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Padded Hip Belt Question

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    #46
    Originally posted by Darcy View Post
    Good question! And.... well.... as the original plan was long ago, we're only making the Smart Alec modular pockets in Black Ballistic going forward. We did do one more batch of various Modular Pocket colors due to requests posted here on the Forums, but that was the very last batch.
    Ah, shocking! (...was hoping to bag a set of new Nordic MPs for my old Nordic SA.)

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      #47
      I really like seeing user feedback result in additional products! Excellent work Tom Bihn team Many thanks !

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        #48
        Thanks, Bihn crew, for creating a padded hip belt. I'd love to try this with my Smart Alec, although from the photos on the blog post, it looks like it's too high to sit on your hip bones. Looking forward to feedback from anyone about 5'7" who tries the hip belt with the Smart Alec.
        Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful. — Shaker Philosophy

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          #49
          Originally posted by Amy View Post
          Thanks, Bihn crew, for creating a padded hip belt. I'd love to try this with my Smart Alec, although from the photos on the blog post, it looks like it's too high to sit on your hip bones. Looking forward to feedback from anyone about 5'7" who tries the hip belt with the Smart Alec.
          Part of what you might be seeing in those photos is that the fleece hoody the person is wearing is long and extends past his hip bones, which makes the belt look like it's sitting a bit higher than it actually is.

          FWIW, in our experience the belt works well with the Smart Alec. Some of us, but not all (depending on height/torso length), did adjust the Smart Alec to hang a little lower than we otherwise might in order for the belt to sit on our hip bones. That's a trade-off that might work for some people but not others. We too are excited to hear from more folks as to how the belt works for them!
          Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

          Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.

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            #50
            Originally posted by Darcy View Post
            Update! In part due to everyone's feedback in this thread, we've designed a new 1" Padded Hip Belt, and it just debuted on the website minutes ago.

            The new 1" Padded Hip Belt is designed to be used with the Synapse 19, Synapse 25, or Smart Alec.

            And I'll share here an excerpt from the blog post introducing the new 1" Padded Hip Belt:
            Our Aeronaut 30, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, and Western Flyer travel bags all have 1” webbing loops that can accept the 1” Padded Hip Belt. If you’ve been hoping for a Padded Hip Belt for your TB travel bag, then this may be your best option. We’re not officially recommending the 1” Padded Hip Belt as an option for these bags because the aforementioned travel bags are larger and do not have internal frames, and because the attachment point for a waist belt is somewhat high, the 1” Padded Hip Belt can end up riding high on some folks, especially those who are taller. Same advice we gave earlier applies here: if you already use the included 1” Webbing Gatekeeper Waist Strap on your travel bag it works for you but you’d like to upgrade to a padded version, then feel free to give the 1” Padded Hip Belt a whirl, and let us know how it works for you (maybe you’ll change our minds!)

            For those who find the Aeronaut 45 to be heavy when fully packed, here's what we usually suggest.... you may very well have already considered 1) and 2) but we're adding it here just in case:

            1) Muse on your packing list. Are you carrying heavy items that could be swapped out for lighter items, or items that could be left at home entirely? (Think: extra shoes, or heavier clothing like jeans.)

            2) Downsize to the Aeronaut 30. Easy enough if you find yourself filling your Aeronaut 45 not because you need to but just because you can, but if that's not the case, you'll still need to go w/the advice above (pare down your packing list).

            3) You might try the new 1" Padded Hip Belt, and if you do, let us know how it works for you.

            The 1" Padded Hip Belt is available here on its own page and can also be ordered with the Synapse 19, Synapse 25, and Smart Alec.

            P.S. Tom has a new blog post that came out of our discussions on this topic -- A Brief History of Padded Hip Belts
            Seems like they're out of stock already! Was hoping to try it out on my Aeronaut 45.

            Any ETA for the new batch?

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              #51
              Originally posted by junjie View Post
              Seems like they're out of stock already! Was hoping to try it out on my Aeronaut 45.

              Any ETA for the new batch?
              I know, right?! Means we should soon be seeing some feedback from folks who are using them.

