Help create new UL gear AND help a student!

2:40 p.m. on October 8, 2010 (EDT)
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Hello everyone!
I'm Dan (or Tabasco, if we're doing trail-names) and I'm an engineering student looking to gauge interest in a project my group and I are working on.
If you could take this very short survey it would help out greatly. The survey can be found here.
You'll be helping out with creating some cool new UL backpacking gear.
Thanks for the help- it means a lot to us!
-Dan

10:40 p.m. on October 8, 2010 (EDT)
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I filled out a survey.

6:31 a.m. on October 9, 2010 (EDT)
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Dan, you have to let us know when beta testing volunteers are needed. Also when your product hits the market.
Ed

11:05 a.m. on October 9, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks for the help guys!


We will be sure to let you all know when we're in the testing phase. We're close to the White Mountains in NH so if anyone is in the area and is able to test it. If our budget allows it, we may even give you all some reimbursement for testing and feedback. We'll stay in contact.

12:48 p.m. on October 9, 2010 (EDT)
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I notice the main question in the survey is about camp chairs, are you designing a new chair. I use a Crazy Creek chair and a tripod style chair both. But don't carry both on all trips. I like the Therm-a-Rest idea of having the cover that the pad fits into to make a chair. But it came out years after I have had my Crazy Creek one.

9:16 p.m. on October 9, 2010 (EDT)
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We are designing a new chair. Our idea is to design a chair out of items already brought in a backpack. Our hope is that by using trekking poles as supports and either a stuff sack or pack cover as seat material each component of the chair will serve multiple purposes. This way, you won't need to bring any additional weight (or a very small amount) to have a chair with you.

8:57 p.m. on October 10, 2010 (EDT)
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we updated the proposal for our product so that the demographic is hikers over 40, especially those with back or knee pain while hiking. Now I know that not every hiker over 40 has problems like these (and that hikers under 40 get sore too), but our prof. told us our demographic should be smaller.

So to sum things up, if you are over 40 could you please give your feedback on this idea? Also, if you hike near the White Mountains in NH (particularly around Hanover) and want to test our invention please email me at penach010@gmail.com.

If you want, we updated our survey (just look at the first post) to take age into account. That may be an easier way to give your opinion, but just posting on the forum would work too.
Thanks a lot- you all have been really helpful!

10:45 a.m. on October 11, 2010 (EDT)
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I actually didn't start using a chair till I turned 50 almost 5 years ago. Used to be able to sit on the ground fairly comfortably, but not anymore.

6:24 p.m. on October 11, 2010 (EDT)
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Tabasco - I hike and climb frequently in the Whites. I live in Portland Maine. I'm not over 40 but would be happy to test. My father in law is over 50, but he's a beast and would probably (no offense) think it was a joke. Let me know if we can help out!

12:29 a.m. on October 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Hey guys,

Just wanted to update you on our progress. We got a pole design down (As seen in the pic) and we're going to start working with the aluminum hiking poles now. This is just a basic prototype where the three sections of the design are equal (roughly) to the 3 sections of a hiking pole. This is the most stable configuration we were able to find. 

We're still working on the pack cover, but we got some ultralight cuben fiber material we're thinking of using. It looks pretty damn cool- if you've never seen it before, it seems unbelievably light. We'll be doing strength testing on the material soon.

We're still looking for more testers- for the prototype when we get it and also just to pick your brain a bit. If you're anywhere near Hanover, NH (and preferably over 35) please give me an email at penach010@gmail.com. Thanks for the help!

-Dan

PS: iClimb- Thanks for the offer! I completely believe that your father-in-law would think its a joke. There were a handfull of people over 50 on the trail who could out-hike me. I once rolled into a shelter right after Mahoosuc Notch and a 73 year old woman hiked in after me. 

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6:30 a.m. on October 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Your design is similar, ergonomically to a sling lite.  I've owned mine since they first came out in the early 1980s.  I love my sling lite, as it is very comfortable, once you are seated, but it is tedious to get in and out of, being so low to the ground, especially for this apprentice geezer.  Your design may have the same short comming.  I would be concerned about using trekking poles particularly for the seat sections.  They will need to support almost the entire weight of the user, and the cantilever design on your seat will focus considerable force on a point mid shaft along the poles, in a vector they were not designed to deal with.  The sling lite eliminated this problem by using the ground as thier fulcrum point.

Note the sling lite is your major contender since it seats the user in a similar fashion. Also note it is pretty light, at just over a pound.  Check out its price and do some market research to assure whatever you come up will satisfy the consumer's value quotient.

