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Dane

Cilo or Wildthings..Graham... anyone?

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As much as I hate 'em I've decided I need a bigger climbing sack again for a winter project. Carrying bulk mostly not weight.

 

I have two choices as I want something now and don't *think* I want to wait on another custom CCW pack. Options are Cilo and Wildthings, likely Dyneema (gulp on that price point!) 'cuz I am rough on gear.

 

I have a 21" back and I'm not a skinny ass kid so the shoulder straps have to fit my shoulders. I have used and like (for the most part) the Andinista a lot. Tried several Cilo packs in retail stores but with no customer service (past "they are a work in progress") or salesman knowledge, hard to figure anything out past put it on...figure out the size (maybe) and get more befuddled.

 

So I am looking at an Andinista again...but want it stripped of all the new straps and rigged for a set of Nomics or the like. I know they fit already. Have to see if Titoune has the time or inclination to make a stripped one for me. But I doubt it.

 

Icesac with a bullet pocket might even do. Much of what I want Graham already has wired....but unsure on fit which is critical obviously and the difference in price can be the same or $150 more comparing similar sacks.

 

So WTs and Cilo guys tell me what you know, not what you think you know, about the fit of either companies products for you. It is a lot of money so I'd like to do this just once more :)

 

Feel free to jump in here Graham and sell me a pack, just tell me why I'll feel the Cilo love!

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Dane-

 

I used the 45L worksac in AK last spring and loved it!! Great fit I am 5' 10" and 175lbs... I bought the Medium size. It has everything you need and nothing you don't. I was surprised how comfortable it carried when fully loaded or trimmed down for the route. I would not hesitate to buy the Cilo Gear pack. I loved my 45L so much that I bought the 30L this year and have used it climbing for about 14 days and I think its my new favorite pack. Again Cilo Gear has treated me very well and helped me out with some small custom things, I have been super stoked on their customer service. I owned an older version Andanista and I was not impressed at all with the fit of the pack and sold it after two outings.....

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looks like I posted that under my wife's login.....

 

Yeah but you seem much kinder and nicer posting as Elise. :grin:

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While for other reasons I went with another pack, the Cilo was a very comfortable carrying pack. You might ask at Feathered Friends if they have a demo in the back you could rent to try one out.

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I have two choices as I want something now and don't *think* I want to wait on another custom CCW pack. Options are Cilo and Wildthings, likely Dyneema (gulp on that price point!) 'cuz I am rough on gear.

...

So I am looking at an Andinista again...but want it stripped of all the new straps and rigged for a set of Nomics or the like. I know they fit already. Have to see if Titoune has the time or inclination to make a stripped one for me. But I doubt it.

...

Feel free to jump in here Graham and sell me a pack, just tell me why I'll feel the Cilo love!

 

As most of you know, I am the aforementioned Graham, and I own CiloGear. I am more than willing to offer my thoughts, but I hesitate for the hard sell, especially online where miscommunication is so easy -- Dane or anybody else, please feel free to call us at 503-305-3858 for the hard sell.

 

Dane bought a V2 30L pack from us when we were still making packs in Turkey. It didn't work for him due to his torso length and some quality control concerns. That transaction was one of the final straws that drove me to make the command decision and then the massive investment of time and money to move our production in house on premises. I took the time to write this ridiculously long response because of this history with Dane, his excellent involvement in our little community, and because I feel that we are doing incredible work. Yesterday was CiloGear's fifth birthday (yay!) in terms of sales, and in the 15 months that we've been in our current office, we have come to consistently make excellent packs quickly. I'm very proud of what we've achieved, and I am confident that anybody who has seen or used a pack we've made in the past six months will agree that CiloGear packs are very well constructed. The one construction aspect I want to improve is to have a bartack instead of an overlap stitch on the shoulder straps, but I don't have the $8k for the necessary bartack machine.

 

First off, at the Feathered Friends Rep Dayz event I used the phrase "work in progress" casually when I shouldn't have spoken so lightly. Basically, I meant that we are constantly looking to improve the product. I really believe that we are making the best alpine climbing packs in the world right now. Making them here in Portland means that we inspect every single pack as it comes off the line and goes out the door. We discuss how to improve our production system in a Kaizen event pretty much every week, but the discussion on how to sew them faster or better is pretty much done. In my mind, when I said "work in progress" I was actually quoting Taiichi Ohno, the developer of the Toyota Production System, which we base our current manufacturing system on. Unfortunately, it is a prime example of saying the right idea the wrong way.

