Earlier this week (first week of February 2017) I got in the mail the brand new, 2017, backpack from Vargo Outdoors, the “ExoTi 50”
I have done an initial video walk around, much as I did with the SMD Fusion 65, and other backpacks when the first show up. This article is intended to show the features of this new Vargo ExoTi50 and some of the differences between it and the Vargo Ti-Arc backpack.
Vargo Outdoors is an outdoor company that sells specialized gear, nearly all of it titanium, that happens to be a fairly small cottage company yet with a big global reach. Located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, with a population of about 6000 people, Brian Vargo(founder/owner of Vargo Outdoors, hence the name) and Chad North(the #2 guy at Vargo) recently took a bit of their time to allow me to interview them!
Hello guys and thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions!
Before we get started, anything you would like to just throw out there for readers?
For those who aren’t familiar with Vargo, we are a titanium outdoor gear manufacturer based in Central Pennsylvania. The company was started in 2002 by Brian Vargo a few years after his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. With an innovative approach to product design and an almost exclusive use of titanium, we aim to create unique products that help lighten loads and meet the needs of adventurers worldwide.
It seems it is time for the hiking blogosphere to start posting their “Christmas Lists” – I have already seen three or four just in the last week.
I had an article about 95% of the way written, and decided to delete it and do something different. The idea pop’ed into my brain to write up ‘my favorite piece of gear from my sponsors‘, but the more I thought about that, the more I realized I just could not decide on a single piece of gear from a couple of my sponsors. For instance, I have over 2000 days of use with the Montbell Dynamo Wind Pants and my absolute love for the Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Jacket would make it impossible for me to pick between the two. (opps, guess I just gave away that companies two favorites, doh!). The same could be said of companies like Six Moon Designs and ZPacks. So I figured the only way I could make this happen is if I picked two pieces of gear from each company that sponsors me!
A few weeks ago Vargo presented their second generation of the backpack, being called the ‘ExoTi50‘.
Very little has been known about the ExoTi50, outside of a couple of folks who took pictures of it at the OR event in SLC, which I was not able to attend.
Being a huge fan/user of the Ti-Arc, and being sponsored by Vargo Outdoors, I figured I would contact them to see if I could find out some additional on this next generation backpack.
If you have not already read it, it might be good to first meander over and read my review on the Ti-Arc, so you can fully understand some of the logic/reasoning behind some of the changes in this second generation backpack, and why I make a big, or not so big deal, out of the different changes in this next generation backpack.
The ZPacks Multi-Pack has been, for over four years, one of my most beloved pieces of gear – I have used my original one for well over 5,000 miles of hiking – and have bought and use others for use around town, as a BOB that stays in my truck, and on vacations to keep all kinds of stuff in. It has been, without a doubt, the most versatile and used piece of gear that I have used in my years of hiking.
The very first Multi-Pack was made way back in February of 2011. After sending Joe Valesko a little sketch of what I was after – what I called, looking back in my emails, a “chest bag for water bottles” – and asking if he would be willing to make me one, he ran with the idea, and as memory serves, his wife got involved and offered the idea to include three clips on each side (I only thought of having one, having three was a brilliant idea!) so it could be used in a much broader and more versatile manner. A short time later the first “Multi-Pack” was made and shipped my way. It soon thereafter made it onto the ZPacks website and has remained pretty much the same ever since – proof that our original design was a pretty dang good one, eh!