Check out the Skyline 30 Fastpack here
Tayson Whittaker: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the live ultralight podcast powered by outdoor Vitals today. On this episode, we have one of the crowd favorite styles of episode, which is a product deep dive on a brand new released product. So of course, we've got Brigham here, which is also a crowd favorite we've learned at PCT trail days.
Brigham Crane: All to all, two people made sure to.
Tayson Whittaker: There is there's at least two
Brigham Crane: two out of two
Tayson Whittaker: You know that that very specifically said they love hearing bring him on the podcast so he's on the hook forever now he's not getting away from the mic but Brigham is our product designer here. So he's been working on this and we're excited if you're new to the podcast. Again, this is the Live Ultralight podcast. We typically are sharing content, interviewing people or just going through our own trips to help you build confidence in your own backpacking setups that you got more consistently. Go crush some big miles, check that bucket list, hike off of your list. And so hopefully you guys learn something from this. In fact, I know that you will because as you get into the technical aspects of a pack, specifically a pack like this, you learn and then can apply that back to whatever it is that you're doing. So even if you're not crazy interested in fast packing, which I'm going to raise my hand, I used to not be crazy interested in fast packing. Just a few years ago I would be probably sitting on the fence of this Sounds like a crazy sport, a crazy idea to now being someone who sees it as an awesome tool and awesome method of seeing the backcountry and something that is really empowering to go and do trips that maybe you wouldn't think would be possible otherwise. In fact, one of the trips that I'm thinking of right now, Brigham, is when I was just talking again to someone about the Wonderland Trail. The Wonderland Trail is a trail up in the Pacific Northwest that goes around Mt. Hood and Rainier.
Brigham Crane: Rainier.
Tayson Whittaker: And it's like 90 something miles, almost a hundred miles. And the hardest part about it is permitting. But if you can do it in two nights, you don't need permission. And I've confirmed that with a couple of people now. And so that means if you have the ability to do 30 plus miles a day, you don't have to worry about the permitting. You can go do that hike and you don't have to have, you know, jump through these hoops per se to go and have the opportunity to do that. So that's one of those instances where fast packing can really empower you and offer you up a really cool tool. So with that being said, let's jump into the back story and then we're going to get into the nitty gritty of designing this product, testing this product, and the end result of all of that which is now available. So if you want to check out the skyline fast pack and all of its details, you can get a link in the show description of this or head over to outdoor vitals dot com. It is releasing at the same time as this podcast. So go check that out. Okay. We've talked about the Skyline Fastpack a lot. We were just saying this before we turned the mikes hot here. It fills. You mentioned that it almost feels like we've already done this podcast, but we haven't really. What it is is just that we've been developing this product for a long time and people have seen it in development for a long time through our YouTube channel. And so we've just touched on it like little tiny, you know, surface level stuff over and over and over again. So it doesn't feel like this new release, like pulling back the veil. But at the same time, it is because we've really released no information on it. So with that in mind, what we are going to do is a little bit like going all the way back, I think that's still valuable and then we'll we'll we'll go from there. So, Brigham, how do you remember us getting interested in fast packing?
Brigham Crane: Well, I'm going to be a little fuzzy on, like, every single thing. I mean, I remember, for example, just even coming across videos of, you know, people doing some fast packing trips that were really intriguing. I think that was kind of part of it because I guess what's intriguing is, like one of the reasons we love to go backpacking is to get into really wild places and get really deep into the backcountry and experience the wilderness. Right? And so I think that part of that intrigue was that some of these videos that we were maybe watching was kind of showing that in a new way. And so there's like something we could relate to, even though we didn't do the fast packing thing. There was this overlap in so many aspects of what we were learning about fast packing versus kind of old dry backpacking. So I think that was really intriguing seeing the, I guess, crossover or overlap between the two because they're so similar and in many ways they're the same. But there's some new elements that are just really intriguing. I think that was part of it. And then I think there's a lot of it that made a lot of sense in terms of maybe kind of a new type of product for us to look into or investigate, possibly develop things because again, of that like overlap and the similarity to backpacking. But just with some new elements like we've done with our travel pack, you know, with kind of one bag minimalist travel. There's a lot of similarity to the mentality and the process of backpacking. And so, yeah, I guess that was that was one of I think that's one of the things yeah,
Tayson Whittaker: I think that was like the spark of it all, I was just starting to see this new style. And then from there, you know, I do very pretty specifically remember bringing Jeff Peltier on the podcast who is a known fast packer, and we just drilled him with questions and we're sponges and I think both of us left that conversation feeling pretty committed to giving this a shot for ourselves because he'd kind of sold the dream well enough of like,
Brigham Crane: yeah,
Tayson Whittaker: why, what it, what it empowers you to do and it and it I think it really spoke to us as you know as a career guys and having kids at home and things like that. It was like, whoa, this opens up more opportunities, new opportunities. And so we got pretty committed from there. And I can remember that being a tipping point for me to go in because besides just kind of seeing it a little bit pop up here, pop up there being kind of like, what is this fast packing thing? You know, we got pretty committed. And that was if I'm remembering my dates, right, that would have been the spring of 2021.
Brigham Crane: Like really or maybe maybe even February ish. Mm hmm. Kind of. When we started having the conversations, at least because I guess behind the scenes and behind closed doors, like in the product Feldman, Conversation is a huge yeah, it's a huge part of it. I mean, you discuss the feasibility, I mean, people call it a feasibility study, but that's like for us a lot of that is conversation and we base it on experience and people we trust. And, and there's just a lot of like verbal kind of triage and kind of brainstorming that goes on. So I think those conversations started probably, you know, late winter of 21.
Tayson Whittaker: So I would say from the time we fully committed, though, this has been a two and a half year at least development process from the time we were like, we're doing it, you know what I mean?
Brigham Crane: Yeah.
Tayson Whittaker: Which is, which is, wow. I don't know if that's our it's not our longest, I would say development, but it's, it's on the longer end I guess has been quite the journey. So from there we started to just gather as much information as we could. We started to spend a significant amount of time running ourselves, training ourselves, and really getting in a position to be able to go and execute a great fast pack. We spent ourselves a bunch of time and resources learning everything that was in the market. What people valued, you know, went to show. I mean, we even went to shows, asked, you know, runners whether they understood Fast pack and what they thought of it. You know, we got all these points of feedback ourselves and through that and then later that year in 2021, we started fast packing ourselves, right? So went and did a 60 something mile two night endeavor, which was really awesome, did a whole mountain range those year local to a still. I really got like altitude sickness was really my biggest and I'm yeah it was my most intense altitude sickness that I had but I still love the trip even though I was like not eating for a day and a half full of cold or trying to move. It was just one of those trips that was really cool. And all of us have noted this in the office ever since. Every time we drive past that mountain range on the freeway, that kind of borders it. It's cool to be like, Man, I've run from one end of that to the other, from one highway to the other. You know, the long way through that mountain range up and over the top on the skyline trail. And it was , it was really just an awesome experience and I think it was too soft to continue to look for opportunities for fast packing in particular from there. I mean we started doing some pretty fun testing so part of this I mean I'm going to guess you have no idea how many prototypes you've done.
Brigham Crane: I haven't counted it, but there I mean, there's a stack of them.
Tayson Whittaker: Yeah. There's a whole bin full of these. Yeah. Someone was just bringing up the other day, like some of the older stuff that we did, and we were testing different kinds of harnesses and I'm like, Man, I had even completely forgotten that we had done, you know, that bad idea and tried this idea and, and all these different things. But we really set out to solve a couple problems, you know, with fast packing, we felt like there's a few critical pieces to it that would make a backpack really empower you on a trip and sort of take away from it. Right. Number one, to us, correct me if I'm wrong, what the priority is or if you ever set it as an established priority. But critical for us, one of those points would be that the backpack itself feels more like it's painted on fit. It feels more like a nice shirt that's got a lot of connection, a lot of solid points on you. There's not big gaps and what that and with that would be the ability for the backpack to not bounce on your body as you run, not create excessive movement which that's going to create heat which then is going to create chafing. And so we wanted this just this really not tight fit but like a close fitting, anatomically fitting pack that's going to reduce the amount of bounce. So that was one of our critical points that we set out to do. Another of our critical points would be the pocketing, right? So there were all sorts of options and ways to do pocketing. But really when it came down to fast packing, we found and through, you know, external conversations as well, that really being able to stay on the move as much as possible is key with fast packing and and so like having the right pocketing to allow you to just continue to move as much as possible without taking the pack on and off throughout the day was another high priority for us. It's like there's a third one. I'm going to go blank. Brigham Um,
Brigham Crane: or is there any other I mean, yeah, I think a lot of the stability things there, they're just as much connected to comfort. Yeah, except accessibility, I think was with the pocketing. That's, that's a big deal, is having ready access to, to hydration and calories fuel and so that so like if you break down hydration that doesn't mean just being able to drink water but that means being able to put electrolyte mix in your water. It means being able to just scoop up water on the go and filter it on the go. So that's what I think is what I really enjoy about fast packing. And designing for fast packing is like breaking every little thing down into subsequent units, you know, kind of like I just did with hydration. What does that mean? What does that entail? So
Tayson Whittaker: much realizing, too, that I probably skipped over just the definition of fast packing. Maybe. Maybe we better hit that really quick before we move on. If you're if you're this far in and you don't know if fast packing is, kudos to you. We appreciate it.
