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Sneak peak: Ultimate Direction Scram || Anton Krupicka scramble pack

The Ultimate Direction Scram is a 20-liter scrambling-inspired daypack that will be available in Spring 2019.

After a Sierra Designs meeting this morning (re updates to the High Route Tent for 2019), I swung through the Ultimate Direction area to ask about the new pack they are designing with the ridiculously fit but chronically injured Anton Krupicka. None of the Exxel Outdoors brands — notably SD, UD, Kelty, and Slumberjack — had booths at the recent Outdoor Retailer, so I didn’t get a chance to see it there.

The Ultimate Direction Scram will be available in Spring 2019 and retail for $135. The prototypes look pretty good already and it seems like the launch could be bumped up, but spring 2019 sounded firm. Key specs:

  • 20 liters
  • 16 oz total weight
  • Two sizes: S/M and M/L
  • Black with gray accent color
  • 70d nylon main pack body fabric, with 200d x 120d bottom
  • 1 exterior pocket, on the top lid flap

The Scram goes head-to-head against the Black Diamond Blitz 20. UD offers shoulder strap pockets, a compression-molded back panel, a ski carrying system, and a rear cinch cord for compression and utility. But the Blitz is $55 less and is made of more durable fabric.

The firm back panel is made of compression-molded foam.

Harness

The Scram does not retain the “vest” design from Anton’s other pack, the Ultimate Direction AK Mountain Vest. Instead, it looks like a more traditional “stuff sack with shoulder straps,” although it’s more sophisticated than that.

The back panel is made of firm compression-molded foam, which will help to blunt the pressure of hard-sided contents packed inside (e.g. a climbing rack).

The shoulder straps are wide and padded, and there is a pocket on both. One is designed for a water bottle, and the other can be zipped shut.

The hip belt appears to be 30-mm webbing, and it’s fully removable.

The wide, padded shoulder straps both have pockets.

Fabrics

The pack bottom is made with a more durable unbranded 200d x 120d nylon that has a “a crazy tear strength.”

The main pack body is made of a lightweight 70d nylon. For a pack designed for playing in rocky environments, I fear this is “stupid light.” Presumably Anton is using the pack regularly and will find weaknesses in it, but at least intuitively I would prefer that the pack be made entirely of something heavier, like the bottom fabric. On a 20-liter pack, this fabric substitution would probably add only a half-ounce. To their credit, UD has protected some of the 70d fabric with printed graphics, which essentially acts like a coating.

The pack body is made of 70d nylon; the bottom, out of more durable 210d.

Trims

Two ice axes can be attached to the Scram. The upper shaft is held in place with a conventional Velcro loop. The lower attachment point is more unique: it’s a magnetic closure that opens easily when pinched, but otherwise is very secure. The ice axes can be accessed without taking the pack off.

The Scram can carry a pair of lightweight skis, using an attachment system similar to that on the Ultimate Direction SkiMo 8 Pack.

A bungee cord on the rear of the pack double as compression and utility.

Finally, the removable top lid strap has two possible anchor points: at the top of the shoulder straps, for normal loads; and at the lower lip of the top strap, for when the lid can’t wrap around an oversized load or climbing rope.

Questions about the Ultimate Direction Scram? Leave a comment. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll get it from UD.


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2 Responses to Sneak peak: Ultimate Direction Scram || Anton Krupicka scramble pack

  1. John February 6, 2018 at 7:59 am #

    Curious Andrew. I’m getting in bike packing and like the concept of the High Route Tent. Are the changes to the tent worth waiting for. Thanks

    • Andrew Skurka February 6, 2018 at 8:37 am #

      First, can you wait until 2019?

      Second, what changes would be worth waiting for, for you? The primary goal is to make it lighter, which means making it smaller (the fly and inner) and either removing or scaling down extraneous build (e.g. hardware and guylines, peak awning vents, etc.). I don’t know that much about bikepacking, but I think larger is better if you like to get your bike under your shelter at night. The HR 2.0 will be big enough for one and a dog, but not two like it is now.

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