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Semi-Custom Backpacks
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scree ride
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

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 -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
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) - F

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


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,


Party On,


Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

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.

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.

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

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

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.


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
$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 -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
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
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

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 -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
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
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

"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:

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.