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Lundhags shows us their Gneik backpack at the OutDoor Show 2017 in Friedrichshafen.
Konstantin: Hi. This is Konstantin from HikeVentures, and I’ve got Andreas from Lundhags. Andreas, could you say something about the new product line that you have.
Andreas: All right, yeah. For 2018, we’ve been working hard to release a completely new backpack line. It consists of 22 different models ranging from 16 to 90 liters with some additional smaller accessory packs with seven and 10 liters respectively.
Konstantin: When you say 26 different models, do you count the colors or it will become …
Andreas: No. I count the sizes and if there’s a difference in back support systems.
Konstantin: Basically you’re going to start producing hundreds of different types of packs.
Andreas: Yes. There are a lot more if you take the colors into consideration as well. The bigger Scandinavian type trekking packs, this is where we come from, so this is obviously the bigger one. This is the 90 liter.
The big, I’d say, updates we’ve done is we’ve focused on the materials to get more sustainable weave. For these big trekking packs, we’re using our newly developed LPC, the Lundhags PolyCotton, which is organic cotton blend with 100% recycled polyester. That’s a fairly … I wouldn’t say this is not a lightweight weave in that sense, but it’s a fairly lightweight weave in our world. Very durable, good sustainable profile.
We also try to work as much as possible with metal buckles just for the hard-wearing properties and the durability. The main focus is to find a pack that is as sustainable as possible and doesn’t break. If it should break, it needs to be as repairable as possible.
That’s why you can easily remove the back, the carrying system, because that’s usually where things start to go wrong. We also use grade 10 YKK zippers oversized, and that goes for even the smaller day packs. That’s also one of the weaker links in a pack.
In fact, I would say that it’s more important in the smaller packs, because those are the ones that you open several times a day every day of the year basically. Whereas most people maybe use a pack like this a couple of weeks a year, and open it twice a day. That goes for all of the packs. I would say for the middle European market and looking beyond Scandinavia, this is probably one of the more interesting packs ranging from 34 to 58 liters or 56.
Konstantin: What is it called?
Andreas: This is the Gneik, which is a Jamtlandish word for something that I can’t remember. Still trying to learn all the new names. Same PolyCotton weave as in the Gnaur, which is the larger pack. This has a fixed back length whereas this is variable. You have two different lengths that can then be adjusted.
Konstantin: Yeah. I can see here the numbers.
Andreas: You measure the length of your back or your spine, and then you adjust accordingly. There’s medium regular and regular long. These are fixed lengths, and there’s a shorter version and a longer version.
Konstantin: You have also the way to make sure that your back does not sweat that much.
Andreas: Exactly. You have a great ventilation system for the hotter days. That being said, all these products have been designed to work as well in the wintertime as in the summertime. Or if you’re a dog person and out hike with your dog, you do the same but obviously you just turn them forward and let the dog pull. That’s pretty … Not sure if it’s unique, but it’s a pretty neat feature.
Konstantin: It’s a backpack which would be good for central European conditions, but with a Scandinavian twist.
Andreas: Yeah, exactly. I heard from the outside, from customers, say, “Oh that would be great for kids as well.” Haven’t tried it and somebody said, “It might work for kite surfing.” Not sure but if you want to give it a try, be interesting to see. Those are the bigger packs.
Then, obviously we have lots of smaller day packs for maybe more urban and commuter use. The new PolyCotton weave is also a big update that we do across the board. In the clothing lines, we use exclusively now organic cotton and recycled polyester. This is our main fabric. I would say it probably stands for somewhere around 65, 70% of our total material usage across all categories. When we make this change, it has a major impact. It’s quite important.
Konstantin: When I look at the backpack, one of the selling features is also the webbing that you have.
Andreas: Yes. We have decided to use, instead of loops, we use webbing and it’s probably a bit hard to see. What you can do is, for instance with this pack, turn it around, you can use this handle, quite good. You have hole webbings going down both sides.
Konstantin: Seven liter.
Andreas: Yes. Seven liter. Either here, up here or you can use the metal loops over here, so you have it, say for instance, you have a camera or something you want readily available.
Konstantin: At the same time, away from harm.
Andreas: Yeah, exactly. You might think that, okay. Now, I cannot see where I put my feet. This has been very thoroughly tested, so we recognize exactly where you typically put your focus for your feet. It does not interfere.
Konstantin: It gives you still a lot of freedom for your hands.
Konstantin: It’s virtually.
Andreas: Yeah. Here, you see again the metal buckle down here. Easy to handle even if you have gloves, easy to adjust front tightening system, pockets again with the loops down here. All about movement, all about working in the winter with gloves and so on.
Konstantin: A lot of thought have gone into these products obviously.
Andreas: On top of that, we have a complete new line of boots. The only selection or the only range, seven models, male and female. We have the lower one and we have a specific winter model with the Vibram Arctic grip out sole. Those are the two completely new segments. Then, of course, various updates across the range.
Konstantin: This series is also falling between your traditional, your Heritage series.
Andreas: Yeah. I would say that for the times and for the people that don’t need that full on shell boot and maybe want something that you can wear to the office in urban settings, but also when you go out trekking and not wearing maybe the 90 liter, those are awesome.
Konstantin: As far as I can see, you’re wearing already a pair.
Andreas: Yeah, exactly. As always, we don’t use a membrane. What does that mean? You get a breathable shoe with good climate. It will keep your feet dry if it rains. No, you cannot stand in water, but if you need to stand in water, we have the shell boots. We got that part covered as well.