About Our Products
We take pride in our products and make sure we use the finest materials, quality manufacturing equipment and of course, awesome craftsmen. Our products are designed to fit a balance between function, style, craftsmanship, and price to fit your lifestyle. We make a special effort to find Made in the USA components, when available, for a true Made in the USA product line.
Fabrics - We choose the finest rugged nylons to withstand the outdoors and last a lifetime. Our nylon fabrics include 1680D Ballistic luggage grade nylons and 1000D Cordura nylons for their proven rugged, light-weight, and military grade performance.
Threads - We chose nylon and polyester threads for their tensile strength and superior sunlight (UV) and mildew resistance. Common sizes include T45 (46), T70 (69), and T90 (92).
Zippers - YKK is the largest zipper manufacturer in the world with factories in multiple countries including in the US. YKK zippers are known for their quality and durability and have served flawlessly on our finished products.
Hardware - We use an assortment of hardware including side release buckles, ladder locks, and D-rings from Duraflex and YKK. Whether the hardware is plastic or metal we make sure they are strong, durable, resistant to solvents, and maintain their stiffness and dimensions in adverse conditions.
From the start of the company, we have always strived to use the latest solar technologies that make sense for our portable products. In 2003, we used a silicon crystalline panel but it was encased in a urethane substance on an aluminum substrate for a very rugged almost unbreakable panel. They were very effective, but added considerable weight to the final product.
As size and weight became a focus, we moved towards a thin-film amorphous (a-Si) panel for its light weight and flexible properties. While they were very light weight and very flexible, the thin film amorphous panels never reached the much marketed and targeted levels for pricing and efficiency. We kept our eyes on emerging technologies which included second generation Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide (CIGS) thin films and third generation dye-sensitized cells.
The dye-sensitized cell technology is interesting and holds a lot of promise, but in its early stage the performance and price would not be acceptable in the retail markets. So, we moved toward the CIGS panels.
CIGS panels are reaching parity with standard silicon cells, but the manufacturing processes are different resulting in a higher cost when measured on a cost-per-watt basis. The technology has improved over the past few years, resulting in higher efficiencies and a lower cost-per-watt. The real advantage is the light weight and the flexible properties. The flexible panels open the door to new designs and applications.
The particular panel we use offers high power, light weight, flexibility, and damage control. By damage control, I am referring to its ability to produce power even if a section of the panel is damaged. With conventional panels, if a cell is damaged, the entire panel is almost useless. With our CIGS panel, if a section of the panel is damaged, the remaining portion of the panel still produces energy!
We still have our eye on emerging technologies and see some promising new solar cells that could introduce some new exiting products for us in the future.