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Scramble News (October 2023 & November Update)

The News!

Manufacturing Update: Towers, Belt Bags & More

In this post we're going to provide a manufacturing update along with scheduled product release dates and SYSTEM store news. We've been quite busy behind the scenes and unfortunately this has meant a dearth of reviews of late. Please accept our apologies and know that a good number of reviews will be coming soon.



Scramble Tower 11L Pack Extenders (2nd Release)

We've been very happy with the 11L Towers, both in terms of our own use and also the feedback we've had, which has been overwhelmingly positive. The only criticism we've received has been that we don't offer smaller versions.

Tower 11L (r2) Range: Core Editions & Colours

We're going to be keeping things as simple as possible going forward. The core editions and colour options will be as follows:

  • HIT: Grey, Olive Green (as before), Dark Navy (new)
  • DURA (1000D only):  Grey, Olive Green (as before), Dark Navy (new)
  • X-PAC (VX21): Slate Grey (as before)
  • Ecopak (EPX200):  This is a new fabric for us and has very similar properties to the X-PAC VX21 in terms of weight, strength, durability and water resistance. However, it uses more recycled materials in its production and is less rigid. X-PAC VX21 is still the king, but Ecopak EPX200 isn't far behind.

In our SYSTEM store, X-Pac and Ecopak will be grouped together under the same product listing. So, in essence we'll maintain our three "Core Editions" as originally envisaged: HIT, DURA & PAC/K (Eco- and X-).

The available colours for the Ecopak range will be:

Scramble 11L Towers Ecopak EPX200 colour rangeEcopak EPX200 colours.

The zip pulls will be red (as before) except for Olive Green, where the cord pull will be black.

11L Tower (r2): A minor but notable upgrade

The absolutely certain change we're making is to the accessory clip and cord loop. Previously we used a small and rather cheap metal micro carabiner clip (see pic, below right). However, we've been impressed by this mini, low-profile wiregate carabiner which weighs only 2.4g but is far more functional. So this will be included with the new Towers.

[UPDATE-10/11/23] : We're almost certain to make a minor alteration to the side loops. They'll be the same as before except we'll extend the bottom loop.  This would have zero impact when the Tower is vertical, but it would allow the Tower to be perfectly centred when strapped to a pack's "rope strap"in horizontal ("T") position.

The new Towers feature an upgrade to the clip and cordThe 11L Towers (r2) feature an improved carabiner with stronger elastic cord loops.

In addition we're using a more retentive 2mm elastic cord. This will make clipping the top of the Tower to a pack for stability easier and will also function to secure the zip-pull, making opportunistic thievery a little more cumbersome when travelling through populated areas of ill-repute.

We're also going to be making a small number of the Limited Edition Neo-Lite range for those that trek through jungles and other highly saturated environments.

Schedule & Pricing

So far we've retro-fitted all (12 in total) of the relevant models we had left in stock. We hope to manufacture small batches covering the entire range and have those available by the new year (they'll be made available on SYSTEM as soon as we get them in and process / seam-seal them).

We managed to avoid any price increases since their first release (~ Jan 2019) over four years ago. However, as I'm sure you're all acutely aware, all input costs have risen substantially since then, so our prices will be going up.  We are trying to absorb some of the costs in order to keep the Towers sensibly priced. The small number of retro-fitted Towers (which don't feature the extended loop but do have the new clip and cord) are currently 20% off (Olive HITs & Royal Blue and Grey DURAs) and they're in the "end of line" product page on SYSTEM. We're going to try to cap the price of the older models (and there are a number of discounted options, see below).

Machine Belt Bags (MBB)

The Machine Belt Bags are coming.  We've had a good number of readers and customers asking for these and if you're one of them, we really do appreciate your profound patience. We've approved the final samples and the new batch is currently in production.  We hope to have them by the end of November / early December (yes, 2023). The first batch will be in Blue-Green (500D) and in Grey (1000D).  Future models will be available for both versions in (Dark Navy / Midnight Blue). 

When we released these we just wanted people to use them and set a price that was pretty much at cost. We didn't make any money (but we didn't make a big loss either).  The price of the MBB will be going up markedly I'm afraid.

