REVIEW – Oneiros Valley Load Lifter Panel

ITEM: Load Lifter Panel

MANUFACTURER: Oneiros Valley

DESCRIPTION:

An after-market accessory for the Mystery Ranch NICE frame, to better allow more adjustability of load lifting straps attached to the shoulder harness to be lifted from one to six inches. It’s like lengthening the frame, but without extending or increasing the ride height of the frame itself.

REVIEW NOTES:

This Load Lifter Panel is a prototype kindly supplied by the team at Oneiros Valley.

Whilst I have received a small financial donation towards the upkeep of this website, this review is like any with supplied equipment, in that I have conducted the review with the proviso that I will be painfully honest in my assessment of this item.

 

Due to real life constraints, I have been unable to review the Load Lifter Panel under actual field conditions, but it has been subjected to significant distance walking.

 

LINK:

http://oneirosvalley.com/llp.html

 

SPECIFICATIONS:

MATERIALS

– carbon fibre stays,

– ITW Nexus/National Molding buckles,

– mil-spec webbing

– T-90 nylon thread

 

DIMENSIONS

Weight – 287 grams (10.1 oz)

Length/Width – 42cm x 28cm (16.5″ x 11″)

 

LAYOUT:

0162

 

The Load Lifter Panel is comprised of carbon fibre stays arranged in a cross or box structure.

A cross piece is attached about three quarters of the way up, which is where most of the attachment points for anchoring and adjustment are located.

The bottom cross piece is simply the major anchor point.

There are buckles and clips situated in strategic places to aide in the attachment to a NICE Frame.

The design of the LLP allows adjustment between one and six inches to the load lifting straps.

 

PERSONAL ASSESSMENT:

I was fortunate in being able to meet with one of the team behind Oneiros Valley when I attended SHOT Show earlier this year. They’re really young blokes getting out there and having a go at starting their own business. I was very impressed during my meeting with the blokes behind Oneiros.

 

I’ve used the Load Lifter Panel with a couple of different NICE Frame compatible packs under some varying conditions.

The LLP has been installed and used on the Crossfire DG-6 (review in the near future) worn with and without armour as well as my Mystery Ranch Wolf Alpha both with and without Wolf Pup pouch attached.

 

To install the Load Lifter Panel, the NICE Frame will need to be stripped down without any packbag.

Bottom points anchored:

0159

 

Top anchored:

0157

 

0158

 

Installation went pretty well, as per instructions provided by Oneiros Valley without too many problems for even someone like me who tends to be an absolute fumble fingers. It is slightly fiddly once installed on the NICE frame to then get the packbag on, but this wasn’t too bad, and would get easier with practice.

Whilst I had the LLP set for a rise of about two inches, it is capable of up to six inches maximum adjustment.

Packbag attached:

0156

 

Training walks over the last couple of months have occurred twice weekly over a distance of 5-6 kilometres, over a variety of flat and undulating terrain.

 

It should be noted, that the LLP is really intended for those in the population who sit in the outlying areas of size and height distribution curves.

Since I tend to be the dictionary and statistical definition of “average” (keep your mind out of the gutter), the LLP is not really intended for me. What I mean by this is that certain body types tend not to fit “one size fits most” of a great deal of load bearing equipment. I’d rather not call them misshapen mutants to their face, since they can run faster than me and more than likely hurt me.

I’m one of those people who can take most size Medium equipment and tell the manufacturer it fits like a glove.

According to Oneiros Valley, the Load Lifter Panel is for those over five feet, nine inches – or 1.74m for civilised countries.

 

Having said that, I did all the walks with the LLP fitted in a “half and half” fashion, where at the half-way point, the conventional load lifter attachment points would be undone and the LLP connection points used instead.

LLP installed, normal load lifters being used:

0089

 

LLP installed, fully setup:

0091

 

Some walks were completed wearing only the backpack, and some were completed wearing a Banshee plate carrier fitted with fighting load.

It was very noticeable the effect of the LLP changing the angle of the load lifter straps when used. I was quite impressed with how the LLP worked.

When worn with only a backpack, as for most of us who stumble through the bush for a hobby, I could see how those mutants in the population who are built like Lurch or have disproportionately long bodies compared to their legs, would benefit with this frame accessory.

