Sorry It Took
Developed over the course of more than 3 years and refined through more than 35 prototypes. Every aspect of design and functionality has been individually tested and assessed by us, our pro partners and a hand-picked group of professional mountain guides.
Protoype 1 - 3
These are the earliest Tupilak samples we have: third prototype in-house mock-ups. Despite the pins and webbing shoulder straps, the basic pack shape and many of the style lines are now becoming established. The Grappler™, cowl and internal roll-top are all in the early stages of evolution, but the DNA is there. It’s a slow start.
Protoype 4 - 24
These are the first two packs we made which underwent significant testing: one with IFMGA Mountain Guide Matt Stygall, who used it full-time for six months of guiding and his own expeditions, and the other was thrashed by every staff member who needed a pack to use. While great packs, the required attention to detail wasn’t there and the lighter of the two fabrics wasn’t deemed tough enough. We changed fabrics, we changed factory: we underwent another huge round of prototyping and testing.
Protoype 25 - 35
This is, now at Prototype 25, the first model which we deemed close to being finished. Many of the features are now confirmed and finalised, but numerous other details lacked refinement. This pack’s larger cousins were used all over the world by our Pro Team members Uisdean Hawthorn and Tom Livingstone. Further improvements were made until we made the best packs that either of them had ever used. A further ten prototypes were required to get from this prototype stage to the production models.
Meet the Test team
Matt Stygall is an IFMGA mountain guide. He is also a self-confessed gear nut and was one of the handful of people selected by us to field-test our range of alpine climbing packs. As handy with a set of scissors as he is a set of ice-tools, Matt has very particular views on what the perfect alpine pack should look like.
The youngest member of our Pro Team, Uisdean Hawthorn has made numerous renowned first ascents, from formidable routes in the Himalaya to important first winter ascents in his native Scottish territory. The sheer amount of commitment to long routes has made Uisdean the perfect asset for Tupilak Pack testing. If it survives a year out with Uisdean, then it'll easily survive a decade with most normal climbers.
Tom Livingstone is continually pushing the standards of British alpinism. Always taking on big lines in the Alps and Canada that demand a full spectrum of experience, Tom's penchant for bigger, harder routes makes him the perfect candidate to put our Tupilak Pack through a through testing.