Image Alt

Interview with Marco Chiaberge, Ferrino Product Design & Development Manager

By Denis Piccolo

Ferrino was born 150 years ago, in 1870. In a short time it became a leader in the production of tents and in the late 1980s decided to expand its offer. From that was born the backpack section, which has now become a real collection that ranges from mountaineering backpacks to the classic day pack.

Can you tell us about the process of creating a Ferrino backpack?

Upstream of the birth of a new product there is a structured process within the company between the marketing and commercial departments that analyze, season by season, how much the range is still centered on the competitive scenario and the new trends of market, and then decide whether and where to insert a new product.

We project that new product by evaluating what type of use it should have, what type of technologies, materials and finally price positioning, and then we add it to the range.

Then, using a 3D software, the model makers create a sample which is then manufactured inside our internal prototype laboratory.

Field tests are an integral part of the birth of a new Ferrino product, our ambassadors or specialized guides prove this first prototype and test it in the use for which it was conceived, to see that all the features actually meet expectations.

After the field test, the product returns to the company where it is eventually improved in subsequent steps until we get to the most suitable mix for the functionality that the model must have.

Subsequently, our technical offices realize the final sample, all the technical data sheets and the necessary documentation for product engineering, and then finally we go into production.

From mountaineering to the day pack. Can you give us an overview of the Ferrino backpacks line?

Ferrino backpacks line is structured to respond specifically to each type of outdoor activity and is divided into different categories.

High Lab: products which target is mountaineering and expeditions, with innovative technologies. We offer three sets of backpacks. 100% waterproof models thanks to the H-Dry technology. Backpacks that use the Dyneema fabric, very light but extremely robust. In the end, the “SAFE” models or those with avalanche protection systems.

Mountaineering: backpacks with two sub categories, an extremely light proposal for winter use and a more transversal one for a 4 season alpine use.

Trekking: more than 50 liters models and with a maximum capacity between 90 and 100 liters. Sturdy, comfortable and airy backpacks, with multi pockets for an easy organization of the load and a system that allows quick access to all compartments.

Hiking: made for that kind of person who takes into consideration weights and dimensions in order to be lightweight and fast and therefore requires a backpack with a capacity between 25 and 50 liters, lightweight, with a multi-pocket system and great transpiration of the back. We have two types of backrests, one with the flexible steel DNS (dry net system) and lighter backpacks with the “Hollow Back System”, composed of pre-formed sponges at different densities and ventilation channels.

Active: backpacks dedicated to those who practice aerobic activities. We have specific products for trail running and other models designed for more transversal activities such as cycling, short treks or even running. 5 to 20 liters capacity, extremely lightweight and with specific gears for intense activities.

Day pack: products designed for an everyday life use. Extremely simple but with specific equipment such as structured organizers, padded pockets for the transport of devices and internal security pockets for storing wallets and documents.

Can you tell us about the brand top models and your favorite ones?

Our top products are those from the Ferrino High Lab line.

My favorites are the Instinct 30 + 5 and 40 + 5 models, which, thanks to innovative solutions, are full optional but extremely clean and lightweight. I like a lot the “SAFE” line because it is the result of a long research work with a composite team of partners that has allowed us to be able to integrate, in a single backpack, the airbag, the Ferrino Airsafe respirator and the Recco system, giving to the user overwhelmed by an avalanche the maximum level of protection. We are extremely satisfied with the result because we were in fact the first brand in the world to integrate three technologies into a single model. It subsequently became the subject of an independent research project by Eurac Research in Bolzano, which led the product to be recommended in the US Wilderness Society guidelines for avalanche accidents.


Speaking of 2021, do you have any particular news to share?

For the SS2021 proposal, Ferrino first of all worked to implement its offer of hiking backpacks for a “Fast Backpacking” use. Our two top models, Finisterre and Agile, have been improved in terms of color and capacity, both in the Unisex and in the Woman version.

Backpacks turn pink thanks to different ergonomics and designs for the female body. What’s the difference between your women’s backpacks compared to similar men’s models?

Ferrino has always been attentive to propose a line dedicated to women. It is important to underline that the “woman” proposal does not simply concern a chromatic choice. The ergonomics of the woman are different from the man’s one, therefore we studied specific backrests, carefully working on the shape and types of padding, differentiating them between shoulder straps and waist band, so that they perfectly fit the female physiognomy.


Backpacks have become a fundamental element in outdoor activities. How have backpacks evolved in the past 10 years?

In the past 10 years backpacks have evolved in 3 different ways. Increasingly innovative materials have made it possible to lighten their weight without compromising strength. In addition, new types of padding, mesh and load-bearing structures have increased the level of breathability and comfort. Finally, in the winter, a great deal of study has been done on new devices to increase the probability of protection and survival in the event of an avalanche.

Share this Feature