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June 2014 Issue
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Ryan Lock’s ‘pack jacket’

Ryan Lock with his lifejacket pack. Photo: Ryan Lock

Sometimes the inspiration for a new piece of kit can come from equipment that’s used for something completely different.

Take Ryan Lock’s innovative idea to reduce the bounce of a pack when you’re running. He couldn’t find a pack that would stop bouncing altogether so took inspiration instead from life vests.

The former Outward Bound instructor from Blenheim took the buoyancy aids from the inside of a vest and re-sealed it with zips. This created one large pocket at the back and two smaller ones at the front.

Lock found it works extremely well for reducing the bounce but he’s not yet perfected the design.

“It’s limited for space and a lot depends on choosing the right kind of jacket,” he says. “You need compression straps on the side and a big rear compartment.

“There are a few issues, such as things sticking into your ribs and I imagine it could get quite hot. But there are a lot of advantages; the most surprising being that you can access your map easily and without stopping.”

Lock isn’t giving up on improving the design and is always tweaking it. “This is just a first attempt and the jacket isn’t built for carrying loads. It could do with being stronger with more webbing,” he says.

“I’m trying to put containers into the front pockets, which should maintain flatness and decrease bulkiness. We’ve bought flattish plastic storage containers that fit nicely into the front compartments. We’ll fill those containers and put them inside.”