The Back Story
Rivendell Mountain Works was the brainchild of Larry Horton back in 1971. The flagship products were both based on designs created by the late Don Jensen, who was a climber active with the Harvard Mountaineering Club, in the 1960’s. Larry had a keen sense of how to manufacture these products to a high standard and a design philosophy of adhering to a theme of simplicity. In the 1977 catalog, Larry wrote “In spite of our choice to remain
a cottage industry-or, perhaps, because of it-we have managed to continue an innovative influence on the world of equipment for backpackers, climbers and skiers.”
One thing that RMW’ gear came to represent, in the 1970’s, was gear that was reliable and had great longevity. Packs and tents are certainly two of the most important items that you need to be able to trust implicitly. Even now the Jensen Pack™ is built to be far more durable than many packs on the market today. For longevity and during extreme use, it is just not going to come apart on you. These packs are overbuilt to the nines.
The Jensen Pack™ is not for everybody and it is also not necessarily the best pack for every conceivable use. Many Jensen Pack™ owners have several packs, of different makes, that they actively use. There are many very well made packs available these days, but there are none that achieve performance without an internal frame, except the Jensen Pack™. For really heavy loads, say over 60 lbs., we try to suggest other packs that might be better for a particular customer, even though we have used these packs successfully with loads heavier than that. The recommended load is between 40 and 60 lbs, less if you are a smarter packer.