 

As Dane knows and everybody else should know, I've got total respect for Randy's stuff. I think he should improve his ice tool attachment system. Some of his idiosyncratic design choices don't work for me very well, but I'm also sure that some of CiloGear's idiosyncratic design choices don't work for everybody. Heck, I'm even thinking of offering a variant of the 60 and the 45 with two fixed straps in addition to all the Dee-Clip stuff.

 

Titoune no longer owns Wild Things. The owners of Wild Things, The Walnut Group and the Consumer Growth Partners, say that they are focused on transforming the company "into an elite consumer brand over the next five years." In english, that means "stop making loss leading crap for climbers." I'm sure that Titoune as manager will still do what she can to serve her original customers and will try to grow the company well, but I think she's probably between a rock and a hard place in managing everybody's expectations.

 

Now onto actual pack stuff...

 

I'm going to outline as briefly as I can manage why I am confident that CiloGear's packs are far superior to any other alpine climbing pack for the vast majority of climbers. I will add some details specifically about our Dyneema fiber materials.

 

0. Obviously the below is my opinion. I own this company and I believe in our product very strongly. I also know there is no one solution for everybody. Ultimately, in our game of climbing, a pack is a pack. It's what YOU do with it that counts.

 

1. CiloGear packs carry better than our competitors packs. Our radical wedge design works better for carrying heavy loads over rough approaches and works better when climbing with a bulky but relatively light load.

 

2. CiloGear packs are significantly more versatile. Our Dee Clip system doesn't take much to learn how to use, and once you've spent the time to learn it, you'll be able to do more with less. It's not for everybody. Then again, neither is driving a car which is a lot harder than putting a strap on a pack. Many people report that CiloGear packs carry extremely well just using the internal compression strap without any straps at all on the outside.

 

3. CiloGear blends materials of many different weights and of soft and harder hands (ie flexibility). This makes better load transfer, better durability and a better pack. We use a material called VX21 on a lot of our packs. It's a laminate of 210d Cordura. There is nfw that it belongs on the bottom of a pack that is going to be used climbing. And yet many of our competitors use it for just that purpose pretending that because it's laminated it's stronger across the board. That's marketing bullsh*t. It is significantly more rigid and does a fantastic job transferring a load, but VX21 has a tear strength that maxes out at 28 pounds versus 50 odd pounds for the VX42 on the bottom of the 30/45 WorkSack or 66 pounds on VX51 found on the 40s/60s/75s . Plus, because it's more rigid, the material is prone to getting caught on rocks and abraded. This is just one concrete example of how using different materials results in a significantly more robust pack.

 

4. CiloGear packs are really light. If you compare apples to apples, our packs are lighter than any of our competitors. For instance, I have never gotten decent load transfer out of a dinky hollow Y tube of aluminum with a climbing load. I find that the foam we use outperforms such fake frames -- your mileage may vary, but it's something to consider in making comparisons. Our framesheet is a heavy, dumb, 100% recycled HDPE sheet with a huge heavy bar of Oregon made Aluminum because I haven't found anything within $15 of our cost that outperforms and outlasts this old technology. Our pads are made from the stiffest, most resilient foam available. The packs come with enough straps to use extras tying up your laundry, keeping your shower head attached to the wall, or anything else you might try out. Most packs come with two compression straps per side, but in the bigger packs you could put 5 straps on each side of a CiloGear. If you're comparing the weights, I'd request that you think about that...

 

5. CiloGear packs carry modern ice tools and would carry historical examples from Dane's collection better than any other pack on the market. Loops suck with tools with pinky rests. We separate the flap from the buckle, give you enough to double the strap around the tool shaft if desired, and have enough of a daisy to move the upper retention strap up or down to fit your tool. For a mountaineering axe, you could always put a retention loop on one of the other loops on the pack. In the words of John Race in his 5 Star Alpinist Mountain Standard Award giving review : I "appreciated the security and simplicity of the ice ax attachments." In the words of one of the many AMGA instructor pool folks using the pack: "The tool attachments made it easy to store and access tools -- even access them while I was wearing the pack."

 

Onto Dyneema / Spectra...

 

We currently use three different kinds of woven fabrics made from Dyneema fibers. CiloGear also make packs from a variety of non-woven fabrics that use Dyneema fibers to achieve their incredible strength to weight ratios. Our NWD packs are mostly made from a material with abrasion resistance similar to 300d Cordura (ie more than 210d whether in VX21 or in our 210d Dyneema Ripstop Cordura fabrics...) that has a tear strength of 262 pounds. That's 9 times stronger, oh yeah, and the material is less than half the weight of VX21.

 

To the best of my knowledge, CiloGear is the only company in the world making real high volume, real load carrying packs out of non-woven Dyneema.

