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Core77.com- Unpacking “Ultralight” with Mike Pfotenhauer of Osprey Packs – April 22, 2014 –

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Core77.com- Unpacking “Ultralight” with Mike Pfotenhauer of Osprey Packs – April 22, 2014 –

April 22, 2014

Whether you think ultralight backpacking sounds like hell or vacation, it provides a special dilemma for design minds. Ultralight gear has to be minimal, ergonomic, versatile and very very light. To get a higher-level industry take on the lightweight challenge I spoke with Mike Pfotenhauer, founder, owner and and chief designer of Osprey Packs. Osprey is over four decades old and renowned for innovative, ergonomic and, yes, lightweight pack design. Still independently owned and operated, they’re a leading name in multiple fields of backpacking. When I caught up with Mike he had just gotten back from Southern California—a region he’s required as a Northerner to speak poorly of—where he’d had a nice time hiking around Big Sur. (Don’t tell him I told you.)..

You guys just put out a new Exos. What’s your take on going ultralight from a design perspective?

I really appreciate limitations. With any lightweight gear you have that rule—you want to keep it simple. It’s also nice from a sustainability angle. Less process, less material. I do gravitate towards lightweight, towards minimalism. I like the challenge to strip things away…

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