What makes a Ute's suspension any better than a K/Duplex frame if an HPG shoulder harness is installed on the latter?
1) The Prairie Belt is better than the K belt. Not by a huge amount, but certainly a noticeable amount.
2) The lumbar pad on the K frames is too thick and off-sets the center of gravity causing slippage. I suspect the thickness is an attempt to address the problems in the next point.
3) The 7000 series aluminum stays on HPG packs do a better job. Unless the carbon stays happen to fit your back, you need the aluminum stays from K. But both the carbon and extra thick 6000 K stays have no flex to them. Flex serves 2 purposes on an internal. First, it allows you to tension the load further over your center of gravity when you hit the load lifters. Without flex, tightening the load lifters is pretty much the same as strapping yourself to a backboard. Second, the S curve of the stays provides a fair amount of shock absorbtion as you walk because the S compresses a little bit with each step. With heavier loads, this effect is more pronounced. The shock absorption saves your body from jarring and also helps keep the pack properly seating in your lumbar versus being walked down with every step.
Also, what about HPG's ex-frame prototype is an actual improvement over a Dana Shortbed in full "HPG dress"?
1) The lumbar area is significantly different than the Dana frames and any other external. It's a big functional improvement I need to do a patent filing on.
2) The load to frame interface is very different and much better than the Dana (although similar to some other frames).