BUILDING KUIU

Pack Follow Up Answers to Common Questions

Hi Everyone,

Below are answers to the most common questions regarding the new Pack Designs.   I will go back through this weekend and try and answer specific questions these do not address.  I appreciate everyone’s patience.

My post yesterday was not done to patronize or dismiss anyones concerns.  I genuinely care about what each one of you thinks and feels about KUIU.  This brand has my heart and soul in it and I take all of your comments seriously and to heart.  Thank you for sharing them.

Respectfully,

Jason

 

Common Questions:

  • Will the Icon 3000 & 6000′s fit on the 2012 Frame?

Yes they do.  It requires a simple webbing rig and 4 Duraflex parts to put the 3000′s & 6000′s on the 2012 frame.  We are waiting for confirmation on the price and ETD from the factory.  We are expecting this information in the next few days.

  • Will the Icon 5000 & 7000 bags fit on the 2011 frames?

No they will not.  These bags were designed specifically to incorporate the load sling and will not work on the 2011 model.

  • What about other options or models you promised for the 2011 Icon frame? KUIU is going back on its word!!!

The 5000 & 7000 bags were specifically designed to incorporate the load-sling which requires the 2012 frame and suspension. We are currently in development on bags that will be able to work on either frame.

  • What happened to the day pack?

The day pack is in development.  It takes 12 to 18 months to go from concept to product. I will have an up date in the next week or two in a blog post.

  • What happened to your claim of transparency? 

I announced the new packs and products to subscribers almost 2 months before they are available.  This is as early as I could announce the new products and be able to answer questions like delivery and pricing.  Announcing new product too early is a challenge if we cannot tell customers how much and when. I hope you can understand.  Most of the designs for these new packs and frame came from your suggestions here on the blog.

There are also developments that will not be announced on the blog until we are ready to launch the product for competitive or proprietary or confidential reasons.  There are several new products that will come to market this year that will not be announced until shortly before they are available.  I do promise I will let blog subscribers know first.

 

 

30 comments to Pack Follow Up Answers to Common Questions

  • Cory J

    Congrats on the bear. This should clear up most people’s questions.
    I did not think that “transperancy” means a crystal clear picture of all and every decision you make as a buisness owner. By the sounds of some of the comments they will be asking you to post your financials.

    If we didn’t evolve and innovate all we would still need is a cave and club.

    You are doing it right – keep up the good work.

  • Darren

    Jason,
    Thank you for the prompt reply, anxious to get my frame.

  • lindsey

    By now my head is spinning trying to keep everything accurate. On that note, I appreciate you clearing up the issue on the 3000/6000 packs fitting on the new 2012 frame. That was MY only and one concern. NOT lack of transparency, 2011 frame fitting 2012 packs as OTHERS had stated.
    As I have stated I realize changes will be made to things no matter what. I am glad you and your design team could see the need to make the 3000/6000 compatable with the 2012 frame.
    You deserve respect as do the consumers. I did not take other opinions as fact on the pack/frame concerns. I as others I think needed to hear it from either you or your design team.
    I have said before.. Jason, dont get me wrong.. i flippin love Kuiu. Im rough around the edges in honesty and am not afraid to voice any concern I have or any question. I hope you understand that, i appreciate what Kuiu does.
    Good luck on the rest of your hunts. I will be in my Kuiu gear again this fall. Looking forward to the Guide pants on my late elk hunt. Best to you and yours.

  • J.R. Young

    Jason – I’ve got a couple of questions that I think many would find helpful

    1. In general what were the key drivers behind the change to the 2012 ICON (frame, suspension and packs)? More specifically was it upgrades based on feedback once they (the 2011s) got into the field in higher numbers, better sample set? Was there a design innovation to the frame itself, fixed weak points etc.? Was it a desire to incorporate the load sling? If so, why not use the 3k and 6k? Was the suspension changed because of the new bags or because of the upgraded frame?

    2. What is your vision for the future of the ICON? Do you want it to be a single system of bags and a frame where ultimately differing generations of bags and frames will all be compatible (with maybe a few exceptions)?

    It would be a huge bonus if you have the time and means this weekend to film a walkthough of a side by side comparison of the 2011 and 2012 ICON systems, highlighting the differences and why they occured (basically answer my first question). But, I know you just got back from a hunt and would probably enjoy some time with family and friends.

