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Tyvek Backpack


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  • #1234032
    Ralph McNall
    Member

    @rumps

    Locale: SF Bay

    I totally forgot about how great it is to make your own gear. I used to do it all the time when I was a little kid, but then I grew up and got a job and just started buying stuff – till I found this website. So here is the first project that I completed: My Tyvek Backpack.

    I pulled the straps and some hardware off of a camelback I never use. It has a front zipper pocket, bladder and frame pockets on the inside. Two side mesh ones, compression straps. I gave it a roll-top lid, but I think I will switch that to a drawstring. Volume starts about 1300 in3 and expands to around 2300, weighs in at 9.5 oz.

    Tyvek pack on back

    tyvek pack front

    tyvek pack back

    tyvek pack inside

    #1477704
    Jolly Green Giant
    BPL Member

    @regultr

    Locale: www.jolly-green-giant.blogspot.com

    Nice work. Be sure to come back after a stretch with a report on its durability.

    #1477717
    Kevin Egelhoff
    Member

    @kegelhoff

    Locale: Southern Cal

    Ralph,
    I can't believe that is your FIRST project … looks like something purchased off the self !!! Very nice work !!
    Definitly want to hear how the Tyvek holds up in a pack of this size. What weight do you plan on carrying with the pack ?

    Kevin

    #1477722
    Unknown abc
    Member

    @edude

    I second Kevin, that looks like a storebought item!!!

    Very good work!!!

    -Evan

    #1477725
    Michael Chudzinski
    Member

    @oknowa

    That is very cool,great job man !

    #1477736
    Denis Hazlewood
    BPL Member

    @redleader

    Locale: Northern California

    Fantastic piece of work. What type of Tyvek did you use? I can just imagine pulling a Tarptent Sublite out of that great pack. Congratulations.

    #1477749
    Jeremy Greene
    Member

    @tippymcstagger

    Locale: North Texas

    I am interested to see more images of the straps. Nice and airy.

    #1477761
    Kendall Clement
    BPL Member

    @socalpacker

    Locale: Southern California

    Awsome pack, Ralph!!! It's just simply, awesome!! How long did it take you? What would you say was your total, estimated monetary investment?

    #1477849
    D LARSON
    BPL Member

    @epilektric

    Locale: Midwest

    That pack looks awesome. Great job!
    It doesn't look like there is any padding in the hip belt. Do you still find it comfortable and do you think it affects the performance of the pack in any way?

    #1477895
    Ralph McNall
    Member

    @rumps

    Locale: SF Bay

    Thanks for all the responses. The base of the pack is made out of Tyvek 1059B and the soft stuff at the top I think is 1422A or whatever they make tyvek aprons out of. I definitely questioned the durability going into this, so before I started on the bag I made a little sack because i wanted to test out the tape that I was going to reinforce the seams with. Then I filled it with rocks and tossed it around for a while, and it held up surprisingly well. So we'll see how it performs over time, but I can always just put more tape on…

    Other than some thread and a couple feet of elastic I had the rest of this stuff already, so I probably put about 5 bucks and 20 hours of time into it. The straps are just mesh, but are surprising comfortable. I've loaded it up with about 15 lbs so far and seems to do fine. I don't really expect to be carrying much more than that. I think it will make a nice bag for the overnight trips. There have been lots of other posts on here about belt or no belt, but I always seem to use them and the tyvek doesn't weigh much. I don't know how much it will help in transferring weight to my hips, but it will at least help hold it to my body for when I'm climbing around or running.straps

    #1477911
    Kendall Clement
    BPL Member

    @socalpacker

    Locale: Southern California

    Did you use nylon thread? And, if you did, was there a particular guage or thickness? I'm also curious about the needle and the tape.

    Thanks,

    Kendall

    PS I've never made ANY gear before. I don't know if it's the economy or curiousity, but I've been thinking about making some of my own gear lately (a quilt and a pack). I think it'd be hugely rewarding.

    #1477948
    Jim Colten
    BPL Member

    @jcolten

    Locale: MN

    I've never made ANY gear before. I don't know if it's the economy or curiousity, but I've been thinking about making some of my own gear lately (a quilt and a pack). I think it'd be hugely rewarding.

    Kendall,

    It was cost savings that got me started but I long ago came to realize that those last six words sum up the drive to MYOG. Go for it!

    #1477956
    ben wood
    Member

    @benwood

    Locale: flatlands of MO

    nice job. the work looks great. i like the camelbak harness too nice light and airy. very cool.

    #1478001
    D LARSON
    BPL Member

    @epilektric

    Locale: Midwest

    I have to second Kendall's request about the thread. I've often pondered the best thread for this or that.

    I have some nylon stuff that looks like fishing line (I thinks it's nylon) and some sweet Kevlar thread my brother gave me but haven't found a use for them yet.

    #1478017
    Kendall Clement
    BPL Member

    @socalpacker

    Locale: Southern California

    Jim,

    Thanks for the encouragement. I started looking at sewing machines and talking to my mom who used to do quite a bit of sewing. She was encouraging as well. Sears has a couple of models for just under $100. I think as a beginner maybe I'll start with one of those.

    #1478051
    Michael Chudzinski
    Member

    @oknowa

    Kendall,

    As a newcomer to MACHINE sewing…All I can say is,GO for it!

    I bought a cheap Janome machine,it will do all I need for now. Less than a 100 bucks,seems to be great quality for the money.

    I have made stuffsacks,patched packs,bags,etc.

