May 22, 2014 at 10:04 pm #1317119
I love my ULA Circuit BUT it's my first and definitely last pack with the 'roll top closure'. I find it a waste of material and was wondering has anyone modified their roll top closure to a drawstring one? Or a zip one?
Any ideas, comments, pictures?
Mik.May 22, 2014 at 10:08 pm #2105308
Max DiltheyBPL Member
I look at rolltop as extra "emergency" space.
I believe a drawstring is the most useful solution, though.May 22, 2014 at 10:14 pm #2105309
I meant that to 'shut' the pack you need to roll it up with the back and front flaps of material…..surely that is a heavier option and a pain in the buttocks option than a drawstring!May 22, 2014 at 10:19 pm #2105312
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
If it is done correctly, I think the rolltop closure might be more weatherproof.
A drawstring will work, but it typically needs an extra rain flap over the top of it.
A zipper will work, but if you put too much pressure on it, the zipper could separate.
–B.G.–May 23, 2014 at 12:36 am #2105326
@glenn64Locale: Snowhere, MN
When I use mine, I don't roll it up unless there's bad weather. Otherwise I just fold it over the back and clip it down, same as I do with my GG Murmur.May 23, 2014 at 6:10 am #2105344
Do you have the ability to set a grommet or make a button hole? If you won't mind losing a bit of space just make it into a drawstring top. I'm doing this to a SMD Starlite pack this weekend.May 23, 2014 at 6:37 am #2105353
I have the same issue with my Circuit. I picked one up from my neighbor for free and really like the way it fits, but I just think my gear volume is too low for what I need for this pack and I keep 'futzing' with the roll top to figure out a way to make it easier and functional. I can see the extra space coming in handy for a winter trip, or where more gear is needed though. I'll be curious to see if anyone has done any mods? I did make a small slit in the top to allow the top strap to go either over the Circuit roll top enclosure, or under. It sounds odd, but with less volume it works better for me to go under the roll top and then the extra material just gets pulled down and clipped to the angled side straps and it is more functional for me. Still too much extra fabric though for my needs.
Ken, are you still upgrading your newly died Starlight? I hope it's working out well for you! I picked up a close out Swift pack from SMD, but I just don't see myself going back to a Z Rest for my sleeping pad, so I haven't even taken it out yet! You did a great job on that Starlight pack, if it's the same one. I wouldn't mind seeing the new mods when they're done!May 23, 2014 at 6:43 am #2105354
I am Robert. Very comfy pack. A few issues to be rectified. But that is what the sewing machine is for. I will take some photos as I go along. I'll start tonight.May 23, 2014 at 7:28 am #2105364
I'll look forward to seeing the finished product! Have fun and best of luck on it. Have you taken it out much? They really are a comfortable pack and simple design. I actually preferred the external pad access like yours compared to the internal pad pockets. I enjoyed the easy access on extended breaks to whip out the Z Rest! Do you use just the Z Rest, or do you supplement it with another pad?
The roll top of the SMD seem to be of a more functional design than the ULA Circuit pack.for some reason. It's trivial, but I find myself always scrambling to find the buckles one the side of the Circuit.May 23, 2014 at 8:45 am #2105387
David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: The West Slope
Rolltops are heavier per unit of capacity than drawstring closures, but to make the later waterproof you have to either significantly under pack or add a flap or lid (which is almost always heavier than the roll top).
It'd be easy to make your Circuit a drawcord job. Cut the roll top off, and depending on the height you want either roll down the existing material and sew it around a bit of cord (add grommet, etc), or sew on a drawcord sleeve made of silnylon or something else.May 24, 2014 at 9:03 pm #2105741
Hope this is useful.
Standars rolltop closure
Cut that sucker off.
I copied the closure on my Ohm. So used a grommet. Took measurements for placement.
Hem clipped into place. I find binder clips to be indispensable at the work table.
Ready for sewing.
Check my work. Trim the loose ends.
I used paracord sheath as the drawcord. Works like a charm. Looks like it came that way.
Took as much time as it did to upload the photos and write this post.
@robert. A few trips with it now. No Z rest. Using an old school full length Thermarest in the fantastic pad pocket. Love the shoulder straps. You didn't happen to buy it as a factory second by chance? That load lifter and stay pocket issue is the next thing to address.May 24, 2014 at 11:49 pm #2105758
I think my circuit has a longer front piece of material but no biggie I can still do what you have shown. I'll even save some weight for sure.
