- May 12, 2016 at 5:18 pm #3402098
So I have an Zpacks arc blast with their latest design hipbelt pockets. I like the pockets…they are large, basically waterproof, and made of dyneema.
But….just like any hipbelt pocket that attaches to the hipbelt…the zipper is “floating” where I have to use 2 hands to open the pocket. Its a pain when I’m trying to give a snack or candy to one of my kids and I’m holding two trekking poles.
Unlike something like my golite jam, where the pocket is sewn directly to the hipbelt..the beginning/end of the zippers are closely attached to the hipbelt so there isn’t any “give” when opening the zipper one handed.
Anybody have any ideas on how to modify these?May 15, 2016 at 9:12 am #3402510Michael KBPL Member
I had the same issue with the zimmerbuilt pockets. The easy solution, with no need for modification, is to zip them so that both zipper pulls meet in the center or anywhere before the zipper goes vertical. This way, you can easily close and zip it one handed.May 15, 2016 at 9:43 am #3402515
I posted this over on WB where DG posted the same request.
Here’s a mod that works. Used some zip ties for stiffeners, attached with cuben repair tape. If you want both zippers to work (one-handed operation) both ways for the full length of the zipper, then the stiffeners must likewise run the entire length—and a little bit past—the zipper. (This was a quick check of the concept so I did only the one corner.) Simply remove the pocket and turn it inside-out and stuff it with some bubble wrap (or whatever) to hold its shape while working on it, and then back to normal and bend the zip tie plastic a bit near the corners. You’d never know they’re there.May 15, 2016 at 1:02 pm #3402551
That….looks great. I’ll try that as soon as possible.
And, I have tried zipping in the center …but when the zipper is “open” to just the corners, on these pouches the fabric still collapses too much……the waterproof zipper doesn’t help b/c of the added friction.May 15, 2016 at 2:45 pm #3402569
Brilliant. Would also work great on my MLD hipbelt-pockets. Now to find some cuben tape.
Suppose regular duct tape won’t do the trick?May 15, 2016 at 2:46 pm #3402570
Good question…cuben repair tape works on dyneema…I bet tenacious tape would work….what other tape works on dyneema?May 15, 2016 at 2:51 pm #3402571
I know duct tape works on cuben (which is now actually called dyneema… sigh ;) ) for repairs in the field. It’s thicker and heavier then cuben tape, off course.
But easier to acquire. Then again, it probably doesn’t have the same holding strength.May 15, 2016 at 2:58 pm #3402573
I don’t know about duct tape, but I don’t think it would work as well as the cuben tape because it is not nearly as thin and the adhesive is ‘gooey’ and creeps over time, especially when exposed to heat.
Dan, I tested with both Tenacious tape and fabric repair tape (Kenyon) and neither was nearly as good as cuben repair (seam) tape.
I had a limited amount of Cuben tape to work with but ordered some more from Zpacks to do a full-length mod on one of my hip pouches. Of course, at this point there’s no way to know how it will hold up long term. However, once the zip ties take a set and the tape bonds a little bit, I’d wager it would last a long time. 3M is pretty good with adhesives. :^) I’ll also look for some extra-log zippies at Home Depot and on Amazon.May 15, 2016 at 3:04 pm #3402574
Thanks Bob, much appreciated. I’ll give it a try.
I can only get a roll (55 meter! haha!) of cuben tape readily here in Europe.May 15, 2016 at 5:22 pm #3402593
Bob….so, those ziptie stiffeners are providing enough tension for you to use one corner with one hand? I like the concept…but even with full length stiffeners, I’m having a hard time seeing two zip ties providing enough tension on the fabric to allow one handed operation…especially b/c of the waterproof zippers.
I am trying some experimenting now…first, I tried a piece of cardboard, that had a folded over lip at the top. Again, just an experiment…I don’t like the idea of bringing cardboard anywhere…
This actually worked pretty good. So basically….when I pull a zipper, the fabric has to “pull back” in the opposite direction to get one handed operation …which the cardboard allows. Just like this….the pocket actually works pretty well.
Of course…I don’t want a cardboard flap. So I cut the flap off so it was basically just a plan flat piece of cardboard….and it didn’t work so well. However….I then used the grosgrain loop at both ends of the zipper, and tied that to the grosgrain of the hipbelt (various loops there), and both together, actually works great ->
But again…take away the cardboard…then not so great.
I’m thinking that if I just had a rod, installed at the top of the pocket, close to the hipbelt, that it would give me the same kind of tension like the cardboard. More experimenting needed!
And…a tip…I’m going to be removing the thin drawcord line and put glowire on….those thin drawcords start killing your hand.May 15, 2016 at 5:55 pm #3402598
Dan, yes, try it this way and you will be surprised.
