Wednesday, February 25, 2009

MHW Backpacks

MHW BackpacksMHW, short for Mountain Hardwear, is a wholesale manufacturer. Below are backpacks they sell well.

Alpine climbing, peak bagging, ski touring, backpacking, cragging, day hiking, bushwhacking. Not all backcountry sports are the same, but everyone needs to haul gear.

Comfortable, versatile, highly functional packs designed for backpacking and trekking – from quick weekends to the long haul.

For travel, work, or around town – our sleek, functional daypacks are tough enough to handle your daily grind.

Alpine Sport
Rooted in our expedition heritage, our Alpine Sport packs are for climbers and mountaineers. Find all the technical details you need for a summit bid or a day at the crags.

Duffle Bags
Durable, versatile duffles designed to haul enough gear for an entire expedition.

In 1993, a small group of people who had weathered years in the outdoor industry decided to get together and form Mountain Hardwear. In addition to working in the outdoor industry, the Mountain Hardwear founders were avid outdoors people themselves.

Mountain Hardwear was the team's first demonstration of radical thinking; the company bet on passion and experience for innovative, technologically advanced products to bring together a product line within 90 days.

Many people in the industry thought the task was impossible, but the Mountain Hardwear crew worked fast and smart—and introduced two products that are still in the line today: the Exposure™ Parka and the Sub Zero™ Jacket.

Mountain Hardwear has grown quite a bit. The company has over 90 people in our California office, more than 35 sales reps and associates across the United States and Europe, and representatives in Canada, Asia, South America, Australia and New Zealand. And now, with the solid financial backing of Columbia Sportswear, Mountain Hardwear is free to develop even more cutting edge designs and products.

MHW has always focused on bringing radical thinking to the gear they make. They continually challenge themselves to bring technical innovation to outdoor gear and to create detail-oriented design features that anticipate users' needs. They combine that innovation and attention to detail with superior product quality—backed with a lifetime warranty that speaks for itself. MHW—Radical Thinking—again and again.

Employees and representatives continue to share a passion for the outdoors along with a passion for making innovative, technologically advanced gear. They keep their outdoor knowledge sharp by sponsoring over 20 athletes and using their real-world challenges and experiences to continue to advance the technology and fabrics they build into their products.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Macpac Backpacks

Macpac BackpacksMacpac backpacks are inspired by life in New Zealand. Macpac backpacks are known for their legendary load-carrying comfort and durability.

In 1973, 19-year-old Bruce McIntyre left university after a year of studying psychology, sociology and political science. His vision: Simply to make backpacks that were better and cheaper than what else was available.“I had no capital of my own, but my parents loaned me $2,000 to buy Charlie McCormick's brand (Macpac) and machinery, and they put up their house as collateral so I could secure a $700 overdraft from the bank.”

Bruce started off with his own designs, and a spirit of collaboration. In 1975 a group of young men from the Canterbury Mountaineering Club (CMC) were heading into the South American Andes on an expedition at the time. According to Bruce, “I said I’d make them all backpacks if they’d work with me on the design.”

The pack that emerged from this development was New Zealand’s first internal frame climbing pack – the Torre Egger. Many of its features have since been copied around the world; at the time they were new and innovative.

“We had the first bungy cord attached to the packs because one of the guys had said he wanted to attach his crampons to the outside of the pack.”

Macpac’s collaboration between pack designer and experienced mountaineers set an example that Macpac continues to follow today. The comprehensive testing programme leverages the experience of partners in the mountains who Macpac trusts to push its gear to its limits and beyond.

The company’s design philosophy also places an extremely high value on feedback, not only from athletes and adventurers, but all Macpac customers around the world.

The benefits in this combination of partnership and innovation are seen in hundreds of letters from loyal customers and coverage from gear testers. Some examples of the praise that has been published around the world in 2007 alone include: “Britain’s Toughest Test,” by UK’s Trail magazine, awarded Macpac’s Vamoose child carrier BEST IN TEST among tough international competition.

In the US, the popular Backpacker Gear Guide rated Macpac’s Epic 300SF READER APPROVED “Lightest Three Season” Sleeping Bag. “Australia’s Toughest Test,” published by Outdoor magazine, rated leading brand sleeping bags and gave Macpac’s Latitude 500 first place. The same publication also called Macpac’s new Tuatara 20 “Worker’s Choice” for being an ideally-featured daypack for commuting.

“All of our competitors went to Asian manufacturers a long time before we did – which was fine for them. We really resisted it because we had a very good manufacturing facility here with great people. But then the New Zealand dollar got very strong,” and soon “it was either shift our manufacturing or go out of business.

Macpac’s focus on “making high quality things that work” remains steadfast – “I never liked things that broke down,” says McIntyre, who still mows his lawns with a hand mower for this reason.

In 2008, Bruce is building a new school in Christchurch, New Zealand, and he has trusted the future of Macpac with new owners Campbell Junor, Pierre van Noorden and Bernie Wicht. These three men share Bruce's commitment to premium quality and design leadership, which have made Macpac a brand deeply trusted around the world by people who are serious about their outdoor experiences.

GoLite Backpacks

GoLite BackpacksToday GoLite is the world's leading manufacturer of lite-weight outdoor clothing and equipment, driving product innovation in a wide range of outdoor sports. But GoLite is far more than a collection of products. It is a mindset, a mission, a directive, an ideal that infuses every design, concept and idea. It is as much a philosophy as it is a commandment to do much more with much less. GoLite is about freedom. About being unburdened by the mundane, the over-engineered, or the obsolete. It is about being connected to nature in the purest way. And about going lite on the trail, on the planet, and in one's life.

