Welcome to the Elemental Horizons blog. On this blog we will be showcasing new products, custom projects we have made for our customers and we will be posting current events and goings on at the Elemental HQ. We hope you enjoy what you read and see here and please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need any assistance with anything.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Zen and the art of backpack design

Over the past few weeks I have been working on a new ultralight pack design.  My goals for this pack were for it to be in the 2600 - 3000 cubic inch volume range, with a weight of 1.5 lbs or less, and that it incorporate the same award winning suspension as the Aquilo pack.  After a few rounds of prototyping this is how the final design turned out:

 The pack shown is a Medium frame size which weighs 24.7 oz and has a total volume, including all pockets, of 2800 cubic inches.  This pack incorporates some new features such as hydration ports and an optional hydration sleeve which can be mounted internally or on either side of the pack (the gray pouch attached to the side of the pack shown in the front and harness views above.)  This new design is constructed primarily of 210d Dyneema X Grid stop fabric and 70d Rip-stop nylon.  The front and side pockets are constructed of a light weight yet durable mesh fabric and all the body contact areas use a wicking spacer mesh fabric for optimal comfort and durability. 

Like the Aquilo, this pack will accept our lightweight aluminum "V" Stay and closed cell foam sit pad (optional) for enhanced comfort when hauling a load.  Because this pack is specifically designed for the UL market we have paired down the sit pad from 1/4" thick (Aquilo) to 1/8" thick, but other than that minor change and the previously mentioned material differences the suspension system is identical.  This pack features a roll top closure and has 3 external pockets, 1 front pocket and 2 side pockets, plus the main compartment.  The volume breakdown for the Medium frame size is:
  • Main compartment - 2020 cubic inches
  • Extension collar - 270
  • Front pocket - 210
  • Side pockets - 300 (pair)

Hydration Sleeve

This  prototype accessory is light weight, functional, and feature filled.  It is made of 1.1 oz sil-nylon and weighs a scant 0.8 oz.  The sleeve has a built in accessory pocket and can also be worn as a UL day pack with the removable shoulder straps.  The hydration sleeve will fit platypus type bladders up to 3 liters.

Both the the new pack design and hydration sleeve are on the trail now being tested and put through their paces and should be in full scale production for the Spring 2012 product line.  Until then we will be offering them in limited quantities to interested customers.  If you are interested in more information or pricing please contact customer service.

Please let me know your thoughts on these new designs and thanks for visiting the blog.

See you on the trail!