Seek Outside Flight Pack [was Upcoming light packs from SO]
Jan 20, 2019 at 4:19 am #3573950
The Seek Outside team is working on some new ultralight (lightweight) packs that will be close to the 2lb range and be rated up to 50lbs. The prototypes are made out some new Spectra fabrics including a Spectra ripstop and even full woven Spectra. It will be interesting to see what the Seek Outside team releases to the market.
[edit: Thread name change to help users find this thread]Jan 20, 2019 at 4:51 am #3573951Adam KilpatrickBPL Member
@oystersLocale: South Australia
I noticed that full spectra and some high % spectra blends are available to buy from extremtextile
The full spectra versions aren’t cheap but for highest wear areas like pack base, its not that big a deal (maybe $20 or so of fabric for that piece). They sell in smaller sections than full yards.Jan 21, 2019 at 10:22 am #3574148Geoff CaplanBPL Member
@geoffcaplanLocale: Lake District, Cumbria
“the full Spectra versions aren’t cheap”
You’re not kidding – 65Eur per meter!: https://www.extremtextil.de/en/aramid-sailing-laminate-160g-sqm.html That would be quite an expensive experiment. You can pick up a small sample for 14Eur if you’re tempted.to check it out.
It really will be interesting to see what SeekOutide produce. Pretty much all their stuff boasts at least one significant innovation.Jan 21, 2019 at 1:55 pm #3574164BCapBPL Member
Not sure if this is the pack to which you are referring, but here is a blow up/crop of the photo from their blog post:Jan 21, 2019 at 2:26 pm #3574170
They have three packbag styles that they are working on (all using the same frame). One is a panel loader for travel, which is pictured above, the other is a climbing style pack, and lastly, the most interesting pack to most of us on BPL is the backpacking oriented pack, that has two water bottle pockets and a large front pocket, like the Seek Outside Gila pack.
A video is available here that shows the climbing pack and backpacking style pack.Jan 21, 2019 at 9:51 pm #3574305
“You’re not kidding – 65Eur per meter!: https://www.extremtextil.de/en/aramid-sailing-laminate-160g-sqm.html ”
That doesn’t look like the woven stuff. It’s just laid on 4 axes (like high bias DCF) and laminated. I think the woven stuff is even more expensive.Jan 22, 2019 at 12:04 am #3574333
Dan, if you go to Outdoor Retailer, I would love to see what you think of these packs.Jan 22, 2019 at 12:51 am #3574348
I also sent an email to Skurka asking if he would consider giving it a good look over if he ends up at OR.
In addition I spoke with Kevin briefly today inquiring about the size of the zip pocket on the current iteration of the Nyack-based pack. He informed me that he has a 48 oz Nalgene along with miscellaneous gloves and beanies in the pocket. This is good news as I was worried the zip compartment might be smaller. Fitting a Nalgene and a 750 pot for quick esspresso breaks is, for me, important.Jan 22, 2019 at 5:34 pm #3574438
I can answer most questions if you want.
Our purpose on this, was to come as close as we could to providing the performance of our bigger packs in a smaller profile pack. We have been working on this on and off for a couple years. I have bike packed with it, done class 4 ridges .. and it’s been used for several weeks of photography in the alps. We have externalized the frame , internalized it etc, used a more flexible frame, and a stiffer frame, used 7075 and titanium etc. For the OR and ISPO show this was sort of a rush .. as the material we were not even sure if we would have it, then it showed up slightly before the new years. We know we have some refinements, but these are good samples and should perform pretty similar to what they will be. We are also confident the refinements won’t be super hard, more just moving it out of prototpye and sample stage to production.
A couple of the basics:
We do not have an ETA .. basically when we feel it is right. We do feel it is close now , but we know there are a couple refinements. The shoulder straps will be a little wider but not much, more in the 2.5 range. That was a mistake, one of the samples we made had a very narrow harness, somehow that was a pattern mix up. The harness , will be similar, just a bit wider (but not super wide).
The frame is similar shape to our current but with a few changes. It can move with you a bit, and provides good vertical rigidity with a little flex.
We know we have a couple areas to trim an ounce or two. All of these were in the 33 -36 ounce range more dependent on fabric than style. In the end we may be able to trim a couple ounces, but we may add an ounce here or there if we feel it makes a better pack and for better durability for it’s purpose.
