Gregory, a global leader in pack fit and comfort for more than four decades, announces today another industry first with the launch of a long-awaited plus-size backpack collection. With over 20 products across the day hiking, hydration, multi-day backpacking and lifestyle categories, the new plus-size collection addresses sizing gaps and provides pack solutions currently not available. Plus-size packs will be available to consumers beginning spring 2021 at REI Co-op and other select specialty retailers.
The Gregory design team worked hand-in-hand with Jenny Bruso and her organization, Unlikely Hikers, to listen to and understand the fit and comfort needs of plus-size hikers.
“Gregory was literally founded on the concept that backpacks should be able to adapt to and be comfortable for a wide variety of body shapes and sizes,” said John Sears, VP of Gregory Mountain Products. “As the category leaders in pack fit and comfort, we love that this initiative helps make sure that our product collection fits and works for all hikers and backpackers. This new line has been years in the making and we couldn’t be more excited to launch this new Plus Size collection, not just with two or three products, but with a line that represents the breadth of our entire backpack collection. And we’re thrilled to have a partner in a group like Unlikely Hikers to help us make sure we nailed it out of the gate.”
Unlikely Hikers, which is a “diverse, anti-racist, body-liberating outdoor community featuring the underrepresented outdoorsperson,” aided the design team with prototype testing, fit testing and product reviews during the product-development process. Unlikely Hikers will also act as an engaged partner in the launch and promotion of the collection, as well as being featured in the collection’s marketing materials.
“People of diverse body sizes and shapes have had to ‘make it work’ with gear that wasn’t made for us for too long now. We’re out here! We’re climbing these same mountains, we’re thru-hiking these same trails and our money spends the same way,” said Jenny Bruso, founder of Unlikely Hikers. “A backpack made with my unique needs in mind tells me that I am seen as an adventurer and that’s the kind of empowerment I want to take to the trail.”
The launch of a plus-size product offering is the newest pillar in Gregory’s ‘Gateways’ program — a longtime brand initiative that promotes inclusivity through nonprofit partnerships and strategic product engineering to ensure everyone has the opportunity to experience the great outdoors.
“Our mission has always been to get more people outside,” Sears said. “To do that, we have to take every opportunity we can to do something about it. For Gregory, a product-driven company, this means more than just partnering with and supporting groups that support inclusivity in the outdoors, but taking the next step to design and launch new products that can support all of our consumers. This initiative falls under Gregory Gateway’s strategy, which is all about the actions we take to be more inclusive and enlighten more people on the incredible benefits of discovering and experiencing the outdoors.”
The highly inclusive product offering gives customers a choice of activity, style, color and price point, all with significantly enhanced fit geometry that includes wider shoulder harness angles, extended shoulder harness lengths and a much larger hip belt fit with easier pocket accessibility on the trail.
For more information about Gregory and its collection of award-winning backpacks and adventure travel pieces, visit www.gregorypacks.com.
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 such diverse media outlets as 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.