The Strongest Frame in the World of Internals

The 'Critical Mass' Hip Belt

A Revolutionary Shoulder Pad System

Critical Mass Pelvic/Lumbar Pad

The Finest Women's Pack

The Bypass Strap System - U.S. Patent# 5181638

At McHale Packs we work directly with hundreds of backpackers and climbers every year.  Because of this direct involvement, we are very close to the problems people experience with backpacks.  Our patented 'Bypass' shoulder system makes shoulder load adjustments easier and more effective than ever.

During the summer of 1991, McHale developed the new shoulder system after concluding that too many people were not getting the knack of the conventional system and were missing out on backpack comfort and performance.  He actually invented it while walking down the trail after climbing Mt. Daniel in the Cascades. This of course was after trying to teach thousands of people over the years how to use the industry standard conventional system. The old system simply was not user friendly, especially when the user was tired and fatigued.

In our 'Bypass' system, the upper stabilizer/lift strap adjustment and the lower shoulder pad adjustment are completely independent of each other.  Now, the upper adjustments' function is to hold the backpack against the back.  It no longer has the dual and conflicting duty of lifting the shoulder pad when the shoulder pad is loosened from below.  Now when the shoulder pad adjustment is loosened from below, the pad simply slides upward along the 'monorail' of the stabilizer strap without the stabilizer straps loosening and causing the pack to fall back - as in every other system on the market..   When you are ready to pull the shoulder pad back down, simply pull it down; it will slide back down the stabilizer strap without resistance and does not change the stabilizer adjustment.  This new ease of adjustment is wonderful and we are sure it will revolutionize your comfort level.  

Notes about the 'Bypass' System
At first, many people do not see how this new system could be better.  For people not mechanically inclined, the beauty of the system is that you pull on it and it works!  The old system, which is used by every company in the industry, is problematic because the shoulder pads will not pull down when you pull - they are held up at the other end of the system.  This simple and obvious conflict causes so many problems, it would take four pages to describe them all.

  In short, say you want to adjust the load on your shoulders, using our system, you simply pull the pads down or let them up.  This entails one step.  If you want to put more load on the shoulders with the old system you first have to loosen the top straps and lean forward because the pack will fall back otherwise.  Next pull the pads down to the level you want - hopefully you let out enough strap from above - otherwise let more out.

Finally, pull the top strap forward to restabilize the pack.  Unlike the 'Bypass' system, the old system requires 3 steps and a lot of patience and practice to master.  Another problem with the conventional system that is unnerving is that letting loose either top or bottom strap will cause the pack to fall backward.  With the 'Bypass' system, only loosening the top strap loosens the pack against your back, which is its purpose.
Order the video and see the Bypass Harness in action.

Click here to go to a detail photo of a current pack showing the Bypass Harness. The Bypass straps are royal blue to set them off as they pass through the front of the shoulder pads.