Lost Creek Pack Durability?

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Lost Creek Pack Durability?

Postby JoeyS » Aug 18, 2006 10:05 am

I have an L.C. TAG I've been using for several years now, and might be in the market for a new pack, perhaps the monster TAG, but I was caving with a guy last month who had a brand new one and he pointed out that they just don't look as well built as they used to. Indeed, they have cheapened up the straps by not putting nearly as much overlap at the ends, and less stitching overall. Anyone else notice this?
I love my old bag but if a new one is not going to be built as well, I may need to cross over to one of those "slippery packs".
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Postby Adam Byrd » Aug 18, 2006 12:34 pm

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Postby Speleophile » Sep 12, 2006 9:03 am

Yes of course they aren't made as well as they used to be. New ownership, all about making money, blah, blah.

Just be happy they aren't made in CHINA like everything else is. (Example: PMI's rapelling gloves, now made in CHINA!!) Before long, they'll be making our ROPES in China.
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Postby batrotter » Sep 12, 2006 9:52 am

You are correct, the new Lost Creek packs are not near the quality as the old ones.
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Postby icave » Sep 12, 2006 12:08 pm

Luckly I wouldn't need to know about new Lost Creek Packs because my old one has yet to begin to fail. $25 at a grotto auction and my medium pack is still in great shap. It does get heavy when it's wet though.

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Postby JoeyS » Sep 12, 2006 1:15 pm

Yeah, my Tag pack is still in great shape, just not big enough for vertical gear and my other goodies. I recently saw that OnRope1.com makes caving packs. I may check them out at the Cavie-In next month. They also have a rack pocket, which is the one item that just doesn't fit well in my tag.
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Postby Grandpa Caver » Sep 12, 2006 6:30 pm

Love my "old" Lost Creeks!, I have three and they've all seen thier fair share of abuse for 15 years or so. The small belt pack has been on every trip since I've owned it and I'm talkin' some of Indianas bonecrunchinest crawlways, cracks & crevices.

All three are still in good shape. I'll probably end up getting one of those new "slippery packs" but I'm thinking there's still gonna be times when all I need is that little LC belt pack.

Sorry, ca'nt speak for the new version, have'nt needed one.
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Postby bsignorelli » Sep 15, 2006 8:19 am

I have a LC pack that's just over 3 years old and the pack itself is holding up fine. My only complaint is the silly clippy things (the thin metal retainer doo-hickey on the clip...similar to the gate on a carabiner) have rusted through and that makes the clips worthless.

But I solved that problem by just wearing the pack attached to my belt a la 'scrotum style' like I was shown in Roppel.
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Postby JoeyS » Sep 15, 2006 9:02 am

bsignorelli wrote:I have a LC pack that's just over 3 years old and the pack itself is holding up fine. My only complaint is the silly clippy things (the thin metal retainer doo-hickey on the clip...similar to the gate on a carabiner) have rusted through and that makes the clips worthless.

But I solved that problem by just wearing the pack attached to my belt a la 'scrotum style' like I was shown in Roppel.


Inner Mountain Outfitters sells replacement straps for LC packs, although a little pricey at 8.50 each.
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Re: Lost Creek Pack Durability?

Postby shibumi » Sep 26, 2006 10:01 pm

JoeyS wrote:I have an L.C. TAG I've been using for several years now, and might be in the market for a new pack, perhaps the monster TAG, but I was caving with a guy last month who had a brand new one and he pointed out that they just don't look as well built as they used to. Indeed, they have cheapened up the straps by not putting nearly as much overlap at the ends, and less stitching overall. Anyone else notice this?
I love my old bag but if a new one is not going to be built as well, I may need to cross over to one of those "slippery packs".


(intro: Anmar here, owner LCP since 2001)

I have been curious to see people's perceptions that LC packs aren't built as well as they used to be. One of the first things I did when I bought the company was to add a liner to the d-ring assembly because the first thing that would wear out on my older LC packs was the bottom two d-ring straps. The next thing I did was to increase the amount of material in the back of the pack (the older style had the inner liner only go up to the half-moon, the newer design which saved a little time in the assembly stage added liner all the way up to the handle on the back, time saved in assembly at the cost of more material used).

The straps were changed in the way they are made to save a little weight, time to make, and material. I felt that the 5 rows of stitching is more than overkill (I pull tested it at about 2000 pounds, the clips only hold about 150lbs). Some people have asked why we don't use stronger clips and the primary reason has nothing to do with cost, it has to do with safety. If you are stuck by your pack (and I have been), most people can put enough force on it to bend the clip, and the clip can be bent back.
We do offer pack straps with heavier clips for those who would rather have them.

In short, I don't feel that the packs are less well made than before, I feel like they are better than they were. We have done some cost control as we have not had a significant cost increase in our product line in 2 years and minimal before that in spite of the fact that materials costs have risen considerably. I cave a lot, 2-3 trips a week and in some pretty intense places, and I try out changes in product before I set them loose on you guys. I'd welcome input from anyone who can quantify why they think our product now is less well made than before, because if you can make a valid point, we'll change how we do it!

I'd also like to point out that we make our products in a wider variety than our vendors carry (no knock on them, they have a limited amount of inventory space/ability). We also make our packs in vinyl (PVC), and we have a much heavier fabric we can custom make packs with (we have a vinyl backed ballistics nylon and a 1600 denier ballistics material). We also will make a pack to your specifications, often at little or no extra cost.
As an example, we offer drain holes on all of our packs, but only two vendors stock them. Only one vendor stocks our PVC packs, and no vendor carries our caving suits in the heavy cotton we have for warmer dry caves.


Having said all that, while I think we make a quality product, I recognize that it's not going to suit everyone. The other manufacturers out there also make decent products and I think each caver should get a product that suits them best.
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Postby BenC » Sep 26, 2006 10:37 pm

Between my wife and I we have three LCP packs, two sets of coveralls and a PVC survey pouch. All thoroughly abused, can't complain about any of them. Minus one clip that rusted through on a pack I've had for 6 yrs or so.

If your pack is old the water repellent properties kinda suck, spray on some camp dry it works wonders.
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Postby paoconnell » Sep 27, 2006 11:51 pm

I have a LCP made by the late Tom Fritsch, who originated the design. It's still tickin' through over 20 years of Indiana and New Mexico caving.
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