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James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: purpose built on 02/05/2014 04:15:15 MST Print View

Well, I far prefer a 1 pound pack for my travels. SMD has hit a winner at 15oz, I think. It depends on other things now. Pad Keepers to maintain interior volume. Hip belts to allow you to carry a 30 pound load. Pockets to keep stuff handy that is needed while hiking (water treatment, a sweater, rain gear, water bottles, etc.)

Can't wait to see these...

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: It's official on 02/05/2014 07:20:54 MST Print View

A few thoughts on the Flight series, based on a couple entirely inadequate photos. As usual, I could be totally wrong:

-Good on SMD for tackling form factor in a major way and introducing some packs which don't look like frumpy suitcases. Irrespective of function, their past packs have been by far the ugliest of the Jardine progeny, and that is saying quite a lot.
-Vest harness is intriguing, and I'm glad someone ran with it in a real sized pack. Those pockets should be handy.
-Cultivating a barrel shaped packbag is a curious choice. I've always been acutely skeptical of sweat mitigation as a design spec, and it seems to me that the main effect of this choice will be giving away a significant amount of bag space, moving the load away from the users COG, and making the pack harder to pack well (ie by it not being a rectangle inside).
-In my book load lifters and the resultant wrap harness are 4-6 ounces needlessly spent, though with only two sizes it is probably necessary.
-I want to know more about how the belt attaches to the pack. The shortcoming of delrin rods and hoops (when they're stiff enough to bear real weight) is that they can't be shaped to provide lumbar support. It seems, based on the photos, that the hoop anchors within the pack, and the belt attaches with velcro (?). If the belt is attached along the full top-bottom distance, that will limit its ability to articulate to an individuals lumbar curve. If the belt were only anchored at the bottom, the plastic in it would likely not be necessary.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: It's official on 02/05/2014 11:20:54 MST Print View

Does anyone know what kind/weight of fabric these packs use?

Regarding the packs, I'm not the intended market so of course my opinion of them isn't glowing yet. 15 oz for a pack with no hip belt is heavy for my tastes, but I'm not a trail runner. Some trip reports may change my opinion.

Ryan

Edited by ViolentGreen on 02/05/2014 11:37:49 MST.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: new SMD packs on 02/10/2014 14:16:47 MST Print View

Another way of looking at these packs is a 2-pound pack that carries better than a 3-pound or even 4-pound pack.

If I had that in my pocket, I wouldn't care what the UL crowd thought either.

The one and only thing I didn't like about the Fusion Line is the shoulder pads.
I have a broken clavicle so they bugged me. However that won't be the case for everyone else.

As far as the Flight Series, the 40 was amazingly comfortable.
I love the 2 side connection points to the shoulder pads.
The design worked extremely well at dispersing the weight throughout your entire body.
It was the most comfortable pack I would use all the time that I have ever tried on.

I also loved the design of the Flight 30, however, with the 30 liters, it can be loaded up with enough gear to make the weight on you shoulders a bad experience in my book. If I am moving fast, I want the weight off my shoulders and on my hips.

Since I can easily fit a weekends worth of stuff in 1500 cubic inches of space and carry little enough weight for the weekend trip, I think a 1500 ci pack would be much less bulk and carry well enough to buy a "vest" pack and not worry about the weight on my shoulders???
It is a comfortable pack, and then again, not everyone can do a weekend with a 1500ci pack.
So the Flight 30 seems to also be for the masses, but not for me.

The Flight 40 on the other hand, I will be getting one of these and using it for all but my weekend trips.

Edited by awsorensen on 02/10/2014 14:19:12 MST.

Peter G
(BuddyJ)

Locale: Western Oklahoma
SMD Fusion info has been released on 02/25/2014 12:58:10 MST Print View

http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/smdnews/155-fusion-pack-series.html

Finally, you can see pix. I'm sure there will be nay-sayers here due to this:

"As to the [design] criteria, they were (in order) comfort, function, durability, weight. With our criteria established, we had a firm foundation upon which to rank design decisions."

So they're 36 and 39 oz respectively, and can potentially carry 50lbs.

Edited by BuddyJ on 02/25/2014 15:14:05 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: SMD Fusion info has been released on 02/25/2014 13:48:41 MST Print View

These look like great packs. However, I find the 50 lb rating optimistic.

Edited for clarity.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 02/25/2014 14:09:24 MST.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - M

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: SMD Fusion info has been released on 02/25/2014 13:58:41 MST Print View

They seem to have substantial hip belts and frames. If the 50lb rating is accurate, that would be great, but it does seem optimistic. I did not see what material the external pockets were made of - mesh or solid? Edit: I see, it says 4-way stretch mesh.

SMD Facebook post says they hope to start shipping in April

Edited by johnnyh88 on 02/25/2014 14:01:23 MST.

Ron Moak
(rmoak) - F
Re: Re: SMD Fusion info has been released on 02/25/2014 15:09:40 MST Print View

>> However, I find the 50 lb rating optimistic.

First, the article reads tested weight and not rated weight. Nor will the Fusion Packs be sold or marketed as 50 pound packs. To be honest there is no independent rating system for packs. So most of the time a rating is little more than a crap shoot. It's even worse among UL packs as the variables that go into achieving support are many and comfort is a highly personal conjecture.

