Based in the hiking mecca of Maine, USA, Hyperlite Mountain Gear is an innovative manufacturer specializing in ultra-light backpacks, shelters, and accessories. The idea came from founder and CEO Mike St. Pierre and his frustration with standard hiking gear: “I used to go hiking on the weekends, but I struggled to find the right gear for my adventures – everything felt heavy and over-designed. The last thing I want to carry on a 50-mile hike is an uncomfortable backpack!”
A big part of the problem, he discovered, was the heavy suspension systems used in most backpacks. “The big outdoor brands tend to take a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t account for the uniqueness of different human bodies; namely, the different curvatures of people’s spines and the shape of their torsos.”
Weight was another important consideration. Owing to the limitations of conventional materials, designing most outdoor gear means walking a fine line between low weight and durability. So St. Pierre decided to create his own solution: a lightweight, high-strength, functional pack that could naturally conform to the size and shape of the wearer. He began researching flexible composites, drawing inspiration from military databases and countless other sources.