Brigham Crane: Yeah. I mean, really. Yeah we can. I think it's worth spending a minute or two on and then I would also just suggest going to YouTube and searching fast-packing. I think you can get just a really good visual sense and probably some enthusiasm for it by doing that. But I mean, the way that I think of fast packing is like a very light and fast way of, you know, foot travel in the backcountry, kind of being as fast as possible for whatever the distance is. I don't think I don't really feel like it entails. It has to entail long distance, but it's its time over distance. I think that efficiency is a big deal. I think that's kind of, you know, because there's a lot of people out there that I think are valid in referring to fast packing without even running. I think that's pretty valid. You know, as people that have their method of fast packing or their way of doing it is just being really efficient with stops, with what they pack and with eating on the go and hydrating on the go. And I think that's just as valid as the fast packing that may include running because it's all about going as fast in light as possible with the requisite gear to to stay overnight, whether that's one or multiple nights. Yeah,
Tayson Whittaker: yeah. I think we have had a fantastic example of what I would consider fast packing in some of our interviewees of this show. People like Josh Perry, who said that the fastest known time on the Pacific Crest Trail, he would time the amount of time he would time his stops rather than how much he was on the go because he was on the go So much that stopping and limiting as stopping time was more important. So like he's taking this approach where he was in movement the entire day. Some days he was covering like 50 plus miles. And I asked him right out, I said, Do you like how much of the time you are running? And he's like, I never run, right? He's just being as streamlined, efficient, as lightweight as possible. Right? So that to me is still a form of fast packing, something that the skyline fast pack would absolutely work for that type of person. Right. Because you've got the pocketing and we'll get to know that the other form or definition that I've heard of fast Packing is, you know, you're essentially attempting to hike the hills, jog the flats and run down the hills. I think that's a good overarching template of ways to think. But yeah, coming back to what you said in the beginning break, it's really just trying to up your overall speed compared to maybe what you've done before. And with that, you know, running is definitely on the table an option for sure to, to empower that, which is why we've done thousands of miles of run testing with this pack. So that's fast packing. So really just just being able to put more into a tighter trip. You know, if you're someone who, like is a weekend warrior per say, you've got a three day weekend and you've got something like the Wonderland Trail, you know, this might call to you, hey, this is a trip that some people take seven days to do. But with training and work schedules, stuff like that, I'm going to choose to do it this way so that I can do this and experience it the way you know it. Or if you're a minimalist, ultralight backpacker, you could take the same approach and just be like, Yeah, a lot of people hike 15 miles a day. I'm not through hiking, I'm going to hike 25 plus. You know, this pack could equally call out to someone like that because of the setup and structure of the pack. So it makes sense. So all right. So dialing it back to kind of where we were, part of what we spent a lot of time on before we even started our own development was just seeing what's out in the market, seeing what likes were of packs, what dislikes were of packs, what feedback was for people. And we spent a substantial time on that and we really weren't happy with everything out there. There were certain features of certain packs out there that we thought were pretty good, other ones that weren't. But in a lot of ways we felt like there was a lot of improvement to be had. For instance, some of the ones that I ran with, basically the backpack was a vest that they just added more capacity to. And so the more I loaded it up to the actual fast pack, I got a ton of bounce, I got a ton of movement, I got a ton of like chafing over time, got a lot of barreling, sticking into my back. And that in a lot of ways, we are one of the the first people that come from a backpacking perspective and built a fast pack versus a running vest company or a running company that built a fast pack and I think that approach allowed us to to look at this with a clean slate and just a different mindset and and really focus on things that I think make all the difference and product that was designed.
Brigham Crane: Yeah, I think if you kind of break down that break that down a little bit in terms of like why? Because it's not honest, the most important part of these origins are not necessarily, well, what packs did we try or buy and, and what what what didn't we like. I think backing it up a little bit to like why even do that. So the reason is we set out to say okay so as of today as of now, we want to make a fast pack, but we're new to fast packing. We've never done a fast packing trip. That is a significant challenge. If we were to just try to just go read a bunch of reviews and watch a bunch of YouTube videos and then just throw out a fast pack, that's kind of our well thought out attempt at a fast pack. But again, the why and the how we approached it was to ourselves learn about fast packing so that we have firsthand experience at a pretty at a at least a mediocre level of experience and knowledge to to put that into a fast pack. So when we talk about we we interviewed all these people and watched a bunch of videos and read as much as we could and then, you know, looked at what was available on the market and tested it, all of that is basically just so we can relate to what fast Packing is and based the design off of first person, firsthand use and experience. So that's why we even, you know, looked at and tested other packs. It was so that we could experience fast packing and identify things that bothered us. So it's almost like it doesn't even matter if we specifically say, well, we're looking to design a fast pack that solves problems. That's a little bit over used though oftentimes in the industry, we just want to make this pack and we want it to be the best that we can make. And we feel that the way of doing that is to have experience doing that thing and to be able to have empathy from firsthand experience so that we can identify what works and what doesn't work. What are the issues like, what are the like, what are the issues that arise 20 miles into a 30 mile day when 30% of the miles are running miles? Like that's different than just putting on a traditional backpacking pack and walking 30 miles. You can't , there's new issues, there's new interfaces, there's new hotspots, there's new abrasion, there's new bouncing. There's a different way of fueling on the go. And so it was basically just imperative for us to have that firsthand personal experience. And so we're just internalizing and documenting all of these things as we're testing, you know, all these different packs that are out there and and taking note as individuals within our team of what worked and then compiling all of that and saying like, okay, well, yeah, battling is it's an issue. It's something that you have to be attentive to because once you have barreling, it creates this subsequent issue which compounds, you know, three other issues. And all of those add to fatigue and soreness and potentially maybe, you know, not being able to finish a trip. And so I guess that's I think that's kind of the most important thing to to note or to kind of comment on as far as like this product development is, it's one where we wanted to become very familiar with fast packing and like without everybody just telling us what makes a great fast pack to kind of have our experience and and implement that into our design and kind of our execution of a fast pack.
