May 29, 2011 at 8:38 pm #1274621
All of these MYOG projects are tempting me to start creating my own designs. I don't have hardly any sewing experience and would rather start out by modifying some of my existing gear than starting from scratch. The Osprey Exos 46 is the most comfortable pack I have ever tried but would like some changes.
Has anyone ever modified an Exos 46 into an extended collar dry-bag roll top type closure, similar to something on a ULA Circuit or Granite Gear Vapor Trail? I would also be chopping off the back pocket and replacing it with a mesh panel. Reasons for a roll top closure are to increase volume so a small-medium sized bear canister may be able to fit better and so the pack is a little more weather resistant rather than having a big hole at the top. The pack would probably weigh quite a bit less, hopefully below 30oz.
I would like to use materials as close as possible to the existing fabric but that may be difficult. Some would say the Exos 58 may be a solution but I did not like the sloshy baggier feel it has and prefer a taller narrow pack.
Any thoughts or ideas? I am in no hurry, mostly bouncing ideas around in my head.May 30, 2011 at 6:52 am #1742729
One of my hiking buddies uses this pack, and there are definitely a lot of ways you could modify it and cut out weight. Some things would be easy, like cutting off unnecessary things. Adding things to it can get a little trickier, especially if the frame can't be removed. Adding your own extension collar would probably be easy. When you cut off the existing one, leave a little extra fabric to work with. If you cut too close to anything, it will be harder to sew on the new collar.
If you want to add a mesh stow pocket, it may be very difficult if you can't remove the frame. You'd probably have to sew it by hand, but if the frame comes out somehow, you may be able to use a sewing machine, but I'd imagine it still wouldn't be easy without much sewing experience.
I've found after modifying some of my gear and making some of my own, that making my own ends up being easier than modifying things that are already made. This is because it's easier to sew individual panels than it is to figure out how to get a bunch of fabric already sewn together between the feed dog and pressure foot. And you have to constantly figure out how to keep fabric from the pack out of the way as the fabric gets sewed.
If you don't have any sewing experience, I'd recommend starting out by making a (cheap) prototype pack and gaining sewing experience before modifying a pack you really like. You can seam rip mistakes, but it may end up being quite frustrating. I know from experience.
Either way, modifying and customizing your gear and making your own is thoroughly enjoyable once you get the hang of it, but first practice on things you don't care much about.May 30, 2011 at 7:08 am #1742732
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
I have an Exos and it does violate all the rules for UL packs, dripping with straps and buckles and features. I like the top pocket and that stretchy back pocket is really handy. I don't understand buying a pack like an Exos if you don't want all the gee-gaws. There are lots of simpler UL packs out there.
I would look at stashing the bear can under the top pocket and save the hassle. The problem I see with most bear cans is that they are too slippery and that is easily fixed by adding a couple fat rubber bands made from inner tubes. The rubber bands can be removed while camped, so they don't provide a gripping surface.May 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm #1742890
Thanks for the tips. I actually need a lightweight daypack so maybe I'll learn some skills on something like that. The Exos is not really SUL but is very comfortable for me being tall and skinny. The ventilated back is awesome and something not found on lighter packs. Maybe I could duplicate the frame into a custom MYOG hybrid version using Titanium and different materials someday.May 30, 2011 at 6:20 pm #1742917
@sandylwesLocale: eastern washington
I too have dreams of an exos modification. I have the Exos 46 and 58 and also an osprey aura 35 which I tried to sell, couldnt get $60 for it, so decided to use it for a training pack. It is awesome!!!! It is a panel loader and similar to the exos, with the same style of frame, womens specific. I have visions of removing most of the "bag" part of it as it has a seam running a few inches away from the frame, because it is the panel loader. Replacing it with some dyneema or ? But it would have to be sewn with the frame on, so could be tricky….
Anyway…good luck with your modifications!
sandy boydMay 31, 2011 at 12:44 pm #1743217
I hacked up an Exos 58 & shed 11 ounces by the time I was done.
Got rid of everything unnecessary. Removed the pocket zippers and pocket divider/liner, so expanded the volume of the "main" pack significantly. I don't think you'd need to add a collar extension if you incorporate the pocket into the main body.May 31, 2011 at 1:04 pm #1743233
I also have the Exos 58 and absolutely love the pack. Sure it would be nice to lighten it, but that's the same with all gear.
Brad….can we see pictures?May 31, 2011 at 7:32 pm #1743409
@daviddrakeLocale: North Idaho
Just did a roll top mod to my Exos 58 (didn't add extension collar). Dropping top lid plus some trimming got it down around 33-34 oz. Roll top mod was very similar to one I did earlier, posted here:May 31, 2011 at 10:12 pm #1743464
I have never cut anything off the Exos 46 yet. Excess straps alone would save several ounces. The top lid would be significant as well. I actually like the zippered side pocket so that would stay.
David, very cool roll-top closure modification! I want a small extension collar so that a bear canister can fit on top of everything inside the pack.
This is kind of a crazy question but does anyone know where I may be able to find some gray silnylon that exactly matches the Exos fabric?
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