    Just a comment on transparency – I feel you are far more transparent than any company I have ever followed. You’re the entrepreneur and taking the risk, and big part of is “when or if” to release information. We as customers, fans, and followers should not lose sight of that. The environment for technical hunting clothing has seen a dramatic change in the last five year…it was really non-existant (see what you started!). Now, by sharing your ideas and projects you give your customers something to be excited about…but also let your competition create a competing product. It’s a delicate balance, that I think you are maintaining well. You’ve taken the risk, we (customers and fans) need to remember our livelihood doesn’t hinge on what KUIU does next, yours does.

    In short, I’m grateful for the opportunity to give my input, share thoughts and in turn get a glimpse of what’s coming down the road….and know that there will be some suprises along the way. In the meantime, I’ll keep squirreling away funds for what’s coming next.

    You’re doing a killer job, and I’m excited for what is “next”.

  • Matt

    Jason,
    Thanks for clearing that up. I’m looking forward to getting the 2012 suspension/frame in my hands to mount the 2011 bags! I have already set up my pre order for the new frame.
    I think it will be key in the future to be clear that some things will not be compatible with other items that may have been purchased already. That would have a huge impact on my decision to purchase bags/frame if I knew I could not use it on a bag/frame that I already bought. Or maybe keeping a few of the older frames/bags available so we could still purchase them to make the rest of our gear work. Either way I do appreciate where your coming from and have total confidence in the products you are putting out.

    Nothing beats coming back from a trip and finding all hell broke loose at work while you where gone! Welcome back!

  • Kevin

    Well done Jason.

  • shane

    I wasn’t happy with the ICON pack at all. I just felt it didn’t measure up to the quality packs in the mountaineering world. Plus, it was heavy and ridiculously clumsy. It was very uncomfortable, loud, and lacked strength. At the very least, I hope you can at least half the weight and fix the noise/strength issue with your next release. As for the clothing I’ve used, I can’t say too many good things about it. I felt the fit was bad, and lacked much foresight. Definitely not designed for light and fast use. Boxy and dumpy clothing, with materials that weren’t made for “hard mountain use.” I would compare the KUIU clothes I’ve used (vest, rain gear, insulation layer, and guide jacket/vest) to REI’s house brand. It just doesn’t compete with the better Alpine companies: arcteryx, norrona, mammut, millet, montane, etc, etc. That’s taking fit, weight, quality, originality, etc…into play. Sadly, kuiu just doesn’t compete whatsoever. The only thing that’s beneficial is the camo pattern. If KUIU wasn’t offered in camo patterns, I ask myself if the brand could have even survived a year? Sadly, I feel that answer is a resounding no. I’m only saying all this because I spent a lot of money on the gear, as did some friends, and I was really, really dissapointed. And, I must add, KUIU is not cheap. In fact, it is more expensive than most mountaineering companies. And, with that high price, I am annoyed that what I received were inferior products. What really irked me most was when I left honest reviews on all the clothing/gear I bought, not one of them showed up in the stores “review” sections. Every single one of them was deleted. Sad, really sad KUIU. I want the brand to succeed, as I feel there is a strong need for a high quality “mountain hunting” brand. I just don’t feel KUIU is there yet, not even by a little. My worry in posting this is that I find that all too often on this site any negative/constructive criticism is shotdown by the readers, as they take it as a personal/unfair attack on themself and “their” brand. I just wonder how many have used and tested the better gear in hard mountain environments. If they had, I wonder how many would still be sticking by KUIU and comparing them with the better companies. B/C in my humble opinion, they have a long way to go before they compete.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Shane,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment here on the blog so we can discuss your opinions and I can better understand how and what you are basing these strong feeling about KUIU products. The brands you bring up as comparison are some of my favorite brands and I know them well. Since you have called out what I do lets list your complaints one by one so I may have a better understanding of where you believe KUIU is lacking.

      Fabric: If you study our fabrics and do the research you will find that Toray is the most advanced technical fabric house in the world in weight and performance. Please, do your homework here, I challenge you. The brands you listed all wish they could afford to exclusively use Toray. Look at the European brands and you will find Toray, where the european customer will pay extra for performance fabrics such as Toray. The US consumer will not.

