Brice, from Vaucluse Backpack Ventilation Gear here, and I am sharing with you three incredible features of this lightweight frame. I'm also giving you an overall production update so our customers know when to expect this product to be shipped to their door.
Let's dive in.
The first feature that I want to highlight is how light this frame is. Let me turn on Camera Number Two and show you how much this frame weighs. I have my scale (which I'm going to zero), I'm putting the frame on the scale and, as you can see, this frame weighs approximately 3.4 - 3.5 ounces or nearly a fifth of a pound.
Overview of Backpack Ventilation Frame Features
The frame weights less than 100 grams. You're not going to find a frame this lightweight anywhere. I'm going to show you two examples of frames that are available to purchase. The first is this very nice Gregory Zulu 40, which I believe is 38 liters, and has a curved frame. It's fantastic for heavy weights, and that's why it has this frame. I think it's made out of steel. It has two steel rods to keep the curvature and has mesh and foam. It's a fantastic backpack. However, the frame itself weighs around three pounds, with the backpack itself also weighing about three pounds. So you're starting with six pounds predominantly to get your ventilation; that’s what this backpack is designed to do. So that's one example right there.
Let me get another backpack. This is a Deuter Speed Lite 32 liter. I like this backpack. I like it with the frame attached, which, if you'll notice, is a “flimsy” frame, but again, nothing, nothing wrong with that. I'm a big fan of Deuter, it uses mesh and foam to create this fancy pattern, and there's a bit of a curve. But when you wear the backpack and (obviously) you’re going to fill it up with stuff, this is going to collapse right on your back, and you're not going to get any airflow.
What you will find (I've done other videos, I'll provide the link) is that I've taken this out on the trails – with my framing and without – and tested the airflow with the temperature and humidity of my back, wearing this backpack. There's a tremendous difference between wearing the ultralight backpack frame from Vaucluse and not wearing it. It's night and day. So this backpack is a fantastic backpack, but the frame’s air flow doesn't work. But with the Vaucluse frame? It’s an incredible feature.
Feature number two about this frame is that it is universal. This has been designed to attach – within seconds – to your favorite backpack. And I have another example: This is an Osprey Daylite. This is a day pack, but the Vaucluse frame, which I will leave right here, easily attaches. You have these straps right here, and those loop around the straps quite quickly.
If I go on Camera Number Two, I'll show you what that looks like. Right here, all it does is loop around, and you have three ‘levels,’ Low, Medium, and High. Depending on how you want it to sit on your back, you easily loop it here around the strap and then clip it. This is the design in our Generation 2 that you're seeing right here. This is designed so it won't pop out (you have to yank at it to remove it). And… this frame has been designed not only to attach quickly to your backpack but to disconnect from your backpack quickly. So if you want to switch bckpacks you can, but also, on the trail, you can take it off and sit on this as a lovely seat cushion. So if you want just to sit and not be on cold and possibly wet ground, you can do this. You can also use it as a pillow, with a shirt wrapped around it. So there you go: It's a frame, it's a seat cushion, and it's a pillow. So it’s multifunctional, and that's a great feature as well.
The third feature that I want to highlight is the airflow gap. It will be consistent while you hike because it is designed not to squish and condense like other backpack frames. Many backpack frames have a curve or a curved element to them. Take, for example, this Deuter backpack again. It has somewhat of a curve, but when you wear it because it is pretty “flimsy,” that curve disappears. The other example is this Gregory, which has a curve, but when you're wearing it, again, it condenses on your back, and what you're left with is a very small gap in the middle. Then what happens is… as that hot air tries to rise (because that's what hot air will do), there's no space because your back is on it. So there's no natural way for air to dissipate on these backpacks.
The Vaucluse frame provides a lot more space (around three-quarters of an inch more) between you and your backpack. Now you might be thinking, isn’t that going to change my center of gravity? So, if you're an enthusiast in the sense that you want that backpack next to you at all times because maybe you’re mountaineering, you might need to make sure that center of gravity is as close as possible. We will eventually get this to where the gap can be even smaller. But what we have found (for the majority of people), three-quarters of an inch (0.75”) works. There’s give and take when moving the center of gravity a little bit.
But we're sacrificing that center of gravity for some significant airflow, which will not go anywhere because the frame is designed (if I show you on Camera Number Two) not to squish on you. It's flexible enough and even more flexible (I will get into that in a second). Meanwhile, this is going to be very flexible, and it’s going to move with your back. It's not rigid like metal, and it's not mesh, so it will just squish right on your back. It's going to flex with you, and it's going to keep that airflow. And that is a fantastic feature.
Production Updates - Backpack Ventilation Frame
I've been speaking with my team, and there are two things we're finishing up that are taking a little bit longer than we anticipated. Nonetheless, we will ensure it gets done right because when you're out on the trails, you will want gear that works perfectly (and so do we). And so… what we're doing is showing on Camera Number Two what some feedback has been. We just want to make sure that when you clip this in – and these are clips right here – around your strap, this isn't going anywhere unless you want it to, and then you can yank it right out, right now. The male/female connectors, if you want to call it, haven’t been tight enough, so we’ve got a little bit of tweaking to do. As I explained in the earlier video, when you change one element in the production cycle, everything changes. So this is still a work in progress, but we are moving forward!
The second update concerns the airflow spacer connector, which you can see right here. We've just got to make sure that, when the spacer snaps into that hole right there, same thing, when it snaps, it's not going anywhere unless you want it to go somewhere. You can pop it out, and that is another feature. You can pop this out and (I’m going to turn the camera off now) make this pretty much flat or flatter, and just store it wherever you want, or store it in your backpack. So if you don't really “need” it but want to take it on the trail with you, you can close this and put it in your backpack. We're still ensuring the airflow spaces are secure so nothing pops out while you're hiking. However, when you want to pop them out, you can tug at them, and they pop right out.
So that's the overall update on the frame. We're very excited to introduce it because this is a real game-changer. And next time, I'll dive deeper into the ergonomics of this frame and how it's going to feel good on your back.
That's it for me. See you on the trails, and here’s to sweating less.