A few changes have been made to this next round of production. I’ve mentioned these changes in several places, but figured I would dedicate an entire post to it.
What’s not changing
The changes are best described as “tweaks.” We are happy with the product as-is, and we have not even begun to discuss a second-generation. (A much higher priority is a smaller version.)
So nearly everything will stay the same: colors, fabrics, body shape, pockets, stay shape and material, and of course the unique expanding gusset.
The most noteworthy change is that we have consolidated sizes, to two from three. The new sizes will still fit most backpackers, but by eliminating the SKU count by one-third the production becomes more economical and we can keep its retail price at just $200.
Currently, the Flex Capacitor is available in Small, Medium, and Large. Each size fits a 3-inch range: 16-18 inches, 18-20 inches, and 20-22 inches, respectively.
The new sizes will be Small/Medium and Medium/Large. The range is still 3 inches, but they will now fit 17-19 inches and 19-21 inches, respectively.
My apologies to those with much shorter-than-average or longer-than-average torsos. If the Flex continues to be a success, maybe we will add back a third size, or maybe even a fourth. In the meantime, Sierra Designs still has some inventory of the S, M, and L sizes.
Included with the shipment of new packs will be extra hipbelts, so that we can properly fit customers with atypical proportions, e.g. someone with a very long torso but a skinny waist.
To this point, we have not been able to offer this customization. Now, additional hip belt sizes will be available on our website. We will have four:
- XS/Small: 25-37 inches
- Small/Medium: 28-40 inches
- Medium/Large: 31-43 inches
- Large/XL: 34-46 inches
The hipbelt will now consist of several bonded EVA foams (hard and soft), to better balance load-carrying performance and body comfort. The main piece has also been cored, so that there is a deeper “pocket” for the hip. The current hipbelt is made of single layer of foam. The overall thickness is about the same.
A strip of 420d Oxford was added to the bottom of the hipbelt for improved abrasion-resistance.
Finally, the hipbelt buckle has a two-point anchor, which should allow the user to get a better fit and better distribute pressure on their hips.
Want one of these new hipbelts?
If you’re happy with the current hipbelt, you should stick with it. The new hipbelt will not necessarily be an “improvement” for you.
But if the current hipbelt is missing the mark, check the SD website in March once the additional size are offered.