    My next project is making a quilt for my buddy out of his 30 year old bag.

    I just picked up an old DRESSMAKER machine for 20 bucks. Heavy steel rig that will do some heavy duty work. Put a belt on it and it is working just fine.

    I am addicted to sewing now,and I do not have to beg my wife anymore.

    I hemmed(spelling?)my first pair of pants this morning,I am free !!!

    Sewing is only as difficult as you make it,anyone can do the basic stuff. It is mostly common sense and a few tricks.You just need to think things out in advance. My wife was amazed at some of the ideas I came up with,not like I am a genius. Like I tell her…I don't mean to make sense…but….and then she tells me to shut the hell up.

    #1478086
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    > some sweet Kevlar thread my brother gave

    Very tricky stuff to use. It is rarely needed, and can give worse results if misused. Yes, I have Kevlar thread, and no, I don't use it much at all.

    I would recommend you don't use it until you have had a LOT of experience with sewing with ordinary threads.

    Cheers

    #1478118
    Kendall Clement
    BPL Member

    @socalpacker

    Locale: Southern California

    Thanks Mike… I mean I probably wouldn't be able to do as good a job as Ralph did on his Tyvek pack. I mean that takes experience, which a lot of you have. But, making ultralight gear that's functional would be really fulfilling, not to mention save hundreds even thousands of dollars. By the way Mike your post, although true, is very funny.

    Roger,
    What's the scoop on kevlar thread? Why is it so challenging to work with?

    #1478141
    Matthew Roberts
    Member

    @matthewjamesroberts

    Locale: San Fernando Valley

    I used to use Kevlar thread to sew up my fire tools (DIY Kevlar wicks) when I performed as a Fire Dancer. It's tough-stuff. I found the thread to be sufficient for hand stitching high-impact areas – running it through a machine is a whole different story.

    #1478151
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    > What's the scoop on kevlar thread? Why is it so challenging to work with?

    As Matthew said, it is very stiff and hard. That means it runs poorly through a machine needle. This can create a lot of friction, which heats up the needle and that then melts the Kevlar in the needle. Messy.


    Correction, thanks to Dave Olsen: it frays and breaks fibres at the needle, but this may be due to its high stiffness rather than melting, as Kevlar has a very high melt temperature. But that still causes a mess!



    My experience is that ordinary polycotton or nylon thread, even fine stuff, is as strong as the lightweight fabrics we normally use – provided you use short stitches and make a good seam.

    About the only place where you might want to use Kevlar thread is sewing 100% Kevlar fabric. There the thread is matched to the fabric. Good for bullet-proof jackets, but irrelevant for most UL gear.


    Also, as I was reminded by Dave Olsen, Kevlar is UV-sensitive. This is not good for outdoors gear.



    Cheers

    #1478153
    Kendall Clement
    BPL Member

    @socalpacker

    Locale: Southern California

    Roger,

    Would you use a polycotton or nylon thread with cuben fabric? I'm thinking of making a cuben fabric pack and experimenting with a cuben fabric tarp.

    You guys (people in the MYOG forum) have really fired me up. Tomorrow I'm picking up a 35 year old "White" sewing machine I found on Craig's List. She says it works fine. It's just due to be serviced and she decided to get a newer machine… $10!!!

    Also, does anyone have an opinion about primaloft (about 2") for quilt insulation?

    #1478241
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Hi Kendall

    I need to explain the difference between the two threads.

    Nylon thread is usually pure nylon, is sometimes bonded, and is usually very strong. However, it can be a bit tricky to handle at times: it can kink up in my experience.

    Polycotton (the good version anyhow) has a core of polyester fibres, surrounded by cotton fibres. The cotton lets the thread slide through the needle a bit easier, and when the needle gets warm (hot) during high speed sewing the cotton prevents the hot needle from partially melting the synthetic part of the thread. Yes, this can happen – with 100% polyester or nylon threads. Finally, when the cotton fibres get damp they can swell up a bit, blocking the needle hole.

    For this reason one is usually better off using a polycotton thread for most sewing. I would normally only use 100% nylon thread for sewing webbing and heavy Cordura where that is going to be under load.

    But don't think that polycotton is a whole lot weaker than nylon: it isn't. I use it for my tents quite happily – in quite a fine version.

    What to use for Cuben? I have tested this fabric, and I would use a fine polycotton thread, but I would tape the seams afterwards to spread the load across the film rather than having it concentrated entirely on the sewing holes. A 'seam stick transfer tape' such as 3M9485PC is good.

    Cheers

    #1478244
    Kendall Clement
    BPL Member

    @socalpacker

    Locale: Southern California

    Roger,

    Thank you. That was extremely helpful.

    Kendall

    #1478249
    Jeremy G
    BPL Member

    @gustafsj

    Locale: Minnesota

    Ralph,

    Are all of your seams sewn or are some of them taped? How did you seal the seams that are sewn? It seams that sewing and Tyvek would not work real well together as it would make a perforation like a paper towel.

    I'm thinking that one would need to use the sewing machine to make the nice pretty lines and corners and then reinforce the seams with a Tyvek type tape, which would also seal them as well.

    I am thinking about making a tarp tent out of tyvek which is why I ask all the questions…

    Great Project Ralph!! Inspiring!

    #1478250
    Jeremy G
    BPL Member

    @gustafsj

    Locale: Minnesota

    Roger, would that 3M tape work well for sealing Tyvek seams as well? Would it be strong enough to relieve stress on a sewn seam in the Tyvek?

    Thanks!

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