Stone Glacier Founder Shares New Hunting Pack and Clothing Designs

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Stone Glacier launches a new pack that recalls the creation of the brand ten years ago.

Before there was Stone Glacier, there was a man who learned to sew together a backpack for hunting sheep. The result caught the attention of friends and fellow hunters, and things went downhill from there.

Recently, the brand updated its classic Solo Pack (with more volume) and resurrected its flagship Terminus Pack with a brand new version. It also introduced new sleeping bags, tents and garments to its growing lineup.

We spoke with Kurt Racicot, founder and lead designer of Stone Glacier, to find out how the brand got started and how backcountry hunting continues to influence its detailed designs.

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(Photo/Stone Glacier, Isaac Nelson)

transport sheep

It all started with Racicot’s passion for sheep hunting in Alaska. “Most of the areas I was going to – because of time and distance – if you could get by with all your gear and the whole animal, then you could really expand your reach,” he said. Explain.

He scaled down his gear, adopting the minimalist principles of ultralight backpackers of the day. However, the missing piece was a lightweight backpack that could meet the transport needs of sheep and gear. Racicot tried a few alpine shapes, but they lacked the carrying capacity and most lacked volume. So he took matters into his own hands.

“Within a very short time, once I learned to sew on my own, it started to take on an entirely different design. So that’s really where it started. make it a better one for what I was doing with it,” he said.

The initial prototypes were pretty rough, he admitted. Racicot started with existing packs, separated them and tried to put them together. He soon realized that trying to match a frame with another bag was a difficult task, especially when trying to get the hardware to fit his own 6’4″ frame.

By 2012, friends and other hunters had shown enough interest in trying out his pack that he found a manufacturer who would make 30 of each. These quickly sold out and he used the profits to find another production run, raising the bar to 100 backpacks.

Ten years after its creation, Stone Glacier is now a brand in its own right. Based in Bozeman, Montana, it manufactures lightweight backpacks and frames, clothing, tents, sleeping bags and other outdoor essentials.

Stone Glacier Kurt Racicot pack and gear in Montana
(Photo/Stone Glacier, Isaac Nelson)

To buckle the buckle

Once Racicot finally reduced his first hunting bag to 5 pounds with a volume of 6,000 cubic inches, he named it the Terminus. It was later discontinued, but that was the start of the brand’s interchangeable pack and frame designs that followed.

The Solo pack, then with a volume of 3,000 cubic inches, was also part of his first series of packs. A customer favorite, the Solo remained in production and now comes with a 3,600 cubic inch capacity.

Conversely, the Terminus returns with a brand new design. Unlike other interchangeable models from Stone Glacier, the Terminus 7000 is fixed to the frame.

“It has a load cell on the internal frame to transport the meat,” Racicot said. “It separates the gear in order to keep the densest part of the load closest to your back, but it also separates the meat so you don’t get blood and all that stuff in your gear.”

For the new Terminus, Racicot sat down with a list of parameters such as size, volume and weight. Then he started going through the materials available to make it happen.

“The design philosophy was almost exactly the same as the first pack,” he said.

Outback Keys

Like any designer, Racicot has his own calculation when choosing the fabrics for his equipment. For Stone Glacier, that means lots of CORDURA 500, primarily for breathability and because it’s quieter than laminates.

“If you have wet gear that goes into a bag, the heat from the outside will drive that moisture away,” he said.

Once broken in, it should have a softer feel. And, of course, there’s the visual appeal factor, with CORDURA 500 available in many colors.

The stronger laminate fabrics are used in high-stress areas, such as around the frame. Racicot explained that these areas don’t usually see friction, so noise is less of a concern.

“Water resistant laminates are also used in areas where game will be transported to prevent blood seeping in,” Racicot said. “It also makes cleaning easier.”

Similarly, laminated fabrics are used on the top of the bag straps to prevent water or snow seepage into the foam padding.

Stone Glacier clothing also incorporates Racicot’s years of backcountry boating experience. The brand’s jackets are designed to bend at the elbow and have longer cuffs to keep wrists covered while glazing or shooting. Hoods are designed to fit close to the head and allow room for peripheral vision. The pants are made with front-facing pockets and can be used with knee pads.

Below we review Stone Glacier gear and apparel with design features for hunting and alpine hiking.

Stone Glacier hunting packs and clothing

Higher Volume Solo Pack

Stone Glacier Solo Pack

The new, higher-volume Solo pack has a capacity of 3,600 cubic inches and weighs 1 pound 8 ounces (4 pounds 9 ounces on a Medium Xcurve frame). It has a load capacity of over 150 pounds thanks to its four “X” shaped carbon fiber composite stays. This construction is intended to complement the contours of the lumbar and upper back, improving weight distribution and comfort under heavy loads.

Additionally, the “X” seat stay configuration is designed to both increase the frame’s vertical strength and eliminate any lateral shift, especially for loads over 100 pounds.

New to this pack is a pocket for a spotting scope. It functions as a minimalist multi-day backpack and is sized to hold ultralight four-season gear and a week’s worth of food. It offers zipper access on the lid panel, includes room for a hydration sleeve, and is compatible with the brand’s 2,500+ cubic inch expandable cargo shelf.

There’s a reason this versatile pack has been in production since day one.

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Terminal 7000

Terminus Stone Glacier 7000

Designed for hunters and high mountain adventurers, this bag offers up to 7,000 cubic inches of space from its 4,300 cubic inch main bag in bivy mode, a 500 cubic inch lid and a collapsible internal load of 2,200 cubic inch cell. The Terminus has a load capacity of over 150 pounds and weighs less than 4 pounds.

It uses a waterproof laminated fabric designed to resist abrasion and tearing. Sacrifice makes a little noise, but it’s more for rifle hunting than bow. Additionally, Stone Glacier uses waterproof X-Pac fabric for the frame and suspension.

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De Havilland Lite Pants

Stone-Glacier-De-Havilland-LITE-Pants

Stone Glacier has created a lighter version of its best-selling pant using a double nylon weave for early season hunts or hikes. The Havilland Lite weighs 1 pound 3 ounces, which is 5 ounces lighter than the original.

It retains the brand’s Contour Waist System, designed to reduce pressure points common to traditional bag belts. It also allows up to 3 inches of size adjustment for a precise fit and to accommodate layering.

The pants have an athletic fit with articulated, pad-compatible knees, as well as forward-facing cargo pockets and an internal cell phone pocket.

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Chinook Merino Hoodie

Stone Glacier Chinook Merino Hoodie

The Chinook is made from Merino6, a blend of merino and nylon engineered to wick away moisture, dry quickly, and naturally resist odor-causing bacteria. It is close fitting and has a fitted hood for extended face coverage. The shoulder seams are offset to avoid chafing of the bag straps.

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SQ2 Alpine Boot Gaiters

SQ2 Alpine Boot Gaiters

These waterproof gaiters are made from a breathable Hydrashield ripstop upper and a dual-layer X-Pac lower. Designed with durability in mind, the gaiters use a patent-pending Contrail Bootstrap, which combines Dyneema rope, a pinless buckle and an adjustable nylon webbing.

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Stone Glacier founder Kurt Racicot hiking with backpack and rifle
(Photo/Stone Glacier, Isaac Nelson)

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This article is sponsored by stone glacier. Discover more of his backpacks and backcountry gear on line.

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