I have been in Alaska product testing on a black b...

I have been in Alaska product testing on a black bear bowhunt. I apologize for not being able to respond to your questions and concerns regarding the new packs, suspension and frame. I am traveling home today (layover in Seattle) and will make sure I go through all the comments and get each addressed over the next few days.

For those of you upset about the new designs and packs I am sorry if you feel wronged. It was never my intention. I know many companies will sell the same designs and technology for years in packs and apparel, which is the reason we are decades behind in design and technology.  If you follow brands like Apple, or even the bow companies that come out with a new bow every single season it does not make your bow useless or your iphone obsolete.  This type of constant evolution creates new and better products and we all win.

Never being totally satisfied, I am constantly working on new products developments, technologies, fabrics and concepts. KUIU will continue to bring new innovations to market and reinvent old ones. There are many more to come in 2012 and as long as KUIU exists. Product changes, improvements and new innovations should be expected with KUIU.  It is why I built KUIU.  If this upsets you I am sorry. But, I hope you can appreciate the change we will make to our industry; Innovation our industry has been lacking for decades.

Again I will address your comments concerns and questions over the next few days and make sure you have your answers.

Thank you for your passion and support!  I have to go catch my flight.

Oh yea, I did shoot a P & Y Bear with my longbow!!!  More on that later.


This article has 35 comment(s)

  1. J.R. Young

    People upset about product evolution and improvement, that’s just dumb. If I was in a situation where I needed the latest and greatest, I’d sell my existing and get the “upgrade” and be damn happy the product just got better.

  2. heron153

    Jason –

    congrats on the bear – can’t wait to hear about it!

    re. new gear – evolve or die…



  3. Joel Biltz

    Jason, glad to hear you had a successful bear hunt. I’m the guy who talked to you about my ICON last week before you left for your hunt. I think the things you are doing with KUIU is simply amazing. Keep up the great work. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new products and use them all in Newfoundland this fall. Thanks and keep up the great work..

  4. Will Jenkins

    Great response Jason and congrats a P&Y Black Bear with a longbow is a HUGE accomplishment! Congrats!!!! Can’t wait to see that post!

  5. Justin Thole

    Innovation is what I live for with gear. It is the very reason I worked in the backpacking industry for several years. It is very sad to say the hunting is years behind the ultra light backpacking industry and Jason it is a breath of fresh air to see your company lead the way in the evolution of this industry. I am excited to see KUIU’s development and take it to heart when I say thank you for creating a superior product that make my hunting experiences much more enjoyable! Like my father used to say “you are either green and growing or ripe and rotting.” And it is said to say most hunting gear companies are the later in the innovation department!

    Keep up the great work!

  6. Matt

    First off…congrats on the bear. We will expect a full report with pictures when you get a chance.
    Secondly…I don’t think anyone is mad about new innovations and designs, the frustration is coming from a lack of communication that the old bags/frame might not be compatible with the new icon bags/frame. It seems crazy to think that you would dump the price on the old bags and not tell people they would not be able to purchase the frame that would work with it or that they would not work with the new frame. I understand there is a conversion kit in the process and am hoping this will offer a good solution.

    • lindsey

      I second what Matt said..

      • Nick

        X3 I stood by my pack last year even though I had slight issues I could have dumped it right away for a fair value, but I stood by KUIU and your(Jason’s) word that we would see more bags and features in the future I am regretting that decision now, only to be chastised and get apologies that aren’t really apologies and get accused of holding back innovations, a forthright company that prides its self on transparency wouldn’t leave behind all the customers that made the ICON 2.0 possible it should have been priority number 1 to make the packs and frames compatible, it has nothing to do with me not thinking my pack isn’t good enough or being selfish and wanting the latest and greatest thing I want KUIU to be honest with me and everyone else that bought the ICON frames and tell us if were not going to get new bags that will fit our packs why were we sold these frames under the premise that we would.

        I really would have liked to wait and know for sure one way or the other whether or not you’ll honor your word and give us an option to attach the 2012 bags to our 2011 frames but the politicking and subtle insults and backpedaling have me very frustrated its not a matter of feeling wronged if these bags are incompatible with our 2011 frames and no solution is offered we will have been wronged by KUIU plain and simple its not greed its giving us what we payed for.

    • David

      I too think it was more of a matter of communication. It’s a combination of no one being certain how compatible old bags will be with new frames and vice versa, as well as how this brand new frame appearing out of nowhere. There wasn’t the usual open discussion about possible changes or upgrades to the frame, they just kind of all happened at once and without warning. I completely support and understand making the products better and addressing issues people had with the first generation frames. It makes sense, and it makes the products better. I just think some people feel they were “ambushed” if you will by this completely different frame out of the blue. That combined with uncertainty about compatibility has some folks upset. I’m sure it’ll all get sorted out though. Old frame or new frame, it’s still good stuff.

