This is the 1st in a series of Icon Posts. As I have mentioned on several occasions in previous posts and articles I want KUIU’s customers to know exactly what they are buying. I want to educated those who are interested about fabrics, technologies, suppliers and the choices that have gone into this brand and products.
This goes totally against traditional business practices especially in the apparel and pack industry. Other brands keep you in the dark about their products. In my opinion we have way too much riding on our hunts not to know how a product is made, what it is made with and the decisions behind using these materials. It is too late if it a failure happens in the middle of a sheep hunt; gear failures can cost you your life, a hunt and at a minimum precious hours.
A lot of people have asked me why no one has developed and patented a Carbon Fiber back pack frame until now. Some have rightfully questioned the choice of CF and speculated to why. I have had many people tell me Carbon Fiber is not impact resistant enough, not strong enough, not not stiff enough citing various examples, experiences and reasons; several have mentioned other more experienced pack companies tried it and CF failed.
Those who are experts with composites and carbon fiber, experts at an engineer and aerospace level, who truly understand Carbon Fiber and its inherent principals asked the exact same question. Except these Carbon Fiber professionals could not believe no one had developed a Carbon Fiber frame before KUIU. Carbon Fiber with its high strength-to-weight ratio and the ability to engineer flex and stiffness into a single part frame is a perfect application.
Why has no one before KUIU developed a CF frame? It is a great question; Carbon fiber is the perfect material for backpacks and backpack hunting where weight and strength are critical.
There have been several attempts by other pack manufactures using Carbon Fiber sheeting and Carbon Fiber rods and laminated have laminated Carbon Fiber onto other materials. Some have been somewhat successful while others have left much to be desired. Our research indicates the design and technology behind the Icon has never been developed before for the pack industry. Why?
After developing the Icon frame with a team of designers and engineers, I believe it is due to the extremely high development costs and manufacturing expenses. Playing around with CF is not cheap nor easy. Intellectual property, materials and molds cost thousands of dollars. Engineers with the background to design and develop carbon fiber products are cost prohibitive.
Tom taking Daniel through his work on Cruise Missile Programs
Tom and I giving Daniel a background of our work together developing the Icon.
I came up with the vision of a hybrid frame that was light, comfortable and could carry a load on a backpack hunt. As I began to research this concept, I tracked down a family friend who worked in the Aerospace Industry specifically with composites including CF. Fortunately, Tom graciously volunteered his time and lifetime of experience of Carbon Fiber to see my vision of the Icon become reality and bring an advancement to the pack industry that otherwise could not have happened. Without Tom’s expertise, developing the Icon frame would have not been possible and completely cost prohibitive.
This week we are publishing a feature in The Hunt called Area 57 about Tom which I believe you will find of interest. Without Tom we would not have the Icon. I will announce the release here on the blog first.