||Task Group Has Fun Developing a Backpack Capacity Standard
A task group of ASTM Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities had fun when they gathered
to devise a volume test for backpacks. They wanted to use a standard
fill specimen that would be easy to find as well as effective,
and considered dog food, dominoes, buttons, Ping-Pong balls, dried
beans, chopped plastic tubes, plastic washers, foam-packing peanuts,
golf and tennis balls. Eventually they chose 20-mm plastic balls
as a fill specimen for F 2153, Standard Test Method for Measurement of Backpack Capacity. The
new standard uses balls, a piston, and cylinder to measure backpack
Steve Nagode, a Quality Assurance Lab testing manager for Recreational
Equipment Inc., Sumner, Wash., says the method will provide testers
with an accurate measure of capacity as well as an element of
fun, because its also fun to have 50,000 little balls rolling
around the lab.
The 20 mm balls will be easily accessible for testing. After
developing some guidelines such as not edible, not compressible,
density of about 10 lbs. per 1000 cubic in., easy to purchase,
and pieces that were relatively slippery to one another, says
Nagode, the 20-mm plastic spheres were the obvious choice. The
spheres are sold as floats to reduce evaporation and hold heat
in liquid baths for industry.
There are as many test methods as manufacturers, Nagode says,
and the standard will provide a consistent measure of backpack
size that is suitable for manufacturers and consumers requirements.
Since we meet at our trade shows we have excellent cooperation
among manufacturers, and I suspect 95 percent of backpack manufacturers
are now using this standard, he says.
F 2153 measures backpacks and related bags with capacities greater
than 4 L, such as lumbar packs, soft rucksacks, internal and external
frame packs, duffel bags, and travel packs. It covers areas completely
enclosed by fabric that are not mesh pockets, water bottle holders,
or compressor pockets.
Nagode chaired the task group of consumers, retailers, manufacturers,
and consumer-magazine editors. The standard they developed will
help manufacturers to compare measurement capacity and communicate
it to consumers. It is then up to the manufacturers to list the
capacities in their catalogs, hang tags and sales literature,
and reference the ASTM standard, Nagode says. It also helps
when the consumer magazines pick up on these standards and adopt
them for their articles and gear reviews.
Direct technical comments to Steve Nagode, Recreational Equipment Inc., Distribution Center-QA Lab, Sumner,
W. Va. (phone: 253/891-2577). Committee F08 meets Nov. 6-9 in
Miami Beach. For membership or meeting details, contact Jim Olshefsky, director of ASTM Committee Services (phone: 610/832-9714). //
Copyright 2002, ASTM