Tayson Whittaker: Yeah, I think you hit on a lot of really, really good points there. I want to come back to barreling at some point in case any of you guys don't know what that is, but the positives of us getting into this and trying this too, is that there is a ton of overlap with Ultralight backpacking. The negative was I started running for the first time in a long time to help with the training and to help or to help with the prototyping. And if you haven't listened to other episodes, that honestly has been one of the best things that I've ever done for my health and well-being. And anyways, so we get into this. We do, we do our research. We get through 2021 or part of 2021, and we basically go to the drawing board and just start hammering out some really cool, really unique, really different designs to start testing and seeing what we can't prove out in the field. And like we mentioned earlier, we went through tons of different harness systems. We went through different ways of attaching the harness to the bag. We went through a different pocketing cyst. I mean, I don't even know how many different pocketing systems over and over we were just tweaking pockets and, you know, we had some pretty, pretty awesome ideas actually mentioned to someone the other day. Brigham we've been at this product so long now that one of the very, very first ideas that you had to put on this pack was a bottom passed through the pocket. And I don't think I had ever seen the design. I thought it was a really cool design. I was really excited about it. And just like since we've been designing this pack, I feel like there's been a handful of texts that have come out with this bottom pocket. Oh my gosh, dang, if we aren't testing this out so much and continuing to tweak and whatnot like this probably could have been one of the first packs, if not the first that had this bottom passed through the pocket. But yes, I mean, we went through a lot of prototypes and then we went through an entire, you know, fiscal year, another entire calendar year of just continuing to test this product. Now, testing of this product was was interesting because, you know, obviously we had fast packing tests, right like that to assure that touch your skyline trail we you know went rim to rim to rim in the Grand Canyon We you know we did these other these are the trips but but along with that, me and Brigham and others in the office were getting up in the mornings and running and testing this in our own backyard here. And so we're logging miles every day in the pack, you know, some days five miles. But this summer, I exclusively ran with our pack, and so I was logging up to 20 miles a day with this pack for training. And so we're testing it with significant loads. We're testing it with minimal loads. I ran my ultra marathon with this, so that was a 46 mile day where you're trying to carry as little as possible. And I'm still just using this one pack right? And so we just started racking up miles. We would , I mean, most of the time we would load the pack up and run with it with a fast packing load in it. And we'd just leave it. I mean, I would just leave it there, you know, day after day, so that I could come back to it the next day and run again with a fully loaded pack to continue to test. And, you know, and then we'd get the next prototype in and we'd just take it. I'd just take that load and I'd put it in the next pack and continue to do the test. But it was a lot of iteration. And looking back at it now, what, what do you think made it so? Made it so that we did need to do that many iterations and work? What were the challenges of designing this pack? Brigham
Brigham Crane: It's helpful to kind of look at like the dynamics of what goes on with a fast pack, how you know, generally how a fast pack sits on the body and what the what the body motions are, because that kind of helps explain what I think is the most important part of the pack. And so, you know, fast packing, there's just different variables. There's new factors you have to account for with a fast pack. So, for example, a fast pack is, you know, it's not a backpack that's full height or as tall as most backpacking backpacks. And the kind of important piece there is like the lack of a load bearing hip belt. So it's sized so that it sits, you know, higher above your above above your belt belt line because there's no there's no hip belt. We're not trying to transfer any weight and carry any weight on the hip belt because the requirements or the demands physically from fast packing prioritize mobility way more so than load transfer. So
Tayson Whittaker: if you're locking up those hips, you're creating all sorts of opportunities for chafing and yeah, lack of mobility and totally.
Brigham Crane: And so that's just an example of these various roles that are different than, than just backpacking. So all those variables for the most part that can potentially cause problems or discomfort or pain or injury, they're all centered around the interface with the user and the pack and the interface is what we would call like the suspension or the harness. So that's what contacts the body. It's every piece of the pack that involves securing the pack to our body. So that interface between the back, you know, the back panel of the fast pack and the user's back and then how that is, you know, attached to our body. And so, you know, with a backpack that's generally like some comfy padded, slightly contoured board and shaped shoulder straps and a hip belt. But that's not enough to stabilize and account for all these new dynamic factors with a fast pack. So that interface that we're calling the harness system is, in my opinion, the most important part to pay attention to. That's going to because that's like where the bang for the buck is. It's not designing a really slick looking bag with really cool attachment methods or closure methods or sewing lines. When you're running with it, you can't see any of that. And it doesn't affect the performance or the function or the comfort dynamically of the fastback. And so focusing on the harness was like priority number one, because that will make or break the system. And so that harness priority number one is stability. And I don't know if I'm getting ahead of kind of where this conversation is going.
Tayson Whittaker: By the time we get into the meat of the product itself.
Brigham Crane: Okay. So what our harness we're trying to do is just stabilize anything, everything, and minimize movement, whether that's up or down, twisting on that access side to side, forward to back. We want not
Tayson Whittaker: not mobility, but more so movement of the pack, different than your body.
Brigham Crane: Exactly. So that's an important thing to remember is I'm going to use running as like the extreme end of the spectrum of movement, because that's where there's the most kinetic energy, there's the most opposing motion in the system of the runner or the person and the pack. So when you've got this static weight on your body, right, that's the fast pack, that's the object. But we're a separate object and now we are moving forward. But our body is also, you know, moving up and down and twisting side to side with all those movements, because whatever the pack is like, that's a separate unit. It's going to react to our movement. But at a different rate. So when we move and jump up, then the pack is going to react. But we're already on our way down while that pack is still moving up or twisting and so you've got all these opposing forces that magnify because of how fast that is happening and the speed at which that's happening. So that's why running is kind of the extreme example where we use that to explain how important stability is. So if you have a fast pack or any pack on your body, that that the more that moves up and down side to side twisting torsional li the more that moves one the the less energy gets transferred to the ground in moving you the direction you want to go and to the more force and opposing force and therefore pressure and fatigue that that puts on our body. So that defines the need to have as just a secure connection to the body because we want that thing to be stable but also move with our body. So not oppose our movement, not restrict our movement, but we want it to have as much contact with our body as possible so that it moves with us and not against us or stays in place while we move. So by focusing on stability and good contact, that creates what we're going to refer to as comfort. Because if you don't have those things, you will be uncomfortable. So the more movement, the less stable, the less comfortable you will be or we will be or anybody will be using this. So that's where we focused on it. We focused on finding a good balance of, you know, shoulders. We'll just call them shoulder straps, but kind of the harness having a good balance of contact, a good balance of malleability or pliability, how well it follows or adheres to the contours and shapes of our body. And then the back panel, and this is all done through iteration after iteration and through testing and experience. The back panel we found that we have to find a good balance of, call it rigidity, but also conformity to the body. So we mentioned barreling early or barreling is bad juju . That's kind of why we do not want barreling and barreling is when you stuffed all your contents in the pack that it starts to form a cylindrical shape. And so what fits up against your back is curving away from our back like if you were to just take a cylindrical object and put it on your back. We have now lost a lot of contact. And what that now creates is massive instability. So when you're if a pack is now cylindrical shaped and up against our body and we're moving our body like this up and down torsional side to side and forward, the pack is going to want to work its way around both sides of our body and that creates a push and pull and it really puts a ton of strain and stress on our our, our, our, our skeletal system, our muscular system. And it just creates a ton of fatigue, not to mention the topical abrasion hotspots.
Tayson Whittaker: Well, it's like if you've got the ability to have more contact versus less contact. So like if I can put my hand flat on this paper and rub it around, I'm spreading all of that load across all of that surface area. But if I just rub one knuckle and I apply the same pressure, the knuckle already heats up, right? It already heats up the second I start to move. And so like with barreling, you're taking what could be all touching your body to distribute that weight in that contact. And you're pinpointing it into less surface area, which then creates the need for, you know, people, people that we know that like to tape their backs when they go fast packing and have to take extra precautions. And for us, that really wasn't what we wanted. It wasn't in the realm of what we hoped would be acceptable. So yeah, we have to, I mean, through prototypes and everything, we're doing everything we can to stop that barreling.
Brigham Crane: Yeah. Yeah. Just again, focusing on having good contact with the body without being too rigid. Because if it's too soft, you'll get barreling.
Tayson Whittaker: Yeah. So there's what you talked about like the malleability of the shoulder harnesses. The back panel itself. One of the other big things is just again, coming back to contact, but not just contact on the back contact all the way around the chest, right? So the thickness and width of the shoulder harness, the connection point of the shoulder harness straps to the main bag. And how can we distribute that load? How can we make it essentially broader or wider so that we can continue to get really good contact? Because imagine if you again, if you've got one strap cutting across the side of your body versus better contact to stabilize that. And yeah, I mean, it was just it was a lot it was like it really does get down into a lot. And, you know, thankfully for you guys, me and Brigham spend a lot of miles proving these things out so that you don't have to go through bad back.
