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  1. #121
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    Aarn packs have several features designed to lower the energy cost of walking, including front carrying pouches, though I thinkthese transfer the load to the waistbelt, rather than hang off the shoulder straps. Unlike othersin the industry, they do quote some research in support of their claims - here - so it is possible!

  2. #122
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    Well, is oxygen consumtion all there is to energy expenditure? And is the degree to which it is more significant than other factors (like, do I want this lump on my front preventing me seeing where I'm putting my feet, and making scrambling bloody awkward?).

    Put another way, a simple graph does not account for a lot of complications one finds in the Real World(TM).

    Pete.

  3. #123
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    I wouldn't disagree with you Peter - especially about the big lumps obscuring a rather useful bit of my visual field- but they do make an attempt to justify the claims they make. Oxygen consumption is at least a non-trivial aspect of energy expenditure.

  4. #124
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    Quite so ALS, it is a valid part of the picture and something you can reasonably measure... but it's only useful up to a point in telling you whether you want the pack or not. I suspect that for most people running out of oomph is only one aspect, competing for example with getting hot and sweaty (even worse ventilation with something back and front), being able to get it on and off and get at things easily, see your feet, and so on.

    While I agree that Aarn's concept is quite legitimate I am mindful that it's been "invented" a few times before, with the same reasoning. Craghoppers had a pretty well reviewed range of balance packs a few years ago but they never really caught on... Doesn't mean the concept doesn't work, but suggests the differences are perhaps not as significant as a single line on a single graph suggests!

    In practice, the myriad different uses things like tents and packs are put to makes a simple assessment of their merits either very hard or overly simplistic. Which makes a reviewers job effectively impossible to discharge as well as the punters would like.

    Pete.

  5. #125
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    Aarn designed the craghopper packs before he started his own brand.

    I have his Natural balance pack and because there are 2 spaced pockets you can easily see your feet and where you are putting them.

    If you are carrying significant load (any thing over8 lb) the increased efficiency, which feels like no weight pulling on your shoulders, has made up for the extra weight of the pack over an ultralight one.

    I usually scramble with the front pockets on but if it gets more difficult you can always put them away.

    His packs are well thought out in many ways with a comfortable adjustable hip belt and mesh everywhere to stop hot and sticky. The front pockets are designed to be clear of your body, you get good ventilation everywhere. I suggest you try a pack they are in stock in Outdoor Warehouse in Windermere.

    Nonetheless I am sure they do not suit everyone and like boots each to his own.

  6. #126
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    I wasn't intending to defend Aarns designs, although Idare saythere is merit in them as well as drawbacks, just pointing out that he at least attempts to substantiate the claims he makes for them.

  7. #127
    ‹bermensch Chris Townsend's Avatar
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    "You can ask TGOs advertising department aboutthe complaints to theASA- hereare the dates. I've probably still got the correspondence with the ASA if you are interested, though Ithink youshould publish it so that your readers can make their own judgements."

    AlS, I don't have a magazine in which to publish anything.

    "I have not argued that over-pronation might not be a problem for some people, I dispute the claim that 80% of people suffer from it. None of the four links you give make that claim either, so I haven't got a clue why you quoted them."

    I quoted them because you were suggesting that overpronation didn't exist and wasn't a problem. Nothing to do with how many people have it.

    "Let's suppose that pronation isnormal. And that there is an average amount of it. Just about half of the people will pronate more than average, and the other half less. So how can 80% of people over-pronate? What do you mean by over-pronating? If most people do it, isn't it, well, normal?"

    In Western countries it may well be normal. So is being overweight. Doesn't mean it's therefore okay. In developing countries where people still walk barefoot or in minimal footwear on rough surfaces rather than tarmac, concrete or floorboards overpronation is almost non-existent, along with other foot problems.

    Here's some quotes that makes the 80% seem quite conservative:

    "Ninety percent or more of us over-pronate, that is, our arches flatten out too much (flat feet) and do not re-stiffen enough for efficient propulsion."Rennwellness.com

    And no mention of Superfeet! (The site is promoting a rival called Sole Supports).

    "Most people (95 percent of the population) over-pronate (that is, their heel rolls inward causing the arch to drop)."Foot Solutions

    Again no mention of Superfeet. (Foot Solutions sells its own brand alternatives).

    This site is more conservative:"Estimates have shown that 60 to 80 percent of the population over-pronate."Bimsportsinhuries No mention of Superfeet. Apparently nothing for sale.

    There are many more website with different percentages for overpronation, all high. I must admit I haven't found one that gives a source for the figures claimed.

  8. #128
    ‹bermensch Chris Townsend's Avatar
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    On poles I have found a reference to the research I mentioned in an earlier post. However it's in German. Here's part of Googles somewhat garbled translation is:<a title="unters"></a>The study by Dr. Gottfried Neureuther *

    <a title="unters"></a><a title="unters"></a>*Ver√∂ffentlicht in: M√ľnchener Medizinische Wochenschrift 123 (1981)

    A friend and colleague Dr. Beck's, the country Garmischer internal medicine and doctor of the Bavarian Mountain, Dr. Gottfried Neureuther, father of the famous skier, then led the early 80s measurements to the actual discharge of the musculoskeletal system. It was the idea that some of the endurance at high standing knee and hip joints "his" mountain Wachtler through the use of 2 sticks before a possibly premature wear could be preserved.

    The result of these measurements:

    The poles relieve the legs most downhill course, up to 560 kg per minute; uphill, the discharge of up to 480 kg / min. and even in the level is still up to 225 kg / min.

    At one hour extrapolated arise discharge potential of up to 34 (downhill), 28 (uphill) and 13 to (the level).


  9. #129
    Ultra King ptc*'s Avatar
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    Months of Pose Technique running has apparently cured my mate's overpronation?!

