Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Half-PI (Delta 26L) - Features (part 2 of 2)

And here is the unveiling of the features.

For this alpine pack, we wanted a design that provided as many options as possible with as little material/webbing/hardware as possible, yet can be stripped/altered for the truly minimalist at heart.  This design keeps key features that most users find useful, such as ice tool attachments, exterior crampon attachments, removable compression straps, a rope carrier, and a method for pack hauling, yet the minimalist at heart can permanently/temporarily remove some of the "excess" fat for a truly streamlined yet versatile pack (see bottom of post).  To combine these two opposing spectra, we:
  • replaced our standard Delta Pack daisy chain and our standard crampon attachment system with 2 uniquely designed, nearly-parallel closely-spaced daisy chains
  • combined our lower compression straps and ice tool attachment system into one system
  • provided a method for the user to attach their own handle to the top of the daisy chain if desirable
This prototype weighs in at 34oz total weight (including hip belt, lid, frame, and back padding; we expect production packs will be a similar weight).  Though this pack seems like a lightweight, a previous design easily and comfortably carried 35lbs on a rough trail, and we expect that it could carry more weight comfortably.

Below you will find the new, minimalist design.
2 uniquely designed, nearly-parallel daisy chains
provide maximum features with minimum "fat"
Daisy chains, along with reinforced handle,
provide hauling capabilities
Daisy chains provide crampon attachment capability;
Ice tools attached with the ice tool attachment system
in 2 different ways (as traditional ice axe loop and using
compression strap/ice tool loop attachment system)
Additional ice tool attachment method using ice tool
loop and daisy chain
Unique daisy chain design provides secure attachment
of crampon straps without the worry of losing them
(webbing passes through daisy chain loop yet buckles cannot)
Capable of carrying pickets in picket
pocket (right side only)
To trim the excess "fat":
  • Compression straps can be temporarily removed and replaced for different trips using the compression strap attachment slides
  • Ice axe loops/ice tool loops could be permanently removed while still maintaining the capabilities of attaching ice tools and crampons via the daisy chains
This method demonstrates one method of attaching
ice tools without using the ice tools/ice axe loops;
other methods can be constructed with cord, bungee cord,
carabiners, etc.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Half-Pi (Delta-26L) - Technical Fit (part 1 of 2)

We've been at it again this summer designing our newest pack, a 26+L minimalist alpine pack.  Like all our packs, technical fit is paramount.  This pack combines patterning from our Delta Pack and our Tau Series Packs to provide 3-D shaping of the back panel, including the lumbar curve and the curve of a user's waist.  The 3-D shaping of the back panel provides additional rigidity to the thin, light-weight HDPE frame sheet, producing a pack that can carry a remarkably heavy load for its minuscule weight (36oz including hip belt, frame sheet, back padding, and lid).  And without the rigid metal stay of other packs, the light-weight frame can flex and twist with your scrambling or climbing movements.

We challenged ourselves to design the 3-D shaping with as few panels as possible, yet still provide an excellent technical fit and easy down-climbing profile.  Our design of the main pack body utilizes 4 main panels: a back panel, 2 side panels, and a front panel.  An extra 1000D Cordura skid panel is sewn to the outside of the front panel and wraps around the bottom and up the sides of the pack for added abrasion resistance.

Finally the pack will include only the basic features.  This design process is in progress, but some version of the following features will be included:
  • Removable lid (straps attached to lid for "clean" removal) with key hook
  • Hydration compatible w/ bladder pocket
  • Capable of attaching crampons to pack exterior
  • 2 removable compression straps/side
  • Ice tools/axe compatible
  • Removable shoulder strap gear loops
Note: The images show a pack with actual contents that might be carried in the alpine, not just stuffing.  The shown pack is made from a different fabric than the production pack.  Stay tuned for part 2 showing images of the final design of features.

Simple design with 2 vertical seams shown as black line on white fabric
(Crampon attachment, ice axe loop, and daisy chain are
being redesigned: stay tuned for future posts)
Anatomic curvature of back panel
Anatomic waist curvature of back panel seen at bottom
1000D Cordura Skid Pad wraps up the sides of the pack
(anatomic waist curvature can be seen at
the bottom edge of skid pad)
Picket Pocket
Extra head space can be seen at seam between black and white fabric