              We're already working on the next batch and anticipate they'll be ready to ship within the next two weeks (probably sooner!)
              Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

              Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.

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                #52
                Mine arrived today! But I'm not taking a trip until Thanksgiving to fully test it out.


                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                  #53
                  @Amy, @Pokilani,

                  This is preliminary, because I just received the padded hip belt yesterday, but for me (just under 5' 4"; between the two of you in height), this improves the carrying experience of the Smart Alec (Aubergine/Wasabi Ballistic Nylon), and that's the bag where I most notice the difference. I usually carry an S25 with narrow backpack strap spacing, and on that bag, which I usually wear without waist straps, I have to adjust the shoulder straps so that I carry the bag lower on my back to use the hip belt. (I'm pretty used to my old Synapse settings, so it will take a while to decide whether I like the trade-offs.)

                  Also, a quick test on my Tri-Star (I'm not traveling for a while) -- this sits waist-strap high, and while it is more comfortable to wear long term than the waist strap, I have the buckle set to the absolute shortest setting to close. Instead of hooking into webbing actually on the sides of a backpack, the hip belt gatekeepers attach to webbing loops that are inset from where the backpack harness connects in, so I need to tighten the waist belt webbing a lot more, and use the shortest possible buckle setting.

                  HTH

                  moriond

                  Comment


                    #54
                    Mine is preliminary as well, but so far a huge thumbs up. I attached it to my DLBP , where the pads sit right at the top of my hip bone (I'm 5'1" on a good day). As soon as I snapped the buckles, the majority of the weight came off my shoulders! I knew that since the hip belt for the HsJ fit @NWhikergal, that I likely would not have a problem with the belt being too big. Indeed, it is not. I still could have tightened the belt another inch on each side (for reference, I'm a size 2/4, size Small on most bottoms). I also really like that the pads aren't too wide, like you see on heftier bags. I can't wait to try it out with my A30!


                    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                      #55
                      Originally posted by Darcy View Post
                      Good question! And.... well.... as the original plan was long ago, we're only making the Smart Alec modular pockets in Black Ballistic going forward. We did do one more batch of various Modular Pocket colors due to requests posted here on the Forums, but that was the very last batch.
                      Oooo that definitely made me pull the trigger on an Aubergine UMP (I love the abbreviation UMP heh) - sorry if this derails the thread, but - was the lining Northwest Sky on that last batch? I can't for the life of me see see the lining color on the site pic.

                      Can't wait to see if my new SA works for me, and then Quick! To the hip belt mobile!

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                        #56
                        Originally posted by nutmeg View Post
                        Oooo that definitely made me pull the trigger on an Aubergine UMP (I love the abbreviation UMP heh) - sorry if this derails the thread, but - was the lining Northwest Sky on that last batch? I can't for the life of me see see the lining color on the site pic.

                        Can't wait to see if my new SA works for me, and then Quick! To the hip belt mobile!
                        @nutmeg, You'll have to tell us whether the lining of your Smart Alec Upper Modular Pocket is Northwest Sky. The date of the last major batch of Smart Alec modular pockets that was formally announced in the forums was at the end of June. At that time, their order for Northwest Sky Halcyon was filled, in error, as Steel, so they used Steel for many items over the next two months, and that included for the Halcyon Modular Pockets. Now, just from memory, I recollect that the Upper Modular Pockets got down to Coyote only, at the end of summer, and that the Upper Modular Pocket page later refreshed with both Black and Aubergine, without any forum announcements. According to the restocking timetable, that should have meant that the last batch used Northwest Sky, but I've never seen this discussed. (My own Aubergine modular pockets for the Smart Alec were acquired some years ago, and use Steel Halcyon for the pockets).

                        By the way, if I were buying a new Smart Alec for myself, I would definitely invest in the new padded hip belt, but we should probably wait for the inputs from people of different heights and builds who are trying out the hip belt.

                        HTH

                        moriond
                        Last edited by moriond; 11-01-2016, 10:49 PM.

