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REI | Co-op Tested, Co-op Made: Backpacks // Ep5


– Let’s test some packs. (rock music) Hi guys. I’m Dave from MagLab with Jim. Today we’re gonna do a
little bit of pack testing. So come on over. We’ll get started. Pack testing is kind of a fun one, because what we want to do is make sure that when you’re looking to buy a pack, that you’re gonna get
accurate information. So today we’re looking at some of our whole product test, meaning we’re testing an actual prototype. Before we’ve gotten to this stage, we perform dozens of tests to look at fabrics, buckles, trims, et cetera, all the different components
that make up your pack. So pack testing at R.E.I
starts with volume. The way we’re gonna do this is per an international
standard called ASTMF 2153. And what we’re gonna do is
we’re gonna go through this pack and we’re gonna fill
every little pocket of it that can close with little balls. We’re gonna max it out
until it’s completely full, and then we’re gonna measure it’s volume. – This wasn’t always a standard. This standard was created in 2001, before that people used to use
all sorts of different things to measure the volume of the backpack. They would use dog food, ping pong balls, wadded up t-shirts, chunks of foam, beans, any sort of thing. The problem is it’s all different, and it could give you
very different results. We were looking for something
that was uniform in volume, but also about the right size and density to fill the pack, similar to how a backpacking
load would fill the pack, it’d be about the right density to be a similar weight, when filled, as your backpacking load. Actually a lot of that
work for the standard was done right here in the MagLab, and it has now become the standard that is used almost universally by all the people who manufacture luggage, backpacks, anything
with an internal volume. If you’re making a stuff sack, you’re probably gonna use this test. And it would also be comparable to another manufacturer if
they’re using this standard, so you really can do
apples to apples comparison on the backpacks or
luggage that you’re buying. When we’re filling it, you’ll notice we start
with the main compartment, that’s actually part of the standard. There is a filling order
and also a filling criteria. – [Dave] So now that the
pack is mostly filled, we’re gonna go through
and we’re gonna make sure that every pocket with an
enclosure is as full as possible. – When you get down to
the last few cubic inches, you do wanna make sure that you have every
possible little spot full. This is a maximum volume measurement. I dropped a few, so… And you do wanna see
that uniform dimpling, and basically when it’s
getting to the point where you really can’t quite close it, it’s just bursting, that’s when you’re gonna
call the maximum capacity, and we’re just about there now. You can see that a couple of
these pockets are not filled, and the reason for that is, the standard actually only
includes enclosed pockets. So the pocket doesn’t have a closure, you’re not gonna put the
balls in it and fill it up. – So now that the pack
is totally 100% full, we’re gonna go ahead and we’re gonna dump all of those balls into
our calibrated cylinder. We’re gonna start with the pack body. So now that we’ve filled
the pack completely, we’re gonna measure exactly how many balls were inside that pack. And there you have it. Now we’ll repeat that same process for all the other pockets on the pack, and we’ll come up with the volume. (rock music) So now that we know the
total volume of this pack, we’re gonna use it to
continue on to our next test, where we’re gonna check how strong all the handles on this pack are. The way we’re gonna do this test, is I’m gonna hook this cool
load cell up to our pack, and I’m gonna lift it by every handle, and then we’re gonna go through and make sure nothing breaks. The reason we overload the pack so high and we lift it so slowly is because we’re trying to control as
many variables as we can. We know that when people are
using the pack in the field they’re gonna be taking big steps. That’s gonna put kind of
a G force on the pack. They might have to pick the pack up when they’re trying to load it up. They might be stuck
under their buddy’s pack when it’s resting against a log. Who knows? But you might be yanking on some of these straps pretty hard, and what we’re doing is
we’re overloading it, and then we lift really slowly. So we’re not jerking it but
we’re imparting similar forces. (rock music)

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