The Coyote Brown production is right on schedule and we will be shipping packs this week, most likely the majority will go out on Thursday. Everyone who pre-ordered a Coyote Brown pack and did the 25% deposit if you could go ahead and give us a call Tuesday or Wednesday to collect the rest of the payment that would be great. Phone number is 208-941-9899.
The rest of the production schedule with ASAT and Foliage is looking really good, we predict every two weeks to be shipping out another run of packs from here on out. Development of the accessories and the 5500 bag is coming along nicely. We will be posting up pics and info as we can. Hopefully by the end of this week we can post up pics of the meat shelf, load panel and the hipbelt pouch. We did a lot of simple but unique things in the design of the hipbelt pouch to address issues that we feel come up with accessory pouches and are excited to see the final prototype. Our goal is to have everything that we plan on making this year done and shipped by July 15th so that you have plenty of time before hunting seasons open up.
On Wednesday we will also announce the winner of the free pack from the newsletter sign up that we did.
Steve and Lenny
We have been asked a handful of times what the load rating was on the Skeleton frame; my response has always been “whatever your legs can carry” and really that’s the truth. We designed the pack to be able to carry substantially more weight than you would ever want to. Each seam has a minimum of 3 rows of stitching, each webbing connection point is back stitched and bar tacked, all critical fabric points are re-enforced and where the frame attaches to the pack we use Kevlar thread. To top it off the Titanium frame is incredibly strong and can take whatever you throw at with ease.
As backpack hunters Lenny and I know what abuse a hunting pack is put through. We also know that you can’t simulate the abuse and stress put on a pack by designing it behind a computer which is why we extensively test the packs in the real world. We have focused our construction and materials to be lightest weight possible taking into consideration this “abuse factor”. The Exo Skeleton frame can carry a lot more weight than any practical hunting situation is going to call for and you’re not going to have to worry about the pack failing you or the frame breaking.
Load testing the Exo Skeleton frame with 250lbs from Exo Mountain Gear on Vimeo.
This is the last day to take advantage of the $50 off coupon. Coyote Brown is sold out on the initial run and Foliage as well as ASAT are getting very close.
Click here to Buy.
Last night we sold out of the initial run on the Coyote Brown 3500′s. Good news is the production is going really well so we have more scheduled to be built right after the Foliage run. That should put the second run of Coyote Brown shipping mid-May. Hopefully sometime next week we’ll have pics of the Foliage and ASAT bags so you can see what that looks like. We have had a lot of questions on what the Foliage looks like and its just the standard military issue Foliage. I attached a picture of a t-shirt in Foliage for a reference, we will have Foliage webbing and then black buckles and zippers.
The $50 off promo ends on Monday the 24th so make sure to take advantage of that. We have a handful of new videos shot and I am hoping to find the time to edit them up in the next few days.
Exomountaingear.com is up and running this morning taking pre-orders for both the 3500 and 5500 packs. Today through March 24th we are offering $50 off the normal base price of $449. You can choose to enter coupon code “deposit25″ to put down 25% of the payment or you can just pay in full now by not entering the code.
We just finished up videos on Friday of all the final features on the 3500 bag and Skeleton Frame. In an effort to put out the best possible pack we can we made a few small changes including using X-pac waterproof fabric for the entire inside of the bag. Being able to keep your gear dry in the back-country is essential and even though the 500d Cordura is coated; water will still penetrate through it. The X-pac is waterproof to 200psi and it shaved 1 ounce off the total weight. Its also used on the back side of the bag so when packing out meat; blood seeping through to your gear is not an issue.
Lastly, we decided to bump up the run of Foliage Green packs. In the 3500 they will be shipping mid-May now and not summer like we originally planned.
Exo Mountain Gear overview of Skeleton Frame from Exo Mountain Gear on Vimeo.
Exo Mountain Gear overview of 3500 Bag from Exo Mountain Gear on Vimeo.
Exo Mountain Gear overview of attaching a load in the load shelf from Exo Mountain Gear on Vimeo.
The final production sample pack is finally done! We are working as fast as we can this week so that the website will be up and ready taking pre-orders by Monday the 10th. I took these photos yesterday and then over-nighted the pack to a good friend Mark Huelsing who is getting the studio images shot. As soon as it gets back Lenny and I will shoot some product videos going over all the details and options. Once that is done the website will be up and taking pre-orders. Things are still looking good for April 15th-30th for a ship date.
The final weight came in at barely over 4.5lbs with a bag size (lid and main bag) of 3500ci. (That does not include the side spotting scope pockets and exterior stretchy pockets which add another 1,000ci)
Lenny and I have been getting a handful of requests wondering about time-frame’s for pre-ordering, for delivery and wondering what accessories that we will be doing this year. I wanted to put this post together to address some of those questions. One thing we really tried to do was design a complete pack, something that wasn’t bare bones so you didn’t immediately have to add accessories to get it to function. We also realize everyone likes to customize their set up for their style of hunting and packing gear so we that in mind we plan to do the following accessories. If there is something you would really like to see let us know and we’ll do our best to make it happen.
Accessories for 2014:
- Hip-belt pouch (will be sized to fit most rangefinders)
- Meat shelf accessory panel (will be designed to use with or without the bag) (going to make a great shed hunting pack that would be sub 3lbs!)