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                          #57
                          Originally posted by moriond View Post
                          @nutmeg, You'll have to tell us whether the lining of your Smart Alec Upper Modular Pocket is Northwest Sky. The date of the last major batch of Smart Alec modular pockets that was formally announced in the forums was at the end of June. At that time, their order for Northwest Sky Halcyon was filled, in error, as Steel, so they used Steel for many items over the next two months, and that included for the Halcyon Modular Pockets. Now, just from memory, I recollect that the Upper Modular Pockets got down to Coyote only, at the end of summer, and that the Upper Modular Pocket page later refreshed with both Black and Aubergine, without any forum announcements. According to the restocking timetable, that should have meant that the last batch used Northwest Sky, but I've never seen this discussed. (My own Aubergine modular pockets for the Smart Alec were acquired some years ago, and use Steel Halcyon for the pockets).

                          By the way, if I were buying a new Smart Alec for myself, I would definitely invest in the new padded hip belt, but we should probably wait for the inputs from people of different heights and builds who are trying out the hip belt.

                          HTH

                          moriond
                          I'll definitely let you know! Thanks for the insight - I'm really hoping for NWS over Steel, it's such a pretty cloudy color, and that gives me hope. The hip belt was out of stock by the time I placed my order, alas. I'm trying to look at it as a good thing since it'll force me to wait for reviews (hopefully from some people who are of the vertically challenged variety). I'll let you know (and post pics) as soon as I get it

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                            #58
                            Originally posted by nutmeg View Post
                            I'll definitely let you know! Thanks for the insight - I'm really hoping for NWS over Steel, it's such a pretty cloudy color, and that gives me hope. The hip belt was out of stock by the time I placed my order, alas. I'm trying to look at it as a good thing since it'll force me to wait for reviews (hopefully from some people who are of the vertically challenged variety). I'll let you know (and post pics) as soon as I get it
                            Customer service just confirmed the remaining Aubergine UMPs have Steel lining - I guess this just means I'll need to buy something with NWS lining to complete the collection!

                            Comment


                              #59
                              Originally posted by junjie View Post
                              Seems like they're out of stock already! Was hoping to try it out on my Aeronaut 45.

                              Any ETA for the new batch?
                              @junjie and others,

                              I haven't seen an announcement go up yet, but when I checked just now it seems as though the 1" padded hip belt has restocked.

                              moriond

                              Comment


                                #60
                                As an alternative way to attach the hip belt to the Aeronauts, perhaps attaching it directly to where the shoulder strap attaches to the bag will make it more "load bearing". The normal attachment point on the shoulder strap (and not on the bag itself) does not work as well to distribute the weight as it does for the backpacks (S25, SA, DLBP). See my earlier post to see what using the normal attachment point looks like.

                                I do the above with the original Brain Bag padded hip belt and it works very well for me to distribute weight. It is so good at taking the load off my shoulders that I can actually loosen my shoulder straps to the point where the weight is taken almost fully by the hip belt and it is still comfortable.

                                I took a few pictures to hopefully better show what I mean:

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                                Closeup of how I attached my hip belt to the A45 (left side):
                                Note - because it is attached deep in the A45 "pocket", the hip belt does not twist - even though there is a size difference in the loop / gatekeeper clip.

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                                What it looks like all attached:

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                                Another neat thing is that you can hook it around the Aeronaut when not in use (instead of having to remove it):

                                Click image for larger version

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                                YMMV but I have found this quite good when carrying a heavy A45.

                                Hope this helps

                                Cheers!


                                Edit: Forgot to note that with this new setup, the max waist size is slightly reduced (the part of the padded hip belt that is "behind" the gatekeeper attachment clip actually curves onto the back of the bag - see the 4th picture above). But, further on the plus side, it makes the bag extra comfortable as the padding is also on my lower back as well as my sides.
                                Edit#2: Note that for the padded hip belt to have the most weight transfer effect, IMHO, the Aeronaut should be pretty rigidly packed to mimic the rigidity (and therefore ability to transfer weight) that the frame provides in an internal/external frame backpack.
                                Last edited by tpnl; 11-10-2016, 11:56 AM.
                                TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

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