New SMD Packs...

1:19 p.m. on April 22, 2014 (EDT)
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1:43 p.m. on April 22, 2014 (EDT)
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Really like the design.  Belt looks robust and the suspension solid but still in a lightweight package.

2:43 p.m. on April 22, 2014 (EDT)
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Looks interesting thanks for the alert....

I watched the video on the Fusion 50 and still cannot really tell what the suspension system is. Plastic frame, aluminum stay, carbon rods....?

They claim that you don't have to worry about pack weight and this pack will comfortably carry whatever you can fit in it; I'm dubious about that claim but have an open mind.

The shoulder straps look thinner than what I prefer and it looks like there is not much padding on the back panel but maybe that is part of the "minimal contact-no sweat" design philosophy?

It's very hard to tell without getting to examine it in person but this is intriguing.

 

 

 

2:49 p.m. on April 22, 2014 (EDT)
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I think it's great to see Brian Frankle designing again. (Mr. Frankle is the founder of ULA packs.)

There are video links in there that have Mr. Frankle explaining each pack's design first-hand; things are clarified.

The page for the Flight 40 shows the suspension pretty clearly, if from the outside. It's important to remember there are two hip-belts available. I believe all the suspensions use a Delron hoop for a frame, probably tensioned into place (a tight pocket) with a velcro strap and/or webbing & buckles.

4:28 p.m. on April 22, 2014 (EDT)
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Ah ok, thanks Vince, of course that is the one I didn't click on.

I didn't associate the name but I kept thinking wow these look a lot like ULA packs.

 

I would like to test one...(uh Trailspace...are you reading this? ...:)

1:58 a.m. on April 23, 2014 (EDT)
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Looks promising, but my god those packs are ugly. lol

10:11 a.m. on April 24, 2014 (EDT)
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Very interesting. Thanks for sharing pillowthread! I'm particularly interested by the shoulder strap thickness, and what looks to be a very "active" and very light suspension.

2:27 p.m. on April 24, 2014 (EDT)
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My colleague (course director for our scout leaders High Adventure Training course) has multiple UL packs including a couple of Six Moon Designs. He likes them a lot, but does say that despite the claims, 30 pounds is pushing it. He also claims his base weight is under 10 pounds, and that somehow (he didn't explain) he and his sons are going to traverse the Gates of the Arctic from the old haul road to a small village on the west side unsupported (they plan on a lot of fishing) using those packs. Considering he has done the JMT in a week, I suspect he can do it. I have hoisted his pack on one backpack, and indeed it was super light.


You should be aware that SMD, like all the other UL companies, is a small, custom shop. They do not carry stock. Look at the notice - 4+ weeks is a typical delivery time, since they make the gear to your order. You can't buy that stuff in REI or EMS.

3:55 p.m. on April 24, 2014 (EDT)
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As mentioned, Brian Frankle has designed these packs with a suspension spine / stay.  Previous 6 Moon designs were frameless or had a minimal hoop type frame that flexed significantly around the 30 lb mark.

To add, 6 Moons manufacture most if not all of its products in China now which permits larger manufacturing runs.  The reason that the new packs are not in stock is because they first sold as a pre-order with the packs now just landing in peoples hands.  The older versions of packs are discontinued and for several months 6 Moons had no packs to sell.

4:05 p.m. on April 24, 2014 (EDT)
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Do any of the videos pull apart the suspension system and stay?  I'd like to see that in more detail.

4:56 p.m. on April 24, 2014 (EDT)
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To me it looks like the two different series use different suspensions. The Fusion is an linear stay only reffered to as a "spine" in the Fusion 50 video; the Flight series is a Delron hoop (I think that is a brand of steel).

11:13 p.m. on April 24, 2014 (EDT)
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I think you're correct, Patman...By the way, Mr. Moak narrates a couple of the videos as well, in case anyone wanted to see the man himself...

12:58 a.m. on April 25, 2014 (EDT)
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The Flight series also has a vest type shoulder harness. These packs are intended for trail running. The Fusion is intended to be used for backpacking.

7:58 a.m. on April 26, 2014 (EDT)
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Looks interesting...expect my review of the Ti Arc Vargo in the next week or two. Best pack I've ever used.

July 30, 2014
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