Gregory Mountain Products Debuts First-Ever Plus Size Backpack Collection Advancing Inclusivity in the Outdoors
5 months ago
SALT LAKE CITY, May 25, 2021 — Gregory Mountain Products, a global leader in backpack fit and comfort for more than four decades, announces today another industry first – the launch of its Plus Size Collection of backpacks. The collection comes at a time when more people are spending time outside as a result of the ongoing pandemic. The new collection addresses sizing gaps and provides pack solutions for hikers and backpackers of all body shapes and sizes. It also supports the brand’s broader mission to create a more inclusive outdoor space.
The new collection is launching as the outdoor industry is experiencing a surge in participation stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. New and experienced users alike turned to the outdoors as a safe alternative to connect with their family and friends in 2020. The Outdoor Industry Association [OIA] reports that “Americans took up new activities in significant numbers in April, May and June of 2020.” Participation rates for day hiking rose more than any other activity measured, up 8.4 percentage points.
The new collection, which includes 14 packs in the day hiking, multi-day backpacking and lifestyle categories, offers outdoor enthusiasts a wider range of options designed with their specific needs and body in mind. The new packs not only make spending time outside more comfortable and enjoyable, they also help create a more inclusive outdoor space — where people of all shapes, sizes and colors have a voice and feel welcome and safe.
The Gregory team worked hand-in-hand with Jenny Bruso and her group, Unlikely Hikers, to design the collection. Unlikely Hikers is a diverse, anti-racist, body-liberating outdoor community featuring the underrepresented outdoorsperson. Jenny and her team provided invaluable feedback every step of the way, aiding designers with prototype testing, fit testing and product reviews during the development process. The end result is a collection of packs that are built to fit and be comfortable.
“For years, I just had to ‘make it work’ with gear that was uncomfortable, didn’t fit and wasn’t safe,” explained Jenny Bruso, founder of Unlikely Hikers. “It’s more than inconvenient. When gear isn’t made for you, you start to internalize that message after time and it feels like you are not welcome or shouldn’t be out there in the first place. Gregory is changing that, and so far the feedback I’ve gotten online has been amazing. People are SO excited to finally have a pack that fits well and is comfortable.”
The collection fits the apparel equivalent of 2x through 6x sizing and gives customers a choice of activity, style, color and price point. It goes beyond just the resizing of components with substantial adjustments to the fit geometry, including wider shoulder harness angles, extended shoulder harness lengths, and enlarged hip belts with a 40″ to 60″ range. The design process also resulted in accessibility adjustments such as moving the hipbelt pockets to the front of the body for easy access on the trail, and adjusting the location of buckles for improved reachability.
The plus size collection is one of many initiatives that fall under Gregory’s larger Gateway’s Program, which is all about creating a more inclusive outdoor space. Gregory makes this possible through its products, a gender-balanced product offering, a long-time commitment to youth backpacking, and active partnerships with groups such as Big City Mountaineers that focus on equitable access to the outdoors for underprivileged communities.
The packs are now available online at GregoryPacks.com, REI, and select specialty dealers throughout the U.S and Canada.
About Gregory Mountain Products
For more than 40-years, Gregory Mountain Products has been the leader in expedition, backpacking, daypacks and travel gear. World-renowned for fit, durability, and performance in all of its products, Gregory has won awards for its pack designs from Outside Magazine, Backpacker, National Geographic, Popular Science and Men’s Journal. Responsible for many industry firsts in backpacking fit and design, the Gregory research and design team continues to lead the way in innovative backpack technology and performance.