Design a “BMW Summit Pack”

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    Bill Fornshell
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern Texas

    There has been a lot of interest in the MaHale Summit pack Ryan used on his Yellowstone / Beartooths Trek.

    The size of the pack is listed as 12″ by 24″ by 6″.

    What would you like to see in a new lighter “BMW Summit Pack” Those that want to add their “2-cents” can list what (accessories) they would like to see for it such as mesh pockets, no mesh pockets, pocket for a fishing rod, pocket for a tripod, etc.

    Anything else in pack design that you would like to see?

    I will start it off with the general pack size as it was listed at 12″ by 24″ by 6″.

    What would be a good basic pack weight goal ??

    paul johnson


    Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest

    >>”good basic pack wt. goal” AND “anthing else in pack design”

    two versions – both top-loading draw-cord, roll-top closing made of one piece of material – if possible, so, only one sewn seam to leak.

    one for on trail use. so, the GG Mariposa is the de-facto standard, IMHO. therefore, 16oz with CF stays for a frame.

    the other (being essentially identical in design, volume, and features) for some off trail exposure, scrambling, etc. (perhaps not full-fledged “shred-o-matic” bushwacking). a heavier fabric with a Spectra “rip”. think, SMD StarLite – perhaps also a de-facto standard (my experience is limited). so, 24-28oz wt in this heavier-duty version. here, my thought is more “a robust fabric” rather than pure load carrying capacity.

    external pad pocket – could be velcro (?) closing instead of the SMD zipper (hope i got that right). leave a small opening in a corner & top center (POE pads) for inflatables to be inflated after insertion in the pocket (and the pocket being closed). POE pads – would these be comfortable carried in the ext. pad pocket with its valve being “amidships” along the spine??? perhaps a small neoprene/closed-cell attached valve “cap” is needed (this is getting too complicated).

    over-the-top ‘Y’ shaped compression strap (keeps roll-top from opening), and one circumferential compression strap maybe 2/3 or 3/4 of the way up the pack (not including the height of the exp. collar).

    personally, i don’t see a need for “hydration ports”. it’s very easy to route a tube out the “cinched” opening, position it laterally and roll the top closed around the tube – then secure with the compression strap. tube exits fine and can be easily routed. this works well for Platys, IME (in my experience), but some bladders have a shorter tube and these might not work well. it gets tougher if exp. collar is fully extended. in these cases, might have to carry bladder in a side mesh pocket if tube is too short.

    somewhat voluminous hip-belt pockets, certainly no smaller than the upcoming SMD Essence. BOTH fabric, NOT mesh.


    large front and 3 side mesh pockets (2 small+1 large – on opp. sides of the pack, of course). the lowest small side mesh pocket should be as close to the extreme bottom of the pack as permitted by the design of the shoulder strap attachments, so as to permit easy retrieval by those with short/tight shoulder capsular ligaments.

    bungee water bottle holders on the shoulder straps.

    optional chest pouch (similar to the MLD Prophet’s & the GoLite Team pouch).

    i’ll leave other aspects of the suspension fine points to those far more knowledgeable about pack design than i am.

    i purposely left out ice axe/tool loops. i don’t use them. i’ll leave it to others who know about these to properly explain a good design for these.

    oh…possibly, some small webbing loops to permit a custom bungee arrangement if desired. 6 or 8 total – half on each side – NOT sure how to do this if you only have one seam, as i suggested up top – so these may need to be left out.

    Bill…you’re sorta’ like Santa and i’m a kid giving you my “wish list” (you know, like…3 pages long!!). Hope you have a lot of Elves working for you. oh…i’ve tried to be a good little boy over this past year!

    Ryan Faulkner
    BPL Member


    I like the idea of multiple versions made from different fabrics. an idea I would like to see is to have a semi custom pack where you start with a simple pack and have the options to add extra pockets, lid, sternum strap, bungee compression, frame, hydration pocket, hipbelt pockets, fishing rod pocket, and trekking pole atachments.
    many ore features are possible but make them optional so for the people very concerned about weight can get a simple ultralight pack

    Bob Gabbart


    The Rapture pack that will be coming out soon basically fits the bill of a BMW summit pack.

    The 24″ x 12″ x 6″ dimensions are the same as the G6. It is a great little pack and I would use it as a model.

    I would retain the features of the G6 (dimensions, lace up compression system, kangaroo pocket, roll top closure with Velcro tabs to hold it down, reinforced fabric in high-wear areas) and add: more durable fabric, side pockets (not mesh), a nice wide hip belt, stays, and a padded back panel.

    Except for the padded back panel, what I’m describing here is the Rapture. I hope that comes out soon!

    I saw a prototype of the Rapture and I think it was a little bigger than the G6.

    Patti Binder
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southwestern Indiana

    I have a little Eagle Creek daypack with a curvey u-shaped one piece shoulder harness that is super comfortable. I love it and use it for everything: dayhikes, shopping trips, airline carryon bag. I’ve always wanted to try one on a larger but ultralight pack.

    With good shoulder straps and an ultralight load, a waist belt might not be needed, or could be removeable.

    Why can’t we have a port for the platypus hose. A hole won’t add any weight will it?

    And a sleeve for that platy too. Could be remaveable,I guess for those who don’t want it, but making it removeable might make it heavier for those of us who do want it.

    Instead of a circumferential compression strap, maybe 4 loops to add a bungee elastic if needed. The loops could be sewn in where the side pockets are sewn on. Maybe the elastic could be multiple use for something else, like maintaining tarp tension or holding a hammock under-quilt.

    If your lightwgt mesh doesn’t work out for pockets, the top parts of the side pockets could be made from your lightweight cuben and just the bottom mesh for drainage.

    Bill, I hope your going to publish the pattern for this miracle pack when you get it perfected.

    I hope your project ends up being a miracle pack not a camel.

    “A camel is a horse built by a committee.”


    paul johnson


    Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest


    some good suggestions. really appreciate your input on how to get those webbing loops onto a pack body with just a single seam. good thinking. i like the loops & bungee – usually find a way to add them to my packs. of course it can’t exert as much force as the true compression strap, but then, we’re talking UL here, and how much compression is really needed for lighter gear. could always go with heavier bungee if 1/8″ proved insufficient. so, my point is, good suggestion. my vote is now with your suggestion.

    as to the hydration port. well…we really need two holes – one on each side to accomodate the left-sided drinker. or,…just one hole in the center, perhaps? would that do for you? but, whether one or two hydration ports, while holes don’t weigh anything, we need a little reinforcement around them. remember, we’re talking some really light fabric here. also, we’d like to have covers over it/them since it/both might be NOT always be used. don’t want rain/dust finding an easy entrance to the pack. velcro is often used to close off the ports when not in use. now we need to sew velcro to the lt. wt. fabric also. also, some backing on the inside so we don’t damage the fabric when detaching the velcro to open the port for use. [note: i don’t sew, so, i hope i’m explaining this correctly???] so…, bottom line, the holes do weigh more – but not much. you can have Bill add them if you want. if they’re there, i’ll use one or both. i’m just saying i don’t really see a need (but it’s a nice option).

    for my part, i don’t want a pattern – couldn’t make use of one anyways. but i would be happy to buy one ready made or pay someone one a handsome fee to make it for me.

    thanks for helping out with the “camel”. i’ve never heard that expression before. based upon the quotes around it in your post, you didn’t come up with it on your own, right?

    Benjamin Smith
    BPL Member


    Locale: South Texas


    Any progress on the BMW summit pack? I (and I’m sure many others) would love to see what you have come up with so far.


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