Forum Index » Gear Deals » Semi-Custom Backpacks


Display Avatars Sort By:
Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Semi-Custom Backpacks on 07/03/2013 11:39:40 MDT Print View

Over the last few years I have been building semi-custom packs for friends and long time customers. Within the last few months I started to receive inquires about making custom packs. So I have been giving it some more thought...

Here is a pack I made for a friend using one of my pack designs. Its roughly 35L and weighs 24oz. It uses all Xpac materials. VX21 for the front panel, VX42 for the back panel and VX51 for the bottom. It has a 1/2" closed cell foam contoured backpanel, 3/8" closed cell foam contoured shoulder straps with spacer mesh bottoms, a 1.5" webbing hip belt, and what I call a "live load lifter system". Basically there is a Y strap that goes from the load lifters over the top, to the back of the pack. This allows you to use load lifters without a frame. When you pull the load lifters tight, the load shifts over your shoulders for an even closer fit. On top of all this, the pack has a rolltop and side access zips. So it works like a rolltop but gives you the access of a panel loader/duffel bag. I only took one photo so here goes...

pack

Edited by Mountainfitter on 07/03/2013 11:52:46 MDT.

Frank Rezack
(Coinmn) - M

Locale: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Re: Semi-Custom Backpacks on 07/03/2013 12:55:47 MDT Print View

Nice looking pack! How much do you get for one of those bad boys?

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Semi-Custom Backpacks on 07/03/2013 13:24:27 MDT Print View

And these are not available on your site...why?

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Why Indeed on 07/03/2013 14:06:44 MDT Print View

Nice pack! I assume you will be adding these to your site?

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Reasons Why... on 07/03/2013 18:07:52 MDT Print View

Up until now, I was always against selling items that were not instock.

But lately when I look at all the other cottage gear makers and their 4-8+ week lead times I think how many products this business model would allow me to offer. So I have been considering going in this route. I have tons of shelters and pack designs that I have always wanted to make and sell. This would allow me to do it.

As far as this pack goes. Not sure on the price if I were to actually build and sell it on in semi-production mode. Its a pretty unique design and the materials are not cheap. That said, what would you pay for a pack like this?

On that note, there is another pack I built that is just like this one but a little more stripped down. The only differences are it has two compression straps, doesn't have the side zips, and only has one set of daisy chains and they go up the middle. The weight is less. I think the last one I built was around 20oz.

James DeGraaf
(jdegraaf) - MLife

Locale: Bay Area
I've waited... on 07/03/2013 20:50:14 MDT Print View

I've waited for great things before. I've seen some of the things you've made. I'll wait for great stuff made by you.

Lets see what you have to offer!!!
Thanks,
James

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Reasons Why... on 07/03/2013 21:22:13 MDT Print View

Mmmmm.....maybe $130 in Xpac?

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
"Semi-Custom Backpacks" on 07/03/2013 21:38:22 MDT Print View

Yep $130 maybe $150 with options-side zip and daisy chains or netting.

I certainly like the design. You can get lighter packs in same material but the options are nice +.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: "Semi-Custom Backpacks" on 07/03/2013 21:48:31 MDT Print View

I would really like a bomber 35L pack like this. I have used packs with xpac and am a big fan of the fabric. My only issue would be color. Gary or black for me....; )

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Sounds Good on 07/03/2013 23:06:11 MDT Print View

I have never tried this method of business before but it certainly would allow me to make and sell some innovative gear that I have been working on for years.. Especially in regards to tents and packs.

What I might do at first is build and sell a few beta test models. Basically products that are production prototypes but with some testing tweaks, missing something that is not needed, or cool hard to source materials. For instance I have two packs that are basically done but the inside seams are not grosgrain taped. Strength is the same, but during the construction process I didn't feel like spending the extra time to tape the seams because I was more interested in finishing the packs. Some people would turn there nose up to something like this. But they look awesome and are made from VX33 (330d) Xpac Multicam so I have a feeling some people wouldn't care.

That said, thanks for the feedback on the pack pricing. I really need to figure out actual material and labor costs but I can say for sure I cannot build the pack in the photo for $130. I wish I could as I would have more product demand then I could ever want, but I know that price point is not going to be possible.

I have alot to figure out. BPL members make up a good percent of my customer base so I figured you guys would be the ones to ask. I will post some more pack photos as I make them to see what kind of interest there really is. Thanks for everyone's feedback, its been super helpful.

