Seek Outside Unaweep semi custom backpack

Kullaberg63

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Joined
Mar 6, 2014
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550
The search didn't show much about Seek Outside, but I might not be using that function optimally.

We run a small gear company in Moab (Nunatak), and nearby Grand Junction is home to another, the tent and pack maker Seek Outside. Recently they paid us a visit at our shop to deliver one of their Unaweep series packs as part of an informal trade of gear, ideas and inspiration.

The cottage pack manufacturers field is legion, literally 'packed' with upstarts, hopefuls and success stories. Most of these companies are indistinguishably similar, following the vein of taking a stuff sack, attaching straps and claiming an ultralight epiphany. Throwing in the word Dyneema, making sure the main color is blindingly white, and enlisting a few hitherto unknown hikers as ambassadors usually ensures some level of success.

One might wonder where the true innovation lies in this field. For an item where pioneers like Dana Gleeson and Wayne Gregory created involved technical load haulers of great complexity, the opposite idiom, the UL scene, has made pack manufacturing very garage friendly. Perfecting these glorified stuff sacks into suitable long distance packs must take an admirable knack for adequate minimalism. Some do end up as subtly engineered wonders. And others of seemingly similar design, truly suck!

I feel the winners still cling to some aspect of a frame, however far removed it might be from a Terraplane Overkill. Even 10 lbs carry better with the addition of a smart one lb structure of some rigidity stuck in the pack body somewhere.

Seek Outside has a product I feel is radically different from the HMG's of the pack world. Being unique is great for exposure, but that alone will obviously not work. Just look at the kick starter mistakes of 'all terrain' wheeled packs converting into camp chairs, and similar desperate attempts at carving out your place in the biz.

There are a few manufacturers making external frame packs with an UL approach. And of the ones that do, only Seek Outside uses a U-shaped frame with a simple pivot at the base mid-piont of the U. Choosing the lightest options they offer in terms of fabric, features and frame material creates a 60 liter very capable all round pack at right around 3 lbs.

While Seek Outside packs are not truly UL, the fact is not many of us go full-on UL. We like to talk about it, but practically speaking our pack weight is usually a bit above the Ray Way. Purchasing a frameless cuben sack from upstart Z might not be the smartest move for many of us.

So, at three pounds the Unaweep is claimed to be able to haul impressive loads with unmatched comfort (hunters carving up elks and carrying them out), yet it is 4 lbs lighter than the dusty old Gregory in my backyard shed, and half a pound lighter than my stripped down Arcteryx Khamsin 50, my go-to lightweight pack for years - but which was always lacking a bit in the comfort department when max'ed out. Plus it was too small when employing packrafts on longer trips.

Quite excited about trying the Unaweep this summer. Nothing about the initial inspection gives me any reason to doubt the manufacturer's claims, and the quality of construction seems top notch.

I'll be back to this thread with field reports. Sorry about the despicable cell phone pics.

IMG_1136 by jan nikolajsen, on Flickr

IMG_1141 by jan nikolajsen, on Flickr

IMG_1139 by jan nikolajsen, on Flickr

IMG_1143 by jan nikolajsen, on Flickr

IMG_1144 by jan nikolajsen, on Flickr

IMG_1145 by jan nikolajsen, on Flickr
 
Last edited:

mattvogt7

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Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
108
I've been using the Unaweep for well over a year now. Incredible pack and by far the most comfortable system I've used for heavier loads (IE packraft-centric trips). Great write-up and a great (local) company!
 
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Kevin Timm

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Jun 14, 2016
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Hi
Glad you are liking it and hope it serves you well. We should have had you try on both belts before we left. Let me know if you need anything or have any questions.
 

Kullaberg63

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2014
Messages
550
Got a chance to take the pack out on a somewhat involved loop hike with difficult scrambling, wading, short swims and just general knocking about.

First off, while not advertised as waterproof, this brand new pack is pretty darn close. Off course, as we know, those capabilities are often short-lived as stuff gets used.

We filled it up heavy by bringing lots of stuff not really needed. It carried well, really well. It was not a long day, and only one day, so more time is needed to really judge it. I'd say it's among the best feeling 30 plus pound packs I've carried in a while. And at only 3 lbs dry, that's rather impressive.

Only thing that wasn't all good was the surprising effect of the exposed frame bumping one off balance when butt-scooching down steep exposed rock. I am very used to the give and friction of an internal frame pack against rock. Something to get used to.

DSC05101 by jan nikolajsen, on Flickr

brum3 by jan nikolajsen, on Flickr

brum2 by jan nikolajsen, on Flickr
 

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