Carryology: 5 Reasons Why BUILT TO SEND Should Be on Your Radar
Lasers, rocket engineering, 3D printers, F-16 fighter jets…..we are talking about bags here, right? You may not know British pack makers BUILT TO SEND yet, but you should. Everything Built To Send does is focused on achieving engineering perfection and they may well get there; with three PhD level engineers on their team and extensive experience in aerospace, automotive and rocket engineering – to say they are well suited to the task of building a bomber bag is starting to sound like an understatement.
As an instructor, and obsessive mountaineer/climber, a bug bear of mine is buying kit/equipment that does not last. When it comes to rucksacks, I have been through 5 of them in the last 4-5 years. Mainly because these are designed with less than sufficient materials, to withstand the abuse these are designed for. I am not professing to have experience with all brands of rucksacks out there.
So, I recently came across a new brand of rucksacks on the market from Built To Send. And I was very intrigued by their engineering-led design. They state that their rucksacks are “the strongest on planet earth” and “bombproof”. So, of course I had to put this to the test. Here we have reviewed the Built To Send X2 rucksack.
Britain certainly has its share of illustrious brands in the luxury carry scene. Think the likes of Globe-Trotter or Burberry. But step outside the sphere of stratospheric price tags and you may fail to discover hard-working, dedicated British brands that don’t get the full recognition they deserve. So we’re set on changing that, flipping the switch on that spotlight and shining some carry love on 10 UK brands you should know…
There isn’t very much to say about chalk bags. You put chalk in, tie them round your waist and go climbing. a chalk bag is a simple item of equipment. However I found myself really liking this one and have felt compelled to write a few words.
Built to Send are a small, UK based company currently making very light and durable packs, stuff sacks and chalk bags. In their own words they ‘make obsessively engineered rucksacks for alpinists, climbers and ultralight backpackers. Our equipment, which is custom engineered and hand-built in the UK, is the ultimate in bombproof simplicity. Our team combines the skills of experienced design engineers, climbers and exceptional craftsmen.’
For roughly the last two months I have been been using and testing the Built To Send (BTS) X0 Alpine Pack. I have used it extensively during what has been a very busy summer of guiding on everything from Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and the Eiger, to an ascent of the Badile North Ridge, a trip to the Dolomites and everything in-between. BTS are a relatively new brand on the market place and looking on their website they promise a lot. So when I heard about them, their products and their ethos I was keen to find out more. So what was the outcome? Read on to find out..
Built To Send packs are made to be abused and keep kicking. Built To Send doesn’t cut any corners in their material choices or construction. Most big name climbing pack brands are made of a flimsy 100d or 200d coated ripstop nylon. These materials are fine for on-trail daypacks, but they have absolutely no durability when it comes to alpine climbing or heavy cragging. BTS uses VX42 x-pac on their entire bag with big seam allowances. They use a heavy duty sail and vinyl thread (v92) to double and triple stitch the structural seams of the pack. When I flipped the pack inside out, I was impressed at how big the seam allowances were and how many bar tacks they used. The pack seams are bound with a much thicker webbing than the typical grosgrain most packs are bound with. They paid an incredible amount of attention to detail, and it shows. The shoulder straps are reinforced with a thick ¾ webbing piece of webbing with ~6 lines of stitching where they attach to the pack, and they have 10 bar tacks on each shoulder strap. The included removable side compression straps have a strong aluminum locking G-hook on one side and attach on the other side with an aluminum triglide. The straps are long enough to secure a rope or be used diagonally to compress the load towards your body. I don't find myself on many hanging belays personally, but the rolltop opening has a 2" webbing reinforcement/stiffening to use the pack as a rope bag on steep pitches. The bottom is double layered of the same VX42 for durability.