1,800 cu in day bag for hunting with Challenge Ultra 200
Nov 20, 2023 at 2:21 pm #3793560
Seek Outside makes amazing load-hauling frames and suspension systems for hunters. They also make a decent variety of pack bags in different sizes and pocket arrangements to go with their frames, but the smallest is 3,500 cu in (setting aside their tiny Merlin day bag). That’s the size I use on a 5-day elk hunt in Alaska, not what I want to carry on a day hunt. So a few years ago I started playing with designing my own day pack for my SO platform, and this is the latest iteration. So far I have made 4 of them and given them away to friends who also use the SO platform.
In the past I always used Xpac in VX21 or VX42 as I really like that fabric. But this time I went with Challenge Ultra 200, and I have to say that I’m pretty impressed with the fabric. It’s incredibly difficult to cut, so once I picked up a powered rotary cutter (which works great) and was actually able to cut my panels, the rest was smooth sailing. The Ultra 200 plays nicely with my sewing machine, is easy to manipulate, takes stitching brilliantly, folds effectively and holds its shape, and is just a pleasure to work with in every regard. Very light and insanely tough.
Here are the individual panels of the body finished and ready to join:
The side panels attached to the bottom panel which will create a 2″ bathtub bottom:
Three of the 4 sides joined:
I goofed one small detail up (the position of a gear loop), but otherwise I really like the final product:
My minor booboo: I meant to have the gear loop on the vertical seam above the top of the bottle pocket, not below it.
Anyway, I’m happy with it and from a sewing perspective I can heartily recommend playing with Ultra 200 as long as you have a way to cut it.Nov 20, 2023 at 4:59 pm #3793573Nicholas PBPL Member
@ioLocale: Acadia National Park
One of these day I’d like try my hand at the MYOG game. I don’t hunt but I would really like to design and build a splitboard specific pac as there really aren’t a lot of UL offerings for packs with the feature set I would like.Nov 21, 2023 at 9:53 am #3793624Dan RansomBPL Member
That looks outstanding. Nice work!Nov 21, 2023 at 11:22 am #3793628
Thanks guys. Nicholas- yes, definitely get into MYOG. Sewing takes patience and experience to get right, but like any skill you learn by doing. Start with basic items like stuff sacks and work your way up. Once you get a basic level of proficiency, it’s cool what you can create. Also, it allows you to modify existing gear to better suit your needs.
I weighed the bag and it came in at 220g (7.75 oz). It’s interesting that dropping down to Ultra 100 from 200 only saves 0.5 oz/yd (3.0 oz vs 3.5 oz) so a fair amount of the fabric weight is the Mylar backing, the 45 degree crossply yarn in the 100, etc.Nov 21, 2023 at 11:34 am #3793630David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Sweet. And good looking!Nov 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm #3793662Greg PehrsonBPL Member
@gregpehrsonLocale: playa del caballo blanco
I really like MYOG posts like this one that show stages of the construction process. And when the builders talk about oops moments along the way. As someone who has lots of oops moments in my sewing, it’s very reassuring.
Philip, the pack looks great! The way the orange loops pop against the gray is such a nice color contrast and I bet makes them that much easier to locate and clip into. What do you use the vertical loop along the lip of the water bottle pocket for?
Thanks for sharing.Nov 22, 2023 at 10:50 am #3793688
Greg- the vertical gear loop on the bottle pocket is an anchor point for when I want to cinch the roll-top of the bag down along the sides rather than clip it to itself, or if I run a top lid. On standard SO packs you just use one of the normal gear loops, but it ends up pulling the loop at a 90-degree angle to the loop’s intended pull direction. So I just gave myself an optional spot for vertical strap pulls.
CheersNov 22, 2023 at 4:27 pm #3793721Logan KBPL Member
That looks great! What an awesome idea for the SO platform!Nov 24, 2023 at 11:28 am #3793815
Believe me, every time I sew one of these I send pics to Kevin at SO and prod him gently to make something comparable. He hasn’t bitten yet, but I think I’m wearing him down, haha.
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