From Development to Dirt: Big Agnes Backpacks

From Development to Dirt: Big Agnes Backpacks

We’ve spent the last 20 years dreaming up ideas of how to sleep more comfortably in the dirt. We won some awards, introduced industry-leading tent designs and manufacturing, and evolved our original sleep system to an entire sleeping bag and pad line. Now for 2022, we decided it was time to carry all that gear in our own Big Agnes backpacks.

Gear up for the long haul with a Big Agnes backpack. Photo: Noah Wetzel

The Copper Spur of Backpacks

Big Agnes backpacks include an entire collection from day hikes to multiday excursions with ultralight sustainable materials and comfort in mind. Our design team had one goal: create the “Copper Spur of backpacks”. Our award-winning tent integrates tough and ultralight materials with packable yet spacious design to make you feel like you’re living the high life. This evolved into ultralight and minimalist ideas rooted in carrying the weight in your pack, not the pack weight. Our design team spent over two years engineering and testing a priority design and suspension system to get the job done.

The Copper Spur of backpacks. Photo: Noah Wetzel

Designing with Intention

How could we create highly technical and sustainably sourced packs that were both lightweight and comfortable? Our designers and developers worked diligently to combine recycled and durable materials with lightweight attributes in creating the pack line. They took a minimalist approach by eliminating gear-specific pocket designs and instead opting for versatile stash-mesh and enclosed zip options. The result is a more modern shape with interior and exterior storage features that can be adapted to a packer’s needs.

Early pack testing in the Uintas. Photo: Noah Wetzel

In our larger overnight and multiday packs, stability and effective load transfer were top priorities. Using a fully integrated suspension system, the entire suspension of the pack from the hip belt to shoulder straps integrate directly into the frame.

Why does the suspension system matter? What’s efficient load transfer?

It means you can carry more weight comfortably, and the weight you think you’re carrying will feel lighter. Our Load Wrangler PLUS has eight internal connection points to ensure a balanced pack weight, plus a cord aluminum frame reduces the overall weight of the pack itself.