Brigham Crane: And we live in Southern Utah and there's a lot of sand in Southern Utah. So running and sand is it's going to bring out the worst in
Tayson Whittaker: your attitude
Brigham Crane: and people like on the back. Yeah it's a good test bed but yeah so it's interesting because the shoulder harness that we have now like everything about its pocket layout is the shape. We took a dramatic turn like it's a completely different shape or profile than like the first four or five prototypes. Just because we're just weren't getting what we wanted in terms of stability and comfort and spreading out, spreading out the load. Because again, there's no load bearing hip belt, There's no load transfer. We have to distribute the weight like all contact points. So the more contact we have, the more weight is distributed. And you know, having good contact is more than just how, how wide something is or how thick and cushy it is. And
Tayson Whittaker: so, you know, those are some of them are a little bit counterintuitive, but they are so along the same theme of stability. And also on this pack, we do have two compression straps and on each side, one low, one high. I think those are also pretty key to know, right? We've got an over-the-top strap and two to suck the bag in tight to you and to keep the load tight. And then we've actually got two cord lock style compression straps and you can actually see the bottom on super because it's a little bit low hidden behind that pocket. It's accessible because we've reversed it. So you can still access it really easily, but it's a little hard, but know that there are two. And that comes into play too, when you've got this pack load and you want this as tight and conform to your back as you can to carry that weight, I found just tremendous value in having those straps to where they are. Typically, what I would do when I was running like on that ultramarathon, you know, I can snug this pack down to nothing where on that ultramarathon I only had a small required gear list. So, you know, a rain jacket or is that like a foil blanket, an emergency blanket or whistle? You know, some little things like that. I took a garment and each one was kind of pinging to family members. They could see where I was out on the course, but they're very minimal gear and I can still suck this down that tight or I've been able to load this up with full capacity, you know, two plus nights worth of gear. And I think just overall, the pack is extremely stable from the harness system all the way to the bag in and of itself. So I feel like those are just two important things to note, especially for this. Like you want to have the ability to snug the pack in even more so than say, with the backpack. I feel like because the speed at which your body is maybe twisting or moving is going to amplify how much that bag is going to try to shift one direction or another. And so it's just that the overall stability of this pack is really, really good. And I'm very, very happy with it. Now, there is this balance point, though, right? So when we initially started, we were looking a lot at different shock cord options, stretch elastic options. And it's like there are some pros and cons to all this and we spent a lot of time dialing in extremes to get to a point where we feel like we have great ability to breathe in the pack, we have great ability to keep it from bouncing. And there's some really quick adjustments, which is also key because, you know, knowing how to adjust this pack is really, really important. And I don't know if we want to get into like that really quick, but maybe it's important to just notice that there are, you know, three main points of contact to adjust this pack. And unlike some of the other packs out there, you may be adjusting this pack throughout the day. You may be losing water weight throughout the day. You know, you may be eating a meal. You may be wanting to have a tighter fit on the downhill because you're getting more movement, but you're not needing to breathe as deep. And then uphill, you're getting less movement because you're hiking. And so all of these little micro factors throughout the day proved to be really important for ease of adjustment. And so we've factored that in as well. Being able to, you know, have have the pack be able to not only stretch a little bit on the chest so that you can, you know, if you did take a really big deep breath like you're not being constricted, but also have the ability to just quickly with one thumb, a lot of times when I'm going up and down hills, I can I can just hit hit the little buckle and kind of loosen the bottom strap a hair and that's all that's all that it takes to just keep this pack exactly where I want it and where I feel like is comfortable for me. We've got the ability to, you know, move the sternum straps a dual sternum strap system up and down, and so you can really tune this pack in for you. And my kind of my favorite way to to describe this is a way that Brigham mentioned earlier on this pack really is unlike the traditional backpacks like a traditional backpack let's just say it's like this workhorse. It's like you're your workhorse of a truck out there, you know, like your F-150, that you're just you're you're loading more stuff into it. You're doing more dynamic things in it. This pack would be more like that, that Lamborghini where it's like this thing is ready to go. Like you're dialed. You know, you're not, you're not you're not like, like it's just a high-performance backpack, if that makes sense. It's not an older style Kelty external frame pack here. Like this thing is dialed as fast. It's, it's sleek, it's meant for a purpose and so these adjustments and whatnot help you just keep this thing turned right in and ready to roll. And if it's tuned, there's nothing like it out there. There's no other like experience or ability to do what it can do. And so, yeah, I mean, and that, that, that is really the foundational piece of all that is this harness system and all of the testing and prototyping and dialing and that we did.
Brigham Crane: Yeah. I think it's really important for people to, to, to know or have an expectation that this is this, this type of pack and this this fast packing whatever whatever it is they're going to say like sport or activity versus fast packing. There's so much going on with the dynamics of the pack and the body and that interface and those opposing forces that it is there. It's something that it's good to kind of reframe our minds a little bit in terms of this is a pack that we have to tune, much like you call it, a suspension in a rock crawler or a Formula One car or even tuning an instrument, a musical instrument. Your vibrations of the strings of an instrument are just going to be off if it's not tuned, like a piano, like, think of that. Think of this fastback in that way. The fact that a Formula One car has to be tuned for every race and oftentimes multiple times during the race, that's indicative of the performance level of that vehicle or the musical instrument. But it's a little bit it's a new concept. It's a different concept, especially for people that are just coming from, you know, a backpack like the CS 40 or some of the other backpacks, like in that class where you put it on your buckle, it, you sense it down and you go
Tayson Whittaker: And a lot of times you don't readjust the whole day.
Brigham Crane: Yep. Like I don't. I never like my set, my straps and I never touch them like trip after trip, you know, it'll sit for two weeks and I'll put it on and it's right where I left it.
Tayson Whittaker: But it's fueled by the amount of salt that locks your straps and
Brigham Crane: yeah, they're, they're welded in place with sweat salt. But, but yeah, I think that is good for people to know that that, that we, we expect you to be tuning it to tune this harness this suspension system because there's so many points of adjustment and it's it's expected and will also it's not just expected it's necessary to get like just the best performance of the pack from use to use because running down the Grand Canyon when it's 90 degrees is different than running. I don't know, you know, a flat section of trail when it's 50 degrees and humid, you know, I mean, your clothing is going to swell or contract. Our bodies are going to swell or contract. And all of those things adjust how the pack rides and adheres to our body. So that's a good thing to put out there and make sure people know as they expect to be tuning this pack. And the more the more we do it, the more everybody else does. It will learn. You know, we know when to make those adjustments. Like you said, Oh, I'm going uphill. I'm not running now. I'm going up. So I'm going to make this adjustment when I start running down, I know to make this other adjustment and so on and so forth.
Tayson Whittaker: I think what's really important to know here, though, is these are micro adjustments on the fly, not big, daunting adjustments. So when you first get the pack, you'll be able to kind of set it up and you can follow a video that we've put together or written instructions as well. You get the pack set up and then while you're out there, it's more of just the ability to quickly, efficiently do a micro adjustment. So let's say I'm a super sweaty guy when I'm out there running, so my straps are starting to, you know, get moisture into them and maybe they're just stretching out just a little bit. So knowing what to quickly adjust like and I don't mean like stop readjust the whole pack, I mean like just these micro adjustments, they matter and we tried to build them into being as easy to do on the fly as possible as well to get maximum performance. And this can sound pretty technical. And as you were talking, I'm just like my thought was like, if you're listening to this and you're considering shopping around for different packs out there, like ask yourself, is the other company that I'm looking at doing this same level of, of critical thinking and adjustments and stuff Because there's I have seen some packs out there that they're basically backpacks that get labeled as fast packs. And they're and to me, those are different categories. Yes, they've got some pocketing on the shoulders, you know, and some things like that. But like they're they're not necessarily running packs. They're more of, I think,
Brigham Crane: a style.
Tayson Whittaker: So yeah,
Brigham Crane: That's I think that's a good it's just a good thing to be aware of. And I and I don't like to I don't like to throw shade or call out, you know, anyone out there. But just in terms of getting the best performance out of our product or shopping and comparing our products, like we're trying to tell you all these things because they matter. And so in research and shopping, like, yeah, ask yourself if you're not being told these things by whatever brand, hopefully we're giving people some, some, some things to think about, to ask those questions to themselves with the information that they're provided. Because I will say that there's you know, there's always trends. Trends are, you know, trends just about as well. Trends have changed. So I was going to say they're about the only thing as constant as change. But trends come and go with the wind and there's no denying that there's trends. And right now I will say that I think that a trend, whether it's here to stay or good or bad, it's still a trend, is that people are kind of taking notice of packs that have what they call a running style or a vest style shoulder strap. And like I said, whether that's good or bad, if that's their if if a pack has it, that's great. Just be aware that that may or may not mean that that pack is designed to run with. Again, I would say do research and ask these questions like this is the other pack that you're looking at. Is the designer telling you to think about these things? Are they explaining the process behind this running vest style shoulder strap? Because just making a shoulder strap that looks like a running vest style shoulder strap does not mean that it's going to do anything or, you know, anything good or bad. So just things to think about. I would encourage, you know, anybody listening and then shopping to kind of do that cross examination of our pack and everything out there just because we could have stopped a couple of prototypes in because our shoulder straps looked like running shoulder straps because they did.