Edited by Mountainfitter on 07/03/2013 23:09:57 MDT.

James DeGraaf
(jdegraaf) - MLife

Locale: Bay Area
Re: Re: "Semi-Custom Backpacks" on 07/03/2013 23:16:32 MDT Print View

Personally not a big fan of the zippers but I know that when you offers packs for sale you'll have one that doesn't have zippers. My $0.02
Thanks,
James

Edited by jdegraaf on 07/03/2013 23:18:23 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Feedback on Semi-Custom Backpacks on 07/04/2013 06:12:05 MDT Print View

Hi Lawson,

Nicely done!

I really like what you have done with the pack overall. The heavier materials and tough bottom make it the "tough old truck" that you just have to keep around 'cause it always gets the job done. Lighter isn't always better. 20 ounces is a really good weight for a pack like the one in the picture

" ... I have two packs that are basically done but the inside seams are not grosgrain taped. ...Some people would turn there nose up to something like this."

None of the packs that I have made up to now have had the seams taped.

The dry bag type of roll down top closure has become my go to method. I also let the Y strap hold down the rolled and snapped closure.

I like how the waterproof zippers are reinforced by the compression straps. I use a pack liner so even though I like the idea of the zippers they wouldn't be a great advantage to me. I know Xpac and a pack liner may be overkill but I HATE wet gear. ;-)

The lightweight belt is good. Recently I have noticed that I do not need a supportive hip belt. Good wide shoulder straps, padded or unpadded, with a sternum strap does the job well for me.

Custom or Semi Custom backpack prices are reflective of the time, labor and materials involved in the production of those packs. Market research is a good thing but each "customer" should be willing to work with the designer/manufacturer in negotiating a fair price. If you can't realize a reasonable profit from the making of these packs then it becomes less of a business and more of a "favor" and "hobby" for you.

Party On,

Newton

scree ride
(scree)
another pack on 07/04/2013 07:41:16 MDT Print View

How are these different? Looks like a Zimmer. I have a "y" strap on my HMG. It's well done, but the market is covered.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Covered market on 07/04/2013 10:00:25 MDT Print View

Form follows function. So as pack designs are developed, evolve and get fine tuned they would tend to all look alike to a point and have similar features.

When is a market truly "covered"?

Duck calls had been around for many years before the Duck Commander hit the market in 1972. Should the Robertson family have stayed out of the duck call business because the market was covered? Their success seems to prove the answer to be no.

True there are a number of custom and semi custom backpack manufacturers already in the market. Markets function on supply and demand. Another manufacturer increases the supply. A larger number of suppliers means that the consumer can shop around for the best bang for his or her buck.

Custom work takes a lot of time and communication between customers and manufacturers. Someone just getting started may invest more time in development of the product. This could benefit both the customer and the manufacturer.

Many of these cottage manufacturers have "day jobs" that along with their families takes precedence. Chris Zimmer does a good job of handling this balancing act and still manages to offer advice and praise to BPL members MYOG attempts at pack building.

Once a product gains acceptance and grows in popularity the orders follow and a "one man show" can quickly be swamped with more orders than can filled in a short amount of time.

We in this country have fallen into the trap of wanting quality at the lowest price and delivered in two days or less with free shipping.

Over the years I have dealt with Lawson on a customer basis first and later a friendly basis. His customer service is second to none. I wish him luck in his endeavor. He would be a positive addition to the pack market.

For the record I have conversed with Chris Zimmer on more than one occasion and have nothing but praise for his product quality and customer service as well.

I think of both Chris and Lawson as friends and I am quite sure that the market is quite large enough for both of them.

Party On,

Newton

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Covered market on 07/04/2013 13:44:59 MDT Print View

Lawson...
The pack in the photo is exactly what I'm looking for for adventure racing- color, material, everything. I like the side zipper quite a bit. I'd be interested to know what one would go for if you started producing them.

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
packs on 07/04/2013 14:49:40 MDT Print View

Chris Zimmer builds a damn nice pack. So if the pack in the photo looks as nice as his then thanks for the compliment : )

His business model is a bit different than what I am thinking. His packs are 100% custom built. The customer gets to come up with the design and picks what type of materials they want. Basically the customers imagination is the only limiting factor. Its the reason every single pack Chris makes is different.

