Summit Gear Pack Destruction Test
After close to 1100 days of dragging it through canyons, dropping it off cliffs, and lugging massive loads, professional guide Jason Beachcroft retired his Summit Gear Claustral rucksack, and donated it to our musuem.
Lets have a closer look at the wear patterns on this pack:
Base: The base of packs used for canyoning cop a lot of wear as the user tends to do a lot of slides down wet sandstone. The double thickness layer we use has done its job well. Jason has worked through the outer layer of cordura , and it is beginning to wear through the yellow camlon fabric also. Interestingly, the Cordura on the base section close to the body is still in very good condition, as it is on the sides of the pack and the front. Essentially, you can see the 'sweet spot' that was always in contact with the rock during slides, but the fabric around it is still in fairly okay condition. The lesson here is : maybe it is better to aim to 'pass the pack' or send it on its own controlled slide than to wear it - try to spread wear further than the 'sweet spot'.
Base seams: We have strongly advocated building packs with base seams that run in the direction of travel (eg. the slide discussed above). We see many packs that have a base seam that runs around the bottom of the pack, creating a flat base, but at the same time this creates a lot of wear on the outer edge of this seam. You will note on Jason's pack that the base lower section of the seam between the side and front panels exhibits some wear , but we feel that this design feature has coped with a lot more abuse than a flat bottomed pack would have.
Seams on body of pack: You can see good wear in the front vertical seam (around the compression straps). Interestingly, the stitching itself is in quite good condition. The wear actually occurs at the point where the fabric comes out of the seam. The relatively stiff Camlon fabric creates a stiffer edge, and it is this stiff edge that exhibits the wear. We do not find this to be such a problem with full Cordura packs , as the less rigid fabric creates a more pliable edge.
Harness: A blown seam at the hipbelt and a small blown section on one shoulder strap (as a result of many water jumps) are the only issues here. We consider this to be quite normal for the amount of use this rucksack has seen.
Buckles: Not one broken buckle on the pack , ever .....
We believe that canyoning and associated rocksports commit much greater damage to equipment than activities like bushwalking. Jason has logged close to 1100 work days with this pack (as well as countless other days in the field with his mates) in a uniquely rugged environment that puts extra demands on the gear used. Seeing the condition of this pack after this (ab)use, we feel validated that we design and build gear to the highest standards, for the toughest environments on the planet.