Once again ETA is tricky. We have a lot of new products this year coming out .. starting with a new tent line that you should know more about in a few days. Many of these products have been worked on for a long time. All of them trend to the lighter weight end of the scale. We will have to balance release dates, and production etc to make things as clean as possible.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
KevinJan 22, 2019 at 8:54 pm #3574468
Thanks for being willing to field questions. I’ll bracket my question with the awareness that the packs are not in their final form as you say.
I’m curious what the dimensions on the pack body are and if they differ between the models. Particularly interested in back panel width, circumference, depth, and any taper between the top and bottom of the bags.Jan 22, 2019 at 9:41 pm #3574479
Backpack body and framing is ~ 10 3/8. That for us is a good balance of stability and profile. The 14 inch base on our big packs gives great load support, but can be big on a sketchy little ledge or in a canyon.
Regarding final form, regarding any real issue developing, we know the few small changes. They are pretty close. A couple packs have been used pretty extensively, but the frame size was a tiny bit larger. Fabrics, may be different or may not. I’d love to use Spectra , full woven in some places … but that may not be feasible.
They are tapered to have more volume at the top than bottom. A little deeper at the top. I’d like to add a small more to the top so the roll top closes well around the frame (it’s tight now).
Depth is about 8 inches, but the bag is shaped / tapered a bit. We are going to add a bit back in the bottom of the bag … but keep it a bit sculpted / tapered. The reason for this is just balance. While the sculpted profile is better for say butt sliding down a scree slope .. sometimes you may want to force the load a bit lower for say biking down technical single track on a bike packing trip (that came up on a recent trip).
Our plans are to keep the bags all similar size / profile, but the more backpacking oriented ones add the mesh rear pocket which adds say 8 liters or so. We consider the panel loader somewhat backpacking as well .. and the mesh pocket fits a small laptop well … which works great for flying (hop on the flight, grab your laptop, throw the pack in overhead).
Our planned changes are :
- Harness a bit wider (we actually had one a bit wider, as mentioned pattern error and tight timeline)
- A bit more volume in the bottom of the bag but still sculpted / tapered
- A professionally produced frame and small changes to the anchoring to simplify it a bit (this would result in the Cross stay being built into the frame as well).
- On the more Gila styled pack, we plan on two fabric options , a lighter one with a 2 layer bottom, and a mid to heavier duty fabric. On the other two packs we are leaning to just offering a more durable option, and then a bit more of “cool” option. We see them as a mix of climbing, skiing, snow shoeing , travel, type packs.
- We also have one more pack style, not shown, that I am not sure if we will offer, but I would classify it as a very clean climbing oriented pack.
Thats it. If you have any other questions let me know .
KevinJan 22, 2019 at 9:50 pm #3574481
Thank you for the detailed response.
I agree the 14 inch base is good for hauling (great for it) but it does tend to get caught on ledges when downclimbing. 10 3/8 is a great profile for tighter stuff. While I don’t bike I can see how adding weight lower would make sense for that application.
Would be interested in seeing a dual buckle hipbelt as an option. While not needed for weight transfer in smaller loads it still provides a better fit around the hips and reduces slip over the course of the day. Obviously it would increase weight and that might not be an appropriate place to add weight overall.
Very interested to see these packs when they come through. Thank you again.Jan 22, 2019 at 10:34 pm #3574489Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
As long as we are talking measurements, can you post here some info on back panel lengths?
I would be interested in knowing the distance from the bottom of the hip belt to the shoulder strap upper attachment point (where they are sewn into the back panel) and also the distance from the bottom of the hip belt to the load lifter attachment point. I assume the load lifter attachment point is on the frame?
Thanks Kevin.Jan 22, 2019 at 10:40 pm #3574490
It is a dual adjust / center buckle forward pull. So centered buckle, go to ladder locks locate top and bottom so you can adjust top and bottom tension individually (It seems belt buckle closure is a religion for some) .
As for when they come out .. well Lacie is working on some of our little items as we speak .. and we have drawings in for quotes etc ..so we are actively working on them. We may even post photos as we go along .. I think the next will one will look really cool.
We also, want to get any feedback from shows as well as well as circle back on our fabric choices and chase them down (for instance ..we did get a full woven spectra with waterproof laminate .. but it wasn’t just right so we didn’t use it in these… but that would be my “money doesn’t matter fabric of choice” almost any day)
Our next big release though will be some trekking pole supported tents, which we will likely start talking about in the next couple weeks. I think this crowd will find those pretty cool as well with a couple neat concepts integrated.
You are welcome and glad to help.