      Weight: Throw any KUIU garment on the scale against any of the brands you are stating as your favorite and lets compair. I have and I challenge you to do the same.

      Fit: The fit of KUIU is very similar to Arcteryx, this was influenced by Charles Tam who help develop the original fits for Mike when he developed his line for Arcteryx when they left Mountain Equipment Co OP together.

      Cost: Show me a brand you listed above that uses Toray fabrics and are made in Vancouver at Tamoda Apparel. You are not comparing apples to apples. It is comparing a automobiles and stating that a BMW is over priced compared to a KIA, well they are both cars. Our gear is incredibly reasonable for the fabrics and sewing your are getting (40% to 50%) because there is no retail mark up. Please do your home work here and look at the cost of other brands garments that use Toray.

      Quality: We only use YKK Zippers, and branded trim suppliers such as dura-flex. Please, Please Please open up our garments or bags and truly look at the cutting and sewing and find a brand that has a higher quality.

      Durability I use Lance Kronberger to test all of my designs, fabrics and technologies who spends over 200 days a year in the harshest environments in Alaska. We have over 450 the best guides in the business who also only wear KUIU and only recommend KUIU to their clients.

      Your Reviews: I delete them because you make big bold strong statements of opinion that do not add any value to others shopping on the site. Once you can present some facts behind your statements that may add value to our other customers I will let your statements stand. Statements that come out of left field like yours are always taken with suspicion of who is posting them as well. I hope you can understand.

      Your claims are not taken lightly and I look forward to hearing back from you. I do appreciate your business and your time for the comment.

      Jason

      • Austin

        BOOMSHAKALAKA! Jason, while I’m sure you would rather use a different selection of words in your response, you did a great job at responding professionally…kudos.

        As I was reading Shane’s comment, I though surely he was about to throw in a “Just kidding, Kuiu is awesome!”, but he didn’t. I agree with Brian, must have been drinkin’ some of that brown water last night. :)

    • J.R. Young

      I’d really like to know which specific products you are comparing to made by “arcteryx, norrona, mammut, millet, montane, etc, etc.”

      I don’t care about the subjective, just give me the objective. Which comparable products from the above are lighter and cheaper?

      My own example is the Mountain Hardware Nima Pant which I own and love. It is a softshell, midweight pant with 4-way stretch. It is 24oz to the Attack Pants 18oz (+33%), it also costs $165 compared to $149 for the Attack Pant (+11%).

      I also get no belt loops, and only one “inline” thigh pocket compared to two cargos on the attack. I’ll give the nod to the Nimas though for having a zip off scree cuff…but that is it’s only “advantage”.

    • Josh

      I call BS on Shane’s post above. Very suspicious claims.

  • Jason Huebner

    I don’t post often, but Jason you truly have class. Stand tall, as you’ve created an absolute gem of a company; I’m proud to do business with KUIU and look forward to continued imporvements on your products.

    Keep up the good work,

    Jason Huebner

  • Ken Allen

    Hi Jason,

    My friends and I spend a lot of time in the backcountry and have tried all kinds and brands of gear. The KUIU brand has helped us to not only reduce weight – which helps us to go farther and be out longer – I have really enjoyed the quality of the product and have sold all of my other gear. In a competitive environment I understand your suspision about who is posting negetive feedback to that extent. Please know that you are apealing to the masses and when I read all of those bold statements that you responded to; all I could think was that he must have received a different product than I have received.

    My final thought is that everyone should be so bold to be an innovator and a business owner – most people cannot relate to the responsibility and challenges and it will be impossible to satisfy everyone even if your intentions are in the right place and you are hitting the mark for the majority.

    Stay focused and keep the majority in mind and we will have a lot of fun developing and using the KUIU brand together. Thanks for taking this challenge on.

    Ken

  • Brian McElrea

    Shane….you are drunk.

    Like Jason pointed out you failed to add any factual evidence to support your opinions, therefore in my mind your opinions don’t hold much weight.

    I invested in this brand and their products and while not everything was perfect I can say it was better than any other gear I had used and Jason and his team continue to improve the line (even when questioned and challenged). I spent 43 days in the field last year hunting in OR, MT and NM in various conditions and temperatures.

    Those of you who have not purchased any KUIU products or have only got a few items do not be influenced by Shane’s statements.

