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Virga Cliffrose 55L


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Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 58 total)
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  • #3760045
    Ben Kilbourne
    BPL Member

    @benkilbourne

    Locale: Utah

    My buddy Porter and I are starting to make packs. Some specs may change as we go along, but check it out: https://www.virgapacking.com/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCBPir3doxI

     

    #3760055
    Michael Schlesselmann
    BPL Member

    @mschless

    Locale: Southern Los Padres National Forest

    Been following along on IG. Really cool pack! Couldn’t really tell, but do the side pockets go all the way down to the bottom of the “orange” panel? Also would there be a way to rig up load lifters using the upper attachment point? Or do you really find them unnecessary? Maybe its just my fear of not having them.

    #3760060
    George W
    BPL Member

    @ondarvr

    It’s always nice to see new ideas for products being introduced to the market.

    And I always fully support small businesses that are dedicated to making a better product for an activity they love.

    #3760100
    Alex Wallace
    BPL Member

    @feetfirst

    Locale: Sierra Nevada North

    Looks good. I especially like that the shoulder straps are designed and attached in a way that promotes articulation. I also really like the hipbelt structure, attachment, and independent dual buckles. I look forward to seeing this come to market.

    #3760101
    Michael Schlesselmann
    BPL Member

    @mschless

    Locale: Southern Los Padres National Forest

    Someone on Reddit brought up the concern about all of the loads being supported on single plastic clips. Ben, any durability concerns with this? Seems like it would be a really easy field repair if you just carried one or two extra for basically no weight penalty.

    #3760103
    Ben Kilbourne
    BPL Member

    @benkilbourne

    Locale: Utah

    Michael:

    • Yes the side pockets go all the way down to the bottom of the alpenglow or salmon or sandstone color.
    • The two shoulder strap settings are 1.5″ apart so it wouldn’t provide you a lot of loadlifter range. But we’re wondering if one person between sizes could actually use the lower setting for lower weights and the upper setting for higher weights. This is yet to be seen but it’s something to ponder and test.
    • I really wish I would have talked about those plastic clips in the video but I forgot.We are not planning on using the plastic buckles for shoulder straps or hip belt. Porter tested by attaching a shoulder strap to the ceiling and dangling his whole body weight on it and it did not pop open. So strength seems ok. The issue though is that it squeaks when you walk. We ordered aluminum clips which should be stronger and won’t squeak.
    • could you link me to the reddit thread?

    George: Thanks!

    Alex: Thanks! The hipbelt feels perfect. Stiff but comfortable. The shoulder straps need a little work. I’m finding I want the tabs to attach at a 15 degree angle to articulate even better. The next iteration will have that feature.

    #3760115
    Alex Wallace
    BPL Member

    @feetfirst

    Locale: Sierra Nevada North

    CiloGear attaches their shoulder straps in a similar fashion, using a doubled up strip of webbing attached at a slight angle, and it works great. Especially nice when scrambling.

    #3760128
    Chris K
    BPL Member

    @cmkannen-2-2

    I agree, the shoulder straps are attached that way on the Bears Ears 50 and work really well.

    Ben, can you share the circumference of the pack?

    I like how the hipbelt pulls are on the padding, not centered. But I do wonder how the squared-off ends don’t dig into your abdomen, despite the dual adjustment. I suppose that’s not an issue?

    Anyway, excellent work. Can’t wait to try and buy one :)

    #3760143
    Greg Pehrson
    BPL Member

    @gregpehrson

    Locale: playa del caballo blanco

    Ben, the pack looks great–I love how the sandstone color evokes the SW US; it’s really striking. It’s the first time I’m hearing about an I-beam frame, too–neat.

    I’m very glad to hear the plastic clips (“Slik-Clips”) won’t be used. While I find them plenty strong when closed, they can be extremely fragile when you open them (to move the piece they make modular). I’m very careful with gear and I broke three in a matter of minutes on some modular pockets, just by trying to slide the open bar out from its webbing loop. Then it’s tricky to remove them because they’re sewn in on the other side–I had to saw them off, which isn’t very field-friendly. Now I only use the Slik Clips that can be opened from both sides, and in low-stakes locations. Aluminum clips on the shoulder straps and belt  sound like a very smart choice.

    Best of luck with this adventure!

