Final D4 Kickstarter Update
We did it! All Kickstarter orders were shipped and delivered in 2017, ahead of schedule. It has been a great adventure and journey since we reached our initial Kickstarter goal back in April within the first 72 hours!
Many thanks to all our supporters:
Huge Thanks to those who purchased a 2017 D4 Kickstarter portaledge: Quincy Milloy Riley McDonald Wade Morris Sam England Connor Brown Justin Davis Matt Sourisseau Peter Drzymala-Balzer Nicola Martinez Vasile Dumitrica Wang Lei Roby Rudolf Jim Brennan Michael Rieser Robert Hayes Mike Libecki Seth Dilles Steve Wakeford Tito Krull Bill Coe Larry Arthur Kevin Kent Tim Frankl James Arnold Ryan Gillespie Cole Bradburn Braden Downey James Donigan John William Middendorf II Chris Lorimer Kristen Anderson Michael Kavanaugh Jason P Hall Jerry Greenleaf G.W. Barrett Jonathan Wachter Matt Lambert Oliver Laker
Also big thanks to D4 Swag financial supporters: Matthew Newton Simon Mentz Iain Clarke Amy Givler Allison Morris Zacharias Jon Rigg Frances Middendorf Geoff Couser Cameron Abraham Bill Hatcher Eliza Kerr Rob Caron Josh Temes Kirk Bland Klaas Ebel Robert Francis Noonan Stacy Papp Jeni Middendorf Bob van Velzen Tim Preston Lesley Gardner Stuart Teague
Special thanks to our main product testers of the early D4 Prototypes: Marek Raganowicz John Verbeck Pass the Pitons Pete Zabrok Rob Miller Robbie Brown Steve Pearce As well as climbers who provided quality feedback and photos: Eliza Kerr and Calliope Chris Trull Jon Rigg Steve Bosque Cam Burns Kevin DeWeese Dave Alfrey Mike Libecki Twid Turner Matt Lambert Jim Reynolds Jon Griffin Becca Saurus Kevin Kent Micheal Sanderson Patrick Cicero Chris Lorimer Sam England Tito Krull Jerry Greenleaf Jeff Constine The Pines crew in Arapiles Cedar Wright Tomas Huber Andy Kirkpatrick Greg Child Malcolm Matheson Andy Kuylaars
For support and encouragement during the last SLC OR show. Kurt Smith Randy Leavitt Stevie Haston Liberty Mountain Gear Chris Kalous Steve Quinlan Bob Palais
Thanks also to supporters who helped through photography, reviews or interviews:Bill Hatcher (National Geographic) Tom Evans (El Cap Pics) Peter Farquhar (Business Insider) Helen Shield (ABC Radio) Ross Taylor (Vertical Life) Brandon Pullan (Gripped) Chris Kalous (Enormocast)
For help in creative branding and the initial website: Hudson Paine Elliot Kirk Tyler Miller
And many thanks to Werner Braun who supplied the encouragement, refuge and tools that allowed me to create the first functional D4 curved-corner hybrid-diameter compact-folding prototype in his Yosemite shop. Also thanks to Simon Mentz for doing a wall with me to test the design and for his fine video of the adventure. And last but not least, super special thanks to the D4 Production Team: Barry Ward Jason Brooks Kim Morris John Middendorf
Barry Ward of Durango Sewing Solutions will be continuing to produce the D4 full-size portaledge design in Durango, Colorado. The wait list (sign up at BigWallGear.com) is currently at 89 people (as of today) and growing, as the word is out that the D4 is by far the best portaledge ever, but Barry is confident he will be able to fulfil all orders within a reasonable timeframe. John Middendorf will be continuing to research improvements in the design and manufacturing, and also to develop new products--soon he will be offering some specialty portaledge designs from his shop in Tasmania (keep posted of news on the Facebook page and BigWallGear.com).
Warranty and repairs of Kickstarter Ledges
As described in the Setup Manual included with each Kickstarter ledge, "This product is supplied as a reward for Kickstarter supporters to foster ongoing and future development of a new suspended tent system. As such, this product has no warranties, expressed or otherwise, and should therefore be considered experimental and extreme care taken if used in any situation where harm may result. Understand and accept the risks—you are responsible for your own actions and decisions."
The first Kickstarter production ledges, shipped in September 2017, were the aftermath of hundreds of cumulative nights spent in D4 prototype portaledges around the world, beginning in late 2016 with the first D4 prototypes built in Tasmania. Since then, over 100 people have directly involved with the design and feedback process in the past year.
During the Kickstarter production, we made two significant changes: we switched from the lighter 4-point suspension to the traditional 6-point suspension. We also ditched the light and strong 210d Dyneema fabric to a more robust 420d ripstop packcloth. The Dyneema beds have stood up well over multiple walls, but being lighter, require a bit more care--be sure to attend to any incipient wear spots on the beds with nylon adhesive patch tape and/or Shoe Goo (or Aquaseal). Based on user feedback based on actual use, we also beefed up a number of reinforcement points, as well as making the ledge "ambidexterous", meaning either side can be used against the wall. The net weight of the current production D4 double portaledge, including haulsack, flypole, and expedition fly, comes in at 19 pounds (up from 15.5 pounds of the initial prototypes, but still about 10 pounds lighter than the competitor's similar size ledge). And of course it is the compact folded size of the D4 that really sets it apart--it is the most compact full size portaledge ever.
For any big wall adventure, especially those involving a portaledge, we highly recommend taking a repair kit, including (Amazon links below):
While you are at it, order a Speedy Stitcher for any haulbag or strap repairs.
We stand behind our product, and any issues will be attended to reasonably. Repairs will be done for time and materials. Contact Barry directly at email@example.com
We also remind users to review the following information carefully:
Why no photos in this update?
There were just too many! We compiled all the D4 photos from 2017 into one 3 minute movie here: D4 Movie 2017 Youtube
Thanks, thanks, and thanks again!
Thanks to everyone again for a great adventure. The ability to tinker again with new concepts and create new folding hanging camp systems has been a great reward of this project, and I am very excited about the new climbing tools spawned by this Kickstarter and currently being developed in the D4 shop--thanks to everyone for their support.
As a final note, check out the latest Enormocast, which includes some stories about the development of the D4 Portaledge (Thanks, Chris!):