GoLite continues to produce some of the best lightweight backpacks, tents, and shelters in the market. GoLite understands that most backpackers lugging heavy packs take steps to save pack weight. Some cut off half a toothbrush handle, trim map corners, and repackage food into the lightest plastic bags -- all somewhat helpful over the long haul. But true weight savings starts with the heaviest items -- notably your backpack, sleeping bag, and shelter -- which should be pared down to their minimum weight without compromising function. GoLite's ultra-lite, ultra-strong, high capacity mountain packs represents this philosophy in action.

Osprey Backpacks

Osprey BackpacksOsprey, one of the famous world brands of backpacks, is worshipped by many travellers.

Long-revered, Osprey backpacks are some of the most sought after packs on the market today. A core team of designers and hard-core outdoor enthusiasts have been building some of the most comfortable and functional packs for the last 35 years. Osprey has had backcountry ski packs in their lineup for quite some time, but this Fall, look for an entirely-new lineup of ski packs that you’ll want to put on your wishlist.

While many backcountry ski packs are simply sized-down larger backpacks with ski-carrying loops, the new Opsrey Kode series has been built with backcountry skiing in mind from the start. After a quick look at them, I was very impressed. Here are a few details.

Bursting on the outdoor scene in 1974, Osprey remains ever committed to innovation and performance. Built to accommodate your passion for adventure, Osprey backpacks are renowned for providing award-winning fit and functionality.

Gregory Backpacks

Gregory BackpacksAt age 14 Wayne Gregory designed his first backpack as part of a Boy Scout project. Shortly after this experience he met Andy Drollinger, the founder of San Diego California Adventure 16, at a boy scout camporee. Andy was impressed with Wayne’s design and over the next few years Wayne could be found hanging around the Adventure 16 factory, buying raw materials and tinkering with a variety of backpack ideas. He soon became the young companies second employee.

In 1970, Wayne started his first company, Sunbird, with a goal to produce advanced external frame packs. Unhappy with the limitations of externals, he dissolved the company in 1973 and began working as a freelance designer (sleeping bags, tents, and technical apparel) for a number of companies in the newly emerging outdoor specialty industry. Intrigued with new directions in soft packs and internal frame concepts he decided it was time to get back to his first love, designing backpacks, and in 1977 Wayne founded Gregory Mountain Products in San Diego, California.

From the start, Wayne wasn’t just meticulous about designing packs that improved upon fit and used the best materials available, he also wanted to know how his designs worked in the field and what he could do better, a heritage of accessibility he has continued to present. In the early days, he loved to talk tech with customers at his retail store in San Diego, where he built his packs in the back shop. He wanted to know firsthand what worked and what didn’t, and many customers’ ideas were incorporated in new products. Ultimately, Wayne realized that in the backpack business fit was king, and he pioneered many firsts, including; being the first to build backpacks in different frame, harness and waist belt sizes; the first (and still only) pack manufacturer to develop a waistbelt system that adjusts to fit different hip angles, automatically improving load transfer; and developing the center-locking bar tack, a stitch that ends and locks off on the center of a seam instead of the side for increased strength at major stress points. From the earliest days, Gregory packs were noted for innovative design, ergonomic and comfortable fit, and our obsession with quality.

Over the years, Gregory packs have been recognized in a number of widely read publications that single out their fit, innovation, durability and comfort stories.

Arc'teryx Backpacks

Arc'teryx BackpacksARC'TERYX was founded in Vancouver, BC, Canada in 1991, where it maintains its Worldwide Head Office, design studios, and main manufacturing facilities.

Driven by innovation, ARC'TERYX was founded to build better gear. They didn’t just focus on incremental advancements, but on radically improving the status quo. They began with climbing harnesses and then proceeded to tackle packs and apparel with the same single-minded obsession for creating the lightest, best performing, and highest quality products available. To realize our vision they’ve created groundbreaking new construction technology, developed paradigm-shifting designs and harnessed major fabric technology developments.

The resulting deluge of recognition, and mimicry, has cemented their reputation at the pinnacle of the outdoor world. Their designers strive not to better the competition, but to challenge assumptions about how outdoor products should be built. Their visionary thinking is fused with proprietary construction processes and unrivalled craftsmanship to create the best outdoor gear made. Regardless of product, by selecting this brand you're insured that your ARC'TERYX product will be one of the most innovative and superbly crafted packs, harnesses or mountain apparel pieces available.

As the next season arrives, they continue to raise the bar for the industry by introducing superior advancements in fit and fabrics, and revising and developing new products. A concentrated mountain core quests for new horizons, and they work feverishly to supply innovative solutions. We refine, tailor and hone until revolutions emerge. Intrinsically linked with the future, they passionately stoke this evolution in action.

What brand of backpack are you familar with

Dana Designs (now aka: Marmot)These brands win on durability, fit, value and weight.I've been less-than-impressed by backpacks from:
The North Face
Mountain Hardwear (sorry Static, the rest of yer stuff is great)
No offense taken: I had not been recommending the MHW Exodus series at backpacks for several reasons, but the climbing packs and daypacks are pretty good. MHW does not make a travelpack, so I use an Eagle Creek
IMHO, the top of the pyramid here is brands like Macpac, Wilderness Equipment and One Planet. Arc'teryx and Osprey are also good if you can get them (we struggle to get the full range of either of these in Perth).

Big difference between Aussie packs and North American packs is that we use mostly canvas here for packs - whereas northern hemisphere has gone towards synthetic materials.

You'll notice a big difference in weights between Aussie brands and their N.american/european counterparts.

Harnesses - Probably the most important part of a backpack - this one is entirely relative to you, your body shape and what feels comfortable to you. My own pack (a Wilderness Equipment) has a harness that moulds over my back like a glove - your experience may differ.
like Osprey and Eagle Creek backpacks. My 59 litre Eagle Creek is what I travel with and it has served me very well! One of the best purchases I have ever made!