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What do the people WANT!?
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Nathan Meyerson
(NathanMeyerson) - F

What do the people WANT!? on 05/18/2014 21:46:41 MDT Print View

Hi there friends,

We're looking for suggestions for new product ideas.

What do you wish existed in the UL and SUL gear market that nobody currently offers?

Staying within the realm of sewn/bonded softgoods and smaller accessories (we don't own a machine shop).

As an incentive, if we find ourselves inspired by your idea and bring it to market, you will be given a free unit of said product.

Some things we're working with currently:

Reflective Cuben fiber/ Carbon Fiber umbrella
Reflective Cuben fiber-bottomed bivy sack
Reflective Cuben fiber Cat tarps and mids for hot/cold weather
Ultralight Synthetic Serape
Cuben Fiber Dump Pouch
Sub 24oz 50L Full-Framed Pack @ $200
Sub 9oz, Sub $60 1800 Cu in durable and waterproof Pack

Kate Moody

Locale: Acadia
Gaiters? on 05/18/2014 21:58:16 MDT Print View

I'm one of the new resident newbs, and also one of those "umbrella likers", would Cuban fiber gaiters make sense? Full length? Probably best not to listen to me as I do currently lack personal experience. Just thinking of stuff that would reduce skin-out weight and not just BPW. I'll be looking at your umbrellas when I am getting my purchases together, tho :)

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Gaiters? on 05/18/2014 22:02:35 MDT Print View

Cuben fiber gaiters would not make sense. Cuben fiber is less durable than other fabrics and being gaiters they take abuse from rocks and brush. Cuben fiber is also not breathable at all. You would expect them to be very hot and sweaty.

"Cuben Fiber Dump Pouch"

Dump pouch??? You mean like for empty magazines?

Just In Time
(ArcturusBear1) - F
Re: What do the people WANT!? on 05/18/2014 22:22:47 MDT Print View

A UL, durable and smartly designed umbrella would be cool. I think the gustbuster type design makes sense as far as relieving wind pressure, but i've yet to see an UL gustbuster type design umbrella.

You could use Cuben fiber for the main "fabric" on the bottom with the holes or vents, and then the top fabric over the holes/vents could be silnylon. Carbon fiber for the handle. Maybe for part of the rib system? (i'm not sure if CF can be used for that or not).

Might be able to borrow from the design of the blunt umbrellas some, like instead of a straight line across the fabric edge, concave the fabric in the middle a bit. Would probably be pretty expensive though..

There are lot's of things that would be cool to develop. Another thing i would like to see more of out there are UL, WPB ponchos that are fairly durable and more affordable.

Just In Time
(ArcturusBear1) - F
Re: What do the people WANT!? on 05/18/2014 22:53:44 MDT Print View

I don't know what your manufacturing or fund capabilities are, but what i would like to see above all else, is a tightly and simply woven, non grid stop, windjacket made out of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene fiber (dyneema and spectra are brand names of this fiber). CFM of about 25--being tightly and simply woven with no grid stop, and so hydrophobic should be highly water resistant.

I did some research into it once, and found that there are plenty of Chinese companies that make this kind of fiber and yarn for much cheaper than you can get in comparison from sourcing from DSM (dyneema) or Honeywell (spectra). But, you have to buy it in bulk, then you would have to have it woven into a fabric--an expensive venture.

I know, it's a lonnnnng shot. A UHMWPE fiber based windjacket would be a wet dream come true. I'm getting all hot and bothered just thinking about it. Ok, no i'm not, but it would be pretty cool. It would be so UL AND at the same time ultra durable--might last longer than me. I'm totally ok with the color white.

J Mag
Curved backpanel on 05/18/2014 22:58:53 MDT Print View

This may be hard to replicate but I wish there was an affordable pack in the style of a Osprey Exos/ Zpacks Arc Blast.

My first backpack (which I still have) was an Atmos 65 and I long for feeling the cool airflow on my back on a 90 degree hike.

Maybe I can afford an Arc Blast someday though...

Anyway I guess my ramble is over.

Edited to fix hilarious grammar mistake

Edited by GoProGator on 05/19/2014 08:08:19 MDT.

Jake S
sleeping pads on 05/18/2014 23:35:14 MDT Print View

Wide torso length sleeping pads.

There is exactly one on the market. Every other 4ft pad is 18" wide it seems. I don't get it.

Ito Jakuchu
(jakuchu) - MLife

Locale: Japan
Thin hoody on 05/19/2014 01:24:15 MDT Print View

Thin, cap 1 thin, high upf hoody. Seen that asked couple of times and would love 3 or 4 of them myself if the fit is right.

Joel Benford
(Morte66) - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
For me... on 05/19/2014 01:44:48 MDT Print View

I'd like a rain sombrero with:
- eVent or Neoshell crown, not Gore-tex.
- About 4 inch brim with slight droop at front and larger elsewhere.
- No built-in insulation. Built to minimise insulation. It seems like news to gear makers, but hats are hot and rain mostly isn't in mid-winter.
- Available in S/M/L/XL/XXL with adjustment of half an inch or so. A hat like this won't work as "one size fits most" or a token two sizes.
- Minimal headbands -- user puts it over a tennis style sweatband, buff, fleece beanie etc and adjusts.
- Smooth non-scratchy chinstrap like the Tilley bootlaces.

A light nylon hat with as much ventillation as a Tilley LTM5. [The Tilley LTM5 sun hat with mesh panels is my best rain hat for shorter trips, until the water resistant spray wears out and it gets sodden. The ~2% of the rain that gets through the mesh is welcome watercooling, it's more comfortable in rain than their rain hats.]