KevinJan 23, 2019 at 2:17 am #3574547
Thank you Kevin. This may not work for me as I am a ~21.5″ torso, but it looks like a really interesting pack. I can’t wait to see what you and your team comes up with.Jan 23, 2019 at 6:56 am #3574602
Nobody’s asking about the materials?
Kevin, I’m most interested to know if you’re likely to offer these in woven dyneema/spectra? And if so, for the entire pack? And will that have a backing to make it waterproof? Thanks!Jan 23, 2019 at 1:57 pm #3574617
Torso, we will revisit having a way to make it taller into the 24 – 25 range. We had a concept we talked about but then did not feel it would be needed. Since we already have several requests from the long torso crowd we will investigate an elegant way .. but there is no guarantee. Maybe we just end up make a longer torso version in the future.
Dan and materials. We are shooting for a waterproof spectra option .. however , we also do not know if it is feasible or even practical. We did get a sample of a laminated waterproof full woven, but it was’t suitable for use at the moment. We will revisit it once these shows are done.. In all likely hood , materials will be a combination of XPAC, Cordura , and Spectra / Dyneema style fabrics with them being used where they are practical and make sense. Packs more oriented for backpacking would trend to lighter side with reinforcement where needed. Although, really , face fabric weight makes so little difference .. even the panel loader that went to the Alps out of XPAC X50, with a big old zipper , and an older style hip belt pocket added, did not get to 3 lbs and since then a few ounces have been shaved.Jan 23, 2019 at 9:25 pm #3574711Woubeir (from Europe)BPL Member
did you ever consider X-PAC V15 ?Jan 24, 2019 at 6:08 am #3574782
Thanks Kevin. Makes sense.Jan 24, 2019 at 10:18 am #3574786Geoff CaplanBPL Member
@geoffcaplanLocale: Lake District, Cumbria
“Although, really , face fabric weight makes so little difference”
I never understand why so many companies are making packs out of flimsy fabrics when there’s typically under 1 sq meter required. You only save a few grams, and sacrifice a lot of durability and flexibility. Even if you’re on a groomed trail you may find yourself bushwhacking around windfall, landslips etc. Or if you fly, your pack could be trashed by the baggage handlers. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where skimping on denier makes much sense.
Waterproof spectra would be awesome if you could find a viable source. It would be a big selling point for the more informed customer. But I guess there’s a reason why so few makers are using it. Cost? Minimum order?
I’m glad that you guys are focused on robustness and usability rather than trying to win the gram weenie wars.Jan 24, 2019 at 12:52 pm #3574792James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
“I never understand why so many companies are making packs out of flimsy fabrics when there’s typically under 1 sq meter required.”
Yes, I understand. A lot of the concern is the actual philosophy between the styles. A good example is the true UL packs in the <16oz range. Light fabrics mean smaller packs. Anyone that purchases a true UL pack will know what they want with few additional mount points for add-ons that are basically useless. Not a lot of compression do-dads, a UL hiker will fill a 30L pack. It will NOT be his first pack. Nor will it be a four season pack. It won’t be designed to carry a lot of weight, a UL’er doesn’t need a lot of weight in gear (10lb base, 20lb total.) There will be little margin. A UL’er wants minimal hip belts and no frame…maybe a couple stays or pad keeper. It will have next to no padding, maybe 1/8 padding in shoulders and hips, it isn’t needed. It will have wider shoulder straps to distribute the loads across more fabric for less failures. And simple closures, no zippers. And so on… The philosophy between a minimalist UL pack and a lightweight pack is different. A UL’er will think of a pack in context with the rest of his gear as part of his integrated hiking/camping system, the total is greater than the parts. A Lightweight’er will think of components: Pack, Shelter, Sleeping Gear, etc as individual components easily swapped out, the total IS what the parts weigh. Durability with minor repairs is accepted as part of UL packing. Lightweigh’ers think of ANY repair as a failure. Comfort is the same or close to it, in either case, a 15 pound pack or a 25pound pack. I’ll carry the lighter one, thank you.
I wish the Seek Outside people well. But it is a LIGHTWEIGHT pack only if they can get it down between 16 and 32 ounces. With all the heavy fabric used, I worry they might not hit the mark. This ignores the cost, of course.Jan 24, 2019 at 1:41 pm #3574796
James, I agree that 32oz or less would be a big deal, but how many framed packs are there under 32oz? Not many. The HMG 3400 Windrider that seems to get a lot of love is 34oz.
