YOUR BACKGROUND CAME FROM ENDURO/MOTORCYCLE RIDING, WHAT TYPE OF PACKS DID YOU RIDE WITH BEFORE STARTING USWE?
We didn’t have tons of options at the time and so I rode mostly in a Camelbak.
WAS THERE A SPECIAL MOMENT OR IDEA THAT REALLY CREATED THE NO DANCING MONKEY CONCEPT? IT’S A UNIQUE STRAP SYSTEM BUT ALSO REALLY MAKES SENSE. HOW DID THE IDEA COME TO BE?
We tested a lot of different ideas. From the very beginning we developed a hydration vest in 2006-2008 that was really great for race conditions, but this vest product was too niche, so we started to develop hydration packs with our first generation NDM Harness in 2007. Fun fact, Camelbak launched their “Race Vest” in 2009 that was almost an identical vest to our 2006 product.
Our NDM Harness idea came about from a mix of different solutions that were used in the forest and farming industries when carrying smaller hand-machines. We also looked at load distribution and at the 4-point seat belts found in car racing for energy distribution. Then at last we wanted to incorporate the stretch function that we used in our original hydration vests. This allows freedom to breathe and move. The name “No Dancing Monkey” explains the difference between a bounce-free USWE pack equipped with NDM tech and other packs who are still struggling trying to get the dancing monkey off their back.
Some more interesting history: Our first real MTB athlete was Anne Caroline Chauson back in 2013.
This is the first prototype and then also the first commercial packs that we did in 2007.
NOW THAT YOU’RE MAKING PRODUCTS THAT ARE USED FOR BOTH MOTO AND MTB, DO YOU FIND YOURSELVES RIDING MOUNTAIN BIKES MORE TO TEST AND DEVELOP PRODUCTS? OR ARE YOU STILL MOTOHEADS?
Yes, I am doing more mountain biking since we started doing mountain bike packs in 2013. The USWE team is doing a lot more mountain biking, cycling, running, hiking, skiing, and much less motorcycle riding. We’re not sure how we feel about that but it’s fun making new products.
DO YOU HAVE FUTURE PLANS ON LIGHTER BAGS WITH BACK/SPINE PROTECTION?
As of today, we do have the Patriot 15, which is a protector backpack including a CE-Certified SAS-Tec protector. In 2021 we will launch a brand-new mountain bike pack series called “Flow,” which will include back protection in the form of a CE-certified full back protector. The storage capacity of the “Flow Series” packs will be 16-25l.
IF YOU HAD TO PICK ONE FEATURE OR DESIGN ITEM THAT REALLY EXCITES YOU ABOUT USWE PACKS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
The NDM Harness.
DO YOU HAVE ONE GO-TO PACK YOU USE FOR EVERYTHING OR DO YOU SWITCH BETWEEN PACKS BASED ON WHAT YOU’RE RIDING?
For mountain biking on sporty singletrack, I’m using the Airborne 3 Race Edition, and for adventure rides, the Hajker 30, which is a new 2021 pack. For running, I’m using the Pace Pro vest as it’s small, light and helps me carry the essentials comfortably.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BEING A NEWER PACK COMPANY IN THE NORTH AMERICAN MARKET WHERE STYLES AND OPTIONS ARE SO DEEP.
Getting the respect and trust of any US bike distributor. However, now that we’re able to show that our packs are selling really well online in the US, the distributors have started to wake up and we’re happy to have more coming on board.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND WE’RE EXCITED TO SEE WHAT FUTURE PACKS YOU BRING TO MARKET.
Thank you and we look forward to having you try them out!
To see the full line of USWE packs be sure to visit uswe-sports.com