 

We use two different laminations of a 210d 87% Dyneema X-Pack fabric that Dimension Polyant made for us. The material uses some Dacron in the weft. One of the laminations is super stiff, the other is more flexible. We use these to achieve the same load transfer that we get from the X-Pack materials in the regular WorkSacks. (Did I mention that AAI awarded our entire line the Guide's Choice Award saying that "we are pleased to say that the CiloGear WorkSack is the best carrying and lightest line of packs there are.")

 

We also use a ripstop pattern 420d Dyneema fabric. This provides better abrasion resistance than the VX Dyneema, but doesn't transfer a load as well due to it's super soft hand. As such, we are currently using the 420d on the sides of the pack and on the harness side (back panel) where you need a ton of strength. I wish I could use it on the bottom, but using a material like any Dyneema or Spectra fabric I've seen without the X-Pack on the bottom of a pack turns it into a turgid sausage and it carries like crap.

 

We have all of these materials in stock and we build packs out of the stuff every week. We do some light customization on our NWD and Dyneema packs, like leaving off the crampon pocket or whatever, and we work closely with these customers to make sure the pack fits. If you buy one of these packs, we will make sure it fits you. Because of the cost of materials, we can't offer refunds or returns once we've started making the pack, but I'm perfectly happy to send out a loaner pack to make sure the thing fits before we build it...

 

As I said at the beginning, if anybody is still reading, call for more details or the hard sell. 503-305-3858. But I'm taking the dog out for a walk for till 1 PM pacific time today, the 7th of December. (And here's a toast to those who gave their lives for my country...)

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I have a 21" back and I'm not a skinny ass kid so the shoulder straps have to fit my shoulders.

 

...

 

Feel free to jump in here Graham and sell me a pack, just tell me why I'll feel the Cilo love!

 

Again, I am Graham, I own CiloGear.

 

21" Torso? You're a large.

 

Unless you've got the body of a offensive/defensive lineman or you're a 120# string bean, there is relatively little variance in the arc of human shoulders.

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As I said at the beginning, if anybody is still reading, call for more details or the hard sell. 503-305-3858. But I'm taking the dog out for a walk for till 1 PM pacific time today, the 7th of December. (And here's a toast to those who gave their lives for my country...)

Did you do that just to see who read the whole thing and would point out that Dec 7th was a full month ago? A day that would live in infamy indeed! LOL! I'll drink a toast to all of them anyway even though it's a month late.

 

PS, Ujahn ordered his Cilogear 45L just yesterday to replace his ratty worn through old Lowe, so none of you be taking cuts on him he got there first and I can't stand seeing that thing any more..... :lmao:

Ujahn finally giving up the old Lowe seen here on his back in November. It has holes in it the zipper is non-functioning.

Resized_Ujahn_3rd_classing_to_Hot_Flashes.jpg

 

My Cilogear summit pack having followed me up to a summit last September. I'd popped the lid off for this climb. Nice feature not found in many packs as it turns out for getting the rope to feed cleanly when soloing.

1_resized_Bill_dropping_a_sling_over_the_hair_bun.jpg

 

The whole damn top came right off and the rope fed out sweetly! Probably took all of 10 seconds to get off. See the rope here over the shoulder? I was doing the Healy solo climbing thing with an Eddy.

resizd_Top_of_the_side_pinnacle.jpg

 

I love this pack. It weighs about as much as a pair of womens panties and seems more comfortable...opps......hmmmm. Yeah. Well, no one ever reads the entire post anyway....Cilo packs are sweet sweet stuff. Much like a Dane Burns custom tuned 1911, might not be for everyone, but if you can afford the best....

 

 

ps, I have one of Randy's packs as well (from when he was at Wild Things, before CCW, no complaints) but it's been relegated to being a gym bag these days.

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Cilogear gets my vote. I have been using a 30L Worksack since the beginning of last summer, and I couldn't be happier with it's performance (I forget I'm wearing it when climbing), fit (perfect), versatility (rock it with no straps/belt/lid, or add whatever you need to transport the yardsale), weight (superlight and strippable to even lighter), and durability (better than expected.

 

Graham talked a lot about materials choices above, and I have noticed that the thought put into what fabric goes where has actually translated into real-world advantages. As far as fit goes, the 30L is the largest of Cilo's models I have used, but I had mine made with the optional tall shoulder straps. I am 6'3", 185#, 21+ torso, and it fits great. I tried a standard size 30L before talking with Graham and trading up to the longer straps.

 

My favorite features on the Cilogear packs: internal compression strap (I rarely use side comp. straps now it works so good), ninja pocket, and the removable bivy pad that is actually rectangular and easy to remove/insert - something you can easily pull out at every rest stop.

