Being one that has used packs for various reasons throughout my hunting career, I have wondered if there ever would be a pack or should I say suspension system that would ever be comfortable to wear when packing light to heavy loads. I have used many types of suspension systems, frames and even the old pack boards to pack into the back country or for packing game. It is truly amazing how packs and suspension systems have change over the years.
I have had the opportunity to try out the new Remedy 7 suspension and would like to share with you the good features and the features that need improvement. Please understand, this is my opinion and some suspension systems will fit different for others.
First thing that I noticed on the new system was the extra padding at the waist band. This system has much more padding in the lower lumbar area than Blacks Creek’s previous designs. It has padding on each side of the lumbar pad to cushion the points of your hips. Along with a very nice padded lumbar area, just above is another pad that is positioned above the lumbar pad. I liked this feature but I would like to have it with a little more padding or a denser cushion material. I didn’t notice it when I had a normal 20 to 30 pounds of weight on the system. However, when I put on more weight I felt some pressure from the load to the small of my back if you will. Not to the point of discomfort but you did know that the load was there and there was a small amount of pressure in that area.
Moving on to the rest of the waist band- I didn’t think that there would be enough padding to prevent fatigue on your hip area due to the sleek look of the waist band. Trust me, do not judge a book by its cover. I had no pressure points to my hips with a normal weight load. Very comfortable.
Last but not least was the ease of adjustment on the waist band. I have a 34 inch waist, and it fit like a glove. The ease of adjustment from a normal 20 to 30 pound load to the max load that I applied was as simple as grabbing the adjustment straps, one in each hand and pulling to the front of my body and then to loosen the tension was as easy as a one finger touch.
Second, I would like to talk about the padding that is positioned at the top of the system. This padding has been designed to fit your scapulas or shoulder blades. This is an awesome feature folks. I didn’t think it would make much of a difference but it made all the difference in the world, especially with a heavy load. No fatigue in my upper back and it also had good air flow.
One feature that stands out on this system is the torso adjustment. As I did my tests with an average load, I was able to adjust the pack to fit perfectly. I did approximately 3 ½ to 4 miles on flat ground and then did some up and down hill hiking and also side hill. The pack fit great and I had zero fatigue on my hips and shoulders. I also had good air flow with some minor perspiration on my back.
I applied 85 pounds to the pack and did the same routine as I had mentioned above. At about ¼ mile into my test, I started to notice fatigue on my hips. I took the pack off and moved the torso adjustment to a lower setting and put the pack back on. With this small and quick fix, I did 3 miles with 85 pounds of weight with ZERO hip fatigue and ZERO shoulder fatigue. I did the same course as I did on the light load. I was very impressed.
The shoulders straps of this system have a considerable amount of padding, which is very nice and comfortable with average loads. But when I applied my heavy load, I did get some binding above my pectoral muscles just below my color bone on both sides. When side hilling either way, the binding that I noticed did not seem to shift therefore telling me that the pack stayed in the proper area on my torso. My conclusion to the issue was the chest strap and how it was located and connected to the adjustment strap on the shoulder harness. I disconnected the chest strap and relieved the above mentioned pressure. I like the chest strap and it is an important feature but needs some minor tweaking.
All in all, I think that this suspension is a well thought out design and I am honored to have the chance to test it out. With testing this product and putting it to work, I am confident that we are on the right track and on the way to designing the best all purpose outdoor pack on the market. I have made my suggestions for small changes to the system to the folks at Blacks Creek and they are currently making the corrections to the system. If you have any questions, you can email me a firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our website and drop us a line.