    If you want honest opinions on the gear feel free to check out the reviews in Eastman’s, Aaron Snyder’s blog or hit up anyone on the KUIU forums (Justin Stark has been a consistent contributor with candid feedback). Here you will find honest reviews that challenge KUIU and recognize how well of a brand it has become is a very short amount of time.

  • Matt

    So, did you see Cargo jack 4 homeruns out in a row this week. Wow. I’m a Rockies fan so I think that is pretty rad……..

    Trying to lighten the mood a touch. Praise should be given to Jason and the KUIU gang for doing what all of us only could dream of doing. It is not a walk in the park. If you disagree go out and make it better on your own. Let us follow you and judge you from a chair and computer. Competition is good regardless your profession. I believe the gear is good. Followed the blog since maybe week 3 and have learned a TON about the hows and whys of fabrics.

    KUIU, keep the education coming and striving to out do yourself. Everyone wins.

    Personnal side note – I’m thankful for the plunge Jason took. I much rather spend my money on the little guy and his struggles than big business. That is my feeling anyway, which doesn’t hold much weight I suppose to the masses.

    Matt

  • Shane C

    Shane,
    You are right in saying you will receive harsh feedback from other customers because this is OUR company. Many of us follow the blog regularly, are active on the forum, and buy pretty much all of their products (sometimes multiples). We support Kuiu. So, when someone comes out bashing Kuiu with things like the Icon is heavy (one of the lightest packs on the market), the fit is bad (when the sewing house is the same one that arcteryx used before they went to China), and that the clothes are heavy (Already been posted on Eastman’s as the lightest hunting clothing out there), fabric is poor (Fabric and dwr and pretty much anything that goes into the product is better and nearly 25%+ less than anything even close to comparable). We do criticize you. You are crazy.

  • Mike P

    I’m sure Shane is the kind of guy that yells at the TV when a hockey player gets run into the boards too “get up you big baby…” but he doesn’t even know how to tie his own skates!

    Its fine to disagree and/or be unhappy with a product but back it up with valid/truthful reasons…not mindless babbling (much like what I am doing now :) )

    Looking forward to the new gear and the future discussions and specs coming out on it.

    Cheers,

    Mike P

  • Jeff M Valunas

    Jason-
    I wish the best, for KUIU!!!
    NOT enlighntened, with ‘Inner Circle’!
    Perhaps, the future will unfold, neatly!!!
    JMV

  • Nathan

    Ahhh, it is quite refreshing to have you back on the blog Jason!! I think we’ve all learned a thing or two about just how much you are committed to your dreams with Kuiu, watching how you’ve handled all the drama of the past week! Maybe next time we can leave you alone and try to let you relax when you hit the hills on your next hunt!

  • Shane C

    Jason,
    I’m still interested to hear if you can user the xl dry bag on the load sling portion of the frame as a day pack kind of set up. Wouldn’t mind seeing a more elaborate bag for the load sling for a full use day pack idea so you can still use the frame. The new day pack that is in the works is going to be annoyingly big (due to customer requests, not your design). I wouldn’t mind just seeing something that attaches to the frame that once you get to camp you can take your 500 or 7000 off and have a day pack ready to go. It might be just me who would like something like this, so I understand if nothing comes of this idea.

  • Matt

    I think the comment that this is “our company” is a bit of why KUIU have such a following. I’m a BIG fan of KUIU but not all of the gear is exactly what I want or could use. However, the parts and pieces I do have are excellent. I like having options to choose from and IMO KUIU is a GREAT option to have. Keep at it Jason!

  • David

    Shane,

    “I wasn’t happy with the ICON pack at all…At the very least, I hope you can at least half the weight and fix the noise/strength issue with your next release.”