  7. Ryan Kohatsu

    Congratulations on the BEAR!!

  8. NIck

    Wait… I am not completely up to date here.. I just bought the Icon 3000 on sale, will this not work with the new frame? I don’t have the old one, this is my first Kuiu order.
    Thanks, Nick

    • lindsey

      So far.. no. It will not work. Sucks doesnt it.

      • David

        Lindsey, how many times do you have to be told there is an adapter? From the first thread:

        “Shaun Ayers
        May 24, 2012 at 8:38 am · Reply
        There have been significant changes in the way the frame attaches to the bag and and suspension. We do have an adapter system prototyped for attaching 2011 bags to the new frame and suspension. We don’t have a confirmed production date but are trying to move quickly on this.

        Attaching the new bags to the old frame and suspension is a more complicated process requiring replacement of nearly the entire suspension system. We are still working and deciding on that one.”

        “Shaun Ayers
        May 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm · Reply
        If you want more information on pack adapter systems please call KUIU customer service at (855) 367-5848. We’ll explain the different systems and timing.”

        You keep complaining about them addressing issues you’ve had. If you don’t like that your complaints have been addressed, I don’t know what you expect them to do for you. You just come on here and complain, but I’d bet big money you never called customer service about any of your issues or called Shaun after he said there was an adapter.

        I know you didn’t call them because they would have told you the same thing they told me when I called them. They said the new frame ships with an adapter for the 3000 and 6000 for anyone that requests one, and the adapter makes the 2012 frame compatible with the 3000 and 6000.

  9. Jerry Gowins

    Congrats on the P&Y bear!! Looking forward to hearing about it.


  10. Val Marquez

    Congrat on the bear. I also killed a P&Y bear on May 14; but I didn’t have the grapes to use my longbow and took it with a Hoyt.
    Keep up the inovation. There are folks, like me, that do not have the $$$ at this time so when we buy it will be great to have the latest and greatest gear.

    Val marquez

  11. F2 Outfitter

    Jason, keep up the good work, from everything I have read and experienced with KUIU you have more than went out of your way with keeping us informed/involved as well as in delivering great and exciting products that the hunting industry demands. To all you guys who feel so “wronged” you sound like a disgruntled pro athlete who was, dare I say “disrespected.” We all should feel lucky that we have a new and innovative company that wants it’s customers to have design input in thier products. In today’s mfg industry if your not constantly changing then your getting passed by. Look at it as collateral damage in the face of change and product advancements. If you guys feel so wronged the answer is easy, move on. Keep up the good work KUIU, you not going to make everyone happy.

    • lindsey

      Lmao.. sorry for being honest. Hows a company ever to know what consumers wants and concerns are if they dont say something?? Humm?? Same goes with any other product on the market. Companies sink or swim based on consumer wants. Example REI vs Sportsmans.
      REI will take back any product they sell if its defective, doesnt work, you dont like it, no questions asked. They are prospering. Sportsmans will not take back anything after 30 days regardless, lack of product knowledge, arrogant.. and look what happened. Sales are plummeting they have closed over half their stores and never have products on their shelves. Its all about honesty, customer service, products, and knowledge. Thats the way it should be. Its also how companies survive and thrive. Ive worked retail, i have heard the stories, delt with ticked customers, you name it.
      Jason, all I can say is, just be upfront, honest, and keep absorbing feedback. Positive or negative. Believe it or not, we are here to help.

  12. Kyle

    You have my support for product innovation! Keep pushing the envelope Jason!

  13. Kevin


    Congrats on the bear – looking forward to the story.

    Also, I’d like to make a suggestion. From the beginning, it has been kind of an understanding that “The best way to get Jason’s attention is the blog” and “Jason doesn’t spend much time on the forum”, etc. However, the marketing plan you executed with the transparency and “you are Kuiu” has created a fiercely loyal following. People feel connected to your company and consider it “their” gear also. The result is you now have over 2,000 members on your forum. I think Kuiu as a company needs to have a larger presence there. In my opinion the buzz that followed the release of the packs could have been squashed quickly if someone from Kuiu would have gotten on and explained the situation, how/if/when bags and frames from different years were compatable, etc. A couple guys have tried to fill that role somewhat, but “I called customer service and they said this” or “this is what I think Kuiu is doing” doesn’t have the same effect that an actual informed company representative would have. I’m sure you guys have a plan for this integration – why not get an answer from Kuiu itself. I know there were moderators in the past, like Ryan, but that doesn’t seem to be happening lately. More blog posts would be great, but I like the forum better because I can actually start a topic for discussion there. I can’t ask a question on the blog about a topic that hasn’t been posted yet.
    I think what some of the comments above are saying is they expect a lot from Kuiu because of the gear and business model you have created. You’ve created a higher standard. This should be reflected in Kuiu’s communication as well – in my opinion.

