Development work on the Kinetic Modular Pack (KMP) began in 2020. After many design iterations, we are close to completing the pack and begin manufacturing. This post will be more an introduction to the pack, rather than a detailed overview of each piece. As we finalize our design, we will make separate posts on the design aspects of each piece of the pack.
There are three main features of the KMP:
Bounce Reduction: To reduce bounce we stiffened the backpad with an internal thermoplastic belt to help distribute the weight evenly across your back. There is also a three-piece belt system that works together to move with you, but still remain tight to the body. The elastic on this belt system is strategically located to ensure a tight fit, but protect the elastic from becoming overstretched when the pack is fully loaded.
Part replacement: We realize elastic will wear out over time. Rather than replace the entire pack, with the KMP you only have to replace the pieces that are no longer functioning well.
Customization: The KMP allows customers to modify several pieces, individually. Want to add straps to your pack? You can do that. Don't like how we have designed our belt system? You can change it out for a belt system that you prefer. Our ultimate hope is that we empower our customers and smaller shops to build parts for our pack that work for them and give people more options.
Where are we now?
In the past couple weeks, we have been working primarily on the back panel to improve the belt system and ensure part replacement is easy on the KMP. You may recall our first design that we showed to public:
That design required the player to weave the elastic pod loops through a thermoplastic plate. With this design, we found it was too difficult to change out the elastic loops and the loops would lose tension during regular play (obviously not ideal). Another issue with this design was velcro stacking. After you added in the belts, the pack would have four layers of velcro stacked on top of one another, making it bulky.
After many iterations, now the player can simply velcro on a new set of elastic straps onto the backpack and the belt sits within the back panel. We are still working on the final design to make sure the elastic pod loop panel is properly locked to the back panel, but the below picture gives you a good idea of where we are headed. The two longitudinal slots in the middle of the pack are to access the belt. This will allows you to change out the belt without worrying about velcro stacking and allows us to past the elastic portion of the belt in an area of the pack that protects it from being overstretched.
We are still working on the finishing touches and we will make sure to update you on any new developments. Our goal is to be completely finished with the initial development work by the end of February and begin finalizing the pack for production.