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Hi Everyone - Thank you for voting and posting in this poll. We have been testing the waters with some non UL products that were popular with the community and have sold well. We have been following this poll closely too, and talking with many of you directly.
We are happy to announce that we will be starting an Outdoors Community, in addition to keeping the UL Community. This will allow us to keep the UL a bit more pure in direction, while allowing us to offer you some cool products for more traditional backpacking, beginners, car camping, and whatever assorted sports we see demand for (along the lines of what @FutureFossil posted below). So, the core of Outdoors will be day hiking, car camping and backpacking, with a smattering of seasonal sports when we can find the right products and manufacturers to work with.
I think we can all agree that there will always be some kind of grey area where a product might be considered UL to some people and not to others. Those type of products may end up in UL still, or it might show up in both communities to help the dialogue.
You can find out more about the Outdoors Community and add to the ideas of new activities we might include: https://www.massdrop.com/talk/1096/new-community-announcement
I am really excited to open the Outdoors Community because there are many great brands we simply haven't worked with before (sneak peak: we have some cool stuff coming from Gregory, Granite Gear, Klean Kanteen, Teton Bros, and Goal Zero). I think we can serve a greater number of people, who are going on anything from a local day hike to prepping for Denali. Thanks @ag3nt for starting this poll. Thanks to the 4000+ people who voted. Thanks for keeping us true, whether you're posting here, BPL, reddit, or on social media.
See you on the trail -Danny
DannyMilks
@DannyMilks, thank you for listening. I believe this allows for a more diverse set of users while still allowing the UL hikers to feel at home :)
DannyMilks
Awesome! I think the new organization will help alot! So glad I have found this site recently.
Massdrop can easily have: - Ultralight (niche) - Backpacking (hiking specific) - Outdoor & Camping (car and outdoor general) - Snow sports (ski & snowboard) - Mountain biking - Road biking - Climbing There are tons of enthusiasts for each category, in my opinion. No need to cram it all into one community.
I would love to buy ski stuff off of here, but if it's named backpacking than why would anyone come to this community for that?
I agree on keeping Ultralight distinct and making a new Backpacking community.
Ultralight has specific needs that normal backpackers don't care as much about. Making the community more general defeats the purpose for anyone interested in ultralight products specifically.
It doesn't really bother me. As long as Ultralight items are made apparent for those who wish to find them, then it's fine.
I think you should either split the community into two communities or adopt an umbrella name like "outdoor gear". If splitting into two, one could stay "UL" and cater to the UL community and the other could be "Outdoor Gear" or "Outdoor Enthusiast" and cater more towards those of us who like UL gear but we also would genuinely LOVE to see products on mass drop that would come in handy for car campers, road trippers, or just people whose idea of enjoying the outdoors doesn't necessarily mean JUST UL backpacking. I have friends and family that would ascribe to the latter definition who I would love to introduce to mass drop if only mass drop would introduce products that apply to a wider range of wilderness chasers and not only ultralight. From a business standpoint this could be a way to expand your base and demographic appeal. Also, could we PLEASE get more products designed for women? Things have been getting better there, but still have a long way to go.
I strongly suggest you all read what Danny Milks has to say in his reply. There are a lot of facets that go behind how Massdrop finds its products as well as how they foster this community and its growth. To become quick to judge after seeing this poll and its description isn't fair for half of the decisions that come into selecting products in this community. Make sure you get the other side of the story before you vote.
lvngstndm
Where is Danny's reply?
TimU
We had a good discussion in the Talk pages. Here's my response: https://www.massdrop.com/talk/206/rename-ultralight-to-backpacking/467835
Instead of changing the name,how about just making sure to list only UL gear... Don't need yet another all gear store.
The tumbnail already is a backpack.
You mean this 12 pound tent isn't ultralight?
I think my biggest worry with renaming is that there wouldn't be quite enough gear or interest to do a stand-alone Ultralight section, and then the Backpacking section would not care about getting the UL gear that the Ultralight section currently gets (ZPacks, some UL Bivy's, Lukes UL, BlackRock Gear, Enlightened Equipment, most of the tarps, maybe half the tents).
An alternate suggestion: most of the knives and all the metal water bottles would be better in the Everyday Carry community. To me, they are the most common egregious offenders, and don't really belong in anyone's backpacking list at all (I mean, a knife belongs, but definitely not the sort that have been on offer). Then the rest of the heavier camping gear is more take it or leave it.
I definitely agree with this sentiment and don't want to see the community watered down, but my vote is to fix the things on offer rather than rename it and lose the good that is here.
I empathize with UL being a philosophy—moving through the wilderness as lightly as possible and all the rest of it. That said, presenting a range of gear that trends towards UL seems like an inclusive way to allow the interested but less seasoned get engaged where they're at. For those of us that sweat labels and grams, we already know what's what. For normal people who want to be comfortable and light but don't feel the need to run an advertising campaign about their pack weight, it's nice to have the mix.
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You know, I actually have an osprey and the suspension system is pretty good for 3-4 day hikes. I wish the waist straps were longer so you could reach the pockets, but they aren't bad packs for the money. They just don't hold up terribly well.
Fair enough. My first pack I bought for a hiking trip was a Jansport Katahdin 50L. Compared to that, the Osprey is like a Cadillac in terms of comfort.
I would agree with the others that most of the items aren't UL. As mentioned, why not have both?
I would prefer to see a split. Create a new backpacking group and make ultralight its own category. Massdrop has categories like "Mech Keys". So I don't think splitting it would make the communities too niche. Another option would be to only have a backpacking group and an tag certain items as ultralight (things that satisfy their own definition of ultralight).
The problem with just changing it to backpacking is that it has the potential to be less ultralight. Sure half of the items aren't ultralight, but this community is more ultralight focused then your average camping store. It is a tough balance to strike.
chrise524
Seriously, how about another "Outdoor Gear", "Backpacking" or "Camping" category? Otherwise, "Ultralight" just kinda gets lost in the wash.
Ultralight is a philosophy. The philosophy is about eliminating all unnecessary items and/or weight. The UL community on Massdrop has way too many items that are blatantly outside the UL philosophy. About half of the recent drops listed under "Ultralight" are, in my opinion, far from anything a ULer would bring on a trip.
Yes, you could have a couple non-UL items and still be under 15lbs BPW, I understand that. That's why UL is a philosophy. In my opinion it's a scummy marketing/PR decision to call the community "Ultralight" when there are so many items that are blatantly not intended for a UL audience. Lanterns, metal water bottles, knives, etc do not belong in Ultralight discussions, just to name a few.
I think Massdrop would better serve a wider audience if it renamed the current one to simply "Backpacking", OR created a separate one to keep the UL items together and the non-UL items somewhere I don't have to look at them. If there can be "Tech" and "Mech Keys", there can be "Backpacking" and "Ultralight".
For the record, Massdrop's own "Ultralight 101" states 10 lbs as the qualifying BPW for Ultralight. Just think about that for a second when you look at some of the items they list.