Jul 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm #1276444
I can't seem to get away from the sewing machine, and I couldn't fight the urge to make a really durable pack that can carry a bear canister on top. This will end up replacing this pack, because without any real structure, that pack ended up putting too much weight on my shoulders around 15 lbs. or more. Therefore, I wanted a pack made out of the stiff XPAC VX21 that also featured a full back pad sleeve and a removable aluminum stay. I figured with this combination, it would hold its structure well enough to be comfortable up to 25-30 lbs.
My fabric choices for this pack were…
Main pack and extension collar: VX21
Bottom of pack and bottle pockets: VX42
Front panel, bottle, and hip belt pockets: Dyneema X
Inside of shoulder straps and hip belt: Foam Ventilated Mesh
Full back pad sleeve: Lycra
Weight with aluminum stay and before strap trimming: 31 oz.
Some features I included in this pack were…
Shock cord to keep water bottles more secure:
Two webbing straps to hold bear canister in place on top of pack:
Removable (big) hip belt pockets that stay in place when attached:
I knew this pack would not be under 1 pound, and I did not intend it to be. I wanted it very durable, and I wanted it to hold its structure almost as well as an internal frame pack, and it just about does with the aluminum stay, GG Nightlight Torso Pad in full back pad sleeve, and the stiff VX 21.
Also, I wanted a closure system similar to the ULA Catalyst closure system. The extension collar rolls down, buckles on both side panels, and a center strap goes over the top.
I will take this baby on a day hike soon to try it out, and hopefully, it will be with me on the JMT in a month.Jul 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm #1757101
Brendan SwihartBPL Member
@brendansLocale: Fruita CO
great work!Jul 7, 2011 at 10:02 pm #1757107
Eugene SmithBPL Member
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
Sizzle.Jul 8, 2011 at 6:25 am #1757153
Good looking pack! One thing I would be worried about is it does not seem as though there are and drain holes on the pockets. The Dyneema X will pool water I'd imagine. You could cut a small hole and put mesh over it to contain the contents.
Good pack though. What size padding did you use in the hipbelt and straps?Jul 8, 2011 at 9:50 am #1757199
Ryan SmithBPL Member
Excellent work Shane, I really like it. That hipbelt pocket looks very well done, and large enough to hold a lot of stuff.
RyanJul 8, 2011 at 10:37 am #1757214
All the pockets have drain holes. You just can't see them in the pictures, because they are located on the bottom of all the pockets.
I used 3/8" CCF for the straps and hipbelt.Jul 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm #1757267
@socal-nomadLocale: North San Diego county
Great job on the pack it is a bomber design and I like how it zipper less except for the detachable side belt pockets. I think the only thing I would do is make sure the bear can does not slip or shift side to side is make light weight stuff sack for the can with a daisy string runnner the length of the sack and can.
It can serve two purposes one the daisy chain runner will allow you to run the bear can attachment straps through to avoid side slip of the bear can. Number two also because your bear can is a expensive carbon fiber composite bear can it will act as sun UV shield for the bear can so the carbon fiber composite will not break down faster being exposed to UV rays of the sun,Like most composite materials do.
TerryJul 8, 2011 at 9:16 pm #1757387
Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Do you think the can will be too close to the back of your head?Jul 9, 2011 at 1:06 am #1757419
Looks great and I'm so glad I don't have to carry a bear canister ever.Jul 9, 2011 at 5:53 am #1757436
The bear canister does not shift side to side at all with the webbing pulled tight, though I may consider a lightweight stuff sack as an extra precaution.
Doesn't touch my head at all. As a benefit, it provides more sun protection. :)
I wish I never had to carry one either, but I think hiking the JMT is worth carrying it.Jul 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm #1757618
Made the bear canister stuff sack today, Terry.