Ed

12:10 p.m. on October 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Years ago (abt 1989-90), I was given a ski fanny pack that has a fold-out section with pockets to go over your ski tips, skis stuck upright in the snow as skiers often do when taking a break. The seat is reasonably comfortable. The fanny pack is, as all fanny packs are, ok for day trips, but limited for anything longer. The other limitation is that you have to have snow that is deep enough and firm enough to stick the skis upright. Big advantage over your design is that it only needs the two skis, not something interlocking and complex like your photo. 

In summer, just sit on a rock or log. Or, on approaches to snow and ice climbs, stick the ice ax in the ground and sit on the pick end - the ice ax is T-shaped after all, and has been used this way for more than a century. On an expedition with a big pack, just sit on the pack. That way, your additonal weight penalty is zero.

I sometimes carry my Thermarester sleeve (mentioned by others already), but only for long expeditions where we are likely to be sitting in the cook tent during long storms, but only rarely my Crazy Creek.

Maybe iClimb's father-in-law would waste time and energy laughing at your contraption, but this OGBO just rolls his 40+++yo eyes and mumbles "seen that one decades ago, why bother?" YAIFSI (= "Yet Another Invention For the Sake of Inventing")

7:29 p.m. on October 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Oh my, It seems that the chair idea might be a dead end.. But most of us drink coffee in the morning. And we all bring some sort of coffee maker with us. Gee, I would love to have a coffee press that would fit on to a common 6.5 inch pot. Just unscrewing the handle on the lid and adding the screen press. Light weight with out adding another pot to the pack.

BTW This is now copy wrighted. LOL

10:03 p.m. on October 21, 2010 (EDT)
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To be honest, I agree with you- personally I've never taken a chair with me hiking. But we were given the assignment to invent something (so yeah, it is kinda invention for the sake of invention... but that's engineering school for you) and I thought "hell, there must be a reason why nobody really carries these chairs". And there is. Weight.

The sling light may be "relatively" light, but who really wants to carry 18oz extra? Bill S has the right idea- many people just use things that are already in their pack. 

We're working on making it fairly simple and have it add very little weight to your pack (we're hoping to beat the 6oz of the thermarest sleeve and stays). Its definitely still a work in progress though.

I am worried about the height of the design, but trying to get more height out of hiking poles while still offering back support is near impossible. The fulcrum point is another issue we're dealing with. Basically, we still have a lot of work to do and we only have until thanksgiving to do it. 

On another note, check this out mike. You may not make millions now, but hey, at least there's gonna be ultralight french press coffee for your next trip! 

4:20 p.m. on November 4, 2010 (EDT)
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hey stick with it Tabasco. It is after all, a school assignment, and you never know what could become of it. Lots of people prefer some kind of comfort when backcountry camping or hiking. I think if most people have the choice, they'd prefer comfort over discomfort. This idea seems to me like one that could end up being more comfortable than sitting only on the ground, or on a lumpy pack.

10:38 p.m. on November 19, 2010 (EST)
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Hey everybody,

We finally got a prototype done. You can see the pics here

We got the pack cover/seat to about 4.8 oz and the poles to be around 12 oz (this is about 2.3 oz heavier for the poles compared to stock BD poles)

For part of our project we're trying to assess "cost" of the product. How much would you pay for this product if you were to buy it? 

Any other comments/questions would be great.

Thanks for all the help!

11:32 p.m. on November 19, 2010 (EST)
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Sling Lites @ 18oz go for about $90, that’s your high end.  Crazy Creek Cradle Lounger is a Sling Lite clone for about $35. Many consider these two products the most comfortable BC chairs.  The Kiafu chair looks similar to the Sling Lite on first blush, and much lighter too@ 9oz.  Alas you are sitting right on the deck thus it is hard to get up form this reclining roost.  The Big Agness Cyclone UL chair and its thermarest cousin are plenty lite and mid priced in the $40 range, but again I prefer to sit elevated above the ground. The Monarch Butterfly sells at $60, but you can’t veg in this chair because it balances on only two points.  There are various tripod stools and scissor folding stools in the $10 - $20 range, but they provide no back rest.  And then there is the old blue foam pad velcroed to a bear canister – lightest of all for only a buck or two.  If I had to comment on the design, it would be to provide a head rest and make the chair back so it doesn't poke into the sholder region.

Your design is kind of a mix between the short backrest of the cyclone, and the recliner posture of the Sling Lite.  I think I would miss being able to rest my head in your design; it doesn’t take long for neck fatigue to set in while reclining with your head unsupported.  You can’t compete price wise with the tripod and folding chairs, due to design costs.  On the other hand the comfort factor looks to be similar to the cyclone, but well short of the Sling Lite.  Thus your price point probably can’t exceed that of the Cradle Lounger.

Ed

July 28, 2014
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