That said, I have no intention of building packs this way. That's why I am calling them semi-custom. Basically it will be my design and my material choices. Your measurements and your color choices. Its kind of like when you build and price a car/truck. You choose the model and then choose the colors and features that are available. This is my plan.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 07/04/2013 15:58:30 MDT Print View

I think you should start selling shoulder pockets and hip belt pockets etc first.

Stick the the small stuff, the market is covered. Where is the innovation?

You are offering a non custom pack that doesnt really offer us any benefits besides no wait time.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: re on 07/04/2013 16:20:44 MDT Print View

This coming from someone who just 11 months ago was using an off the shelf 4.5 pound pack.

Innovation?

It's all about choice.

scree ride
(scree)
Re: packs on 07/04/2013 16:20:51 MDT Print View

" Its kind of like when you build and price a car/truck."
Gotcha..Certainly looks like the quality is there.
The problem I found with Zimmer really, at least for me, was too many options. There's really no reason for most of them other than style. Color wise you're both stuck with what is available. What you have is what I wanted him to build, without the zipper, but then I got a Porter.
What it will ultimately come down to is price, unless you can cook a better pot roast than McHale.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: packs on 07/04/2013 16:24:51 MDT Print View

"What it will ultimately come down to is price, unless you can cook a better pot roast than McHale."

And a pot roast with daisy chains, at that.

scree ride
(scree)
daisies on 07/04/2013 16:52:56 MDT Print View

I like daisies. Just need the accessories. Mesh pockets are cool, if they are detachable and can be replaced if torn or taken off for bushwhacking.

William Lotman
(wl1193) - F

Locale: East Bay
Multicam on 07/04/2013 17:19:29 MDT Print View

Hi. Do you a photo of the multicam pack?

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Duck Calls, Pockets, Zip Sacks, and Multicam on 07/04/2013 22:24:03 MDT Print View

John, I really like your duck call analogy, especially since I am addicted to duck hunting. I might be the only guy in the world with an Xpac blind bag :)

As far as pockets, zip sacks, and accessories go. I plan to make them available for my packs. Modular items you can add and take off as you need them.

The multicam packs still need some finishing touches done to them. I was planning on finishing them up on Sunday and shooting some photos. I will try to get some photos of the back contour, the s curved shoulder straps, and how the load lifter system works without a frame. These are some of the things that separate my pack from other designs.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: Duck Calls, Pockets, Zip Sacks, and Multicam on 07/04/2013 22:35:39 MDT Print View

The back contour sounds very cool, can't wait to see it.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Duck Calls, Pockets, Zip Sacks, and Multicam on 07/04/2013 22:51:25 MDT Print View

Uh, it's frameless. You know what Lawson is referring to with respect to contour, right?

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Duck Calls, Pockets, Zip Sacks, and Multicam on 07/04/2013 22:51:34 MDT Print View

>These are some of the things that separate my pack from other designs.

These sound like the kinds of things that often separate one class of packs from another. Looking forward to seeing more of the designs.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Duck Calls, Pockets, Zip Sacks, and Multicam on 07/05/2013 04:09:56 MDT Print View

Lawson,

I'm glad you enjoyed the analogy. It just goes to prove that there is room in the market for a well designed business plan.

"His business model is a bit different than what I am thinking."

True enough, Chris's model seems to be "custom" with a side order of...

" Its kind of like when you build and price a car/truck. You choose the model and then choose the colors and features that are available."

...on his "Gear Deals" page.

I'm referring to "small product runs" of already designed and built packs with listed features, colors and sizes. It's kind of like buying the car/truck off of the dealership's lot instead of ordering it from the factory. ;-)

Maybe you could let your beard and hair grow longer and stick with the multicam pack line. It seems to work well for the Robertsons. How do you look in "camo"? LOL

Party On,

Newton

Party On,

Newton

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Two More Photos on 07/05/2013 14:02:20 MDT Print View

Here are two more photos

This one is of the contoured backpanel. The side panels are basically shaped like your spine so when you wear the pack it follows the contours of your back. It gives you the feel of a framed pack without the frame.
pack


This one is of the s curve shoulder straps. As you can see they curve away from your neck and then back over your chest. This keeps the straps off your neck and out of your armpits.
pack

Edited by Mountainfitter on 07/05/2013 21:41:43 MDT.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - M

Locale: Southeast
Nice on 07/05/2013 15:34:37 MDT Print View

Looks good Lawson. You don't need to reinvent the wheel in order to sell a few packs. Most people buy several in search of the perfect one anyway. Do some research on pricing. I doubt you find anyone selling a comparable pack in the $130 range.

