. The expedition weighs 3 oz more then yours, yet carries 900 cu. inches.

a b
New Bear can on 09/10/2012 20:14:15 MDT Print View

Here is your competition in that weight range.

Bearikade Weekender $225.00

(Specifications from Bearicade's website)

Weighs just over 31 ounces
9″ diameter base by 10.5″ length
650 cubic inch volume

To really make a dent in the market you need to actually post some images of the second prototype.
All i got in the email was a link to the same survey.

We can help you better if you show us the current product.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: crushed the competition? on 09/10/2012 20:14:47 MDT Print View

Perhaps they mean they literally crushed the competition to achieve a baseline for their canister.

Tom Casperite
(tcasperite) - F
Re: Re: New Bear Can Design.... Design Stage Feedback on 09/10/2012 20:15:38 MDT Print View


I get it you're surveyed out...

Thanks for the feedback though. The real issue is that volumes are low on a product like this and production tooling is well real expensive. So that means you can't iterate your design and it means we have to get this as close to what people want from the start. 1st survey was years ago when I thought about this as a grad student. The second survey was trying to get some direction on the design. Well, this one is for a little confirmation and tweaking.

Just to be clear I've appreciated every one of them.

Good point on owning multiple cans. Looks like I can't update it.

As for test videos, I would love to see the design tested with a live bear. Hopefully real soon, but we have to shoot production material to get real world results, and that means a big upfront investment.


Edited by tcasperite on 09/13/2012 03:55:23 MDT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: New Bear Can Design.... Design Stage Feedback on 09/10/2012 20:28:23 MDT Print View

"I'd love to see the design tested with a live bear"

How else will it get an approval/failure unless tested with live bears?

"we have to shoot production material to get real world results"

What does that mean?

Matt. You can look at the pictures on page 2 of the survey without having to answer any questions.

Edited by kthompson on 09/10/2012 20:32:12 MDT.

Bradley Danyluk
(dasbin) - MLife
Taken on 09/10/2012 20:28:54 MDT Print View

Took the survey. I'm definitely uncertain about the tapered design - I feel like it would make packing the rest of the backpack a pain, as if it was used as intended (large end up to grab) it'd be really hard to pack small items around the taper in your pack.

I like the lock design and flat back - but I'd prefer it to be totally flat, not just almost flat, for the same reasons as above. Go big or go home.

Looks generally good but hard to get an overall impression without information on construction materials and weight.

Tom Casperite
(tcasperite) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: New Bear Can Design.... Design Stage Feedback on 09/10/2012 20:35:00 MDT Print View


Its going to be made out a proprietary plastic blend. By choosing a special material, or for that matter almost any plastic you can't prototype the structural integrity that you will get by using real molds and "shooting" or filling the molds with the actual material.

That means you have to invest heavy upfront first, run a few production units, and test them. If it doesn't work your out of luck on the large upfront investment. There are some ways around this, but not much.

That is why this has to be right up front.

Make sense.


Tom Casperite
(tcasperite) - F
Re: Taken on 09/10/2012 20:43:11 MDT Print View


There are some design constraints that dictate the shape. For instance the back can't be completely flat. The flatter the area the easier it is to concave. Remember the Bearier 700 was a ball. This is the perfect design to minimize the weight given a consistent strength but there are some real issues.

Can't sit on it. Can't really pack it.

We believe that the most efficient way to pack our design is to let your sleeping bag remain uncompressed on the bottom of your pack. This will fill the area the tapered sides leave out. Other clothing can also be stowed around it. This will ensure your heaviest items (Food & Bear Can) remain close to your back which keeps your center of gravity tight. Currently at 33 OZ it is a few ounces heavier than the Bearikade but it feels much better on the back. It feels lighter. And at the end of the day its not what the spreadsheet says its how you move on the trail.



Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: New Bear Can Design.... Design Stage Feedback on 09/10/2012 20:43:14 MDT Print View


Thanks for asking for the feedback.

Finished the survey and put in a lot of feedback....hope it helps.

Thankful to see someone trying to take a piece of gear that we all dislike/put up with and maybe turn it into something that we value as a good piece of gear like everything else we carry.

I wonder whatever happened to the people out of Fremont, CA. who came up with an egg shaped bear canister?

Another design, another option.