Tayson Whittaker: You know, this whole conversation reminds me of this concept of asking the brands and figuring things out. This reminds me of just being outdoors. For those of you that follow him, he, like, loves to just dig in and just keep asking questions and getting these, you know, like what? You know, just digging in. And I think there's some real value to everyone for that, right? Like going back to our core values and why our logo as an owl is, you know, we want you guys to be educated so you can make your own wise decisions. Right. Well, there's this different day and age where we expect the users to be making these wise decisions, not the users going into ARIA and having someone pick out a product for them. So, I mean, test that out, ask our customer support. I'd love to hear how that goes. I think they'll be able to be extremely knowledgeable and answer any questions that you have as you're doing the research, but never hesitate to reach out to the companies themselves and ask questions that you may have. We spend time here at Outdoor Vitals. We spend time training our customer support and taking them through the products. And, you know, Brigham sits down and takes them through the products very, very specifically. And then we highly encourage all of our staff to use the products to go out on trail with us paid. We will pay them to come out on tour with us and use the products. And so we sure do try to bring this all the way through the lineup. So test it out. If you guys have questions about the product that we don't cover in this, ask specifically or if you're looking at another product, ask specifically until you get an answer. If you don't get an answer, that's probably a good indicator that might not be the right thing or maybe it's not proven for what you're trying to prove it for. So I came in. We've drilled on the harness and the stability. I think we've covered that. Maybe one last thing is that there is a waist belt. I won't call it a hip belt. The waist belt is removable. People around the office, it's like a 50/50. Whether people use it, it's just kind of trip dependent. And what's going on with the pack. I think usually most people are using it the heavier the load just for added stability. And the main purpose of that is another contact point to help with torsion and twist on the pack while you're running. I use mine pretty much all the time, but sometimes it's just so loose that it's not doing anything because I don't need it to. And other I'll tighten it up just a hair to help with that. But I think that kind of covers the entire harness system. So yeah, the other big point is that we wanted to talk through and we will get into the specifics, capacities, weights, materials, what comes with it because there are some bonus items that come with it, etc.. But let's talk about pocketing then we'll jump into that. So pocketing was a big one. We went through tons of different styles of pocketing and I really wanted to just explain the ideology behind that. First and foremost, the most important part, I would say, of the fast pack is flask carry with with fast packing, you're typically running with half liter flasks, 500 milliliter flasks that are on your chest harness right here just gives you a really quick access to the water. It's a very comfortable place to carry the water. It's very easy to access if you know, for like Brigham was mentioning, he uses a filter that screws right onto the hydro to hide your pack. Had you had hydro packs, flasks, so he can scoop water, twist his lid back on and the lid has the filter in it Drop it back in and keep keep rolling. It doesn't have to stop to filter.
Brigham Crane: Take the pack off the filter.
Tayson Whittaker: Yeah, yeah. Just incredibly efficient. So first and foremost, we want to make sure we have good pockets for that. And with that we wanted to, we needed to make sure we had retainers for those. So we do have elastic loops that go up and over and hold those right into place so that they're full, empty, whatever. They're going to stay right where they need to be. If you're not running with the flask like, then you've got a big drop in your pocket that you could, you know, fill it with whatever you want, right?
Brigham Crane: Yeah.
Tayson Whittaker: Next, most important on the vest, I would say is going to be the bottom pocket. Now we want it to be kind of, I mean, just as big as we could get it. That was comfortable. Still easy access to it. Still. There's there's lots of different options. Right? There's people that throw pockets in the way you reach in sideways. They throw a lot of zippers on everything. They might throw. There's just all sorts of different things. And really we just wanted really quick access, still the ability to seal it up. So there is a shot caught on the top, but those bottom pockets are big. I mean, you can put in I don't know, you could fit in, put in 400 plus calories per pocket. It's like a way to like describe that, you know, like,
Brigham Crane: yeah, I mean, I think so I would call them they're kind of like the general utility pocket of the harness system. They're they're volume size. They're kind of not square shaped, but they're I just mean, they're like they're generally broader, you know, they're not a long skinny pocket. And so it's also, again, a good reminder that the whole reason for this layout of pocketing is hydration and fueling. Like, yeah, you can put a GoPro in a pocket. Sure. That's not that's not the reason for this. This layout of pocketing the reason for this layout of pocketing is for efficiency of hydration and fueling, because the physical demands of running with a pack on are significantly higher than just walking with a backpack and so hydration and fueling our bodies with calories it's it takes a priority over the convenience of you know other non-food items right like I guess in a kind of a hierarchy is hydration, nutrition and maybe things like body protection, like sunscreen and things like that, things that are going to keep us going and call us safe or healthy. So that's why I actually sometimes do run with my reach in one of those lower pockets. I've got the room, and that's kind of a safety item, especially if I'm solo or doing a solo overnight or the more remote I go, I want that thing as readily accessible, but there's other options for that. So the point I'm communicating is that it may be tempting to maybe put on a pocket knife or some multitool or flashlights, you know, some of these other gear items for this. But go ahead and do it. But the reason for it is hydration and nutrition and efficiency. We just want people because, again, we learned this by doing it a lot. And you learn quickly like that, you know, two little packets of hydration mix is not going to cut it. You know, we like I mean, it's like, no, we need like 15, you know, electrolyte packets. And so being able to get that and access your flask and mix the electrolytes and filter water and, you know, have a couple of good or energy chews, maybe a bar or something like that. Like that's, that's like that's where we make the money, so to speak, is like that's, that's where it's at.
Tayson Whittaker: And so I think what's going to keep you moving on the trail, typically it's hydration and fueling. If there's anything else, maybe it is sunscreen, maybe it's bug spray. Maybe you consider putting those in the chest aren't us, but things you don't need till dark, things you don't need to camp, you know, that's going to be able to be organized in the main compartment. There are some other pockets here. So on top per se, I'll say it's on top, but essentially overlapping with the upper hydration pocket. There is a zippered pocket. I want to talk a little bit about that because I don't want there to be confusion on this. The zippered pocket is safe, safe and totally secure. He locks something into place on the harness. There's a key ring, a key clip, I should say, in one of those on the left. The left one, I believe. So you can clip your keys in which I do consistently, especially on the day, the day hikes and stuff like that. And then what I'll do, just to give you an idea of the best in my mind, what I found to be the best way to use those pockets is I'll put my drink mixes in one because they're vertical. They sit there really well locked in. And then what I've actually started to do is I put all of my trash in the other zipper, just unzipping it like an inch. I shove my trash in, and it's at the back up. And that works really, really well until I can, you know, till I'm totally stopped and can re-repack that trash somewhere else. But, what I want to make sure is that there is some volume in those zippered pockets, but don't expect the zippered pocket to be protruding clear off your chest. Meaning if you have a hydration water bottle in there that's completely full, the zippered pocket is not going to have like a ton of volume in there so that you can have this thing just, you know, hanging four inches, protruding, four inches straight off of your chest. That's not what it's there for. It's not ideal for the harness. It's not ideal for you. So I wanted to just make sure that we're not that some of that volume is in there. That is somewhat intentional because we don't want it to be hanging straight off the back. But really you just got the ability to lock things in those zippered pockets. It can't bounce out with with changing because, I mean, I will say this, if I forget to do like the elastic tie on my my harness and I have something that's like bigger and longer that I've put in a slightly hanging out, I have launched like a packet of gummies out of the out of the harness when, when, when I forgot to tighten it. And I'm running down a trail downhill now and I've just got tons of motion going on. So that's where a zippered compartment can be helpful. But I've also never lost anything when I've actually put it in the pocket and tightened the bungee cord on top of it. The lower one I'm talking about. So. Right. Anything with those pockets to mention?
Brigham Crane: Just, just that it's symmetrical. So left side, right side there, they're all the same. The pocket layouts, the same on both sides.
Tayson Whittaker: So let's talk for a second about one of the bonuses, two of the bonus items with this pack. We've found it to be an integral. I don't know if that's right. We're part of the pack, an integral of the pack to have the flasks and the proper flasks with the pack. Meaning if we were to sell you this pack without the flasks, we don't know or don't feel entirely like you would have the best performance, the best use case, because all of our designing and all of our testing utilizes a specific. So with that being said, we are including those two flasks with every backpack. It's not an extra charge. They are just a part of the backpack, which is pretty awesome because those flasks can be kind of expensive.