1.8 oz.Jul 9, 2011 at 8:58 pm #1757652
Christopher ZimmerBPL Member
Shane, sweet looking pack! Your time at the machine is paying off, keep up the great work!Jul 10, 2011 at 5:49 am #1757692
@mad777Locale: South Florida
Impressive! Very professional work combined with great design ideas. Well done :)Jul 10, 2011 at 6:09 am #1757695
Where did you get that Bear Canister?Jul 10, 2011 at 6:26 am #1757697
John DonewarBPL Member
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
I love the "modularity" of this pack. It's great the way that the shoulder strap and hip belt pockets can be used or removed as needed.
The creative way that you attached the hip belt pockets makes them securely located and still modular in design. Well done!
The shockcord water bottle "keepers" serve two purposes in my mind. Naturally they keep your water bottle secure but they also tip the top of the bottles forward to make them easily reachable and replaceable.
Very nice stitchwork, the waterproof zipper is especially well done and professional in appearance.
This is a truly great looking pack. Good luck on the JMT.
NewtonJul 10, 2011 at 6:37 am #1757699Jul 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm #1757766
@socal-nomadLocale: North San Diego county
Nice job on the stuff sack and that 1.8 oz. will pay off in the long run protecting that expensive carbon fiber bear can, also stopping to readjust a slipped can on the trail. Have fun on your JMT trip.
TerryJul 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm #1757831
Mike MBPL Member
mad sewing and design skills! should serve you very nicely on the JMT :)Jul 10, 2011 at 6:11 pm #1757877
Thanks for the kind words, everyone, and thank you for the stuff sack idea, Terry.
I used to use the Mountain Laurel Design hipbelt pockets with a Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus backpack, but I had to readjust them every time I took the pack off and put it back on. That's why I wanted to design a detachable pocket that would stay in place. I'm sure there are many ways one could secure them in place, but I decided on using the hook and loop from Quest Outfitters, which work very well, and run it through a looploc on top of the hipbelt and then through the webbing. Pack goes off and on with no readjustment necessary.
The second reason you mentioned for the shockcord water bottle keepers is exactly why I located them where I did. ;)
When is your next pack due? I'm looking forward to it.Jul 10, 2011 at 7:52 pm #1757917
John DonewarBPL Member
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
My next pack is on the work table of my machine as I write this. It will be a day pack for my wife. I am incorporating a lot of design elements into it such as a light and thin frame sheet with an aluminum stay, custom fit to the curvature of her spine.
Family priorities and my work have kept me quite busy and unable to devote as much time as I would like to this project. It will be forthcoming and there will be ample pictures to detail the hows and whys of construction.
Thanks for your interest but this thread is about your excellently crafted MYOG Black Bomber Backpack. You included a large number of well thought out features in your pack. I really like the black Xpac and the grey Dyneema together. It's what every "formal" backpacker should be wearing this season. ;-)
I do have one question. What is the purpose of that one visible seam below the upper most pocket on the front panel of the pack?
NewtonJul 11, 2011 at 5:40 am #1757999
After sewing the top pocket to the front panel, I used 3/4" grosgrain to neaten it up, and what you see is the seam at the bottom of the grosgrain.
Here is a picture of it. The pack looks wrinkly in the picture, because it was completely empty when I took this picture.Jul 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm #1758135
Cool pack Shane! You and I must be tapping into the same brain waves… I'm currently working on a new pack with many similar features to this one: Roll top closure, back pad sleeve, al stays, split front (or back?) pocket, fat shoulder straps and hipbelt, XPAC body (I'm using VX07 though)…basically a variation on the GG Gorilla, which I like a lot. I had a couple of construction questions for you.
– Is there a reason why you attached the roll top closure webbing so low on the pack (right above the side pockets)?
– How do you like the lycra (haha) for the back pad sleeve. I decided to go with a foam ventilated mesh because I thought the lycra was a little slippery and would constantly slide down my back. If that's not the case the lycra is definitely lighter/dries faster.
– Is the back pad removable? Does it just come out of the top of the pocket?