 

I also own a 20L Worksack, which I am equally pleased with. It takes my XL DAS parka and a liter of water easily, then disappears on my back for an ice lead.

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I second davidk's comments on the 20L Worksack. Its an amazing lightweight and comfy design that I haven yet to notice on my back when climbing. Cilogear's packs obviously have intelligent and thoughtful design behind them, especially in the materials used in their design.

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As an owner of several assorted packs what I have to add is that I can often suffer through small packs of various style (even my 20 litre Dakine) when I need a bigger unit I always end up with my Cilo. I love my 60l worksack and the way it carries bigger loads.

 

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So here is my question, (since Graham is involved in this thread) I am interested in checking out a Cilogear 40L pack. Can I come by the Factory, or do I need to find a retailer to look at the goods? BTW, I am local to Cilo ( I am in PDX)????

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DSCN1420.jpg

 

Cilo's are awesome. Here are two overloaded 45L's ready to go for an 8 day adventure. Quite comfy all things considered. Wore the pack for nearly 45 days straight with no major complaints other than carrying a pack for nearly 45 days straight. The fit for both of us was spot on. David had a large (he's tall - 6'2" with long torso) and I a medium, and with lighter loads we could easily swap packs. They just seem to fit no matter what the exact size. There doesn't seem to be a lot to adjusting the fit of the packs; for us they were pretty much good to go when we got them.

 

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DSCN1420.jpg

HOLY CRAP JOE! I have to tell ya, I heard that Cilogear *cough* DO *cough* cough* make a 60L as well. *cough* Of course, I suppose it would be easier to find you guys or for you to find your way out by following the trail of dropped gear left like so many breadcrumbs and all:-) LOL!

 

Nepal? Namche?

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i would guess you can find a time to stop by. I think they do stuff on Fridays if i recall the blog. I didn't end up going with one of his packs (settled for something generic for $25 on clearance somewhere) but they seemed really good and Graham spent a ton of time showing me materials, iterations, and going over their processes. No hard sell-job on his part and I still use one of the free strap-buckles he gave me for securing crampon bags and stuff. It was a real joy and for me and counts as a selling point as I can't spend a chill hour+ with the designers of almost any of the gear I use.

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"Our address is our production facility. We don't have a retail store front. That said, CiloGear's "visiting hours" are on Wednesday afternoons from 3 to 5 PM. Please feel free to stop by and visit us during those hours."

 

http://cilogear.com/info.html

 

That said, Climb Max also has some of Cilogear's packs.

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So here is my question, (since Graham is involved in this thread) I am interested in checking out a Cilogear 40L pack. Can I come by the Factory, or do I need to find a retailer to look at the goods? BTW, I am local to Cilo ( I am in PDX)????

 

As ColinB kindly wrote, check out: http://cilogear.com/info.html for details on a visit. This is a factory, not a retail outlet, and we just aren't set up for drop by visits.

 

This week (11 to 15 January) we're prepping for the OR show. Please do us a favor and stay away. ;) I'm the kind of guy who will spend an hour with you talking about materials or whatever, and I really need to focus on getting the work done. Thanks for understanding, and we'll be happy to have you over at the end of the month or in February...

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My vote is for the Cilogear.

Go pick it up if you can in Portland. Hang out, talk to Graham.

 

I thought it was really cool to walk in and have a tour of the MFG facilities and see some of the older versions of the packs and just talk gear for a while.

 

I got a 60L Worksack and I love it. carries really well. Quality is top notch. Just a pack I love putting on every time I do. I've mostly used it cragging but I'll be using it next week in the Tetons and plan to write up a full review on the pack for alpine.

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+1 for Cilogear.

 

I tried the Andinista on at FF one time. Nothing they did to adjust it made it feel right.

 

Sent Graham my measurements when I ordered my 60L worksack. He sent me a Medium. Fit was perfect. Tried it out on Granite then on Rainier. Carries better than any other pack I've owned, even my big packs that I used to use for lugging water jugs for training (Dana Designs Terraplane LTW and Gregory Denali Pro).

 

Of course it all comes down to what fits you better.

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Dane, I just got myself a 40l Worksack. My back measured out at 20.5 " so I got the large. Have used it a few times for backcountry skiing and love it. Intent is to use it as a day pack for skiing and climbing, or a go-light overnight pack in fair weather. Good quality workmanship on mine and looks like it will be as durable as my 3 deadbird packs of various sizes hanging in the back room. My only complaint was the shipping/duty I had to pay to get it to Vanc Isl. Should have picked one up when I met Graham at Feathered Friends in Seattle at one of those rep days a few months back (nice guy).

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