There's a lot of work that goes into making these and we use high qualiy materials throughout, and unlike Patagonia we don't employ Vietnamese labourers earning a tiny fraction of the value of their labour in conditions that require Patagonian virtue signalling certification to make everything seem benevolent. Conversely, the "artisans" (owner/workers) that manufacture our products work in the UK, own what they produce and receive 100% of what we pay (they don't have owners taking a fat cut), which is why we don't need to plaster "Fair Trade Certificates" (FTCs) over our products.

For example, the Patagonia "Black Hole Cube - Large - 10L" retails at £50, uses a relatively inexpensive heavy duty polyester ripstop and is made using cheap Vietnamese (not Californian) labour (who get an undisclosed FTC sustainable "premium"):

Supporting The People Who Made This Product:
Made in a Fair Trade Certified™ factory, which means the people who made this product earned a premium for their labor

So, they weren't exploited to the max - that's good to know. Our Machine Belt Bags will retail for less than this Patagonia masterpiece, and I will guarantee our profit will be a lot less than Patagonia's too. But it will be worth it, as we won't have to wear a virtuous mask.

Apologies for the rant, but this corporate public relations stuff really annoys me.

Cook Kit Stuff Sacks

Next off the line should be our Cook Kit Stuff Sacks which we're expecting to have in stock mid-November. These will be available in two colours and use two similar fabrics (the original Grey/Green in 40D High-Tenacity Silicone Coated Ripstop Nylon and a pure Grey which uses a 20D Silicone Impregnated 360T Ripstop Nylon with a heavy PU coating. It's about 4g heavier and a little more water resistant. They're functionally very similar; it's more a matter of which colour you prefer.

New Products & Product Development


We've been testing our new belts for the last year and a half and we like everything about them. We made them because the Edelrid Turley had been discontinued and after looking everywhere for a replacement we didn't find what we wanted. So we went about making one which satisfied our simple criteria:

  • Easy-on/easy-off (doesn't require re-threading).
  • Comfortable low-profile, high quality, practically unbreakable, metal buckle with no moving parts.
  • No webbing slippage (doesn't require adjusting once set).
  • Available in 25mm and 38mm widths. 

That's what we've made and we've called them the TR25 and TR38. TR (indicates trek, but really) stands for "Turley Replacement". The 25mm version is made and we're waiting on the 38mm versions, which then need to get the photo-shoot treatment. These should be available early in the new year. Hopefully, we'll get the review out for these in November / December. 

Sleeping Mat Protector

The other thing we're still playing around with is the Tyvek / SkyTex 2/3 length sleeping mat protector.  What we've been finding is that it's fantastic as a large sit / changing mat when the ground is saturated or in sub-zero conditions.  So, we're simplifying the design and rather like the Towers being a large pencil case, this will likely end up being a large puncture resistant pillow case and everyone will say: "how on earth did that require any thought?".  But there you go. We'll release these when we feel they're an essential part of our kit.

Store News & Tower (r1) Discounts

A few things are either back (or new) in stock (or will be very soon):

Many of the first generation (r1) Scramble 11L Towers (except the HEX models) are currently discounted. Also we've got a number of "sub-standard" models available.

What does "sub-standard" mean?

Towers classed as sub-standard all have the same singular issue - the “cap” (grab-tab / zip-shelter) is off-centre (beyond the margin of error set by Scramble). In every other aspect they are identical and Scramble back these models with a full 3 year warranty. The issue is largely superficial and should not affect the Tower’s function in any significant way (see image below):


Sub-Standard Towers have misaligned grab tabs"Sub-Standard" Towers all share the same fault.

So it's largely superficial and if you're not offended by misalignment, they're quite a bargain (Towers aren't generally reduced because they're already sold at as low a price as we can manage). Also, a number of the Royal Blue HIT Towers are quite well aligned, but we're discontinuing this colour for the HITs so we added them regardless.  If you're interested, the best thing is to assume you're getting a misaligned version, and then you may be pleasantly surprised.

Here's the sub-standard offerings (30% off): 

Other Tower (r1) reductions ("End Of Line" models are now all at 20% off):

And, as previously stated, there's also 20% off the re-fitted Towers (these won't have the extended bottom side loop, but do have the new clip and cord): 

Here's all the Towers currently available.


That's enough business for now. I shall get back to the review backlog. I think next up is "flame and fuel" (a repository page for miscellanea relating to stoves, fire, fuel, sub-zero lighters etc ...).


Last Updated: 10/11/23

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