Jan 14, 2011 at 7:05 pm #1267723
This afternoon I finally finished my M50 top bag, and I don't think I could be much happier with it. Final weight is 15.1 ounces with a comfortable (not uber-narrow) fit and long enough for my 6' frame. I used 9 oz of 900 fill power down, two inch baffles, and loft is consistently more than 2 inches per single layer and often more like 2.5 inches. The underside is single layer M50 with loops for pad straps and a 30" zipper.
I could have made this a little lighter by cutting back on down, size or comfort features (zip), but my goal was a very light but still versatile and usable bag. This one will work nicely for warmer and lighter trips than my other MYOG top bag, which has 12 ounces of down, an even roomier cut and is 7 ounces heavier.
Here are some shots:
The M50 wasn't easy to work with, but I didn't think it was all that bad, either: On par with sil-nylon.
MattJan 14, 2011 at 7:07 pm #1684081
what is the zip for?Jan 14, 2011 at 7:17 pm #1684085
The zip is for versatility temperature-wise and getting in and out of the bag easier. I think it added something like just over a quarter of an ounce. Totally worth it for me.
MattJan 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm #1684087
can you feel the zipper when it is under you?Jan 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm #1684090
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Your head must stick out the end?
Must be about 5 inches between baffles?Jan 14, 2011 at 7:53 pm #1684098
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Awesome workmanship. Perhaps unsurpassed.Jan 14, 2011 at 7:54 pm #1684100
never understood how you guys that work with down handle it without feathering your entire house.Jan 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm #1684103
Thanks for the comments, guys.
Willy – I haven't noticed the zipper underneath me at all: #3 zippers are really quite thin, and from previous experience avoiding it isn't a problem.
Ziff – there is a method of filling a quilt/bag with down involving a shop-vac well described on this site that works like a charm: I lost so little down that I hardly even needed to vacuum my living room when I was done. If you can't find it via the search engine let me know.
Jerry – Regarding baffle width, i think they were something like 5.5 inches in width. You are right about my head "sticking out the end"…I've got a light elastic draw cord across the top that so far seems comfortable and effective and getting a decent seal around my neck.
mattJan 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm #1684110
Looks good Matt.
Be careful with that zipper if you're using a single layer of fabric for the back flap. There's a reason why I decided to use omni-tape on the Cyanocittas. Trust me, it's not because it's easier to work with, cause it ain't. ;)Jan 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm #1684118
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
You beat me to it. I thought I would be the one who was going to have the first pictures out of a completed M50 bag.
Will this be your go to bag for anything above freezing?
It's nice to see the finished project not look sooo orange with the down showing through.
Nice bag!Jan 14, 2011 at 9:34 pm #1684134
Matt great looking bag, love the bright orange glow it gives! How many yards of the M50 did you use? Also how did you do the foot of the bag, is it boxed or rounded? Very nice bag!Jan 14, 2011 at 9:51 pm #1684138
Yeah, sweet bag! I'm tempted now to get some M50 – it looks so good. I see what you meant by Tiger Stripe. Could we get a detail shot of the footbox?
Again, nice work!Jan 15, 2011 at 6:45 am #1684178
Matt, Fantastic looking quilt! I have finally found the time to work on mine. As I already have a M90 quilt with 2.5" loft that I love, I doing a simple summer quilt with a drawcord footbox. I want to use the extra down to do a down sweater and possibly booties.
After seeing how good your quilt looks I'm ready to work on a new 3 season quilt, but that will have to wait until next summer. I must say the orange looks not only better than I could have imagined, it looks great. I may stick with the orange even after new colors come out later this year. My preference would be orange outer with a black inner to aid in drying.
Question…I had a tough time searing the edges of the fabric. Did you sear the edges or cut with a hot knife or left the edges untreated?
Thanks for sharing.
JamieJan 15, 2011 at 6:54 am #1684182
That looks outstanding, well done! I like the zip you added.
JohnJan 15, 2011 at 7:10 am #1684187
Javan – I hear you about the zipper, but it if winds up being a problem in practice I'll likely sew in some zipper backing I have on hand from thru-hiker. I thought about omnitape, but went with the zipper as I had success using it in my other topbag.
Aaron – I may have beat you to the punch, but I am still very interested in seeing what you come up with…the more MYOG examples we have on here, the better as far as I'm concerned. Also, in spite of the fact that this only has 9 oz of down, I think it will be quite warm: the top bag design really concentrates that down where it matters and makes it a very efficient 9 oz. I've got a whitney down parka with 6.4 oz of down for 13.25 ounces total, and pairing this with the whitney ought to make for a system that can be pushed below freezing if necessary.
