I am designing a new Gaiter for 2012 and want to take you through the development process to give you the insight of how I go from concept to product. As we go through this process together I look forward to receiving your input and comments to help refine this product.Why Develop a KUIU Gaiter? Lance Kronberger has challenged me to develop a new gaiter for sheep hunting. He currently uses the Outdoor Research Crocodile gaiter and will go through 3 sets a season. We have taken a hard look at the failure points of these gaiters and how to improve up on a great product.
The problems Lance was experiencing with the OR Gaiter.
- Seam Failure at the horizontal seam where the reinforcement scuff guard and the upper Gore-Tex were sewn. The Gore-Tex fabric being thinner and not reinforced failed after extended use. A big problem when this happens in the middle of a hunt.
- Velcro closure at the bottom front of the gaiter failed and became useless overtime.
- Noisy, especially before they were broken in
- No stretch
- No gasket at the bottom of the gaiter to seal for stream crossings.
- No shaping around the boot or leg. Fit could be better
Fabric choice is the foundation to a successful KUIU product. We tested a Schoeller fabric on Kodiak, the Chugach gear performed better. After Kodiak, I worked with Toray to develop a new Primeflex 3-layer fabric for the new gaiter. I have seen the sample, it is quiet, tough, waterproof, breathable, 4-way stretch, 3-layer, Kudos DWR treated and relatively light weight because of their patented Primflex spiral yarn technology. I am really excited about this fabric.
How the KUIU Gaiter will address the problems:
- Eliminate the horizontal seam at the reinforced bottom of the gaiter
- Use 3 vertical seams to eliminate the horizontal seam which will continue to be a stress point
- Create a more ergonomic shape of the boot and leg for a better fit. The 3-vertical seams will allow this gaiter to fit better.
- Bond the reenforced scuff guard to the inside of the gaiter to eliminate the need for a seam.
- Tape the inside scuff guard seam with a stretch tape to assist with stress versus sewing
- Eliminate the velcro closure at the bottom of the gaiter
- Use Toray’s new quieter 4-way stretch fabric. The quiet face fabric and stretch will significantly reduce noise.
- Add silicone or rubber type gasket at the bottom and top of gaiter to help seal the gaiter for water crossings.
Once these problems are identified I make my marking on the OR gaiters to reflect these design changes. This also helps flush out any design or construction issues. Once these are finished I type a supporting notes page and ship these off to be mocked up and CAD drawn by my design and development team. I will receive a list of questions and we will typically go back and forth in an exchange of emails to make sure we are all on the same page with my comments.
We are at this stage in the development process. I am expecting to receive the first prototype from the factory before I leave on my sheep hunt later this month. I will test, review and make a list of changes for the next revised prototype sample. I will share the testing of the gaiter with you when I return from my sheep hunt and the changes to be made to the prototype.
There is a waiting list for this new Gaiter. If you are interested in owning a set please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you on our wait list. Please put Gaiter Wait List in your email title. There is no obligation and it will guarantee you to receive yours from the 1st shipment this Spring.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments on this process and the development of the gaiter.