Apr 7, 2006 at 8:52 pm #1218267
@bugbombLocale: South Texas
Here’s a link to pics in my Whiteblaze.net gallery.
I’d appreciate any comments. It’s fairly similar to the silnylon G6 clone I made a while back, but this one has a more involved compression system and a hipbelt and water bottle/wand pockets. I also made sleeves inside so you can insert lengths of arrow shaft to serve as a frame. It works very well, better than I expected, actually! I need to find something about the size of an arrow shaft (so I don’t have to rethink the sleeves!) that can be shaped – the only downside to the arrow shafts was that since they were straight, the pack didn’t hug my back the way I’d like.
A couple of tips for those who want to try this – I triple-stitched everything, and the 1.9 oz uncoated nylon shows no signs of pulling seams, no matter how I stress it. HOWEVER, I would suggest that you single stitch the whole thing until you have your cord loops, straps, velcro, etc attached – it’s more of a pain to rip three seams than one! Save the reinforcement stitching for last!
Also – overestimate your seam allowances and your shock cord for any elastic pockets you make. The water bottle pockets on the sides came out just right, but the “kangaroo” pocket is too tight. I can easily fit a poncho-tarp, or jacket, or whatever in there, but I’d prefer it to be looser at the mouth.
A couple of thoughts on straps – I ran webbing all the way down my straps. In the future, I’ll limit this to only the places where I think I’ll want to attach accessories. The single strip of webbing actually creates a pressure point down the center of the shoulder strap. Next time, I’ll just attach some grosgrain to the strap further down, in the places where it would help.
I will also use thicker/stiffer foam for the hipbelt. It begins to collapse around 20 pounds. That’s ok, because that’s at least a week’s worth of gear and food for me, but I’d rather it didn’t do it at all. I used some 1/4 inch closed cell from a local auto upholstery shop.
Anyways, fire away – I’d love to hear any tips from people who have been there, done that.
Oh, and the final weight:
10.6 oz without stays, 12.2 oz with.
This is just a prototype. I think I’ll make the final with a combination of 1.1 oz silnylon and 4 oz Dyneema from thru-hiker.com.Apr 7, 2006 at 11:11 pm #1354398
@mlarsonLocale: Southeast USA
oooooo… aaahhhhhhh… Love that color. Looks like you put together a great set of features. I like a bit of webbing on the shoulder straps to hang a camera or AR-style water bottles, but definitely understand the issue of additional pressure if the webbing is anchored on both ends.
Maybe you haven’t had much hike-time with it yet, but do you notice a significant comfort difference with the dual waist buckles? Any plans for hipbelt pockets?
-MarkApr 8, 2006 at 5:58 am #1354405
That’s a good looking pack. A few suggestions:
1. I would use thicker foam in the hipbelt.
2. The pack looks a little short for your torso. You want the shoulder straps to attach about 1″ to 1/2″ above your shoulders. It’ll be much more comfortable.
3. If you use shaped stays, remember that they will be longer for the same height as strait stays.
BobApr 8, 2006 at 7:49 am #1354407
@bugbombLocale: South Texas
Mark – you’re dead on with the webbing. I, too, like to hang bottles, compasses, etc from the shoulder straps (or at least, I want to be able to). I think it’s just the connection to the top that creates the pressure – if the webbing started at the front of the shoulder, it would be ok.
I find that the double-buckle hipbelt is great. It’s nice to be able to adjust the top to one tension and the bottom to another – I don’t have much in the way of hips, but even I can feel a difference. I think it’s especially useful on a wide, thinly padded hipbelt like this one – if there was only a single buckle, the top of the hipbelt would collapse. I’ve tried leaving one or the other of the buckles open – there’s a significant decrease in comfort. With thicker foam, as I mentioned and as Bob suggests, I think the double buckle will probably be very effective, although a single buckle and a more carefully shaped hipbelt might suffice.
Bob – the pack is definitely short. I was originally building it for my wife, and about 2/3 of the way through, realized that I’d want to change some things. So I just built it as a “prototype.” It’s a good size for her, although I’ve also taken it on some long hikes loaded with about 20 pounds. Thanks for the reminder on the shaped stays – I’ll have to do some twiddling to figure out the ideal length.
I’ll also be consulting Bill Fornshell’s post – “BMW Summit Pack” and PJ’s post in that thread for some other features I might want to implement.
BenApr 20, 2006 at 3:02 pm #1355197
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