About a year ago, I found out that my buddy, Steve Speck, was starting a company to introduce a new line of hunting backpacks to the market. My first thought was…
“He really is crazy.”
We already have Badlands, Tenzing, Eberlestock, Blacks Creek, Kifaru, Mystery Ranch, Stone Glacier, KUIU, Sitka, and probably a dozen others. Another hunting backpack? Really?
I had similar thoughts a couple of years ago when I found out that Steve was designing a new broadhead line. “Another broadhead? Really?” As it turns out, Solid Broadheads brought something unique and worthwhile to the market. And I know that this new pack company, Exo Mountain Gear, will do the same – and even more – for the backpack market.
Steve and his long-time hunting partner, Lenny Nelson, founded Exo Mountain Gear to design a backpack that fit their needs perfectly. There are a lot of good hunting packs on the market, but most of them excel at opposing ends of a spectrum. There are great day packs that lack the structure to haul loads well. There are great load haulers that are horrible to wear all day as you hunt. And there are some packs that do pretty well at hunting and hauling, but they’re heavy.
Lenny and Steve set out to design a pack and frame that was the ideal balance of lightweight simplicity, durability, comfort, versatility, and had the ability to carry heavy loads well.
It has been fun for me, personally, to watch them go through prototype after prototype; to see them change design aspects, features, materials, and sometimes have “robust dialogue” (aka, arguments) about the backpack’s design. To get just a small glimpse into the level of detailed testing that they’ve gone through, consider what they did to select the foam for the harness components.
After years of experience with backcountry, backpack hunting, and over a year of prototyping packs – Exo Mountain Gear if finally a reality. The quality of materials – from the titanium frame, down to the USA-made zippers – and level of detail in this pack is pretty amazing. And because they are selling direct to the consumer, without the overhead of a large company, they were able to keep the cost down while still building the pack right here in the USA, and offering a lifetime warranty.
This is the pack that I will be using this year, so look for a full review to come. I have had a few opportunities to wear this pack, and I planned on writing up a “first look” review for you guys, but their website explains the features and design so well that I will just point you there: be sure to explore the pack features, the frame features, and watch the product videos for more information.
If are in the market for a new pack this year, consider taking advantage of a special opportunity to pre-order before March 24th and save $50 on any Exo pack.