The Outside Blog

Science : Bags

Patagonia Proves Responsible Business Can Be Profitable Business

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In fall 2013, Patagonia will celebrate its 40th anniversary, proving once and for all that responsible business can also be profitable business. In the words of Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, "only those businesses dancing on the fringe are going to be here 100 years from now."

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Brand New Bags for Summer and Fall

The Outdoor Retailer show is just around the corner. And new product announcements are rolling in fast. Here's a quick look at some of the most promising bags we'll see in outdoor stores this summer and fall.

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BOREAS BOOTLEGGER: This 3-in-1 adventure bag, the "Russian Dolls" of day packs, is designed to be used as a single unit, or in any one of three separate configurations, depending on what kind of excursion you’re on. Boreas calls the outer bag the Scrimshaw Dry Bag. This 11oz, 30-liter bag is made from rough and tough triple ripstop nylon with an extra heavy duty bottom. It’s fully taped to keep your gear from getting wet even when submersed, and its big enough to fit the Hopper Day Pack if you need your day bag to be fully waterproof.

The 28-liter ripstop nylon Hopper also has a burly reinforced bottom, as well as two-way stretch front panel pockets. And, inside it’s an organized commuter day pack.

The third part of the system is Boreas' 13-liter Torpedo Hydration Bag. This minimalist biking or hiking hydration pack has stretch front panel pockets (Boreas’ signature detail). And it fits inside the daypack. Having a hard time picturing it? Here's a visual aid:

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Mammut Introduces New Protective Airbag Packs at Outdoor Retailer

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Airbags are a hot topic in the snowsports industry, and Mammut is introducing an evolution of its Snowpulse system at next week’s Outdoor Retailer Show that it’s calling a new category in the airbag market—protective airbags.

The new Snowpulse PAS (protective airbag system) airbags offer trauma protection not currently available from other airbags. In forested and rocky terrain, which means most places in North America, many skiers die from trauma during a slide, not suffocation from being buried. Mechanical trauma causes approximately 15 to 32 percent of avalanche deaths depending on location and which study you’re referencing. Because of its extended neck wrapping bag, an avy victim wearing one of Mammut’s Snowpulse PAS packs has additional chest, neck, and head protection from impacts, better neck stabilization in a slide, and a greater chance of coming to rest with his head on top of the snow when a slide has finally settled.

In the PAS bags, the main airbag volume is in front of and above your head. That means when you come to rest in an avalanche wearing this pack, your head and face will typically be on top of the avalanche with your body in a sitting position, back downslope.

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Platypus Introduces Streamlined Hydration Packs

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Hydration packs aren’t always the most exciting subject. They have a reservoir to hold your drink, they stash your tools and food and your gear. They often have straps that, sure, can draw your load in toward your body, but they sometimes flap and snap and sting when you’re maching downhill.

Platypus’ new cross-country cycling hydration packs are a different breed. Ultralight storage for minimalist MTB rides, these sport-specific packs have superior ventilation, fit, and good gear organization. And they’re cleaner than other packs—bullet shaped with nothing to flap or snap.

PLATYPUS TOKUL X.C. 3.0 is the smallest and most minimalist pack in the line, just the ticket for riders who’d rather not carry a pack. If all you need is hydration, fuel, and tools for basic trail-side triage, this is the bag for you. It comes with one liter of gear storage, a liter reservoir, an external tool pocket, and an internal pump sleeve. Available in five-liter and eight-liter versions, January 2013, $70-$90.

If ultralight XC isn’t your gig, not to worry. The XC packs are just one piece of Platypus’ new hydration pack line, which also include all-mountain, biking, and hiking packs.

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Mile High Mountaineering Salute: A Perfect Pack for Climbers

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Senior year at the University of Colorado, Boulder was a big one for Jeff Popp. That was the year when, as captain of the U.C. snowboard team, he was honored as a first-team All-American. It was also the year that he decided to avoid the “white collar path” and start an outdoor company. Popp graduated from Boulder and singled out backpacks as the category that could most benefit from a makeover. And, just like that, Mile High Mountaineering (MHM) was born.

The company offers a small but solid line of packs sized and purposed for everything from urban commuting to multi-day trekking. For the past few months we’ve been putting MHM’s 34-liter Salute Pack—the flagship of their line—through rigorous field tests. We hauled it up multipitch sport climbs in Spain, stuffed it full of quickdraws and climbing shoes for a weeklong trip in France, and wore it on a 25k hut traverse in the German Alps.

The standout feature of the Salute is its unique S-shaped zipper, which winds around the top compartment and down the packs’ body. This made for lightning-fast access to everything we took with us, from energy bars at the top to our last-resort rain shell stuffed in the bottom.

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