    Looking forward to the new packs, and whatever else you guys have in store for the future.


    • Austin

      Exactly! I think Kevin hit the nail on the head. I think what is probably upsetting most people, is the fact that Kuiu has set a higher standard and really prides itself on communicating with its customer base. This is such a refreshing new business model that has been implemented by you (Jason) and the Kuiu staff so well, that it may have actually spoiled us!

      Do we deserve to know every single move the company is making? Absolutely not. However, many have grown to believe by default that we are privy to all new major product developments Kuiu is working on. I think many, including myself at times, feel this is deserved; however,it is not – we should all understand this is a privilege that we should be grateful to be a part of.

      Jason, I think the work and products Kuiu puts out are top notch, but the new frame did catch a lot of people off guard and somewhat disrupted the information forward business model Kuiu has created. Was is wrong? No, just unexpected. As Kevin stated, a more significant presence by Kuiu staff on the forum could help instances like this simply by providing the customer base with some additional information in your absence or to answer product specific questions.

      All that being said, I’m excited about getting my new pack and frame in a few months!!

  14. Shane C

    Congrats on the bear! I got to meet Wes and shoot his longbow a few weeks ago. Nice bow, but his recurve is what’s for me. Got one on order now. Keep up the great product development! This industry needs advancement. Imagine where we’d be if the pack and clothing companies actually made advancements like electronic companies do instead of making “slight” improvements on an old design. In fact, people were upset when the iPhone 4s came out because people didn’t think it had ENOUGH new stuff on it. Here you’re dealing with the opposite problem. So I say keep up the good work.

    Also, now would probably be a good time to check in and respond on the forum as well as on the blog.

  15. Kevin L

    I purchased both the 3000 and 6000 on sale recently and was told (after I bought them) that they hoped to have a modification kit available by the time the 2012 frame comes out. Is this no longer the case? And if it is, will it be a very streamlined kit that doesn’t add bulk or take away from the form, fit, and function of either the frame or bags?

    I’m all for continuous product improvement and will continue to support KUIU but I’ll admit I do feel a little duped.

    • David

      In the original thread about the new frames and packs:

      “Shaun Ayers
      May 24, 2012 at 8:38 am · Reply
      There have been significant changes in the way the frame attaches to the bag and and suspension. We do have an adapter system prototyped for attaching 2011 bags to the new frame and suspension. We don’t have a confirmed production date but are trying to move quickly on this.

      Attaching the new bags to the old frame and suspension is a more complicated process requiring replacement of nearly the entire suspension system. We are still working and deciding on that one.”

      “Shaun Ayers
      May 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm · Reply
      If you want more information on pack adapter systems please call KUIU customer service at (855) 367-5848. We’ll explain the different systems and timing.”

      I called them. They said the new frame ships with an adapter for the 3000 and 6000 for anyone that requests one, and the adapter makes the 2012 frame compatible with the 3000 and 6000.

      As far as questions about how well the adapter functions or what it weighs, I have no idea. Give them a call and I’m sure they’d tell you.

  16. Greg

    First Congrats on the bear ! looking forward to seeing the pictures.
    Secondly I cant imagine people being upset about a previous years product has changed. GOOD companies evolve and change their products ( for the better ) Im sure thats what Kuiu has done. Keep it up, you guys are awesome.

  17. lindsey

    And the people close their eyes and open their mouths. Geezus alot of you just DONT GET IT do you.
    Jason, you want the truth, give me a call. Perhaps I can explain like several have tried who, what, and why many are ticked, want answers, and will continue to question things and not just turn a blind eye and kiss your hind end.
    We are here to help produce a better product, but many dont seem to understand that. This is seriously becoming an issue of one side acting like nothings wrong and those who are being honest in concerns and would like answers. Your tribe of followers are taking sides against each other. Why in the hell cant we just voice an opinion without being called out as disrespectful as one put it?
    Our concerns are honest concerns. After the literally thousands i spent on your gear, the least you could do is be respectful to me, the consumer and supporter instead of blogging on how your only being innovative with the new designs. Come on now Jason. If you take so much pride on honesty and being different, you and your team should have said something about the bags and frames. Your company has only been around for one year. Here is where you sink or swim. You want your customers to give you feedback and be honest, well Jason, here you go. Im being honest and giving you feed back like on the other blog, but i am not convinced you read it, understood it, care, or listened. By the way this blog is writen, it makes me wonder.
    Up till now i have been a loyal supporter of Kuiu, recommended it to everyone, have the stickers on my rigs, ect. I like Kuiu and what you have done, dont get me wrong. However some questions need to be answered.. its make or break time Jason, for you, your company, and supporters. What say you?

