I called Casey Ingels late Friday evening and interrupted him in the middle of his prep to climb Mt. Rainier the following morning to test out some of the new Grey Ghost Gear line, G3 Alpine. is G3 is a new line of civilian pack designs for the commercial markets. I talked to him a little bit about the packs and asked him to send me some pictures from the climb.
The G3 Alpine packs, Casey advises, "Will be...more technical than the Tactical Tailor and Grey Ghost Gear packs, built for climbing and 'higher end' backpacking, for lack of a better term...they're lightweight packs and they are [expletive deleted] cool...."
There will be three styles of packs to begin with in three color ways (red and grey, black and grey, blue and grey) in small, medium and large sizes. They will be built for Grey Ghost Gear by Karrimor SF to that companies stringent construction and quality control standards (and long history of durable, well designed manufacture in the outdoor/military industry). In addition to his other hats, Ingels is in charge of all Karrimor SF USA distribution.
Sizes in cubic inches - Large, 2218; medium 1345; micro 375. The packs are going to be part of a family of brands for military, climbing and backpacking and will eventually include technical apparel. Some will be made in the USA, some off-shore. I'm not sure how soon the new packs will be available for sale as they are still being tested.
True to his word he did text me from the mountain and apparently liked how they performed. "It's got a unique airspace/ventilation system...the pack sets off the lower back and rides on the hips and shoulders...is nice because the whole thing doesn't lay flat on your back like military packs..."
Some industry trivia for you: Grey Ghost Gear is a separate entity from Tactical Tailor, though they work closely together on many projects. Casey is the CEO of the latter and the CEO and Board of Directors member of the former. I'm not sure how he manages to keep them both responsive and profitable but somehow he does it (GGG is an up-and-coming 'boutique' manufacturer and TT remains vigorous and well-positioned despite the current market and sequestration fears). For those of you who don't aren't aware of it, several of the higher-ups at Tactical Tailor and all of them at Grey Ghost Gear are military veterans (most combat veterans). Casey himself served with 2/75 Ranger BN before going to the dark side and attending law school and he spent a lot of time as a product tester for REI. From what I've seen, Casey and his team seem to be well liked in the industry and are genuinely interested in improving the quality of gear that goes out the door. As you might expect interact a lot with numerous units across the country (but especially JBLM), shooting with guys from 1SFG, golfing (yes, golfing) with troops from the 160TH SOAR. Recently Ingels went to Afghanistan to get some feedback from guys on the ground there and he still climbs as often as possible - the picture below was taken during that trip.