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Re: New Bear Can Design.... Design Stage Feedback on 09/10/2012 20:49:29 MDT Print View

"we have to shoot production material to get real world results"

See, I read that and thought promotion video material.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: New Bear Can Design.... Design Stage Feedback on 09/10/2012 20:53:42 MDT Print View

I really like the flat back. As I said in the survey, would much rather see the 375 first instead of the 650! ;-)

Tom Casperite
(tcasperite) - F
Re: Re: Re: New Bear Can Design.... Design Stage Feedback on 09/10/2012 20:57:27 MDT Print View


That is actually kind of funny. I guess I have been hanging out with my engineer too much.


Tom Casperite
(tcasperite) - F
Paddle Design Safety on 09/10/2012 21:24:22 MDT Print View

For those that have commented about field failures of the paddle here is an image. It can still be operated if the top paddle ripped off. Just another detail...Paddle

a b
Re: Paddle Design Safety on 09/10/2012 21:35:40 MDT Print View

Thanks Ken, i found the pics.. do you always flip through un-answered surveys? :)
Hey Tom, can we just post the survey pic here to this thread so we can discuss it? Please.
Perhaps an even better pic.

I like the flat back as well.
The asymetrical shape seems like it would pack better than a cylinder.

Edit: Dude!! that shape is exactly like a paper shredder bin!
Would that help your tool and die costs?

Edited by Ice-axe on 09/10/2012 21:50:52 MDT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Re: Paddle Design Safety on 09/10/2012 22:35:22 MDT Print View

" Dude!! that shape is exactly like a paper shredder bin!"

Matt, I thought the same thing.

Surveys. Sometimes I like to read all the questions first.

Edited by kthompson on 09/10/2012 22:37:28 MDT.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
"New Bear Can Design.... Design Stage Feedback" on 09/11/2012 07:14:59 MDT Print View

Well, not to burst your bubble, but the overall design looks to be very constraining. That is, you can only load your pack and bear ball one way. I usually vary the way I pack up in the morning by the weight. If my food is heaviest, it goes in second, on top of my bag and cloths. As my food gets used, this always reverses, on the trail. My sleeping cloths, down jacket, sleeping bag, and compression bag weigh in at about 3.5 to 4 pounds, depending. My food for a single day is about 1.1-1.3 pounds. With a 2#1 bear ball and food for a day, it will be the lightest of the two load ready pieces...usually in the bottom of the pack. I suppose I could flip it over, but, I would really prefer a symetrcal design that allows it to be placed upright or sideways, and, in any position in the pack.

Typically, I place my lunch in my pack pouches (a piece of cheese, some nuts, and some candy pieces.) After breakfast, I load my pack for the day. I rarely open the pack. For example, on the NPT, I opened the pack once because I forgot to place some drink mixes in my water pouch. My mistake, not the system's fault. This was the only time I needed to open the pack. At night, I empty the pack (set up my tarp first, then bedding, then stove and supper.) The bear ball, whose ever, is always in the way. If I don't need a bear ball, I set a bear line before supper.

I tend to small packs. A 650ci bear ball is HUGE. I have used a BV450 for 7 days in the past. I somehow don't think I would ever need something that large.

That said, I do not think a lot of people hike the way I do. For two weeks I was out on a cnoe trip through the St. Regis canoe area in NY. Good fishing. For 9 hiking days I was out along the NPT. I spent another 4 days with the family at Lake Durant and one day waiting for my pick-up at a lake. My total pack weight for the trip when I left was 23 pounds, but I dropped food at Lake Durant and filled my fuel bottle (not really needed.) I got three comments about the size of my pack "...glorified pocket book...", " sure you have all your gear?" (as he eyeballed the pack) "That's one small pack your carrying." Volume, small volume, usually means lighter. Idealy, a 375ci bear ball would be ideal for a weekend.

I understand about the strength of curved surfaces. Idealy, as you say, a round container would be best, but they are difficlt to carry. Have you done a study on what was the minimum radius a bear could bite on was? If you have, what were the results? This would dictate (along with overall strength) how close you could bend the corners. I suspect that most any radius at 90 degree corners would be enough to deter a bite when cradled in a bears arms. I also suspect that a 7" width would be required to prevent a bear from biting directly on two surfaces. Regardless of the strength of the bear ball, I believe a bear can easily crush one if it fits between his jaws enabling him to apply his great biting pressure. Not sure an the asymetric design will deter this. It really needs to be tested.

I would also suggest you loose the flip levers. I don't believe a bear can open them, but, if he presses on one and flips it up, he could grab it and carry it off somewhere. A bad thing to loose a weeks worth of food, whether the bear gets it or not, though better for the bear if he doesn't.

Anyway, a great first effort in design concept. The comfort level while carrying it looks second to none, and far better than a Berikade or Bearvault. It may indeed be worth the extra couple ounces simply because it carry's better.