Ursack Update

January 03, 2008

The Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group (SIBBG) has withdrawn its conditional approval of the Ursack S29 Hybrid (Ursack with aluminum liner) for 2008.

Ursack is challenging this decision. There appears to be scant evidence to suggest that the S29 Hybrid had a significant number of product failures in 2007. The nature of Ursack’s challenge has not been finalized because we are waiting for SIBBG to provide us with the specific evidence on which it based its decision. From what we know so far, user error was the sole cause of three incidents in which bears got food. In those cases, users did not cinch the opening completely—they failed to remove all slack in the cinch cord and did not tie a secure knot.

We understand that SIBBG’s decision is exasperating for our loyal customers. It is even more trying for us. We cannot run a business in which our only product is reviewed year after year by a government agency making arbitrary and capricious decisions about what equipment a camper may or may not use in the wilderness. We respect the Sierra Rangers and much of the work they do, and have no desire to file an unnecessary lawsuit. But it seems that may be the only way to bring this see saw existence to a halt.

Because the situation is fluid, we are changing our return policy. Customers may return any new, unused, Ursack for a full refund within one year of purchase. We hope that approval will be reinstated by SIBBG, and that customers will hold onto their purchases until the situation is resolved.