In order to actually achieve the 50 pound test load in the Fusion, we had to pack a lot of dense material (ie. lots and lots of beans). However, once loaded and properly fitted, the pack rode normally with no collapse of the body or deflection in the hip belt. There was also a gap under the shoulder strap, so all of the weight was evenly distributed to the hips.

The real purpose for the testing was to insure that the structure would be sufficient to handle whatever real world loads the pack is likely to encounter. We want to insure that if someone buys the pack and loads it with normal food, water and gear that the pack will handle it gracefully.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone wishing to tote around a 50 pound pack should have their head examined.

Ron

Peter G
(BuddyJ)

Locale: Western Oklahoma
fixed on 02/25/2014 15:16:06 MST Print View

Updated my post to reflect your comments.

I'm super interested in your 65L version. It should be great for Scouting. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

Jon Leibowitz
(jleeb) - F - MLife

Locale: 4Corners
Re: Re: Re: SMD Fusion info has been released on 02/25/2014 15:27:35 MST Print View

Ron, solid job. I love the new packs and the radical rethinking on the design. Are there plans to distribute through outdoor stores around the country? I'd love to try one on in person.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Frame Question on 02/25/2014 15:54:18 MST Print View

How tall is the frame on both backs? If I were to try one I'd be right between a Flight 40 and Fusion 55 in terms of size. A deciding factor might be how tall it was.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Frame Question on 02/25/2014 15:57:39 MST Print View

Luke - the torso is adjustable on the packs.

"As far as I'm concerned, anyone wishing to tote around a 50 pound pack should have their head examined."

Indeed Ron, but rather than have some question the validity of the claim, the '50 pound' comment should be removed. It is difficult to get my head around 'lightweight pack' and '50 pound load.'

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: SMD Fusion info has been released on 02/25/2014 16:03:20 MST Print View

Certainly the Fusion is not alone on this as I've seen this before on other non-climbing packs, but wondering why a pack made for long distance hikers has dual ice ax loops? Dual loops implies the use of technical axes, does it not?

Ross L
(Ross) - MLife

Locale: Beautiful BC
Re: Re: Re: SMD Fusion info has been released on 02/25/2014 16:04:02 MST Print View

As far as I'm concerned, anyone wishing to tote around a 50 pound pack should have their head examined.

Ron


Before I comment, I'm off to get my head examined. Spring training is just around the corner and I need to be mentally prepared.
Ross

Ron Moak
(rmoak) - F
Re: Re: SMD Fusion info has been released on 02/25/2014 16:37:52 MST Print View

>> Dual loops implies the use of technical axes, does it not?

Not necessary. Large numbers of long distance hikers use trekking poles. It's convenient when in town or hitchhiking to collapse your poles and attach them to the back of your pack. It helps prevent leaving your poles in the back of someones car in the excitement of getting to town. (It happens lots of time.)

Having two loops allows each pole to have their own attachment point. This makes it much easier to add or remove the pole from the pack.

There are also occasions where hikers will be carrying both hiking poles and an ice axe. Pretty common on the PCT in the Sierra.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Frame on 02/25/2014 16:39:51 MST Print View

What is the frame height? I know the torso length is adjustable but how tall is the actual frame?

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Re: Re: SMD Fusion info has been released on 02/25/2014 17:05:27 MST Print View

>> Dual loops implies the use of technical axes, does it not?

Ron sez "Not necessary. Large numbers of long distance hikers use trekking poles. It's convenient when in town or hitchhiking to collapse your poles and attach them to the back of your pack."

Yeah I get that and I've tried to use them that way too. Not much success as the pole always seems to come out of the loop and flops around. Perhaps a simple loop is the lightest weight attempt at solution and works perfectly for an ax head, but not so well for a skinny pole end, especially if the pole doesn't have a basket. Perhaps there is a trick to this I haven't figured out?

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - M

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Re: Re: SMD Fusion info has been released on 02/25/2014 19:18:44 MST Print View

"Perhaps there is a trick?"

Simply put your trekking pole tip in the loop, then rotate your pole once or twice like a clock hand. Secure the handle at the top of the bag with whatever attachment is provided.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Re: Re: Re: SMD Fusion info has been released on 02/25/2014 20:15:33 MST Print View

Well of course. But in my experience twisting doesn't hold even if the loop is twisted tight. It works loose and when the pack is stood up on ground the pole tip is pushed up and out of the loop. Many climbing packs now have buckle/holster gizmos to accommodate different tools now instead of loops too. Anyway, I just think double loops always seemed like an odd feature for a non-climbing pack. Two poles can just as easily use one loop.

Edited by rmjapan on 02/25/2014 20:19:32 MST.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Re: Re: SMD Fusion info has been released on 02/25/2014 20:56:57 MST Print View

I see no reason the advertised design wouldn't carry 50 pounds well, if the execution fulfills its potential. It is similar to things Osprey (among others) have been doing for years, just with less fat.

This is not directly related, but the continued chatter portraying American style thruhikers as the most rigorous users (espoused in the SMD product blurb) ought to stop. Absurd is one of the more mild words which comes to mind. Find those people carrying truly light 50+ pound loads and you'll be on the right track.