Outdoor pack brand Gregory announced the launch of a long-awaited plus-size backpack collection. Offering more than 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, said Gregory.
Plus-size packs will be available to consumers beginning spring 2021 at select specialty retailers.
To understand the fit and comfort needs of plus-size hikers, the Gregory design team worked hand-in-hand with Jenny Bruso and her organization, Unlikely Hikers, which describes itself as a “diverse, anti-racist, body-liberating outdoor community featuring the underrepresented outdoorsperson.” Unlikely Hikers aided the design team with prototype testing, fit testing and product reviews during the product-development process. Unlikely Hikers also will act as an engaged partner in the launch and promotion of the collection, as well as being featured in the collection’s marketing materials.
“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, vice president of Gregory Mountain Products. “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.”
The highly inclusive product offering gives customers a choice of activity, style, color and price point, all with 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, said the company.
“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 Bruso. “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 brand initiative that promotes inclusivity through nonprofit partnerships and strategic product engineering to ensure everyone has the opportunity to experience the great outdoors.