– Why did you get away from the mesh hipbelt pockets you put on your Mariposa Plus and MYOG Mariposa Plus? They seemed like a good idea.
Also, what do you think about the idea of putting ladderlocs/buckles on the shoulder strap side of the bear canister webbing so it could be removed if not using a bear canister? I'm not incorporating that feature in mine but it seems like it would be nice to get rid of that extra webbing when not in use. Another thought I had was combine the bear can stuff sack and webbing straps into a "lid". Basically leave the webbing attachment points but replace the section of webbing that goes over the bear can with fabric that wraps around the top and sides of the can. I don't know if I'm describing this well… Nonetheless, it would give you your protection and attachment in a nice integrated feature.Jul 11, 2011 at 6:20 pm #1758228
@everreadyLocale: Sh!^^% Ohio
I read about someone that used Velcro to keep the bear canister in place. They sewed one side of it to the straps and glued the other to the canister. Very little added weight.
AlJul 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm #1758710
"Is there a reason why you attached the roll top closure webbing so low on the pack (right above the side pockets)?"
If you have less volume of gear in the pack, you can pull the extension collar down further.
"How do you like the lycra (haha) for the back pad sleeve. I decided to go with a foam ventilated mesh because I thought the lycra was a little slippery and would constantly slide down my back. If that's not the case the lycra is definitely lighter/dries faster."
I love lycra as a back pad sleeve. The slippery feel actually works better for getting the pad in and out of the sleeve. With foam ventilated mesh, the pad (at least the kind I use) is much harder to get in and out, because it sticks more to it. You can back it with some silnylon or something similar to allow the pad to go in and out easier, but the silnylon won't stretch much, and it adds more weight.
As far as the lycra sliding down your back, I don't quite understand. With the hipbelt and shoulder straps snug, there should be no sliding down.
"Is the back pad removable? Does it just come out of the top of the pocket?"
"Why did you get away from the mesh hipbelt pockets you put on your Mariposa Plus and MYOG Mariposa Plus? They seemed like a good idea."
1. Durability – The Dyneema X is much more durable than the mesh pockets.
2. Volume – By constructing removable pockets separately, I was able to make them as large as I wanted. If I were to construct the pockets onto the hipbelt without being able to remove them, it becomes much harder to make them as big as I want.
3. Modularity – I wanted them to be removable. If I want to keep many things (like lots of snacks, lip balm, sunscreen, etc.) within easy reach without taking off the pack, I can have the pockets connected to the pack. If I am in situations where I don't need/want so many things right there, I can remove them.
"Also, what do you think about the idea of putting ladderlocs/buckles on the shoulder strap side of the bear canister webbing so it could be removed if not using a bear canister? I'm not incorporating that feature in mine but it seems like it would be nice to get rid of that extra webbing when not in use."
It's a great idea. The good thing is that if I decide to make them removable, I can easily cut off the strap and leave a certain length on the shoulder strap side and sew on a ladderloc or triglide. That may be something I end up doing after the trip.
"Another thought I had was combine the bear can stuff sack and webbing straps into a "lid"."
It's definitely an idea that has potential, though I'm not sure it would save much weight, if any at all, and you'd have to figure out how to make the "lid" adjust to whether the pack is nearly full or nearly empty. For instance, if the pack is full and the bear canister is higher, you'll need the straps to be able to adjust with more length to get the lid on top of the canister. It's probably not something I would do, but it's not a bad idea if designed correctly.
I hope the construction of your pack is coming together well.Jul 13, 2011 at 5:19 am #1758770
Denis DalyBPL Member
I really like your design and the end product. Looks great and very functional. I am a Arch as a professional. My question is what did you use for the lower lumbar pad and what kind of stiffner to support it? I couldn't tell by your photo. It's shot at an angle. But your pack looks awesome. I'v been drawing some idea's for myself while hiking the AT.
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