    #3760144
    Ben Kilbourne
    BPL Member

    @benkilbourne

    Locale: Utah

    Chris – I’ll have to get back to you on the circumference. I’m not sure yet

    Greg – Thanks, yeah I like the sandstone too. I-beam seems like a good way to prevent hip belt collapse or slippage while also maintaining the overall shape of the pack. no barrelling at all. Yeah the slik clips were just for prototypes. I should add that into the video so people understand we won’t be using them

    #3760148
    Chris L
    BPL Member

    @thechrislundy

    Locale: Idaho

    I’ve used plastic gatekeepers to attach shoulder straps in the same fashion as in this pack. This is the one I’ve used from Mozet Supplies:

    I’ve done some testing and they are very strong when clipped. If I remember correctly, I’m not sure I was able to break it. And they are replaceable since they aren’t sewn in. I also use aluminum gatekeepers as they are more aesthetic, but I’m not sure they’re stronger. The ones I use are sewn into the shoulder straps, and would be less easy to replace if they did break.

    #3760164
    Ben Kilbourne
    BPL Member

    @benkilbourne

    Locale: Utah

    We’ve looked at those Mozet ones and they seem like a good option too. Do they squeak at all?

    #3760207
    bjc
    BPL Member

    @bj-clark-2-2

    Locale: Colorado

    Looking forward to getting my body attached to one of these when they become available.

    #3760223
    Chris L
    BPL Member

    @thechrislundy

    Locale: Idaho

    Ben – I haven’t noticed any squeaking with the Mozet gatekeepers.

    #3760367
    Alex Wallace
    BPL Member

    @feetfirst

    Locale: Sierra Nevada North

    Are you settled on the idea of using hardware to attach the shoulder straps? Is this so the shoulder straps can be more easily swapped (e.g. worn out, sizing, styles)?

    #3760465
    Ben Kilbourne
    BPL Member

    @benkilbourne

    Locale: Utah

    BJC – Yay!

    Chris L – cool

    Alex – not necessarily. If it doesn’t work out we’ll scrap it. But yes it’s primarily for sizing. We’re creating a design that can accommodate not just different torso heights but also different shoulder widths. That’s been an issue many of my friends have had with fixed shoulder width packs — either they’re too narrow for big people and dig into the trapezius or they’re too wide for narrow people and they press on the shoulder ball area. Hoping to solve that. But if it’s weird we won’t do it. Bottom line we have to release something that we 100% love

    #3760468
    nunatak
    BPL Member

    @roamer

    Very nice aesthetics!

    There’s one center frame right? Is it your thought that may not make load lifters worth it?

    Will the hip belt connect to the frame via a transverse bar? Or rely on packed structure to transfer the load? Or something else?

    #3760484
    Ben Kilbourne
    BPL Member

    @benkilbourne

    Locale: Utah

    Nunatak – Thanks for the aesthetic compliment! One center stay, yes. Yeah, we’re hoping to make a pack that just sort of nails that 35lb load category. And I think we can accomplish it without loadlifters. The trick is making the shoulder straps amazing, which we have yet to do. But we’re almost there. I think transverse is the right way to describe what’s going on. The single center vertical stay interfaces a horizontal stay at the bottom and the hip belt connects directly to it. So far it’s our favorite feature of the pack. super effective and comfortable

    #3760865
    Geoff Caplan
    BPL Member

    @geoffcaplan

    Locale: Lake District, Cumbria

    I can think of some more advantages to removable shoulder straps.

    First, you can strip them off the pack for flights, reducing the risk that they’ll get caught up in the baggage handling equipment.

    Second, on a long thru-hike the padding in the shoulder straps can collapse because it never gets time to recover. This way, you could have a second set in your bounce box and alternate them.

    And finally, if you make the adjustment fine enough, wearers will be able to fine-tune the carry to the weight in the pack. No matter how good the hip-belt you’ll get some collapse at the top end of the load range, and this is a simple way to counter the issue.

    #3760890
    Ben Kilbourne
    BPL Member

    @benkilbourne

    Locale: Utah

    We have thought about that last point quite a bit. If we set the tabs 1″ apart you could start a trip with 40lbs on the upper setting and then move it to the lower one as the pack gets lighter. Or some variation of that scenario.

    #3760912
    Geoff Caplan
    BPL Member

    @geoffcaplan

    Locale: Lake District, Cumbria

    My current pack has a fine adjustment and I do find it helps to alter the back-length depending on load.

    Obviously you can’t rely much on a sample of 1, but I’d argue that the idea is promising enough to be worth prototyping.

    All it would take is a short daisy chain so it wouldn’t add significant weight, cost or points of failure.

    As I just posted at more length on your YouTube channel, this might be a better option than a stiff hip-belt that might (or might not) perform slightly better at the top end of the load range, but at the cost of less comfort at the weights people will be carrying the great majority of the time.

    I suspect that most customers would prefer a pack optimised for their normal load.

    #3760926
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Hi Geoff

    You don’t really need to ‘protoype’ the idea. It has been available on the larger Macpac packs for many decades – 30+.
    It works well, so that the same pack can be fitted to my short wife and a 6′ male.

