Backcountry Forum

Make Your Own Gear

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#154341 - 09/06/11 11:25 AM Engineering Design Project
apstenzel07 Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 4
I'm a 4th year engineering student studying Composite Materials Engineering at Winona State University. We're working on our senior design project, and the product we're proposing to design and manufacture is an external frame for a backpack. Since almost all production frames for these backpacks are made out of aluminum, we thought it would be beneficial and interesting to fabricate one out of a carbon fiber reinforced composite material.

With that said, my question is if anyone would be able to provide input from a customer based standpoint on our product versus standard aluminum external frames? Another detail about our idea is that we would like the frame and pack to act as a dual purpose item, with the frame and pack folding out into a cot. Therefore one wouldn't have to sleep on the ground.

For our project we do actually need 5 "potential customers" with actual name and contact information (email really), so if anyone here would feel so compelled to share some customer input on a product such as this, please email me your ideas --> comtecintern@yahoo.com


Thank you so much in advance!

Top
#154342 - 09/06/11 11:54 AM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: apstenzel07]
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1155
Loc: Florida panhandle
I'll just offer my initial thoughts.

The dual purpose idea is great but sleeping on the ground isn't usually a big deal. I would suggest instead of a cot either shelter supports/tent poles or even a chair. Maybe get creative and create a toilet seat for those who prefer not to squat.

I don't know much about carbon fiber durability so maybe these questions aren't very good. How does it hold up to cold? People use their packs in below freezing weather. Also, I've read that some carbon fiber items can be brittle. Will the frame break if dropped?

Why would people want an external frame? I still like mine, but I'm weird. Marketing such an item might prove the biggest challenge.

Top
#154344 - 09/06/11 12:29 PM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: PerryMK]
apstenzel07 Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 4
Yeah we just realized that, unfortunately, internal fram packs are more popular by a large margin. Doesn't diminish the project itself since we won't actually be marketing and selling the item, we just have to propose it and manufacture it next semester.

Thanks for the input!

Top
#154345 - 09/06/11 12:37 PM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: apstenzel07]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I love senior design projects. I still remember how fun mine was. A carbon fiber pack frame would be a great idea. I would ditch the cot idea, either keep it a single use item or maybe use it for tent supports or a chair. Here are some variables that would sway people to purchase one.

1. cost. Aluminum is pretty cheap. It is also easy and cheap to manufacture. Plastic is really easy to mold as well.
2. Weight. If you can beat the weight and durability of an internal frame suspension system, then it wouldn't matter how much it would cost.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#154350 - 09/06/11 01:27 PM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: apstenzel07]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I think you might want to explore internal frame packs that use a carbon fiber support system too. As for dual purpose, I think I'd rather have a chair or stool to sit on too, than a cot to sleep on.

A chair or stool should be lighter, and possibly easier to integrate into your design.

While a chair may seem like something that's so simple it doesn't need to be considered, it's actually been a very difficult problem for backpackers to solve.
The issue has to do with weight vs utility, and so far no design that I know of has hit the mark necessary to make it onto many backpacker's gear list.

For me, even a backrest would be a wonderful addition to my gear list, especially if it was dual purpose and added no weight to what I already carry. A backrest would obviously need to be built quite similar to a pack frame, so it might be done with some clean and simple design changes.

Let us know what you come up with...
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



Top
#154352 - 09/06/11 01:48 PM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: apstenzel07]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
If I read the original post right, this is a paper project, not one that will acutally be produced and sold.

That said, I think the students could have fun with this. Look at these designs: < http://www.csm.ornl.gov/~geist/Philmont/Chair-e-it.pdf >;< http://luxurylite.com/ >;< http://www.slinglight.com/ >.

The first URL explains how to use a Sling-Light chair as a pack frame/chair/cot. Luxurylite sells a carbon-fiber pack frame, hiking pole, and cot that uses the poles for side pieces. The last leads to the Sling-Light chair website.

If you choose to make the chair also function as a cot, I suggest that you design it to expand horizontally because the typical seat/packframe is far too narrow for comfort. It will be easier to just do something like the Chair-e-ot with just the chair/pack functions.

CM

Top
#154353 - 09/06/11 01:59 PM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: apstenzel07]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
ZPacks is way ahead of you in the carbon fiber external frame department! New "Exo" Backpack.

Gossamer Gear was probably the earliest to try carbon fiber stays in an internal frame pack, but they discontinued them in favor of bendable aluminum.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#154358 - 09/06/11 02:28 PM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: CamperMom]
apstenzel07 Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 4
You did read this right for the most part. We will be only creating a proposal for this semester, but the spring semester we would be actually manufacturing a fully functional prototype. But yes, this product will not be mass produced or sold, at least not by us haha.