You could try to come up with a rain hat using some sort of overhung/covered vent arrangement like a chimney top vent. Ventilation > waterproof breathable fabric, if you can get it to work.

eVent chaps. You can get waterproof breathable pants, or waterproof non-breathable chaps, but not waterproof breathable chaps.

I second the wide but not long mats. I have a long/wide air mat, and put up with maybe 30-40% extra weight to get what I wanted. I wanted the width that badly, and I would like more width.

Edited by Morte66 on 05/19/2014 02:05:58 MDT.

Nathan Avery
Custom inflatable sleeping pads on 05/19/2014 01:44:58 MDT Print View

I think there is probably a market for custom dimension insulated/uninsulated inflatable sleeping pads like Kooka Bay used to make. Not sure if that's within the realm of possibility with your facility.

Steve Staloff
ultralight 2 person packraft on 05/19/2014 02:34:26 MDT Print View

Probably not part of your kit or expertise, but none exists. Would be useful. Often. But not so much for whitewater.

Lighter than 2 similarly built 1 person boats. Faster. Could be carried just in case it would be useful for water travel or crossing rivers where an Alpacka or 2 would be unspeakably heavy. High lake fisher people would probably find such a boat seductive.

Maybe Supai ought to do it, since they already know light inflatables; but maybe its not the way they think about boats, since they use small tubes to cut a little weight along with cutting a lot of security and load carrying capacity.

Edited by twilight on 05/19/2014 02:47:14 MDT.

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Truly modular sleeping systems for couples on 05/19/2014 03:06:33 MDT Print View

There has been very, very little innovation regarding truly modular sleeping systems for couples.

I'm talking about sleeping bags or quilts that work just as well alone as they do joined together, and aren't overly heavy as a consequence. Drafts creeping in between the two sleepers is a common, yet solvable problem here.

Along these same lines, there is not one effective solution for coupling two sleeping pads together that is as light as it could be. All the current systems are either too heavy (over 2 ounces for straps is ridiculous for this) or don't actually hold the pads flush with no gaps.

I have some ideas for prototypes for both modular sleeping systems and effective yet lightweight sleeping pad couplers. PM me if you are interested in hearing about either of them.

Edited by dmusashe on 05/19/2014 03:10:16 MDT.

Joel Benford
(Morte66) - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
Air mat to chair converter on 05/19/2014 03:28:33 MDT Print View

If you could make something that turns an air mat into a chair without weiging as much as a folding metal chair, that might get some traction.

And... waterproof breathable long gauntlets, that act as glove and sleeve with a poncho.

Edited by Morte66 on 05/19/2014 03:30:38 MDT.

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Multi use umbrella on 05/19/2014 05:18:30 MDT Print View

I've always though that if the umbrella were fully integrated into a shelter system, it would become all that more useful.

And why the shape? I understand "why" umbrellas open up as a circle, but If it were specific to backpacking then why not open up to a shape which is more thought out in relation to its end use? Again - a well designed multi use sustem would be really cool.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: What do the people WANT!? on 05/19/2014 08:03:18 MDT Print View

You said reflective Cuben tarp/mid

Someone said they quit making that because it's so dark inside that people didn't like it

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: What do the people WANT!? on 05/19/2014 08:13:16 MDT Print View

"Sub 24oz 50L Full-Framed Pack @ $200
Sub 9oz, Sub $60 1800 Cu in durable and waterproof Pack"

You do those well and you'll be all set!

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: sleeping pads on 05/19/2014 10:51:22 MDT Print View

"Wide torso length sleeping pads."

Yes oh yes oh yes oh yes oh yes please

Pierre Descoteaux
(Pierre) - MLife
Re: What do the people WANT!? on 05/19/2014 11:06:06 MDT Print View

Here is what I want.
A double wall 4 pole 4 seasons tunnel tent in 1.0 cuben with a big(ish) vestibule. The 4 poles need to be modified to be usable as avalanche probes. Must be usable with fly only and pitch fly 1st with the inside attached. I started sewing this year in order to be able to build this once my skills improve. Really it would look like a 4 pole Nammatj 3GT with a shorter span between poles and a shorter footprint. It would be a limited market but very good and light mountaineering tents are hard to come by.
I can always dream...

Nathan Meyerson
(NathanMeyerson) - F

So many awesome ideas! on 05/19/2014 12:12:36 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the ideas folks!

"Dump pouch??? You mean like for empty magazines?"

That was their purpose from military origins, but the idea itself is awesome for so many other uses. Especially in UL fabrics, the small form factor of a little belt-pouch that expands to carry something much larger is awesome. And it is always on your belt, so you don't have to remember to bring it with you.

WPB Ponchos are a possibility as are long gauntlets

UHMWPE fiber based windjacket is also a fantasy of mine, but we don't have the capital to make it happen.

Ventilating frame backpanel designs are worth experimenting with.

Rain Sombreros would go over well here in Oregon.

packrafts are out of our abilities

double wall tents are also a bit beyond us currently

Jerry, the issue with the reflective cuben fiber shelters was that the first generation of that fabric de-laminated catastrophically with minimal use. Darkness can be appealing if you're trying to keep out of High altitude or intense desert sun.

Lots of folks want wide sleeping pads. Assuming foam here? what width/length/thickness? Thats an easy one. Most foam pads are only 20" wide because thats half the width of the standard foam 'bun' Cutting them any wider is a 'yield killer'. But for a company like ours that uses said CCF for shoulder straps and waistbelts, having foam cut wide may not be problematic.

Edited by NathanMeyerson on 05/19/2014 12:13:51 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
short wide pads on 05/19/2014 13:10:59 MDT Print View

Oh Nathan, you misunderstand. We want INFLATABLE, insulated short wide pads.

Give the people what they want!!!