For short trips or trips with frequent resupply smaller frameless packs are fine, but more of my trips are a week long (or more) in areas that may require a bear can or UrSack, and may have less than ideal weather.
I have a 16oz pack- a SMD Swift and a 17oz pack – a ULA Conduit that I rarely use anymore. I have found I sleep much better on a Neo Air then a Ridgerest or ZLite and the Neo Air doesn’t make a very good frame. The Conduit isn’t big enough for a weeks worth of food and foul weather gear, and the Swift gets uncomfortable with week long plus weights (especially with a bear can).
I also have two framed packs under 2lb – a Z Packs Arc at 26.5oz – A nice pack but the complicated frame system keeps giving me problems like the stays popping out. I also have a SWD Long Haul 50 that’s 28.6oz, which I really like.
For two week trips, like the 14 day trip without resupply, I took in 2017, or the 11 day (no resupply) backpacking/packrafting trip I took in 2015, I have a Seek Outside Unaweep 4800 that I have trimmed down to just under 3lb. It’s a fantastic pack and carries really well. I tried all sorts of packs in 2015 to find one that could carry the weight of packrafting gear and 11 days of food (plus a Bearikade Expedition) comfortably and the Seek Outside blew the competition away. These guys (and gals) know what they are doing and I think this “flight” pack could make a good thru hiking or high route pack at around 32-34oz.
Overkill for a weekend in fair weather- yes, but for a week long high route in potential bad weather – it may be an excellent choice.
And yes, my base weight used to be between 6-7lbs and now it is up around 10.Jan 24, 2019 at 2:41 pm #3574801
Thanks for the feedback and discussion. I’ll answer these best I can
V-15 XPAC = Give me a proven advantage. It is a heavier fabric with a lighter face. Honestly, as long as customers choose the right fabric for the job, we have had great success with X21RC and I would think there are 1000 plus packs out there with it. Now I know the theoretical .. that the X’s are an abrasion area .. they can be .but where have we seen an issue not really. The scrim, is really just to hep with stitch holding of bar tacks. We don’t really do that and put most stuff neatly in a seam or reinforce if not.
Why no full woven spectra / Dyneema used much – Cost, Minimums , it is also harder to work with for cutting etc.
Sub 16 ounce or non framed packs. That really isn’t us . We have built some ..etc, and honestly the company as a whole are not really a fan. We do not even make a bigger Merlin which is our frameless daypack because we have never found the carry to work well enough.
I think we can get close to 2 lbs. It is close now and i think we can shave a little or maybe get better performance and durability for an ounce here or there sort of moved around.
Baseweight .. … My big 4 usually go 5 – 10 depending. I honestly don’t sweat it a lot and I take what works well. I don’t need a lot , but sometimes I will take an MSR guardian for water .. and not care .. and sometimes I take iodine tabs only and call it good. It all depends.Jan 24, 2019 at 4:10 pm #3574810
Re. V15, DP wasn’t really pushing it when I was talking to them because they said it’s no better at abrasion resistance and stitch hole elongation than VX07, so no real advantage. It’s not intermediate in weight and durability between VX07 and VX21 like you might expect.
I have been talking to a few companies that are considering it, and their rationale was that they are having troubles with the 0.5 mi PET staying laminated without an inner scrim (particularly for roll tops), whereas this plastic bonds better to poly. But that is just limited testing. I don’t know if anyone has used more X-Pac without the inner scrim than Seek Outside. Kevin, are you seeing issues with delamination in non-lined X-Pacs (e.g. X21)?Jan 24, 2019 at 9:04 pm #3574842James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
The Windrider 2400 is around 30oz or so. not a bad pack but only lightweight. It is huge for me though. My usual packing is with a Murmur(~13oz) or Miniposa(~15oz.) Both are in UL range used for one to three week trips. Once, sometimes twice a year I get out SUL, but not my normal. I am really too old to maintain consistent 20+ mile days but depending on terrain, I hit some. I don’t like to carry anything that doesn’t work. Typically, I will carry 16-17 pounds for a week, 23 pounds for two weeks, and about 27pounds for three weeks (stripping out everything non-essentail like fishing gear, camera gear, etc.) Typically, I carry a 32F kit, but have stretched it to 20F without ill effects. A flat 5 layer pad(Nightlite or Luna) makes a good frame for either pack. I use the same pad. I also carry a NeoAir, I like my comfort. Some of the trips include a UL canoe at 17 pounds, but this gear is not carried in the pack, it has it’s own yoke.
Anyway, keep up the good work Kevin! You’ll get there.
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