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new SMD packs
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Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
running on 01/26/2014 20:52:19 MST Print View

I'd love it if this pack was suitable for running but I'm not holding my breath, since thats a hard thing to pull off. Wide (on the chest) ergonomic shoulder straps are a plus. The two lower attachement points look similar to my MH fluid running pack, also a good thing. Having a waist belt anchored in the center of the pack with some ability to swivel & move with you seems key to me. Eager to learn more. As much as the word 'fastpacking' gets thrown around, there are very few purpose built multi-day running packs.

The compression system & pockets look good. I'm interested to see how the narrow suspension works out. I've used the MLD burn quite a bit & the narrow profile certainly frees up the shoulders and arms, increasing mobility.

Edited by sgiachetti on 01/26/2014 21:05:33 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Nice on 01/26/2014 21:03:29 MST Print View

Very nice what is the weight on them? I'm also interested in the hipbelt where does it attach? Poor hipbelts have been the downfall of otherwise great packs.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Nice on 01/26/2014 21:12:07 MST Print View

Pretty sure the 30 was around 1.6 pounds and the 40 was just under 2.

The 2 main packs were starting at 2.25 pounds.

Edited by awsorensen on 01/27/2014 19:39:31 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Nice on 01/26/2014 21:17:33 MST Print View

Glad to hear how light they are. I'm set with packs at the moment but I always love seeing new ideas and who knows, maybe I'll trade an old one in at some point. That hipbelt looks pretty comfy from what I can see. I'll be interested to see what people think of the extra strap.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re Re Nice on 01/26/2014 23:08:49 MST Print View

Hmmm! This is interesting. It's similar to a design I've been considering for a while, but--from what I can see--far more refined. I'm excited to see what SMD posts on their site with more accurate, detailed information. I really don't need a new pack, but I am open to persuasion (unfortunately).

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: 60L Fusion sounds good for me. on 01/27/2014 00:29:13 MST Print View

Like Peter G, I am also interested in hearing more about the Fusion line.

Also, did Ron indicate when the new packs would be posted in his website?

Thomas Willard
(TomW) - M

Locale: The burbs of Philly
Re: Re: 60L Fusion sounds good for me. on 01/27/2014 07:35:34 MST Print View

I think their Facebook page said next week they would start putting out information.

Chad B
(CenAZwalker) - F

Locale: Southwest
Shelters? on 01/27/2014 07:54:10 MST Print View

Did they unveil any new shelters?

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
running on 01/27/2014 09:01:04 MST Print View

The one pack style is aimed at those folks who do races or want a fastpack type pack, has a vest type chest strap if that is what you like.

Edward Jursek

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Pack weight and materials? on 01/27/2014 15:46:27 MST Print View

Looks like the pack weights were removed from the post? I saw them earlier, but can't find the numbers anymore. Also, no mention of the materials. If I recall the previous listed pack weights before they were removed correctly, the "Fusion" pack was about 2 pounds and the lighter pack was at about 1.5 pounds. I recall being disappointed by the weight. Seems that SMD has bulked up with the addition of Brian. I am not looking for heavier packs, seems like HMG and ULA had that covered, but perhaps that is where the market is going.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Pack weight and materials? on 01/27/2014 17:20:58 MST Print View

Zpacks seems to have the lightweight sector locked up. I am not sure how much room there is for inovation in the sub 1 lb pack area.

I am interested in the fastpacking pack especially if it has a vest style closure. I haven't found a good pack yet for running that allows me to carry an SUL load. Its more about controlling motion than weight for me at this point.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Pack Weight and Materials on 01/27/2014 17:58:53 MST Print View

The lightest you can make a practical internal frame pack is about 1.5-2 pounds. If you have a frame, a hipbelt and adequately durable materials you're going to have 24-32 oz when you are done.

What I look for in internal frame packs is not weight reduction but improved comfort. We've had 2 pound intenernal frame packs for years but they are becoming more sophisticated and they can carry weight better.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Release Date on 01/27/2014 19:17:50 MST Print View

Ron said they are looking at April. Colors will vary from prototypes, consistent and similar as with their previous pack lines. Sorry about no pics. I thought they were all off limits. I did not now the lighter ones could be shown. No harm no foul, though. EJ did an excellent job on the photo front - and got the instructions right.

Anthony Viera

Locale: Orange County
Re: Release Date on 01/27/2014 22:50:24 MST Print View

Is the April target for the 50/60 L packs as well?

Edited by joydivisi0n on 01/27/2014 22:56:08 MST.