Probably the best use I can think of the LLP for my purposes is when the extra capacity of the Wolf Pup pouch is attached to my Wolf Alpha pack. But, such is the constraints of real life; I don’t like how the load lifter straps interact with me and a high packbag that sits above my head. This would also probably fix my gripe with the 6500 packbag I mentioned in that review, when I used the 6500 on the Overland Track in Tasmania last year. With the Load Lifter Panel fitted, I think a great deal more stability would be there for me.

 

For those more normally proportioned human beings, the biggest change in comfort I found was wearing armour.

Let me tell you now, wearing armour, even if it was only a fairly low profile plate carrier in conjunction with a large patrol pack such as the Crossfire DG-6 for any period really blows goats. I find having to walk with armour and patrol pack to be one of the most painful experiences out there. The armour plates really change the dynamics of the pack harness and it’s interaction with the body. It was found that the Load Lifter Panel could change the angle of the load lifter straps and how they interacted with the shoulders and body armour to something more manageable and bearable.

 

I did have some initial concerns about the prongs of the LLP being exposed to damage, but once installed on the pack frame, I noticed that the carbon fibre stays along with the design, means the LLP should be able to survive most knocks and spills that packs get subjected to in a rough field environment. It is my thought that if the damage is enough to render the LLP unserviceable, the pack is more than likely gone as well.

 

PROS –

Whilst I don’t consider this an accessory for everyone, it should be considered by those in the population who may be slightly outside the height and proportions of normal human beings. Yes, I AM going to refer to you as mutants.

On a more serious note, if you are one of those people who just can’t quite get a comfortable fitting from most load bearing equipment, then the Load Lifter is an option to consider.

It is also worth seriously considering the Load Lifter Panel if combat body armour is to be worn for long periods.

Construction of the prototype I received was of a high standard.

 

CONS –

As an accessory, the LLP can add weight and complexity.

In very close country, there may be added risk of hang-ups and snagging.

 

SUMMARY:

An interesting NICE Frame accessory for certain members of the population from a young up and coming company.  Whilst not for everyone, it could be very useful for those slightly outside normal Bell Curve height and proportions.


Posted in Civilian, Custom, Military, Packs & Webbing by with 4 comments.

Comments

  • Exploriment says:

    Hey hey now….I’m offendicated by being called a mutant. I am one of those heightily advantaged types and had looked at and skipped over the NICE frame just because I thought it was too short for me. This might make me take another look at it. Thanks for the review.

    • 22F says:

      Uh oh… 😉
      As I mentioned, all you muta….. uh, heightily advantages types can reach further than I do, and take less steps to traverse the same distance.

      Glad to provide something besides a target to point and laugh at mate.

      So… how is the air up there? 😛

  • BigD says:

    Yo, Mick….Its entertaining (and a little weird)to see bits built by others for the NICE frame. Looks well done, though. An entirely different implementation than we’ve been playing with at the Ranch.
    My only carp would be leaving the 2 vertical stays independent at the top. I am working to get the pressure on the back of the frame from the lifters uniform across the back, not with alternating pressure distribution as you walk. We also don’t trust buckles to stay tight in the course of a long day, especially when the webbing gets wet. Nah, that could never happen….
    Now I’m getting warmed up. The only other other carps would be….not worth mentioning. Because these guys saw a need, developed a solution for that need, and its mostly workable.
    So, good on ’em.
    The Ranch version will work (imho)cleanly with patented features on the NICE frame, but won’t be around for a while as it finishes the Mystery Ranch engineering process. Which has been going on for a while….(sigh, but necessary).

    • 22F says:

      G’day BigD!
      It’s great (and rather humbling) to see you over here in my small part of the interwebs.

      Understand completely how you feel as a father watching others play with you baby now. I’d take it as a compliment about your NICE frame that others wish to improve on it 🙂

      As you say mate, the Oneiros Valley team saw the need, and developed a workable solution. Given their age and the resources they had behind them, I’m really impressed with what they’ve achieved.

      I’m really looking forward to when we next catch up for a beer BigD. Like you, real life keeps cutting into what I’d like to be doing, with things that I HAVE to do right now 😉

      As an aside for everyone, BigD is the chief designer for Mystery Ranch – take a bow for everyone.

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