Brigham Crane: Yeah, I mean it's hard to just make sense of selling this pack. It's different from a backpack like the US 40. Like people have water bottle preferences. But fast packing is different. Like there's there's just no way around it and and in my mind a fast pack is an incomplete system if it does not have the hydration capability included with it. So like to just sell the pack and not include flasks that are, you know, designed or that the pack is specifically designed around, it would be a disservice to the customer. We would be selling them an incomplete product that they then have to go spend more and then time to to go and find something and see if it works like we're and we want to point you like we want to take you and put you at the trailhead with, you know, and you're ready to go. That's kind of our idea there.
Tayson Whittaker: And we've tested multiple flasks from the same supplier, right? Like a huge pack, right? Like if you ordered the wrong flasks, you would have a diminished experience. Some of them have a hard plastic bottom. We didn't like that. Some of them aren't square enough, so they'd sit too high out of pocket. We just want to set you up for success right out of the gate. Yes, we could not, we could not include them. And, you know, maybe we can cut some. They're cheaper or something. Right? But that wasn't it for us. We want you to have the best possible experience right out of the gate with the pack. So I need to look up the price on those, because I do think they're kind of pricey to just go out and buy one. They do come with a lifetime warranty through your pack. Yeah. So it's a value add and the package is going to be ready to go for you. Now, that's not to say, though, that you can't add more water. My pack has a water bladder sleeve, which I used when I was doing the ultramarathon because I can consume a ton of water. It has a port that comes out as well as ways to map that hose from the water bladder down and around. And so that is a complete option. You also have two side pockets, one on the fast pack, a lot of guys were dropping in smaller water bottles on the side pockets or additional flasks even So they can just rotate the flasks up and through. So there's different ways to carry water, but at a minimum you will have two flasks to carry at least one liter of water with you when the pack arrives at your doorstep.
Brigham Crane: Yeah, I just want to remind people that primary hydration access with this fast pack is what's on your chest. That's priority number one. That's option number one and that's this pack design is centered around that. So the side pockets like you mentioned, I like to put no bigger than a 20 ounce water bottle on both sides just because that comes from just my personal experience of liking to limit the amount of bulk and weight down low on the pack. But I'll eat, so I'll put either a 16 or a 20 ounce water bottle on both sides, and that's for refills. So that's for refilling on maybe dry stretches where there's not going to be a stream or a water source. But that way I can quickly then take the pack off to refill my flasks that are going to be in the front. But it doesn't mean that you can't put it in a one liter bottle. I mean, a lot of you guys do. I just like using smaller bottles for the kind of comfort.
Tayson Whittaker: So that's the hydration side. Coming back to the pocketing side, we talked about the pocketing on the chest, but there are two additional pockets that we need to talk about that are quick access pockets while the pack is still on you. So the bottom, the bottom pocket, which is made from an ultra stretch material, is a pass-through pocket, meaning you can stick your hand in one side and all the way out the other side so you can access it from either arm. You know, as you're reaching back underneath the pack, what you know, there's, there's infinite ways to use this pocket. But, some of our favorite ways to use that pocket have been to stow gloves, beanies, buffs, things like that. Even a ring, windbreakers, hats, things like that, that, that, you know, a little bit bigger, a little bit more bulky. But you may be layering on layering off. You may be putting your hat on. You know, you're going to put your hat on in an hour when the sun comes up. So you've just got to stow there for now or gloves, you know, like things like that that you're going to want maybe access to pretty quickly. You can put more additional food in there. We've done that. Just lots of different options. But you do have this other bottom really useful, really accessible pocket on the bottom of the pack, which I think everyone that's tested. I was thankful and enjoyed that feature.
Brigham Crane: Yeah I think that pocket is like the design of your own pizza pocket like you find your way that it makes the most sense to use. I mean that the prioritization for us was you know on the go access to things that we may need on the go to avoid taking the pack off that. But there comes a point where sometimes you just maybe need to store something and access it while taking the pack off and that's fine. Affordable. It's surprisingly secure. The bottom of the bottom shape of the pack is curved up like we often do with our backpacks. And so when you stuff the main compartment with it, it fills out really well and kind of creates this nice tight packaging. So that bottom passes through the pocket, it fits pretty snug against the bottom of the pack, but it's volume sized in the middle. So it, you know, you don't have to just try to put flat items in it. I mean it's surprisingly secure. I there have been, you know, guys within the office that have just out of necessity in terms of time or whatever, like kind of hastily stuck like a GoPro or another camera piece in there, you know, so that they can get a free hand and catch a shot or something, you know what I mean? But like, it's surprisingly secure. I don't know that I would stick my wallet in there and run 25 miles. It probably would stay like honestly, it would probably stay. But I wouldn't recommend that just because that's a pretty sensitive, you know, piece that we don't want people to lose.
Tayson Whittaker: But yeah, and I think it's important also to touch on the fact that it is that ultra weave mesh,
Brigham Crane: ultra stretch
Tayson Whittaker: or stretch that is just such a that was a piece that came in towards the end of this. But that, that bottom pocket is really what's going to take the brunt of setting the pack on the ground, picking it up, etc.. And so that is the mesh that we've chosen. It's incredibly durable. It's really a more expensive mesh. Absolutely. But it's just incredibly durable. And I felt like that was something that was was really valuable in this pack, especially to use in basically all the areas where there's meshes is more of the area's likely to be in contact with the ground, you know up against a tree branch, leaned up against a rock, something like that, that that could be damaged. And historically the mesh of your backpack is the weakest link. And in this scenario, the mesh of this backpack is probably its strongest link.
Brigham Crane: Yeah, it's with this particular pack, it's almost a bit of like an armor plating for that lower third. Honestly, it's like the entire lower third of the package is kind of encased in this ultra stretch, and that is it's very protective
Tayson Whittaker: There's one last pocket that I wanted to talk about that you can access, while you're still on the go. We had some internal debate on this as far as just the concept of having your cell phone while you're out there. Right. In a perfect world like you, it'd be nice not to have to carry this like half pound brick everywhere you go. But the fact of the matter is, in today's day and age, we all do it. We all want to take photos out there. We want to navigate on our phones, we want to communicate on our phones. And so it became, you know, over time, pivotal that we kept the like someplace to put your phone because the harness system, it's all mapped and tuned and molding to your body and then you stick this big brick in there. It's not the right place to carry your phone on the chest harness. So then it was, well, do you put it in the bag and then you can access it. And do you trust the bottom pocket, do you not? And so what we ended up doing as a solution to all of that is we put an inner pocket inside of the bottom pass through pocket that is zippered. So you access it from one side. So like if you were to reach into the bottom past your pocket right away, you're going to find a little zipper. You unzip that and there's a second mesh pocket in there that you can put your valuables and your wallet. You could put your cell phone, cell phones, probably most likely. And then you can re-zip that. You could use it as a trash box if you want it. But my cell phone is my mom. Most likely the most likely. So you slide your phone in there and then you can zip it. And it's completely locked and sealed. It's in a very secure spot. It's in a good spot for the load itself. Right. Like meaning, you know, wait, carry weight distribution, it's in a good spot. It's just really I feel like it's a very clever way for us to keep quick access to that. You know, when you're out there, you're out there, you want to take photos, you're out there, you get to a trailhead, you know a division, and in the Y, you want to make sure you're going on the right trail, those kinds of things and having that quick access, but being able to keep it secure and in a in a good place to be carried is pivotal. My only caveat, and we've never had an issue with this, but it's on the bottom of your pack. When you take that pack off, you set it down. Just remember your cell phone's in the bottom of that pack. Don't maybe don't put your screen face down. Put the back of your case face down again. Never had an issue with it, but it is a fantastic place to keep, you know, something like that where it's not interfering with the harness system or other parts of the pack.
Brigham Crane: Yeah. And yeah, just that's kind of the solution for just those items that we feel like need to be secure, that we don't want to risk losing. And so I think phones and wallets are like prime candidates for that go process.
Tayson Whittaker: Yeah. Okay, let's pick up the pace just a little bit and let's get into some of the specs as well as the king of the last portion of the pack. I mean, a lot of that you guys will be able to see, I'm sure by now. You've looked up the pack itself, right?
Brigham Crane: Yeah. It's got, you know, just like a traditional backpacking pack that in this ultra light style, it's got what we call a front mesh stretch pocket. So we've got that as well.