Peter Griffith
(petergriffith) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Re: new SMD packs on 01/28/2014 00:59:13 MST Print View

Here's some details about the new packs that I remember from the SMD GGG presentation. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

* The priorities in designing the packs in order were 1)Comfort, 2)Durability, 3)Function, 4)Weight (I believe the middle two are correct, but certainly the first and last are correct)
* They believe the market is retreating from ultralight back to more comfort
* They have increased their dealer network and consideration was taken in the design to stand out on the retail shelf

* The spine is made of foam and is about 4" wide to minimize contact with the back and reduce back sweating
* The spine has a single aluminum stay that can be shaped to fit your back
* The stay runs down the center of the foam spine
* The spine attaches to the inside of the hip belt with a Velcro patch
* The shoulder straps are shaped like a yolk and attach to the spine with a Velcro patch
* The torso size of the pack can be adjusted S-M-L by moving the shoulder straps up and down the Velcro patch
* The shoulder straps have built in pockets
* The hip belt has a plastic insert all around that gives it more structure
* There is a slot in the plastic in the ends to allow it to conform better to the hips
* The hip belt pockets are not removable and are on all packs
* The hip belts are unisex, no male and female versions
* The hip belt has two independently adjustable straps from each side that connect to a single buckle to allow the belt to adjust to people's different shapes
* The hip belt attaches to the pack at a single patch in the center of the bottom of the pack. I believe it attaches with Velcro
* The material is nylon.
* The top uses a roll top configuration
* The mesh on the side pockets looked very similar to the ULA Ohm mesh
* There are two ports for hydration tubes
* The colors will be green and yellow (I think)

* The lighter weight pack line is called Flight, a combination of fast and light
* Ron said Brian Frankle has been focused on trail running for the past few years
* He gave Brian the latitude to do what he wanted with the Flight series
* The shoulder straps are like a vest with two attachment buckles across the chest and come with built in pockets
* Ron said that this design transfers the weight to the core and off the shoulders and also stabilizes the pack from swaying while running
* The hip belt is mesh with pockets as standard and attaches with Velcro in the center
* There is a delrin hoop that begins and ends at the center of the hip belt and goes up the side of the pack and across the top
* There is an aluminum stay that can be shaped to your back
* The compression straps begin at the spine and wrap around the pack to draw the pack away from the back
* It does not have a back mesh pocket
* There are two ports for hydration tubes
* The colors available are as shown in this thread

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: new SMD packs on 01/28/2014 11:07:03 MST Print View

* They believe the market is retreating from ultralight back to more comfort*

He is 100% correct, which I think is both good and bad for my interests. Finding more comfort in a light package is a great goal, but I'm afraid it will halt future innovation in the lightest sector of backpacking. I hope not. There are enough cottage guys out there covering the market now days that it may make no difference at all.

Packs look interesting. Good on SMD.


Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: new SMD packs on 01/28/2014 13:43:21 MST Print View

Does anyone have a picture of the chest attachment on the front of the Flight pack? I am very interested in how it looks.

This has be excited as it could be a new tool not just a lighter tool.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
new SMD packs on 01/28/2014 14:09:10 MST Print View


I didn't take a photo but I did get to try it on and watch as others tried the pack. Many of us thought the fit of the shoulder straps/yoke was very similar to the fit of a Nathan running vest, basically wide and flat that can curve around the chest area when worn. The best photo in this thread is the side view of Mark Verber wearing the red/white pack (tan hat, black shirt above). You can see how flat and wide the shoulder strap is and how the strap or yoke (maybe a better term would be "wing") connects under his arm to the two webbing straps behind. The are 4 small pockets on the yoke.

One possible issue we discussed would be the fit for a woman with a large chest (this was actually a benign conversation that included a few women!).

Several of us thought it did an excellent job of controlling excessive motion; however, the pack only had a few pounds in it, so that might change with 20+ pounds.

Edited by saparisor on 01/28/2014 15:14:44 MST.

Ron Moak
(rmoak) - F
SMD Pack - Flight 40 Harness on 01/28/2014 14:34:17 MST Print View

Here is a photo of the Flight 40 Harness. The Vest has a total of 6 pockets (three on each side). Plus there are two pockets on the hip belt. The full size hip belt will be standard although you can opt for a lighter model with mesh and pockets. The standard hip belt has significantly better load support.

SMD Flight 40 Back Panel

The support for the Flight 40 is a Delron hoop stay. The ends of the stay, terminates at the point where the hip belt attaches. This provides maximum support.


Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

SMD on 01/28/2014 15:13:11 MST Print View

Very nice packs. Congrats on developing a promising product.