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Air cooling is the name of the ventilation technology used in our backpacks - a system that is tested in our laboratories to ensure airflow and comfort.
The air cooling technology used in our backpacks was developed in our laboratories in Lille using a mannequin equipped with sensors and a wind tunnel that allows us to test the airflow across the hikers' backs. Bags with this particular feature are all tested in the same conditions and have to pass a certain threshold level, indicating that the product provides excellent back ventilation.
We try to create as much distance as possible between your back and the bag, separating it from your clothing to prevent uncomfortable perspiration and maximize airflow. You can do this using stretched net, a technique that has been around a very long time, foam squares or various other devices. You can also do the opposite and try block the flow of airflow by creating an absorbent pad.
How can you measure and calibrate the level of discomfort, using a standardized, repeatable test? This is what our Air Cooling technology seeks to achieve and deliver.
All our Air Cooling certified bags undergo a series of tests, carried out on a mannequin that is specially designed by our teams. This mannequin, which is fitted with several input and output sensors to simulate air flow, has the advantage of being constantly available, can be accurately assessed and, unlike testers in the field, can't voice feelings or opinions.So it's always in the same mood and remains objective even if we ask it to repeat the same thing 100 times😉.
This may all sound easy but the real difficulty resides in establishing test protocols. You have to follow a set of procedures for air flow, humidity levels and adhere to very strict standards; this involves developing new technology as in order to assert the merits of a system to customers and the DGCCRF, you have to be able to prove that it follows a well-established methodology.
The testing protocol is, therefore, very tightly circumscribed, using a standard T-shirt and trousers so that everything can be compared and corrected. The backpack is loaded and the straps adjusted in a similarly standardized way. All testing takes place in our laboratory in Lille so all brand bags that want to use the Air Cooling label are tested in this lab, on this dummy.
The results of these tests indicate whether a bag has passed or failed the airflow tests, measured in W/sqm, depending on the agreed threshold value.Only then can the bag be accorded the "air cooling" label.
Sometimes, the results can be surprising. A mesh bag can offer less airflow than a solid pack and yet users perceive it to be more breathable. Which is why it's important to eliminate feelings and impressions - although they are still important - and organize field tests to validate products which are then released for sale.