Imlay Pack Line 2016 – Changes by Model – The Suave Siblings

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The big news is, there are now four Big Boyz, or should I say Suave Siblings.

Heaps and Shinumo

The Heaps and Shinumo are the male and female big Kahunas of our pack line. The Heaps has always been intended as about the biggest pack most people can actually canyoneer in… though the Grand Canyon has moved the bar on that issue. Changes for 2016 have an eye on Grand Canyoneering:

  1. Reduced in Weight: by replacing heavy mesh with light mesh (12 oz and 6 oz respectively), we cut 14 ounces out of the Heaps. Boom! I have never seen the mesh on the inside even look worn, so I do not think this effect longevity.
  2. The pleated outside pockets got bigger and more usable. I redesigned the bottom of the pockets so they would 3-D a little more, yet be more durable. I moved the bottom of the pockets down = less vinyl. And the tops up.
  3. The Lid grew by 20%. On those GC backpack trip, I always max out the lid – so this will give more room in the pocket AND more coverage of the top opening.

The Suspension on the Heaps has been adjusted to be more unisex.  The 2015 version was good for men, not so good for women. The shoulder straps are narrower, curvier and a tad shorter to fit women and small men better, and a tad closer together. The hipbelt is slightly slimmer.

The new Shinumo Pack is a Heaps re-engineered to fit women. I cut the back length / frame length down by 2″ (which matches the Kolob), but expanded the body out a bit to compensate for the lost volume… and added a bit more. The Shinumo is actually perhaps a liter larger than the Heaps, and the space is less narrow, so easier to pack, and easier to get weight lower in the pack. The hipbelt is shorter and curvier to fit many women, especially smaller women, better.

Kolob and Shenanigans

Note: The Shenanigans would not be a good pack to bring through the North Wash canyon Shenanigans.

The Kolob and Shenanigans are the male and female workhorse packs of our line. This has been our most popular pack because it is good for doing it all… well, at least until the canyons get small. Not good for that. The K and S are big enough to carry a canyon-leader’s load on all but overnight canyons. And carry it reasonably well, since it has a rigid Pole-Light frame.

Changes for 2016 focused on a bit of dialing in, including:

  1. Reduction in weight: we removed excess weight, and excised 11 ounces.
  2. The pleated outside (helmet) pocket got a bit bigger and more usable. And it drains better.
  3. The lid grew by 10% – more space in the lid, and better coverage of the top opening.
  4. The mesh on the top opening is now 12 oz mesh, for greater durability.
  5. The back panel is now 420 packcloth, rather than Cordura. Friends noted that the packcloth is much more comfortable when wet. I have not seen packs have wear problems on the back panel, so this seems like a good change. (Thanks Amanda).

The suspension on the Kolob has been changed just like the Heaps pack above – narrower, curvier shoulder straps to fit women and small men better.

The new Shenanigans pack is a Kolob adjusted to fit women better. The body of the pack is exactly the same, just the suspension has been changed, along similar lines to the Shinumo’s. I tried to place the shoulder straps 1-1/2″ lower, but the factory missed the change, and they are only 1/2″ lower than the Shinumo.

All Four Packs

On all four packs, the hipbelt is more easily changed out. Different sizes (and shapes) of hipbelts will be available so everyone can get a hipbelt that fits. Available through CanyoneeringUSA.com. Color match will be OK, but not exact.

Small detail changes:

  1. Hipbelts now have belt loops to hold the strap tails away from the center.
  2. The bottom edge of the hipbelts are reinforced with Cordura.
  3. D-Rings on the shoulder straps make adjusting the sternum strap easier, and provide a convenient place to put the ropebag stuffing carabiner.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with these refinements to the mainstays of my pack line. I hope you will be too.

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About tjones

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 Jan 18th, 2016 Packs

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