Mar 4, 2014 at 5:45 pm #1314027
Chris Zimmer just sent me pictures of an awesome new pack he completed for me. Here are the pictures.
I chose VX42 for the main body of the pack. Its heavy but it is supposed to have both good abrasion resistance and good water resistance. The red is Cordura 500. Total weight according to Chris is 31 oz. My old pack with normal VX21 was 28 oz so for 3 oz I gained a lot more durability.
If you look closely you can see the top of the stay channel above the red pocket. Its basically the design suggested by David in his article "Flexible Ultralight Frames."
This pack is designed to hopefully fill two totally different roles. One is to haul minimal gear and lots of water into the Guadaluple Mountains. Since I moved to West Texas this area has become my stomping grounds. Hiking there means carrying a lot of water.
The second role is for backpacking trips in the Northern Rockies over summer break. I'll be carrying less water and a lot more food. I'm looking at several week long trips in areas where resupply won't be easy.
Hopefully its gets here in time for a test run over spring break. Thanks to all who offered ideas.Mar 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm #2079506
@harry-nLocale: Western US
Great looking pack. Was the red cordura a special order? I've been thinking of a larger pack if I ever get back into winter backpacking and a red/black combo would nice fit the bill.Mar 4, 2014 at 6:42 pm #2079508
Looks very, very nice!
What is the approximate volume?
CheersMar 4, 2014 at 6:47 pm #2079510
Really nice looking pack Luke. Kudos to you and Chris.Mar 4, 2014 at 7:30 pm #2079522
The red cordura was a special order as was the VX42. I think the volume is something like 2200 cubic inches. Its basically the same dimensions as my first Zimmerbuilt pack which was about perfect. This one should have a much improved hipbelt. The red part is a pad sleave for a sit matt. I think these two together will improve the carry quiet a bit.Mar 4, 2014 at 8:33 pm #2079539
Should make for a good ride, I agree.Mar 4, 2014 at 9:10 pm #2079551
@kalebcLocale: South West
This needs to be moved to gear, nothing to do with MYOGMar 4, 2014 at 9:14 pm #2079552
No need for an additional thread either as this is the end to this oneMar 4, 2014 at 9:25 pm #2079556
Take it there, I'm tired of hearing it.
And go out and get some sun this long northern winter if you can find it, it will do you good ;-)Mar 4, 2014 at 9:34 pm #2079557
Yes, let's just post anything anywhere. And let's not give any of the posts titles either.
Chaff.Mar 4, 2014 at 9:53 pm #2079565
@harry-nLocale: Western US
Think there are bigger things in life to worry about and didn't notice (i.e. not really caring to be honest) … although maybe a "design" forum for both custom and MYOG would work out? A place where everyone can post their own plans and drawings, exchange ideas, etc.. … should be easy to moderate.Mar 4, 2014 at 9:56 pm #2079566
K.C. I thought about putting it under gear but its sort of a MYOG project in that I had to come up with a design that would work (with help from David's article) and Chris is making it himself. Any MYOG enthusiast with a sturdy sewing machine could copy it. That is why I thought it fit here. Honestly I threw it up kinda fast after a hectic day and may have been sloppy, my bad.Mar 4, 2014 at 10:10 pm #2079569
If you want to be pedantic, there isn't really a good forum category for this. You could argue its MYOG due to the design aspect, but then it ended up being carried out by someone on behalf of the owner/designer.
I'd like to just appreciate the pack itself. The gear itself. The skill itself. Etc. I get a bit bored of hearing complaining about a community forum, sometimes I agree with it, but other times, when its in this case, its just complaining about someone providing good content to the site for others to benefit from/admire/etc.Mar 5, 2014 at 5:49 am #2079602
"Think there are bigger things in life to worry about "
It's the little things that matter.
"should be easy to moderate."
Like that happens here.
With all the complaints about searching this site for information. Any help should be appreciated.
ChaffMar 5, 2014 at 7:38 am #2079623
Great looking pack. Weird thread.Mar 5, 2014 at 8:17 am #2079637
@jraiderguyLocale: Bay Area
Looks like a nice choice of contrasting white stitching.
:PMar 5, 2014 at 8:18 am #2079640
I knew that comment would be forthcoming….LOL.Mar 5, 2014 at 7:14 pm #2079904
@kalebcLocale: South West
I'm not complaining, I'm helping. The pack is great and will get more recognition as deserved, over in gear where everybody else posts their Zimmer packs. I have owned Chris's packs, I design all my own packs his ways. I get most all my hardware from Chris.Mar 5, 2014 at 7:23 pm #2079912
@glacierramblerLocale: NW Montana
Very cool. Really digging it. I love my Porter, but I always keep toying around with the idea of having Chris do something up for me.