- Rain fly
- Water Bladder accessory pouch (will be designed so it can be removed from the pack and used as an ultralight day pack/ stalking pack)
- Bow Carrier
- Mesh ditty sacks
- Mesh pocket w/ zipper that can be moved to a few different attachment points inside the pack
- March 7-14th- will start taking pre-orders on Exomountaingear.com (we will be doing some sort of promotion for the first 2 weeks)
- April 15-30th delivery of first run of Exo 3500 packs in Coyote Brown (ASAT will be about 1 week behind Coyote shipping)
- June-July accessories will be ready and shipping
- July 1st delivery of Exo 5500 pack
- After running the poll on bag sizes it was pretty even between the 5500 and 6000. We decided to go with the 5500 thinking if the demand is there we could add a 7500 down the road.
- Bags are interchangeable between frames so you can purchase a 3500 bag now and the 5500 will fit on it when they become available
- All the above dates are estimations but we can promise we are doing everything we can to make sure we hit them
Over the last year Lenny and I tested a seemingly endless combination of hipbelt and lumbar pad configurations. Between sizing, foam, foam thickness, foam density and overall stiffness the variables really start to add up. Ask 100 experienced backpackers and you’ll get 100 different answers on what they prefer. Some would never buy a pack without a lumbar pad, some people hate them. Some like a soft flexible hipbelt some prefer a really stiff rigid one with plastic sewn in as backing. The truth is there so many body shapes, spine profiles and other variables there is no perfect answer or a one size fits all application. With that in mind this was our approach…
I want to briefly explain why and how we ended up with the design that we did. The final product is a soft flexible hipbelt that has a concave shape with 5/8′ of foam; a soft 1/2″ and then 1/8″ backing foam to add a little rigidity. With the soft hipbelt this will conform and mold itself to more body types and in our experience the ride is substantially more comfortable under all conditions. We tested some really stiff versions and under heavy 100+ lb loads they feel slightly better for the first mile but by mile 3 your hips will be rubbed raw as the friction created between the moving parts of your body and the non-moving / non-flexible belt create hotspots. With the flexible design it will just sit there and move with you so the ride quality does not degenerate the farther you hike.
One thing we did realize through this process was that if you built our same belt out of a cheaper upholstery foam the result is completely opposite. You then you have to go with a more rigid design, most likely why some people out there prefer a stiff hipbelt. Fortunately with the foam we are using we can do this and the end result is an extremely comfortable hipbelt that is great with 20lbs or 120lbs.
The Lumbar pad:
On the lumbar pad we ended up settling on a 1.5″ thick design that has a soft density foam on the outside backed by a more dense foam on the inside. What happens is this; with light loads (40lbs under) the soft foam has a great feel and cushion to it that gives you some resistance so you don’t have to cinch the hipbelt down extremely tight to keep the weight off your shoulders. As the weight of the load increases the soft foam will compress and hit the more dense foam so that you have good resistance to really cinch the belt down as the heavy load will be pushing into your lumbar area. When the soft foam compresses it also reduces the overall thickness of the lumbar pad which helps distribute the load more through the entire hipbelt and not just concentrate it on the lumbar area.
So in realizing that there isn’t ever going to be one perfect hipbelt we designed it with all these factors in mind and to further accommodate people we are going to offer custom options. There will be 3 different overall sizes so everyone from a 29″ waist to a 40″ waist should be covered. We also designed the lumbar pad area so that it is extremely easy to remove and are going to offer (down the road) different thicknesses for people to try out if they want a thicker or thinner lumbar pad.
- Reverse pull webbing that helps you gain substantial leverage when cinching the hipbelt
- Non-slip lumbar surface helps keep lumbar in place and helps prevent shirt from sliding up back
- Removable webbing to accommodate hipbelt pouch accessory and holsters
We have started working on the larger bag that will be shipping this summer so we wanted to get everyone’s opinion on what size they want for a large expedition bag? Bags will be interchangeable between the frames so you can have the 3500 for the short under 5 day trips and the larger bag for the week long trips. We originally planned on the larger bag being 4800 ci but after talking with a lot of people over the last 5 weeks it seems like some want an even larger bag than that. We would love to hear your opinions and thoughts on this? The vote is running on facebook or just comment below.
Size options we are considering:
4800, 5500 or 6000
Just wanted to give a quick update on the status of how the pack is progressing along. Lenny and I just had a long meeting this morning with the sew shop and have all the last few design tweaks finalized. They are going to get final samples made up in the next two weeks and then its off to full production. As long as everything goes smoothly we will be shipping packs by April 15th. After all the feedback from the color vote (which was outstanding by the way, thanks!) we are going with ASAT and Coyote Brown for the first production run. We plan to do Foliage and or multicam on the next run of packs which will be in the summer.
We are building the actual company website right now and the plan is to have it launched and taking pre-orders by March 1st. We are going to offer some sort of discount for people who pre-order and by pre-ordering we will also guarantee you get a pack in the first run. There is a chance that we’ll sell out and then it wouldn’t be until the summer run that the packs would ship.
We did make some decisions over the last few weeks that added a little weight, we are guessing about 4oz to the 3500 so it will be in the 4.5lb range now. When it came down to it we decided in favor of long term durability and comfort vs: saving a few ounces. We up sized webbing to 1″ instead of 3/4″ in a few places, adding re-enforcing in other places, made the hipbelt and lumbar pad slightly larger, added a couple interior pockets and a few other small decisions. We felt people would appreciate these features over the saving the 4oz in the big picture of things.
Also I will be at the Pacific Northwest Sportsmans show on Saturday Feb. 8th with the pack in the XXX Archery booth. Stop by and say hi if you happen to be in the area.