External pack frames have traditionally been used for military & hi-performance recreational use when heavy pack loads need to be carried. Ergonomically, backpack loads should be located between a user's cervicale (upper back) & illiocristale (lower back). To date external backpack frames have been a fixed length which only suit a specific back length. The two-part ONE299 frame provides 120mm of length adjustment to correctly fit users in height from 1st percentile female through to 99th percentile male. Universal nomenclature for the five sizing increments (XS through to XL) was chosen to encourage correct fitting.
FEA & physical prototyping was extensively used during development of the ONE299 frame helping it achieve a unique combination of strength & flexibility. A key element of this is the patented lumbar feature which flexes & conforms to the wearer's back contour. ONE299's lumbar surface is 3-dimensionally curved to sit against seat angles from 10 to 30 degrees in any of its 5 size settings, resting comfortably against the user's lower back. Additionally, the flexibility of this lumbar support has been optimised through testing & analysis to flex under load; reducing point pressure during prolonged use, & providing repetitive shock absorption during natural gait (walking) dynamics.
Universal fitment & adjustment of the ONE299 frame are made possible by an interlocking detail that engages more positively as weight load increases. To ensure the frame does not come apart when not loaded or pulled, an additional fail-safe disengagement mechanism automatically engages when the frame is assembled, stopping the upper & lower parts from separating. This locking feature also functions to release the parts when size adjustment is required. To changes sizes the user simply presses the 'Eject' tab in the direction normal to the frame to release the lock & allow the frame to be adjusted without any tools.
Insights from extensive testing & user feedback identified the preference for a pack frame which balances stiffness (load support) & flex (user comfort). The ONE299 frame has been engineered to ensure performance is not compromised but rather enhanced by the incorporation of the interlocking joint. A custom polymer material was developed to maximize performance under harsh load & environmental conditions. Simulated load analysis & physical testing throughout the design & engineering phases validated the strength of the frame whilst also allowing comfortable user movement. The frame has been designed to flex in certain directions while under load, and remain strong enough to hold loads exceeding 80kg.
The design brief for the ONE299 frame was to meet or exceed measurable performance of leading external pack frames while allowing for adjustment to fit all users. Rigorous testing & refinement has ensured that the ONE299 frame exceeds the strength & performance of other leading frames (currently in use by major national Defence services). ONE299 has been tested under loads that exceed 300kg & displays superior flexural rigidity. The locking mechanism will release once flexed to near 90 degrees or well outside of standard use ranges, preventing non-repairable frame failure. The custom polymer allows the frame to flex under severe loading, so it will still remain functional even after excessive trauma.
Although in actual use the ONE299 frame is barely visible (positioned between the wearer's pack and their back) the product's visual language was considered very seriously to instil a sense of purpose and dependability for military users (soldiers) and hikers. The need to maximise strength, minimise weight & provide multiple strap & tether points for universal fit also drove the visual form. Initial models have been produced in a military specified colour for camouflage. Future models for general hiking applications will be moulded in bolder colours aligned to general adventure-wear expectations.
ONE299 frame is Australian designed & manufactured. It was conceived & developed within an accelerated development programme, especially impressive given the significant level of military & ergonomic input & testing processes required. Within months of launch ONE299 has already attracted widespread international interest & sales from several national Defence forces. With the growing worldwide acceptance of female combatants, the ONE299 frame allows Defence forces a logistical solution to engaging the most suitable personnel irrespective of their height. Several global adventure-wear brands have also expressed interest in the ONE299 frame, expanding ADA's potential reach into new markets.