Tayson Whittaker: You know, if you go to drop in pockets or water bottle pockets or whatever on a column we've got the two compression straps that go along with that on the sides of it. We have an ice ax loop so you can carry that on the back of the pack. We've got a I don't know, a spacing like a V strap over the top essentially. Yeah.
Brigham Crane: D-Shaped over the because it's a roll top. So the, the main compartment, it's a, it's a roll top especially our customers are going to be very familiar with like the CS 40 in the satellite most ultra right packs out there, They're roll tops and so we've got the V webbing over the top strap for, you know, attach and like a foam pad or whatever else, you know.
Tayson Whittaker: And then the roll top, you know, obviously is going to roll up to offer more expansion. If you're watching this on YouTube right now, you can see this pack behind us. This is pretty much rolled all the way down. This is going to be able to expand up for additional capacity. And then inside of the pack, there is a small sewn in zippered pouch that you can use to do a little bit of organizing. You know, drop your keys in there for longer trips. You know,
Brigham Crane: there's a kind of a clip lanyard in there in that little secure pocket as well.
Tayson Whittaker: Yeah. So a great place to keep those small little items you own at the top of the pack. And then other than that, it's your traditional load in the top bag. There is a removable water bladder pocket that will be in the pack, so you can remove that if you choose to. But that is, you know, there is a water, water bladder sleeve essentially in that that's removable. So I think that's like the pack now. So let's get into some of the specs of the pack. So the pack is going to come, excuse me, in a couple of torso sizes. So go on the website, select those torso sizes and that's going to slightly alter the pack, just a hair in terms of weight. So the smaller pack, you know, the smaller and you're going to be at 20 ounces on the bigger pack, you're going to be at 21 and a half ounces in weight. So incredibly light. It's our lightest pack. It's a phenomenal daypack even if you just want to use it for something like that and then have it for bigger adventures later on. In fact, we were just PCT days. We had tons of people turning them on for things like cross-country skiing options and just, you know, fill in the blank. I bike with mine a lot. I, you know, mountain bike with it a lot, many, many options. I actually did it for years but I did a desert motorcycle race and used the pack right. So there's just lots of options. Let's talk about capacity for a second. So this is the skyline 30 fast pack. So inherently, that is the volume of the pack. Yeah, I think I think you can, I mean, as far as just like the main compartment is going to be a little bit less than 30 liters, but then with the outside pocketing, you're going to exceed the 30 liters. And then obviously, if you're aggressively packing the outside of the pack, you could probably push it from just a little over 30 leaders to beyond. There's lots of gray area, we've decided with mesh pocketing and what people claim is capacity.
Brigham Crane: Yeah, there is one bit of volume terms about, well, why, why, why did we choose this volume? A lot of that was just based on, you know, a lot of our testing and prototyping and experience. We find that it's a it's a it's a really well balanced number to have as a kind of this 30 liter fast pack, you know, somebody that is typically backpacking with like a 15 to £18 bass weight and takes a lot of stuff like this is this isn't this is a different pack. Like this isn't going to work for that but for fast packing we're taking minimal items but everything you need for a backpacking trip we found that it's really good because there to make this actually feasible or doable like wait total carry weight is a limiting factor. So we're not we're not trying to make this so that people can take an infinite amount of stuff for an infinite amount of days. There are limitations because we self-imposed those for comfort and for the performance of our bodies and the product. So it doesn't make sense to make a really high volume fast pack because now it's going to if people fill up that volume and oftentimes let's just say that volume is nothing but food, it's just not realistic and practical. And that's very sensible to load this up with six days of food. You know, your food's going to way, way more than your gear. And it's just going to be uncomfortable and so that's kind of we self-imposed these limitations in volume because we found that 30 liters, because we've tested packs that are smaller, We've we've done packs that are bigger. But we found this is a really good balance, kind of a sweet spot in terms of being able to put what we have found that is totally for a three day trip, including food and water and cooking and everything needed. You know, if we go too much, if we go smaller than that, it becomes difficult to have everything that we need. And if we go bigger than that, there's too much room for things to shift around. And that creates instability and comfort and fatigue and all these things we talked about early on. And so, yeah, like that's where we kind of got that number from.
Tayson Whittaker: If you need a 40 liter pack, we're going to say check out the CS 40, because likely by the time you get to a 40 liter pack, the 40 plus liter pack, it's going to be probably most likely too heavy, too big, too bulky to want to be running with the pack.
Brigham Crane: So filling up that volume is going to just add weight that in our opinions necessitates a different type of pack that will handle it more more comfortably and it'll eliminate the feasibility of running.
Tayson Whittaker: So to give you some ideas though, like what 30 leaders can do, right? So typically I'm sitting between a ten and a £12 bass weight. I'm, you know, over six foot. So I'm typically using long wides of things like that, but using outer vitals gear. So like the fortius tracking poll tent, you know, our Bolivian pad, you know, quilts, 15 degree quilt, those kinds of things, you're not going to be able to get three days worth of food in there and, do a three day, two night trip pretty easily in the summer in the mountain ranges. Okay. So that's like going up to higher elevation. So I do have to make sure I'm taking some precautions for weather and that's not like the bare minimum. Right. Because if you're if you're there's guys that get into like the 7-8 lbs base weights. Right. But they're typically not in areas where they have to be as nervous for weather or they're not as high risk and stuff. So I guess what I just want to kind of paint the picture here is like for the average ultralight backpacker with a, you know, call it a two season, maybe three season type setup, you should be able to get about three days worth of stuff in there. If I wanted to go a little bit tighter, maybe cut down on my food, just a hair or like repackage all my food so it's as tight as possible. You could probably push this to a three night, four day trip. Yeah. Foods, foods, foods. One of the foods, good
Brigham Crane: food is the limiting factor. And and we have no qualms about saying that we're again like I mentioned, we're not we are not proposing or suggesting this for use for extended stints in the backcountry without resupply like that's that's that's a different piece of gear but food is the limiting factor because it's bulk and weight you know so ways of doing the best we can with that. I've recently started taking all my meals out of their packaging and putting them in Ziploc steamers or packs because I can almost cut the bulk in half just by dumping a peak refuel meal into a steamer bag that's boiling. It's rated for boiling water. That's what it's meant for. I can fit literally twice as many peak meals into the same amount of volume just by doing that. So little tips like that are really good to know. But food is the limiting factor because it's its weight and its bulk.
Tayson Whittaker: So I need to know how seriously you took, you know, fast packing. Were you like not wanting to stop to eat and stuff like that? Did you ever eat like a dry peak refuel meal just to see you know, Yeah. Skin. All right, let's go into fabrics. Now, if you want to like, look at fit and things like that, you can find that information on the website to pick which size to get. It's going to be better for you to have too small of a size than too big of a size. So make sure to pay attention. Many people just automatically size up and with the pack that is dangerous. So we talked a little bit about the stretch mesh, which is one of the main, main fabrics on it. So that ultra stretch is phenomenal. I think there's going to be some assumptions about the white fabric. So take us through the white fabric and make sure we clearly explain what that is and why we chose it.
Brigham Crane: Yep. So with the white fabric is just 100 de Roback nylon. I think it's a diamond Ripstop. That's just a really good balance of weight and durability for the use case. So when you mentioned the assumption based upon the white, we have another pack called the CS 40 Ultra. It is white as well. That pack uses an incredibly robust, durable ultralight fabric that's off the charts in terms of durability. And that's kind of the best way of summing up. That pack is like a long distance hiking pack for all thru hikes, section hikes, long distance you need like ultra durability. So but with the weights and yeah it's and it yeah
Tayson Whittaker: we're exposed fabric everywhere
Brigham Crane: exactly exactly with a fast pack in all our testing experience and research we decided that we could really prioritize durability a little bit lower so we didn't need to have this amazing incredible off the charts durability of a fabric because we're talking about an expensive three, maybe four day trips, not long trails, not thru hikes. Right. And so we just thought it made a lot of sense to balance a really lightweight, high quality fabric that's also not radical, costly, expensive. And it really gives us adequate durability to wear like it's not something that we have concerns about. But we weren't trying to make this the most durable pack fabric available.
