REVIEW – Oneiros Valley MEAN Pad


MANUFACTURER: Oneiros Valley

DESCRIPTION: A lightweight NICE frame accessory that allows a wearer to better configure the lumbar pad on the Mystery Ranch NICE frame in order to adapt comfort levels and suitability for other worn equipment.



The MEAN Pad has been kindly supplied by the team at Oneiros Valley for review.

Due to real life constraints, such as the arrival of a wonderful, yet strangely screaming bundle of joy into my family, I have been unable to fully assess the MEAN Pad under actual field conditions, but have subjected it to significant distance walking.





Front view, as worn against the wearer: IMG_0725

Back view, as against the pack frame: IMG_0726


  • 500D cordura
  • ITW Nexus plastic buckle hardware
  • T90 thread
  • a non-slip panel



Weight – 2.6 oz (74g)

Length x width – 7.5in (190mm) x 4.3in (110mm)

Depth – variable from 1/8in to 1in (3.1mm to 25mm)



The MEAN Pad is a cushioned pad that is able to be attached to the existing lumbar pad on the Mystery Ranch NICE Frame in order to adjust the angle of the frame and the harness and how it interacts with the wearer.   It’s a very simple cushion that echoes the size and shape of the existing lumbar pad on the NICE frame, but can be adjusted for thickness to suit the wearer. IMG_0728

As per usual from the Oneiros Valley team, the construction of this item is top notch.

The design itself is extremely simple, yet elegant.   It’s quite easy to install onto a NICE frame, with the ITW buckles. Once properly installed, the MEAN pad looks like it belongs there.

NICE Frame WITHOUT any accessories: IMG_0729


NICE Frame fitted with MEAN Pad: IMG_0731   IMG_0730



Despite a pretty busy schedule lately, with the arrival of my beautiful daughter, I’ve been able to fit the MEAN Pad to my Wolf Alpha and take it for some long distance training walks.

It works quite well to adjust the angle of the frame and how it interacts with the wearers body. For some people, and the way that their body is built, this extra padding in the lumbar pad is a necessity to ensure the right angle for the way the NICE frame and harness interacts with the body.

The MEAN Pad could also be a very good accessory for those who are forced to wear combat body armour whilst marching long distances. It was during my review period with the Load Lifting Panel also from Oneiros Valley (review HERE) that combat body armour would have problems interacting with the lumbar pad on the NICE frame.   The MEAN Pad answers this interaction problem, and would be worth investigating further if wearing combat body armour was an essential part of your usage requirements.



A very high quality item from this young, up and coming company. As per usual, the team at Onerios Valley have seen a need for aftermarket accessories, and have stepped up and answered with a very nice, simple and elegant product.   Very simple design that allows the end-user to change the foam padding as needed or when it wears out under adverse field usage.



As an accessory, the MEAN pad can add weight (little that it actually is) and complexity. I’m wondering if there is a chance of the MEAN pad slipping from the frame lumbar pad under very heavy weights or really wet, slippery conditions. Although it should be noted that the cut and design of the MEAN Pad is such that this risk is pretty low. This risk should be further minimised should proper care and equipment maintenance be conducted by the end-user on a periodic basis.



Another interesting NICE Frame aftermarket accessory from the team at Oneiros Valley. It should be available to market sometime in the near future.

Posted in Civilian, Custom, Long Range, Military, Miscellaneous Equipment by with 6 comments.

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