Those that read this blog will already be familiar with my Mystery Ranch NICE Frame and my Crew Cab and Mountain Ruck Packs.
While I really like the NICE frame – I always had one major bugbear. The pack, once it had a decent amount of weight in it, would pull back and down. This was mainly I figured, the result of the frame being lower than my shoulders. This design is intentional and the result of MR’s military leanings (for these packs) – but it’s not ideal for majorly heavy loads. It places the strain on the shoulders and the neck as you end up leaning forward to counterbalance the load.
Enter OV Innovations
I had read about OV Innovations previously – and figured, since I was getting more and more weight on my pack due to training, that it was time to relook into optimising the pack.
OV have a range of products that directly address some ‘shortcomings’ of the MR NICE Frame.
It’s probably best to check out the embedded video to get the jist of things.
I picked up the Gen II Load Lifter Panel (actually, I ended up getting a slightly modified prototype that wasn’t released – I love dealing with smaller companies!) the MEAN Pad and the Belt Guide.
The Belt Guide – simply brilliant!
The MEAN PAD – working on it. Basically, it allows you to modify the fit of the lumbar pad. Yes, it’s helping – but will reserve long-term use before too much comment.
The Load Lifter Panel – it works! To be fair – heavy is heavy – and nothing makes a 42kg+ pack any lighter – but the strain is shifted off the shoulders and neck and onto and across the front of the chest. My legs are still jelly at the end of training, but now I can still turn my head at the end of the day.
I haven’t had these items for long – and I am sure it will take a little bit of tweaking to really dial them in. But I do already wish I had picked them up a long time ago.