Tayson Whittaker: Yeah, So I do want to stipulate, though, like that I'm not that that's not to say you couldn't take this on through hike right. One of the most popular backpacks out there is from Osprey. Let's say they're going to use a very similar fabric as what this white fabric is on here so no, it is durable, but it's just like when we compare it to the ultra, it's on a different level. But like you also mentioned earlier, we didn't feel the need for the ultra fabric here. And it just boosts the price up tremendously because we also have this lower half turtle shell armor with the ultra weave. So the ultra weave is kind of that expensive at ultra stretch. Sorry, it kind of is that protective layer, It is an expensive stretch mesh and it is incredibly durable. So that's the ideology behind it. I'm sure we'll get a few people saying I wish you would have done ultra, but I think a lot of you will just appreciate the lack of putting it there. Just to say we put it there, just to have it as a speck on a paper. It just didn't, it didn't need to be there in the field, which is where we do all of our testing and all of our research. Yeah, it might look good on paper, but it doesn't look good on what you end up paying for the pack and again in the field, it just was an unnecessary thing to do is how we felt about it. So yeah, and then there is a little bit of additional fabric just to mention that's on the shoulder harness. I know you spend a lot of time dialing in foams and all that kind of stuff, but we have some pretty breathable, very durable fabrics that we put on there. Do you remember the name of that one off the top of your head? I'm in a space.
Brigham Crane: Well, it's a ripstop woven mesh.
Tayson Whittaker: So it's it's, it's just kind of thought of as mesh.
Brigham Crane: Just it kind of looks like a typical, you know, square ripstop nylon that you can see through. Yeah. Versus like it's not a stretch mesh like, you know, some back panels or actually on the inside of the shoulder straps is stretch mesh. But the point was heat dissipation and breathability. So there's the foam that is inside the shoulder harness or the harness. It's perforated. So there's just it's full of holes and that's for heat dissipation and breathability. So it didn't make sense to limit that by putting a solid fabric over that. So we want as much breathability and heat dissipation as possible. So we use the mesh on the shoulder straps.
Tayson Whittaker: I think we've covered I think we've covered all the fabrics that we need to cover here. Again, I just wanted to mention this pack is out now. It is shipping, actively shipping. You can find that in the show notes or you can jump over to ultraviolet dot com and look at this pack and get your hands on it. As far as the pricing on it, we're able to release this pack at sub $200. It's 197. I think that is a tremendous value for what this pack is, including all of the features that went into this pack, including the ultra stretch that's in the pack and including the flasks that are in this pack. It's a tremendous value. It's a tremendous pack. We've put years of our time into this thing. It's really, really worth your consideration as a pack. I think that even if you are not a fast packer, you should have it on your radar for, for others, you know, like I said, I bike with this thing, I ride motorcycles with this thing. I can use it as a day pack. I've liked the list kind of goes on of options. And if you were to ask us like, frame versus frame, looks like this is our frameless pack, like if we're building a frameless pack, there's a lot of design features in this that we like, like the harness system, right? If you don't have a frame in there, you want the harness system, it's going to have these connection points and just paint on feeling and so on, so forth. And so whatever it is you're looking to do is if there's a high level of movement in it, this pack could be just a phenomenal pack for you. And it's now available after two and a half plus years of development time production. It is finally available and we're definitely stoked for it. It's one of those packs that there's a lot of. I would say there's there's a decent amount of options out there now, but I will say we've done so many I mean, thousands of miles of testing at this pack, you know, just morning after morning running with it, trip after trip, taking it out, you know, testers after testers, third party testers, internal testers. It's a very well vetted pack. And we're excited. We're excited to finally have it out there. So anything I missed here. Brigham, as we wrap this up, I know we got a little long winded which we always do on these, but
Brigham Crane: Well it was fun to talk to people at PCT days about it because face to face you can kind of share some of the emotion about it. It's like it was a really fun piece of gear to develop just because it was one that it was one, that we were like novices to that we had to educate ourselves on and get experienced in in order to feel like we were justified and had the credibility to design one. Right. So it was for me, it was just a ton of fun and a really good challenge to do that in this way versus like a backpack. Well they're fun and I already backpack, right? But it was a new endeavor and it was really fun to do that. And the other thing I would say is I had a lot of fun explaining to people, to the ones that aren't familiar with fast packs or that it's a new thing to them and they're intrigued by it. I had fun explaining to people that it's like another tool in the toolbox kind of piece of gear. Yeah, it's not going to do all that, do everything, but nothing does. But it kind of opens up a couple new doors in a new way and opens up some new experiences that, you know, I'd like to encourage people to to give a try just because it's it has that feel for me as like, I'm glad we have this because it's another yeah, it's just another tool. And to borrow a toolbox, it gives me a couple new capabilities and new options for experiences. And so I'm excited for it.
Tayson Whittaker: Yeah, I think, I think the last thing I just want to say is more on a personal note, too. When I got interested in fast packing, I started running really for the first time in my life, like growing up, I played football and I had to run because we had like this crazy coach who made us run all the time. But like, I played defensive lineman right as a dean. And so, like, even then it's like, I'm the bigger guy. Like I'm not I'm not turning in hot laps or anything. Like that. But we ran a lot. But when we started this, I was like, okay, I want to start running. And when I first got into running, it was like, there's a little bit of pain involved, right? Like a little bit of knee pain, a little lower back pain. But after sticking with it for about a month, two months, that pain went away. And that was pain that I had honestly dealt with for years. Right. Starting out this business like I put a lot of weight on and then I lost a little bit of it, but I was still sitting in this range where I was heavier than I wanted to be and whatnot. And but it was fast packing in this idea of like this call to, like, go on some of these trials and do some of these adventures that really motivate me to get my fitness to this next level so that you could do it, so that I could do it. Yeah, Yeah. And so you know, I started running and, you know, I already like lifting and going to the gym and some things like that. But, you know, switched me to getting a lot more trail miles in and I started to lose weight. And so since then I dropped, you know, 20 plus pounds and I've kept it off for two and a half years now. And I have been feeling it in so many ways, you know, I'm over 30 years old, like more fit now than I've ever felt in my life and more healthy now. I pretty much never have back pain, which I suffered all of my twenties with back pain from about the time I was 23 to 30, I had had back pain off and on. You know, I had knee pain that would kind of come and go and just these different things that honestly, I feel like running and training that way and just, you know, so I could go do this was a life changing thing. And I tell people all the time now, like, look, I get it. And I was a thrower in track. I was a defense. I was on the line in football. You know, I was not a runner and I never thought I would be a runner. But my goals in life were to go and do things like this and to be able to do them as long as I possibly can. Right. If I can be in my sixties and seventies still doing this kind of stuff, just think about all of those additional memories I'll be able to create versus, you know, getting to set a tree and not being able to do my passions, more of my lifespan. And so if you think that this could be something that could be motivating to you, you know, like like the desire to go and do something like the Wonderland Trail and be able to pull that off and be able to pull it off with the work schedule or, you know, whatever it is in your life that you've that could be a limiting factor and make you feel like that's just not a possibility. This could be your ticket and it could not only be your ticket to go do some amazing adventures like that. There are side benefits of giving this a shot. So I highly encourage you guys to do that. I know that running has changed my physical life and that bleeds into so many other areas as well and just just health in general and, you know, maybe maybe someone will come back with a story similar to what I've what I've kind of experienced and just maybe being able to drop some weight, leave it off, or maybe get rid of their back pain or whatever it is. But, you know, it's different for everyone. That's just my, my, my story. But I'd encourage you guys to to just look at this and maybe use it as some fuel for the fire because yeah, training so that I was able to do some of these trips you know, 38 miles in a single day in the Grand Canyon was brutal. It was probably too much for where we were at. But, you know, being able to go do that was still an option because of the fast pack and because of, you know, some of the training that goes along that went along for what we were planning to do with, the fast pack. So I just wanted to throw that out there. Again, the fast pack is a phenomenal tool. It can give you awesome options to push yourself to do things. Just aren't possibilities with other tools out there. So take a good hard look at it and I know you guys will be really pleased with this piece, especially when you get it on and get it into the backcountry. So with that, we'll go ahead and wrap this up. Appreciate you guys sticking with us again, we get a little long winded, so if you need to turn up the speed sometimes on this podcast, go ahead and do so, but really appreciate it if you guys have yet to leave us a podcast review, we appreciate it. If you did, that helps us get sound, helps us grow and help more people out there get into the backcountry. And we know that that's critical in this day and age with the amount, technology, mental health, emotional health, things like that, that we feel like getting outdoors can can aid with. So please leave us a review. Share this with a friend if you think it can be helpful, make sure you subscribe to the podcast and go check out the Skyline 30 fast pack that is now available on outdoorvitals.com. Okay, We'll see you guys in a future episode.