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Pilgrimpaddler
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06/09/2024 05:52PM  
Just wondering if any of you have experience with the MNZ gear portage packs, made in Cloquet. They’re front-loading and made of 1000 denier Cordura. It looks like an interesting design to me.
 
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06/09/2024 06:12PM  
That is interesting. But won't a liner largely defeat the point of front loading?
 
06/09/2024 08:23PM  
Looks very well made and I like the access a front loader offers.

Any idea if the zippers are waterproof? Probably not, just curious...
 
andym
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06/09/2024 08:33PM  
You could forgo a liner if all of the things you want to keep dry are in small dry bags. Then the front loading might help find things quickly. The old knupacs were a side opening dry bag and the extra large opening does make finding things easier.

Doubt the zippers are waterproof. Waterproof zippers are expensive and I would expect them to mention them. They also tend to be very stiff and hard to pull. Worth it for a waterproof pack but definitely something that people tend to mention.
 
Pilgrimpaddler
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06/09/2024 08:47PM  
plmn: "That is interesting. But won't a liner largely defeat the point of front loading?"


I wondered about that myself. I suppose it would work well for a load that’s either in smaller dry bags and/or not susceptible to water damage. That’s a fair amount of most of the gear I typically bring.
 
straighthairedcurly
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06/12/2024 03:36PM  
Interesting idea but I would have to learn a whole new way of packing. I have the art of the top load pack down to perfection :) Plus anything I might need to reach before arriving at a campsite gets a spot on the top of the pack.
 
MnzGear
member (7)member
  
06/13/2024 04:54AM  
Thanks for checking out these packs. I can answer a couple of these question. Yes, the zippers are waterproof. They are #8 ykk aquaguard zippers. The pack is designed to be used with waterproof interior bags. All the seams are double stiched.

Thanks for looking.
Brendon Menze
 
06/13/2024 07:20AM  
Nice to hear from you Brendon - I like the concept, and of course great to see locally made gear.

How much do the packs weigh in the various sizes, with & without hip belts?
 
MnzGear
member (7)member
  
06/13/2024 08:26AM  
sns: "Nice to hear from you Brendon - I like the concept, and of course great to see locally made gear.


How much do the packs weigh in the various sizes, with & without hip belts?"


The 85 liter weighs 3.1 LBS with the hip belt. I dont have the weights on the all the different configurations. They will all be between 2.5 and 3.5 LBS.

I have been testing custom sized dry bags for the the front loaders. They have been working very well and i should have them out soon.
 
Pilgrimpaddler
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06/13/2024 09:22AM  
MnzGear: "Thanks for checking out these packs. I can answer a couple of these question. Yes, the zippers are waterproof. They are #8 ykk aquaguard zippers. The pack is designed to be used with waterproof interior bags. All the seams are double stiched.


Thanks for looking.
Brendon Menze"


Brendon, what is the purpose of waterproof zippers if the bag itself is not waterproof?
 
MnzGear
member (7)member
  
06/13/2024 09:35AM  
Pilgrimpaddler: "
MnzGear: "Thanks for checking out these packs. I can answer a couple of these question. Yes, the zippers are waterproof. They are #8 ykk aquaguard zippers. The pack is designed to be used with waterproof interior bags. All the seams are double stiched.

Thanks for looking.
Brendon Menze"

Brendon, what is the purpose of waterproof zippers if the bag itself is not waterproof?"

The pack is made of 1000 cordura with a DWR coating. I found when testing the pack in the rain most of the moisture entered the pack through the zipper and seams. The mojority of it coming through the zipper. I upgraded the zippers to waterproof zippers to help keep the mojority of the water out. The only spots I have seen water seep into the pack now is through the seams. Even then it is minimal amount. You do have to pay attention to where the front flap is and make sure water will down and away. Just as you would not put a traditional in upside down. I had a BWCA guide test the pack and her biggest compliment was how dry the pack kept everthing during 2 day of rain.
 
Pilgrimpaddler
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06/13/2024 10:30AM  
Thanks for the information, Brendon. It will be interesting to see what you come up with for dry bag to go inside the pack. This sounds like a very good pack option!
 
Mnsnowcamper
  
06/13/2024 12:10PM  
I have used the Mnz packs, both the barrel pack and the front loader are as tough as they appear. The front loader does have ykk waterproof zippers and is made with all American components. The positioning of the shoulder straps make it very comfortable. I have not had problems with moisture as I keep my critical gear in e vent stuff sacks inside the pack. Check out some of his destructive testing on his YouTube channel.
 
MnzGear
member (7)member
  
06/17/2024 04:23PM  
Pilgrimpaddler: "Thanks for the information, Brendon. It will be interesting to see what you come up with for dry bag to go inside the pack. This sounds like a very good pack option!"


I was able to source custom made pack liners. I will have the 85 liter pack liners available soon. The will be similar to the current pack liners on the market except they are sized for the Front loaders. This is way cheaper for the consumer over a custom made dry bag.

Brendon Menze
 
andym
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06/19/2024 07:29PM  
Sound like great bags. I’ll keep my eye on them for the future.

One note, according to YKK, “This zipper is water repellent, not waterproof/watertight.” That makes them a sensible match for the material and much easier to pull than fully waterproof dry suit zippers.
 
Lawnchair107
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06/20/2024 06:19PM  
Brendon, excited to try your front loader pack out. I think it’s a sweet design and concept.

Keep the hard work & ideas coming. Us canoers all appreciate it.
 
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