Thank you again :)May 25, 2014 at 9:04 am #2105788
Looks great Ken! No, I bought it straight from SMD. It really only saw a couple seasons of use, with the longest stretch being a JMT trip,before it's large volume and my shrinking gear became an issue. I don't remember any specific issue with the load lifters on mine, but if have a friend that had issues with his on a trip last summer and he ordered his within a month or so of me.May 25, 2014 at 9:53 am #2105797
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
An alternative is to take the Gossamer Gear approach and turn the extra fabric into a variable fold-over top, with a couple straps or lines to tie it down on the front. GG adds a zippered pocket on the top side as well. That system eats up the spare fabric when you want to reduce the volume. Their design could incorporate a drawstring as well, when maximum volume is needed and all the extra top collar length could be utilized. The Mariposa does have a buckle at the top to reduce the opening and would close tight enough around/over a bear can, but not as fully as a drawstring.May 25, 2014 at 1:03 pm #2105828
John DonewarBPL Member
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
I have to play devil's advocate on this thread.
Did your original roll down closure have buckles that had to mate down the sides of your pack to keep it closed?
FWIW when I close my roll down top closure I roll it downward 2 or 3 times and buckle the two sides together on top of the bag. Mine is made using a male and female single buckle set. Picture the top closure on a dry bag.
In cutting off you original roll down closure and creating the drawstring closure wouldn't your capcaity be minimally reduced?
How do you seal out the weather a.k.a. rain from the hole in the top?
In creating the drawstring channel how many times did you roll down the material before sewing the channel?
I don't see the method that I use as all that heavy or complicated to use.
Congrats on your project. It seems to have turned out very well and your workmanship is excellent.
Newton ;-)May 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm #2105843
"Did your original roll down closure have buckles that had to mate down the sides of your pack to keep it closed?"
"In cutting off you original roll down closure and creating the drawstring closure wouldn't your capcaity be minimally reduced?"
If it did I can't tell. But must have, a bit.
"How do you seal out the weather a.k.a. rain from the hole in the top?"
I use a pack liner to keep the key things dry. I usually ave enough left over material to roll over the top and the top strap keeps things closed.
"In creating the drawstring channel how many times did you roll down the material before sewing the channel?"
Just once with about a half inch folded under for a neat edge.
"I don't see the method that I use as all that heavy or complicated to use."
Aren't choices great!?! Two buckles and a velcro closure vs, a cord lock and loosening a strap. It is certainly quieter. Plus I won't snag stuff on the velcro. I don't like velcro…
"Congrats on your project. It seems to have turned out very well and your workmanship is excellent."
Thanks very much. I am pleased with the way it turned out.May 25, 2014 at 4:47 pm #2105862
todd harperBPL Member
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
I have a Starlite and I like your mod! Thanks for all the pics.
ToddMay 25, 2014 at 5:14 pm #2105870
John DonewarBPL Member
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
" I don't like velcro…
Neither do I!;-/
Velcro and the original bottom entry on the Hennessy hammock is one of the reasons that I sold it.
"Aren't choices great!?!"
Yes they are great!
I am pleased that you are happy with the outcome. ;-)
Newton ;-)May 29, 2014 at 7:00 pm #2107062
@ken_bennettLocale: southeastern usa
I used a Starlite for a bunch of years – great pack. I liked the pad pocket especially. Now we have several Circuits, and I found the Starlite roll top closure much easier to use than the Circuit. Maybe it's the Velcro, maybe it's the clips. I do see on my wife's brand new Circuit that one can now clip the two ends of the roll top together, forgoing the side clips which I found to be a total PITA.
When I had the opportunity to order a custom Circuit a couple of years ago, I asked for a standard drawstring closure on the top, and the stretchy mesh front pocket from the Ohm. These two mods make the Circuit much better, IMHO.May 29, 2014 at 9:56 pm #2107096
Looking at the pictures posted and extra info I think I might have a go at this project. Thank you guys :)May 29, 2014 at 10:37 pm #2107106
Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
My ohm has a drawstring but I just roll the excess material before sinching it down using the top strap. That seals off the top just fine.May 29, 2014 at 11:38 pm #2107115
Mike WBPL Member
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
I added a draw string closure to my MLD Newt a few years back (this was the first release of the Newt).
I didn't like the roll-top closure system on the Newt, so I cut it off and added a small extension collar with a draw string. The small extension collar more than made up for the volume I lost by cutting off the roll-top.
I also added a small compression strap over the top for when the pack is under filled. I used coated rip stop for the extension collar. I also added the large mesh pocket on the front of the pack which is why the pack looks so different in the before and after pictures.
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