    Cheers

    #3760928
    Geoff Caplan
    BPL Member

    @geoffcaplan

    Locale: Lake District, Cumbria

    Hi Roger

    The issue here is how best to deal with a bit of sag in the hip belt when a pack is loaded towards the top end of its designed weight range.

    Ben has been experimenting with a stiff hip belt. But in my very limited experience of trying the stiff Osprey belts in-store out of interest, I found them much too rigid and inhibiting to be comfortable. So I was suggesting he experiments with the ability to fine-adjust the back length instead.

    Have you ever used the Macpac adjustment this way – to adjust the back-length as load reduces over the trip?

    Of course the ultimate answer is to design a belt so good that sag is a non-issue. Dan McHale uses unstiffened Evazote in load-haulers designed to carry 100 lbs. In Dan’s usual combative style, he puts it like this:

    Most belts are over-engineered in padding and under-engineered in load distribution.

    You will not find plastic stiffeners in our hip belts either.  The belts wrap so effectively that they create their own firm structure.  Belt stiffeners are the current hallmark of high-tech packs.  It is really too bad real people are not as insensitive as mannequins because we think the new crop of belts on the market are a step backward in comfort.  Are the people designing this stuff really using it?  We can safely predict that our belts will not go down that dead end trail. 

    Dan’s approach is to start a design with the belt and optimise the wrap. Then design a pack that will attach to it in a way that minimises the interference with that wrap. Makes sense to me…

    #3760983
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Hi Geoff

    Sue’s Macpac Torre is quite different from the conventional UL concept. A typical UL pack has a couple of bits of strap or webbing sewn to the top of the pack and buckled to the bottom. Then there is a bit of a light hip belt sewn onto the corners. The bag is the thing, and the rest are add-ons.

    The Torre has a fully engineered HARNESS. The shoulder straps are thick, wide and curved, and a bit stiff. The hip belt is wide, thick and solid (but no internal stiffenings). The attachment of the harness to the body of the pack is solid and adjustable. This pack is not UL. It is quite an old design in fact.

    Sue has tried at least 4 different UL packs I have carefully set up for her torso length. She took them on extended trips to give them a good try. They were all more than a 1 kg lighter that the Torre, some more than 1.5 kg. After really trying all my offerings, she went back to the Torre. Why? Two main reasons.

    First of all, in her mind the extra weight of the Torre does not matter when compared to the perfect fit and high comfort. In fact, she claims the Torre feels lighter because the fit is so good. Yes, I have carefully adjusted the torso length, shoulder lifters and so on to suit her. There is no question of sag in the harness under load.

    Second, the Torre is an 80 or 90 L pack – a huge volume. Too big, some might say, but Sue does not have to fiddle and squeeze her gear into it: she does little more than pour her gear into it. But! when she wants something out of her pack, there is enough room down in there that she can reach in and grope around, and find it. Some of the smaller UL packs she tried had to be partially emptied if she wanted something that was not right on the top. Some packs were worse than others in this regard – the AARN packs (for instance) are incredibly narrow, hard to pack and impossible to find things in. When you are in bad weather, having to unpack to find a bit of extra clothing is not conducive to happiness.

    So no, I do not adjust the fit when the load changes: I have adjusted the harness to suit her torso – and I leave it there. It works.

    Sue might carry 10 kg while I am carrying 12 kg on a long trip (total pack wt), and she is often out in front.

    Cheers

    #3760991
    Geoff Caplan
    BPL Member

    @geoffcaplan

    Locale: Lake District, Cumbria

    Hi Roger

    You make some good points, as usual.

    Like you, I’m convinced that a good carry trumps a few oz saved on the pack weight. The research that Aarn did with Sheffield Hallam University confirms this, for anything more than a trivial load.

    Heresy for some here, I know, but we can all hike our own hike.

    Of course if you can combine an effective harness with reasonably low weight, you have a winner. From the prototyping I’ve been doing, I think that Ben is on the right track and may manage to pull it off.

    And like you, I genuinely don’t understand the way that some UL hikers fetishize the small volume of their packs. As you say, a larger volume means a far easier pack in the morning,  and far easier access to your kit. Plus in the US you can carry your bear vault inside the pack with ease. Any surplus volume weighs next to nothing and is easily managed with a simple compression system. OK – a bigger pack looks a lot less cool, but I’m done with tiny compartments that need super-careful packing in the morning.

    As you may remember I’m a fan of the Aarn bodypack concept. Most comfortable carry I’ve ever experienced, and by a distance. But the detailed implementation of his designs drives me nuts – too complex and fiddly (he just can’t resist adding features), and with other issues such as the one you highlighted.

    My alternative has been gestating for a couple of years now, so it’s time I got the final version built. It will be simpler, more user friendly and much more modular & versatile than my Aarn.

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