Ryan

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
Great looking pack on 07/05/2013 17:04:00 MDT Print View

Zippers are heavy. Good construction and light weight is key. What is the site name again and I'd be willing to pay at least $130 is my feedback to your question.

Chris Stafford
(chrisman2013) - F
Great Looking Pack on 07/05/2013 21:41:21 MDT Print View

Your pack looks quite amazing. The contoured back panel is quite innovative, I don't think I've seen anything quite like it in a frameless pack. In addition to the "live-lifter" system you've employed and the bomber construction, the design appears to lend itself very well to scrambling and bushwhacking where a closefitting and durable pack is necessary.

This would be a great pack for adventure racers and lightweight climbers, especially with the panel zips. Add some shoulder strap pockets for energy gels and a bungee to hold a Gatorade bottle and it would be perfect. Of course, that could all be part of your modular system.

Overall, great pack I love it and would pay well for one. I would be more than happy to help you by beta testing one of the multicam renditions. It'd be like Christmas in July! Good Luck!

Edited by chrisman2013 on 07/05/2013 21:42:59 MDT.

scree ride
(scree)
$130 on 07/05/2013 21:51:50 MDT Print View

Custom made by Bangladesh child slaves. Top shelf at Walmart.
Quality isn't cheap.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: $130 on 07/05/2013 22:00:06 MDT Print View

I brought the 130 up as I was comparing to jam and CDT. I think the latter is made in Utah...; )

scree ride
(scree)
moneymoneymonee on 07/06/2013 06:12:01 MDT Print View

When I contacted ULA about adding Cuben to one of their packs, it was an extra hundred.
They are set up for production, not custom. Paying ten, maybe twenty bucks an hour with labor burden... not what I want to make as a business person.What would be the point?

Mike Feldman
(MikeF)

Locale: SE USA
cost of custom or semi custom pack on 07/06/2013 06:43:41 MDT Print View

I paid extra for a Chris Zimmer( built)custom Xpac backpack,w/requested options of a 400CI removable outside front pocket, and also removable hip belt with pockets. It gave me options of having 2500 to 3100 CI, and 21 to 27 ounces to carry, depending on trip, days, needs, ect. There is certainly room for another cottage industry pack maker who already has a good reputation..

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: moneymoneymonee on 07/06/2013 07:07:03 MDT Print View

True Scree, but Lawson was not going to make a custom pack unless I misunderstood what he was saying.
Regardless, the $130 was follows with a ? Have to start somewhere. Most of use have spent a lot more on a single pack and would be willing to do it here as well.

Now where is the order form? LOL

scree ride
(scree)
blank on 07/06/2013 08:48:17 MDT Print View

I think you said 130-150, which was reasonable in comparison. The reply was he couldn't do it for 130. The figure keeps coming back for some reason.
It seems that many of the "cottage industries" with the lower prices aren't doing the work themselves, in which case quality control goes downhill.
While not totally custom, these are built to order, by the owner or at least under direct supervision. Perhaps 3 or 4 hours to cut and sew plus sourcing the materials. I was surprised that Zimmer was as cheap as he was.

Edit: I guess this is "Gear Deals", $130 must be the deal price.

Edited by scree on 07/06/2013 10:19:01 MDT.

Nathan Meyerson
(NathanMeyerson) - F - M

Locale: NW
"Contoured" design. on 07/06/2013 17:41:40 MDT Print View

Hi Lawson, love your pack design. I'm in the process of tooling up for a small backpack/gear production house myself. I've been playing with pack designs for years, also selling them via word of mouth in my local area. I'm curious about this idea that "It gives you the feel of a framed pack without the frame." could you elaborate on this a bit more? While carrying what weight? As I understand it, the idea of a frame in backpack design is through using a laterally stiff structure to transfer the load off the shoulders to the hips. I don't understand how a frameless design could accomplish this in and of itself. Please don't take this as an attack on your claim, I am genuinely interested in your thought process and want to encourage you to move forward with your idea. The quality of your work is great, and I'm sure it's owner is quite happy with it's craftsmanship.