    The Aarn packs look good, but there's not low access bottle pockets and the back padding is apparently very abrasive with long term use..

  10. #130
    Mini Goon Mendip Walker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptc* View Post

    Months of Pose Technique running has apparently cured my mate's overpronation?!
    And we go full circle !! If my memory serves me correctly both Pose Running, and Chi Running encourage "minimal" running shoes so's to let the the feet do their thing naturally. They probably "cure" over-pronation because they encourage landing on the front/mid foot rather than the heel, and using the muscles and tendons of the feet to create "spring" as they were designed/evolved to do when running.

  11. #131
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    Another note about the usefullness of measuremenst...

    For stoves you can do lots of measurements. As well as weight there's maximum power output, minimum sustainable power output, gross and net fuel weight for given energy outputs, running costs per unit energy output, etc. etc.

    I'm not saying none of this is useful, for many people it is, especially on a serious remote expedition. But despite it all, and the delight with which they are measured and assessed and the results published, most folk use gas 'cause it's a bit easier and more convenient. That's not actually measured.

    Pete.

  12. #132
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    </blockquote>

  13. #133
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    Chis, I never suggested that over-pronation doesn't exist, just that 80% of people do not suffer from it. As you point out, you are unable to find a source for this assertion.

    The sites you mention that repeat the claim are all associated with selling orthotics, including the one you say that isn't.

    As far as Superfeets adverts in TGO are concerned, and their preposterous claims, here's an excerpt from the Advertising Standards Authority's letter to me about one of them:

    'We think you have a valid point, and will instruct the advertisers to change their advertisement. We will ask them to remove the claims "more stable foot contact; more endurance; better posture and balance; less blisters, hot spots and black toe; less joint, muscle and ligament stress; Improved shock absorption; less friction inside the shoe and reduced risk of bunions;" and will get an assurance from them that they will make these changes'

    I also successfully complained about a second advert.

    Edited to add: I wrote this in reply to a post of CTs that now seems to have disappeared.

  14. #134
    ‹bermensch Chris OutdoorsGrubcouk's Avatar
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    ALS you seem to be missing the point that Chris is*not* part of the TGO management, he's just an independent, freelance, writer. TGO's advertising has absolutely zero, nilch, nada to do with Chris T.

  15. #135
    ‹bermensch Chris Townsend's Avatar
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    Thanks Zubald. I have been trying to point that out.

    My post is still there.

    My point with the sites I mentioned was to show that there are many sites not associated with Superfeet claiming figures for overpronation higher than those claimed by Superfeet. It's a common claim in other words.

  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptc* View Post

    The Aarn packs look good, but there's not low access bottle pockets and the back padding is apparently very abrasive with long term use..
    Hi Pete,

    I dont know what you mean by low access bottle pockets. I can only speak about the model I have, Natural Balance 2005 or 6. This has 10 litre front pockets with extra stretch pockets in front suitable for water bottles. These pockets are so easy to reach that I dont bother with the faff of hydration systems. Water is heavy stuff and it balances well to put it forward. The mainpack also has stretch side pockets so if you dont like carrying water in the intended place you can carry it and reach it whilst moving in these side pockets.

    The back padding is a sort of 3 dimensional mesh. I have worn it against my skin, against thin merino base layers, against thin windshirts and it has caused no problems. My partners older Aarn pack had a problem. She stretched the hip belt adjustment to the limit for her wider hips to get the hip crest into the designed place on the hip belt. This opened up some hook velcro which over the years picked away at the pack fabric. She now has a patch there and we have covered the hooks with loop velcro.

    People complain that they cannot get enough weight forward in the front pockets to make a difference. I carry snacks, water, camera, monocular, valuables, and things like stove, cutlery, tent pegs, tent polesand if neccessary food, in the front pockets. I carry hat and gloves in the main pack side pockets. I ensure that the most dense other load goes against my back and sleepingbag,mats clothes behind.I can easily get the pack to neutral balance, that is the point where with the weight on the hip belt,if I loosen the shoulder straps the pack is as likely to fall forwards as back.

    Anybody who has had shoulder ache from carrying a heavy pack should be beating a path to Aarn's door

  17. #137
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
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    forgive me for being potentially dim derek. so the weight of the front pouches on aarn packs is transferred to the hip belt? i.e. i could do the hip belt up and completely loosen the shoulder straps and all the weight would be on my hips? if so they sound inetresting.

  18. #138
    Ultra King Chairman Bill's Avatar
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    How would that work? The front pouches sit above the hip-belt. Unless there is a rigid strut / brace between pouch & belt, gravity dictates that the weight will be on the strap holding up the pouch.

  19. #139
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    Chairman B - the balance pockets are only connected to the shoulder strap by a sliding connection, see here,so they do indeed transfer all their weight to the front of the hipbelt.

    I've not used aarn packs, but I enjoy my Macpac Amp Race 40 (and several of it's precursors). Like the aarn pack itis designed to letyour hips move independently from the pack - the pack body just hangs from a small loop at the back of the waist belt, which means your hips can rock naturally without also rocking the weight of the pack. I find itsuperbly comfortable for that reason, though it's not particularly light. Earlier versions had dangling front pouches, and before that a splendid central wee waist pouch; now they've settled for mesh pockets on the waist belt, which are handy, though you need eyeballs in your armpits to see what's in them. I usually end up rigging a variety of small pouches to the waistbelt at the front.

  20. #140
    Ultra King Chairman Bill's Avatar
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    Ah, so the pouches have an internal frame (you can bend them to keep them free of the body, so eliminating much of the risk of sweaty chests!). The strap simply keeps them from falling forward. Also, the X shaped chest strap looks much more comfortable & effective than sternum straps (which I hate).

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