I tuned up the design of the Heaps pack for the upcoming season, and wanted to show them off – so here you go! Most of my focus was on making the Heaps better for Grand Canyoneering trips, while not compromising its function for big technical canyons like… Heaps!
2016 Heaps Pack in Envious Green
A lot of the changes are invisible. The pack is easier to make and more consistent with the Kolob pack as it runs through the factory floor. I took a bit of superfluous stuff out, and as consequence the weight has been reduced from 4 lbs 10 oz down to 3 lbs 12 oz, almost a full pound! A nice thing about having a couple years’ experience with the pack, and having it in the ZAC rental program – a bunch of reinforcements I originally thought were necessary have proven to not be helpful, and have been deleted.
I added reinforcement to the place that wears out first on the packs, the bottom edge of the hipbelt. After testing for a year on my personal pack, I am well satisfied that this additional strip of Cordura helps it last a LOT longer yet does not affect comfort, even in summer conditions.
Also added to the hipbelt: belt loops to hold the long straps off to the side, away from the rappel device. I changed the wing-strap buckle to a clip-type buckle, so the strap could be used to hold things, and so the hipbelt could be changed out more easily. I re-shaped the shoulder straps so they fit women better, and added DRings to the sternum strap for hanging your rope-gobbling carabiner, which also make the sternum strap position easy to adjust.
To tease more usable volume out of the same chassis, I made the pleated outside pockets taller and redesigned the pocket bottom seams so they can be more three-dimensional. The vinyl piece at the bottom of the sides is an inch shorter to give the side pockets more real estate to work with, AND all three pockets extend upwards a little further. I did not officially change the claimed volume because… well, I did not want to change the embroidery until it was too late.
The lids for the three lidded packs (Heaps, Kolob, Spry) are now different sizes – 500 cu in, 450 cu in, and 400 cubic inches (the size of the old lid), respectively. While it may not seem like a lot, it sure seems to help on those mega-backpacking trips. The new lids also cover the top of the pack better, especially when overstuffed.
Colors for the upcoming year are Great Pumpkin Orange and Envious Green, with the Grey packcloth in places and the Silver webbing and buckles, most places. The lid straps and buckles are black, so they will be easier to keep separate.
The shipment is due into our shop on January 29, 2016. Now taking pre-orders at CanyoneeringUSA.com.
There will be a women’s version of the Heaps pack called the Shinumo – but that is a different post for another night.
Tom is the progenitor of Tom's Utah Canyoneering Guide, Utah's premier canyoneering information resource, and Imlay Canyon Gear, America's #1 maker of canyoneering-specific gear. If he's not canyoneering, he's probably snuggled up with a good book.
Posted on Nov 27th, 2015