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
RE: Contoured design acting as a de-facto frame on 07/06/2013 19:42:44 MDT Print View

Not attempting to answer for Lawson here, but hopefully offering additional information for consideration:

Way back in the day, Jensen frameless packs were contoured design too & attempted to utilize a combination of compression type compartments to constrain the contents of the pack sufficiently tight enough to resist any compression forces(vertical or horizontal) ... thus acting as a kind of a de-facto frame.

By analogy, think of a aluminum can of Pepsi.
With an unopened can of soda, it's the soda contents that give the can a much higher level of structural strength than it would have if the can were empty.
That's because it is the soda contents itself (being constrained in the can)that resists any applied compression forces. Without the soda contents inside the can (& it being constrained), an empty aluminum can has only minimal structural strength.

Jensen Packs' design was meant to work utilizing the "same" principle.

Jensen Packs are still made by Rivendell Mountain Works:
http://www.rivendellmountainworks.com/about-our-packs/jensen-packs/

The site shows how the contour design with its the three compartments (two vertical acting as two stays, and one horizontal acting as a hip support) that give the pack a functional form to hug your back without collapsing

I've used the Jensen pack design back in the day, and if the carry weight crept up, it was a challenge for me to get the contents sufficiently packed to provide enough structural strength to support a carry weight beyond 90-32 lbs.
(Thus, I have a much smaller pack today and I wouldn't want to carry that much weight for very long, preferably not at all ;-)

Good to see efforts to raise the bar on this type of design direction.

Edited by tr-browsing on 07/07/2013 17:07:56 MDT.

Chris Stafford
(chrisman2013) - F
Re: Contoured Design on 07/06/2013 19:47:07 MDT Print View

I believe that what he is referring to is the way that the pack hugs your back, along with the way that the "live-lifters" help pull weight up and against your back.

This is much in contrast to many frameless packs which lack load lifters and which have the tendency to "balloon", turning into a tube which resists the body's contours.

Anyone please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Thanks on 07/08/2013 01:10:34 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the compliments and feedback.

This particular pack style does not have a frame but I have many more that do. Some of my designs have just a foam backpanel and some have a foam backpanel, plastic frame sheet, and removable aluminum frame stays.

The packs have a contoured shape cut into the sides of the pack so they fit your back better. The load lifter system is sort of two part. Its helps to compress the pack more while allowing you to adjust how the load feels on your shoulders.

As far as customization goes. I am still thinking about this. I want to be able to offer a product that is unique to the customer while being able to produce it in a very short amount of time. I am thinking kind of like how Timbuk2 does their bags.

Joe S
(ThreeRidges) - M
go for it on 07/08/2013 06:40:59 MDT Print View

I'm tall and have not found a mid-priced pack that deals with long torso folks (21.5) well without dropping $$$. I've ordered products from you in the past and have faith in your quality, so I'd be all over this if you pulled the trigger.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
You Can Do It, Lawson! on 07/08/2013 10:13:57 MDT Print View

+1 on the multi-cam. C'mon , Lawson...we're all rooting for you and will buy AT LEAST what you produce.

Matt

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwv61Uu1fdA

tyler marlow
(like.sisyphus) - F

Locale: UTAH
custom options on 07/08/2013 17:16:50 MDT Print View

I'd like to see options for water bottle, kangaroo, and interior stash pockets pockets.

Maybe a beavertail option

Removable lid

Removable frame

Hipbelt options

Edward Zwibel
(YetiEddie) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
I'd have to try one! on 07/11/2013 14:12:29 MDT Print View

Looking forward to seeing.....

Peter Longobardi
(paintplongo) - F

Locale: Hopefully on the Trail
Price? on 07/11/2013 19:48:21 MDT Print View

Best advice on pricing is price the pack out at cost and then markup to retail. Might sound simple and logically, but hitting price points is the way the large, mass production companies built products typically. If you need to price at $180, don't let a couple of people telling you, $130 or it won't sell, scare you away from bringing these to market if you feel you're created a great product that has it's place in the category. Wow...run on sentence there at the end.

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Just Found on 05/02/2014 22:28:23 MDT Print View

I just came across this forum and remembered about the Multicam X pac backpack I built 9 months ago.. So I dug it out and took two photo's since I said I was going to way back when I started this forum.... I guess I got too busy and forgot.