    Really? Credibility kind of takes a nose dive when you bash the gear, then go on to imply you’ll be buying the next release if it’s lighter weight. I don’t know why you bought it in the first place if you thought the pack was heavy; they tell you what it weighs. I don’t really know why you bother to compare Kuiu to non hunting brands like Mammut and Arc’teryx either if what you want is mountain hunting clothing. Sitka would be a more fitting comparison, and I’d venture a guess that many of the people on here also do or have owned that and either made the switch to Kuiu or still use both. I’d like to know where you’re buying this stuff too, because Arc’Teryx LEAF (subdued colors) jackets like the Alpha LT Jacket (closest to the Chugach) are $500. The Alpha LT is a little lighter, but it’s also Goretex, which in my opinion doesn’t seem to breath as well, plus it’s not camo and costs twice as much as the Chugach. I don’t understand why people buy a product, then are unhappy, and don’t return it or contact customer service. If I bought something sight unseen, then got it and thought it didn’t meet my expectations for fit, finish, or function, I would return it and not buy any more of that product, and that would be the end of it. I wouldn’t resort to public forums unless there was no way to resolve issues with the companies customer service.

    • Matt

      Here is my take:
      KUIU Chugach Series: Market Leader, great value. KUIU’s rain gear is hard to beat. There is just nothing else that I can find that competes with it. The eVent stuff is about as close as it gets, but finding hunter friendly colors in the jacket you like is not always easy. Plus I’m not paying that much for gear…
      KUIU Attack Pants: Great Pants, in the top 3-4 out there for hunting specific designs. I “might” see where a guy could argue about their durability, but the fit is good and they dry fast. Even my Levi’s wear out when I am crawling on rocks, in and out of small planes, on and off ATVs, bucking brush, wading streams, and getting blood, sweat, and mud all over them. I might do a few things different if I designed them, but I think would be true of just about any pant out there. :) My biggest complaint is the front pockets: mine “flare” out a bit rather than stay in tight to the pant. I end up with pockets full of small twigs and leaves when busting brush, but its nothing I can’t live with.
      KUIU Guide Series: I love my jacket, need to get the pants. But for quality soft shell gear it is as good as any on the market.
      KUIU Merino: On par with the leading Merino companies.
      KUIU ICON: Great idea(s), innovative, but packs are like boots; everyone will have their favorite as fits, tastes, and uses vary.

      KUIU gives GREAT options to a hunter’s choices. They incorporate and value CONSUMER feedback, customer service is top notch, and they push the envelope which is good for us as hunters and the industry as a whole. Heck if I was Jason I would hope someone would one up me so I could one up them. As a former athlete I am sure he enjoys a challenge and desires to be the game changing company out here.

      As a hunter and outdoorsman I like sitting back and seeing what happens next. :)

      • David

        I have no problems about the fit or function of any of my Kuiu stuff. The only thing I would change with the pants is a shorter inseam, but that’s easy to get hemmed, and no real penalty if I don’t hem them. If it comes down to it needing hemmed and either increasing the price or decreasing availability, I say leave them the way they are. I even had a pair of Attack pants stolen out of my mailbox before I could lay hands on them. There is absolutely nothing Kuiu could have done about preventing that, but they comped me the shipping on the replacements I ordered, and they didn’t have to.

        I had a couple issues with my Icon 6000, but they were both addressed quickly by customer service, so there’s no reason to complain about that either.

        I just don’t understand why people refuse to deal with customer service if they aren’t happy. That’s why they’re there, and Kuiu has great customer service. They’ve certainly taken care of me. I don’t see any reason they wouldn’t do likewise with someone else.

        I just can’t understand why it would be somebodys first reaction to go into some public forum and create a permanent record of their displeasure and badmouth the company they’re hoping to get resolution from. If you wanted me to help you with something and you went about asking for help by trying to publicly humiliate me, about the only thing I’d help you with is teeth you can keep on the nightstand. Just doesn’t make sense to me, but I guess that’s how some people are.

  • Wes

    Shane is one of those people in the world who aren’t happy unless
    they are complaining about something. His post did exactly what he
    wanted. It got him attention. It made it about him. Way to go big guy
    you did it. Who in their right mind Wouk complain as much as you have
    and still say your going to buy more product. You are what’s wrong
    with this country. Go find another blog to draw attention to yourself
    and leave ours alone.

  • Brady Miller

    Well said, Jason! I don’t post much…but I read just about every post late at night when I am scouting gear choices to make me a more efficient mountain bowhunter. Keep it up, I love what you and KUIU are doing.

  • Robert Hartley

    There was no reason for jason to respond! There is alot of open talk there. The only complaint was availability for me.I do wonder about the pack frame? I have the 3000 and 6000 bag and am wondering if the new frame would be better? Bob.

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