    • David

      I still think you should call customer service Lindsey. You have lots of complaints, but they would have all been allayed had you tried contacting customer service instead of coming on the blog and continuously bashing the company you claim to support. You say you had problems with the old frame and would like the new one. So buy the new one.

      Before you say anything about compatibility, call customer service and ask them, that’s what they’re there for. I’d bet you everything you’ve spent on Kuiu, that you haven’t called them yet, and that they tell you the same thing they told me when I called them. The 2012 frame will ship with an adapter for the 3000 and 6000 for anyone who requests one. The adapter makes the 2012 frame compatible with the 3000 and 6000.

      • lindsey

        Bash? Reading comprehension isnt one of your strong suits is it? Your the one bashing me for having an opinion. Many complaints? Two complaints actually. Period. Your assumptions are false, once again.
        Read, then re read the posts by others. Your singling me out amongst those who are voicing opninions that are not positive. Are conflicting reports from customer service from other customers, we are waiting for actual conformation from designers or someone within the depths to say they are compatible.
        Just go buy one.. ha, ok. No thanks, i will sit this round out. Let me know how it works after you buy it and use it on some hunting trips loaded down.

        • David

          I’ve replied to you no less than 3 times. I gave you direct quotes from Shaun Ayers, who is Kuiu’s backpack representative twice. You’re the one who doesn’t seem to get it.I told you to call customer service twice and ask them. If you refuse to to take Kuiu’s employees (Shaun) at their word or ask them yourself, there’s nothing to be done for you. You complain about the frame hitting your head, you complain about how it carries a load, you complain about compatibility, you complain about the price you paid, and now you complain about the information you get. I read just fine, and I comprehend even better. I bet you the value of everything you’ve spent on Kuiu that you haven’t called customer service, and it’s still clear you have not. They would of told you what you’ve already been told several times. What I can’t comprehend is how you can be so incredibly ignorant. Pick up your phone and dial 855-367-5848 and talk to them if you want to hear it from them. It isn’t hard. I did it, it took 2 minutes.

    • JR

      @ Lindsey. What is your issue? I have read your comments here and on the forum. Like in just a sentance or maybe two what is your issue? You go on and on but I dont get it. Shory and simple, what is your issue? Nothing that is said to you in response seems to satisfy you so I dont think anyone else fully gets it either?

      • Kevin

        I think lindsey has made her point quite clear, and then some. Lindsey, let’s give Jason a chance to respond. He said he would address any and all concerns – and I agree there are concerns to address – but give him a day or two. He did just get back from a hunt.

  18. Scott Dillon

    Congrats on the Longbow Bear, great accomplishment, especially P&Y caliber! Keep up the good work, and product innovation!

  19. George Hicks

    Congrats on the bear Jason.

  20. Rob B

    Nice work on the bear J. Loving the second season of gear, love the 7000 size bag. How could anyone complain about a company that designs our requests? Gonna be in San Fran in July. Forcing the gf to make the drive out to your HQ. Hope to meet the man their. Cheers,

  21. F2 Outfitter

    Lindsey, honestly, ur making urself out to look like a real fool. Ur opinions are your opinion, but telling the owner of the company, the guy who invested all the time and capital that it was ” sink or swim time.” Were the he’ll do you get off saying that?? U think ur complaints or challenges are going to get him to do what you demand? Do us all a favor and take ur comments and business someplace else. What a joke!!!

  22. Todd

    I am a gear head. I can not spend enough time researching gear that can make my mountain hunting more pleasant and comfortable. I have been satisfied with all items I purchase from Kuiu but would like to make a few recommendations. I have noticed Kuiu as well as the other companies that specifically target the mountain hunter has geared their lines toward a very fitted tapered athletic fit. I am nearing a dozen backpac back country hunts and as many others do, during bad weather and hours waiting for planes , have a tendancy to study and learn from others, which ulitamtely leads us to talking about our gear. In passing I noticed that on my trips it is about 50/50 with the guys that would fit into the athletic fit vs. the other like myself that have thicker body types which makes some of the athletic fit not as comfortable. One thing I would like to suggest is a double action zipper on all of your jackets, this would allow for the jacket to unzip upwards toward the waist allowing the jacket to flair out at the waist while on horseback, 4 wheelers or while sitting and spotting. The other would be to allow a bit more room in the thighs. One last thing would be some type reinforcement in the seat and knees for abrasion resistance in the rocks or while crawling while stalking.