Christopher and Jared – The foot box consists of a rectangle with one horizontal baffle, which is sewn into the quilt aound the perimetier (not baffled). This is one spot in the quilt with sewn through construction, but I don't think it matters much because it meets up with the rest of the quilt at a right angle, and doesn't leave a cold spot. I'll try to put a photo up in a bit. I used the thru-hiker quilt kit, which basically consists of 5 yards of fabric (had about 25" left over on one end), some nanoseeum netting for baffles and 12 oz of 900 fp down.
Jamie – I'm digging the color too. I had my reservations, but I think I enjoy having something in my kit that isn't one of the standard drab colors so common in UL gear. I didn't bother with searing the fabric: I just made sure all fabric edges were sewn over themselves twice or more so that the loose edges were locked away and hidden. I think searing is a pain and the risk of starting my project on fire feels like it outweighs the benefit. As always, looking forward to seeing what you come up with regarding your quilt, sweater, etc.
MattJan 15, 2011 at 8:09 am #1684192
Nice Looking Bag!
I'm glad to see so many folks going for the thru-hiker.com M50 and M90 for DYI projects. It saves a lot of weight in bags and garments.
I think the more DYI'ers who support the companies that lede innovation in sourcing ultra high quality light weight materials the more great materials you will get to work with in the future. I think most DYI'ers that are going to spend 10-20 hrs building a top quality bag or garment are most happy for years to come when the materials are also top quality.
Disclaimer: Paul at thur-hiker.com and I work together to source many materials so I know how much work and expensive it is to make this happen.Jan 15, 2011 at 9:05 am #1684213
Here is the best photo I have of the footbox: its not perfect, but I think it'll give you the idea.
Ron – I agree regarding using high quality materials: after so much time and energy is placed into a project it feels a little like being short-changed when I've elected to save a few bucks and use lower quality raw materials.
MattJan 15, 2011 at 10:23 am #1684245
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
Matt – It's an absolute work of art!
Did you alter the thru-hiker pattern in any way? (aside from adding the zipper, bottom, etc to make it a topbag)
I esp. like how each baffle is so evenly filled. Great choice of materials and awesome craftsmanship by you.
ToddJan 15, 2011 at 10:41 am #1684252
The thru-hiker kit doesn't really come with its own pattern, but is geared toward a set of instructions posted on the thru-hiker website for everyone to see. Basically, these were submitted by a customer (i think), and they direct the maker to customize the fit based on size, preferences etc. For this project I essentially first made a somewhat narrow quilt with permanent footbox very similar to what the posted instructions describe, but longer. After this I added the single layer bottom, zip, etc. I chose my dimensions based upon the fact that I wanted the bottom strip to be about 14-15" wide, and the overall bag to be 39-40" at the footbox and 60" or so across the chest. One thing I had to keep in mind was that I'd loose about 1-2" per side for seam allowances, and about 2-3" in width and length once I had it lofted up with down. Also, I always seem to loose a little bit (maybe 1/2") in width just from minimal puckering that happens while sewing the baffles in.
I hope this helps, and let me know if you have more questions.
MattJan 15, 2011 at 5:44 pm #1684481
awesome job! I love the orange.Jan 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm #1684842
I finished my summer quilt this weekend… much quicker than I expected. The final quilt weighs 10.8 oz! It should easily take me to 40 degrees, a little lower with extra clothing. I ended up doing sewn thru baffles, but it still lofts 1.5" to 2".
It is designed to lay flat. The footbox is formed with 18" of snag free velcro (moni tape). A draw cord completes it.
Best of all I really like the orange color!
Here are the pics…Jan 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm #1684846
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I'm jealous of all the M50 people
very light weightJan 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm #1684865
Awesome work, Jamie: I bet you could fit your entire shelter and sleep system (minus CCF, perhaps) in your pants pockets at this point. Keep it up.
MattJan 16, 2011 at 7:11 pm #1684924
Matt, Thanks! Yeah things keep getting lighter.
Let me add a few details. Like Matt I didnt try to skimp on the dimensions to get the light weight. The fabric did that. The quilt is 50" wide at the top, it is straight for the first 1/3 then it tapers over the remaining 2/3 to a 38" footbox. The quilt is 76 inches long. The baffles are 6.33" apart and filled in total with 6 oz of 900 fp down. I'm about 5'10" and weigh around 160 lbs. The quilt fits perfectly.
I actually found the material to be fairly easy to sew. I did change the needle, clean and oil my machine prior to any sewing. I used a size 80 needle and gutermann polyester thread (color 474).
JamieJan 16, 2011 at 7:32 pm #1684930
@thomdarrahLocale: Southern Oregon
My daughter saw Jamie's picture and said "hey cool carrot"!
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