Is the hipbelt removable? It looks like it is in the photos, but I can't tell completely. If so, that's a great feature choice. I'd worry about that hipbelt for heavier loads (doesn't look stiff enough to me), but for lighter ones, it would be ideal. Either way, if it works, you're set. If not, you always have options to swap it out.Mar 5, 2014 at 7:32 pm #2079919
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Looks great Luke.
I'm impressed as heck by Chris and his custom work. He takes a lot on by working with people on some pretty custom designs, and seems to deliver solidly. Not an easy thing to do, let alone at the speed and pricepoint he manages.Mar 5, 2014 at 7:34 pm #2079921
I tried a Porter but it wasn't as comfortable as my Exped Lighting. I think it was partly the hipbelt and partly the center mounted frame. This pack was sort of and attempt to combine my favorite features of both into a smaller pack.
The hipbelt is removable but I won't be taking it off much. Mostly its removable because I liked David's design and it was something Chris was willing to make. The hipbelt has a pocket that fits onto the bottom of the frame. So you have a direct hipbelt to frame connection.
I'm hoping the hipbelt will be stiff enough. I asked Chris to use stiffer fabrics and put those extra seams through it to try and make it stiff. Also I didn't want the foam to move around in there over time. I've heard McHale packs work well with softer belts because they are so wide. We'll have too see.
Thanks very much for sharing your design ideas. If I make it to the packraft round up hopefully we can compare pack designs.Mar 5, 2014 at 7:52 pm #2079925
@glacierramblerLocale: NW Montana
Using Dave's system, you'll definitely get excellent weight transfer. I think my only concern would be the one you mentioned, the stiffness of the belt. While I haven't done any MYOG with hipbelts (yet–ideas are in the works, and my schedule is about to free up in a big way in a month or so), I did try on and play with more than a dozen LW and UL packs about a year-and-a-half ago. Foam stiffness was a major factor (for me) in load transfer and keeping the hipbelt locked in without sliding down. So I think you're right on in your analysis there.
Like I said, though, if you find the hipbelt not substantial enough, you have lots of excellent options. I have no doubt that Chris at ULA could put together a hipbelt with the necessary pocket for the stay. Or, Zimmer might be able to try a new design.
Anyway, all I'm really trying to say is that you've got an excellent pack on your hands with a lot of long-term possibilities.Mar 5, 2014 at 8:15 pm #2079931
@brendansLocale: Fruita CO
In my experience stiffness is less important than surface contact with your hips. The more wrap the better. With most wing hipbelts there's often several inches on both sides (usually at the top) that aren't even touching your body. A softer belt with maximum contact as you walk is the way to go. Take a look at the paradox hipbelt as well as Mchale critical mass, which are both made to carry massive loads. They aren't even attached at the top of the belt to allow max connection to the body/weight transfer rather than relying on extra stiffening/padding.
Sweet looking pack, Luke. Excited to hear how it performs.Mar 5, 2014 at 8:21 pm #2079932
You two are right about the hipbelt. In my opinion that is the limiting factor in many UL packs. I think the HMG packs are nice but I think the Exped Lighting hipbelt is better, it is both stiffer and more ergonomically designed. I don't know which one makes it better but I know I feel better carrying the Lighting then the Porter.
My last pack by Chris had a rather thin and very soft hipbelt. No gripe against Chris, he made what I asked. I should have known better.
Edit – As Brendan mentions there was also a lot of hipbelt that didn't hug my hips, I shouldn't have told Chris to make a straight hipbelt. Again, my bad, not his.
I noticed two things when I overloaded my first Zimmerbuilt pack. The belt would sag some but that wasn't the worst. The problem was the pack would sway back and forth. Basically the hipbelt wasn't able to lock it in place and keep it upright. Not enough width of the belt and not enough contact with my hips. The first pack maxed out at about 30 pounds, 35 was pretty uncomfortable and 40 was miserable. If nothing else the newer hipbelt design should eliminate the back and for torque the pack puts on my shoulders.
I'll be interested to see what you come up with Clayton. I don't have time for MYOG projects these days. Perhaps this fall I'll break out the sewing machine again.
Edit – Brendan I haven't had experience with the kind of hipbelts you mention but I've heard of them. I can put two buckles on the belt if I want which should give me more surface area on my hips.Mar 5, 2014 at 8:24 pm #2079933
FWIW, the HMG belts are now longer of up to 2".
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