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VestPac, a Jackson, Wyoming start-up, draws its inspiration to the bright-yellow Sony Walkman days a handful of decades ago. The inventor, Scott Shepherd, looked for a way to carry his portable cassette player, so it can be accessed quickly on the ski slopes of Jackson Hole Resort.
Shepherd totes an MP3 player now and multiples prototypes and years of testing resulted in the current VestPac line. The line has a minimalist design – modular pocketed accessory on your chest and a hydration sleeve on your back. A strap on the outside of the hydration bladder sleeve can secure a light jacket or long sleeve shirt. VestPac offers several choices for the modular pocketed front piece from ones for fishing to more active outdoor pursuits like hiking, running, paddling and skiing.
A JacksonPac from was tested on trail runs and day hikes. The first noticeable design feature of the JacksonPac is the airmesh material that is against your body on the modular front accessory and the hydration bladder sleeve. The spongy airmesh is its first use in outdoor products design. The airmesh is also used in the automotive industry.
The airmesh on back panel and front accessory of the JacksonPac allows a channel for air to flow, so perspiration doesn’t build up on your chest and back. The flexible structure of the JacksonPac allows it to hug your chest and back and to follow the contours of your body when running. Just over a pound, the pack is lightweight enough to use for running. It doesn’t bounce around, because its form fitting.
The JacksonPac has a two-pocket front accessory. One pocket can house your iPod or iPhone and the other can hold a few healthy trail snacks. The modular construction of all VestPac models allows you to substitute the company’s other front accessories. It makes all models versatile.
With its significant advantages, there was some design areas VestPac can improve. The hydration bladder can be enhanced with its 2.0 models. The bite valve causes an inconvenience, because it closes too easy. You grab what was an open bite valve and suck in desperation for a drink only to start panting, because it’s been accidentally closed.
Instead of a bite valve that twists to open-close, the bite valve for the VestPac hydration bladder is a push-pull. Chomp the bite valve and pull the tube away from body to quickly open it. The hydration bladder isn’t dishwasher safe, so it needs hand cleaned. (MSRP $62.95)
Jason Elliot is the Editor and Publisher of OutdoorInformer.com. Elliot has established a respected following with the top industry professionals and gearheads for his nonbiased reviews of outdoor gear and apparel. Elliot is a regular contributor to Examiner.com, Trails.com and other publications on top of his editorial and writing role with OutdoorInformer.com.
Elliot left a successful fifteen-plus year management career that he worked at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies to pursue his passion for writing about the outdoors. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from La Roche College.
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