The pack in question uses VX33 which is a 330d cordura Multicam Xpac, and VX42 black for the back panel which is a 400d cordura. I would say the size is a true 35L. Basically the same pack as the red one above, just no zippers, no daisy chains, no ice axe loops, and more durable materials. Oh yeah and plus a semi-frame.. It weighs 24oz without the frame stays and 30oz with two aluminum 1/8" thick x 3/4" wide x 22" long frame stays..

multicam backpack

multicam backpack

Edited by Mountainfitter on 05/02/2014 22:34:34 MDT.

Kenda Willey
(sonderlehrer) - M
Re: Wait time for semi-custom packs on 05/04/2014 21:19:03 MDT Print View

A very nice-looking pack! Eight weeks is, however, too long--just because others do it, doesn't mean it's okay. If you decide to make them, I think you should engage some personnel to make them, instead of doing it yourself. From the sound of your posts, you're thinking of expanding, right? So doesn't that lead to bigger operations?
You're very well-regarded in your one-man operation--don't you think you can retain your standards if you increase your production? I've bought several items from you, and am very happy with the quality and the personal communication. Frankly, I'd give your affordable tarps or packs the benefit of the doubt over others, but waiting for two months just plain turns me off.

Scott Jones
(Endeavor) - M
Semi Custom Backpacks on 05/04/2014 23:10:53 MDT Print View

Cool Pack! I would like to see what the suspension looks like on the other side.

Kenda Willey
(sonderlehrer) - M
Re: Eight weeks on 05/05/2014 09:18:27 MDT Print View

Re-reading my posting from yesterday, I think it sounded a little pedantic. Sorry about that, and the pack looks very nice. I am a happy customer of yours, but I think eight weeks is too long to wait. Plus, once you open up orders for your packs, tarps, etc., you'll have a lot more orders, thereby possibly increasing the wait time?

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Wait Time on 05/06/2014 01:25:54 MDT Print View

Truthfully it takes me a day or two to build most packs from start to finish. So 8 weeks was just a hypothetical number..

At first the lead time would probably be 2-3 weeks from order time as I would have to fit pack building in to my current schedule and would have to stock up on more materials.. My guess is after I start selling these the lead time would increase as there will be ALOT of people that want them. Since I am currently a one man operation I am sure I won't be able to keep up with demand so this is where I came up with the longer lead times. But if I have that much demand for these packs, I would look to hire some help as I really would like to expand my business.

Before I posted this forum 10 months ago, I was always against selling custom built gear as its much faster to build something in bulk.. Like maybe 20 packs at a time since the time to build one would be cut in 1/2 or maybe even less.. But I feel like the allure to this whole thing would be that each pack could be semi-custom. Basically built for the user and their needs.. Because after all no two people are built alike and everyone has a different need.. I guess the best way to describe the process would be like how you customize a vehicle online. Choose the model, the size, the colors, and all the features that you need.

One thing that might be of interest to some people is that my packs are essentially 100% Rain Proof.. Rather than encasing the fabric edges in 1" grosgrain tape like almost all packs are. I actually use a seam tape to make the seam semi-waterproof... The PU used in hot melt seam tapes melt at a higher temp than the PET film used in Xpac so I use a very aggresive 1" wide roll adhesive with fabric tape on the top. It really finishes the inside of the pack off nice, adds strength to the seams and makes the pack 100% rainproof. This does take extra time, but I think its well worth it...

All that said, I have now received quite a few requests for the above Multicam pack asking the price and how soon they could have one. I have been kicking it around all day and as it sits, the model in the photo with Multicam would cost $250.00. Lets call the pack model the Ultra 35.. I could do the same pack in VX21 200d for $235.00 as the material is a little less costly. The VX21 is a 200d Xpac and comes in a ton of colors (varieties of black, gray, blue, red, orange, yellow, etc) and for those of you who really want the best possible pack and want a white pack., I could do $300.00 in Dyneema D40/DX40 which is dyneema/polyester blend. Warp: 400d Dyneema, Fill: 125d polyester, Rip Stop: 800d Dyneema on warp and fill.

If anyone is interested, send me an email and we can discuss further..

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Wait Time on 05/06/2014 02:55:10 MDT Print View

> I actually use a seam tape to make the seam semi-waterproof...
I do that too, on my X-Pac packs. Works very well.

Cheers