Top
#154382 - 09/06/11 08:47 PM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: apstenzel07]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Be careful when working with carbon fiber. Splinters are nasty and breathing the dust (from cutting, etc.) is harmful.

"Mom"

Top
#154386 - 09/06/11 10:20 PM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: CamperMom]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I have carbon fiber trekking poles that take a pounding - but not horizontally, only from the top to bottom, vertically.

I do my best not to put any horizontal pressure on the poles. I don't think carbon fiber is best for that... Not sure I would want a cot made of it for that reason.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#154391 - 09/06/11 11:49 PM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: apstenzel07]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3571
Loc: Texas
Fun and interesting project! Some thoughts...

Carbon fiber comes in many forms. Bike crank arms and some frames are so stiff they beat you to death. No flex at all. And then, the carbon spars I use in my kites can be torqued all around and can be very flexible and shock absorbing. Maybe design a simple and light external frame that can be "contoured" to ones back curvature by using tiny loop/buckle tabs along the rods.
I'd fore-go the cot idea. Emptying the pack to make a cot would not be attractive, to me. Instead, tarp supports maybe?
Telescoping from the pack frame? Could the tubes be thick enough to store something inside? Thick doesn't mean "heavy", as your tubing walls could be thinner.

I have an antenna design (for back country communications) on this website where I store the elements inside the shaft when collapsed...a carbon arrow shaft. The whole thing is 2.1 ozs. You'd be surprised what you can store in an arrow shaft.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#154393 - 09/07/11 12:07 AM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: OregonMouse]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
ZPacks is way ahead of you in the carbon fiber external frame department! New "Exo" Backpack.

Gossamer Gear was probably the earliest to try carbon fiber stays in an internal frame pack, but they discontinued them in favor of bendable aluminum.


Thanks for the link. They have the best tarp I've seen for Hammocks.

At 5 ounces, it's hard to beat.

http://www.zpacks.com/large_image.shtml?shelter/hammock_tarps/hammock_doors_closed_l.jpg
_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

Top
#154403 - 09/07/11 11:05 AM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: Dryer]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By Dryer
Fun and interesting project! Some thoughts...

Carbon fiber comes in many forms. Bike crank arms and some frames are so stiff they beat you to death. No flex at all. And then, the carbon spars I use in my kites can be torqued all around and can be very flexible and shock absorbing. Maybe design a simple and light external frame that can be "contoured" to ones back curvature by using tiny loop/buckle tabs along the rods.
I'd fore-go the cot idea. Emptying the pack to make a cot would not be attractive, to me. Instead, tarp supports maybe?
Telescoping from the pack frame? Could the tubes be thick enough to store something inside? Thick doesn't mean "heavy", as your tubing walls could be thinner.

I have an antenna design (for back country communications) on this website where I store the elements inside the shaft when collapsed...a carbon arrow shaft. The whole thing is 2.1 ozs. You'd be surprised what you can store in an arrow shaft.


Now you have me thinking....thanks.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#154409 - 09/07/11 11:41 AM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: Gershon]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By Gershon
Thanks for the link. They have the best tarp I've seen for Hammocks.

At 5 ounces, it's hard to beat.


That's pretty cool, but this "Cloud Kilt" has to be the ultimate in hiking clothing.

(Where's Bigfoot2?, he needs one of these laugh )
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



Top
#154419 - 09/07/11 12:56 PM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: billstephenson]
apstenzel07 Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 4
Would anybody here be willing to participate in a survey and be one of our "potential customers"? If so, please PM your first and last name and email, it would be greatly appreciated.

Top
#154434 - 09/07/11 06:15 PM Re: Engineering Design Project [Re: apstenzel07]
bmadau Offline
member

Registered: 09/14/05
Posts: 135

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Knife, Fire Starter, Ignition Source
by Jim M
Yesterday at 07:34 PM
Bivvy bag with wired peak
by Petro1234
12/10/17 01:06 PM
How cheap can you go?
by EMT Dave
12/05/17 07:07 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Greetings - and a question
by valongi
Yesterday at 11:35 AM
Just found out about UCO candles
by toddfw2003
11/30/17 08:41 AM
Hitting the eagle rock loop, Ark in 3 days
by toddfw2003
11/19/17 11:31 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Plant based insulation...
by billstephenson
11/18/17 02:58 PM
lightest grommets to use
by toddfw2003
10/22/17 06:13 PM
avalibility of thin ti rod
by the-gr8t-waldo
01/26/17 04:45 PM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 24 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
valongi, Atkinson J, Dcarpenter, Woodland, ultralight
12469 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com