What made me think of it was comparing the zipper action of the Dyneema grid hip pouches and the cuben-polyester hybrid. It actually worked pretty well one-handed with CF-poly, which is of course a stiffer material. So it seemed to me it needed minimal additional stiffness to work.May 15, 2016 at 6:06 pm #3402599
Holy cow! Ok..well..I can’t argue with that….i’ll try it tonight with some duct tape for proof of concept…May 15, 2016 at 6:40 pm #3402608
Dan, I have to admit that at first your description of your problem struck me as a laser-focused, First-World niche complaint (no offense!!!) but the more I got to think about it the more I realized it was also a legitimate issue for me at times as well. And UL is all about tweaking, after all.
This is why I ordered some more of that tape from Zpacks today—I am using a few of those hip belt pouches on other packs and it’s definitely a worthy mod for these pouches! Thanks for bringing it up.May 15, 2016 at 10:01 pm #3402639
OK, so I took 2 8″ zipties and taped them in with duct tape. The duct tape seemed to work fine…at least for a temporary experiment. If I switch it out with cuben tape, I’ll just clean the residue off with goo gone.
The results were promising, though I couldn’t quite get the results like you had in your video. Now…perhaps your zipties were more ridged (though they look normal in your picture), or perhaps your zippers were lubed better than mine to make them smoother.
However…similar to my previous attempt, I then secured the loop at the end of the zipper to the loop holding the bottom hip buckle to the belt ->
Then it worked very well.
Now, I would need to do it to both ends of the pocket…preferably with 2 complete zipties (2 12″ ones should do). Though, does anybody have any ideas of something even stiffer than zipties but still flat? Maybe just two zipties on top of each other? They hardly weigh anything so its not that big of a concern…May 15, 2016 at 10:13 pm #3402642Billy RaySpectator
@rosyfinchLocale: the mountains
Go to your local hardware store. Zip ties come in different lengths, widths, thickness, colors, and breaking strengths. Some come about 1/4″ wide.
BillyMay 16, 2016 at 4:36 am #3402675
Mine worked in the video just with the mod pictured in the still photos. The pouch shown is fairly new and did not have a lubed zipper or other mod.
It might be that the cuben tape works better because it is extremely thin and conforms better to the nooks and crannies and holds the zip tie plastic and pouch surfaces closer together. Interesting that I got results with Tenacious tape similar to what you described with Duct tape, and somewhat better with the Kenyon fabric repair tape.
Your idea of securing that little grosgrain tab to the belt webbing is excellent.
I’m sure there are other ways to ‘skin this cat.’
Another thought that occurred to me along the way would be to brush on some vinyl tool dip paint or Shoo Goo, using masking tape on the pouch to control where it’s applied. (Of course those leave a mess that will be very difficult to remove if it doesn’t work!) I also happen to have some adhesive-backed silicone sheet and I might try cutting some strips of that to see if it works.May 17, 2016 at 12:01 am #3402931
OK, so I went to lowes and bought a pack of 14″ 75lb zipties. The 150lb zipties were too wide…I don’t think they would fit in the limited space of the pocket.
I then cut two long strips of duct tape, which was the perfect size when cut in half length wise. I found it easier to apply the strips with the pockets turned inside out but with nothing in the pocket. It only takes about…5 minutes tops to cut and tape the strips. Actually…it probably takes more time to just take the pouches off and put them back on.
So, this is a 20sec video showing the pouches with just the full length zipties…still not acceptable ->
I then tried to use mcnett zipcare lube to see if it helped…it did a little ->
Then…like the mod above, I tied both of the extra loops at each end of the zipper to the hipbelt, to create extra “vertical” tension …and boom ->May 17, 2016 at 8:32 am #3402973
Looks good! :^)May 17, 2016 at 10:56 am #3403004
Having made gun holsters and working with Kydex, I think that would be a worthy solution. Cut thin strips to basically match the dimensions of your zip ties (could even go a tad wider since the cuben tape is much wider than your zip ties. Then, throw it in the oven or toaster oven until it’s pliable (usually a few minutes at around 220 degrees setting) and when you pull it out, you’ll have a couple of minutes to shape it to match your pocket’s shape before it cools and hardens. This is what you would need and it would be around $11 shipped. If you’ve never heard of or worked with kydex, it’s pretty cool stuff. Look at some videos on youtube. I think it has a lot of cool applications such as the one in this thread.May 17, 2016 at 11:06 am #3403007May 17, 2016 at 1:07 pm #3403030
That looks great too…the kydex should cool very stiff so it would make really stiff corners which would be nice. Are you thinking it would be better to do full length pieces or just pieces in the corner? Do you have any idea about weight?May 17, 2016 at 1:13 pm #3403031
I was thinking you would just use one long piece on each side of the zipper like the below image. I would stuff the pocket with something that will simulate the desired shape. Then after heating up the kydex, lay something like a dish towel over it to make sure you don’t melt the fabric, then lay the pliable kydex over the pouch on either side of the zipper so you can mold it to the exact shape you want. Yes, this would much more rigid and if you go with the .06 thickness that I linked, it should be very light weight. I will try to come up with a rough weight for you but should be easily under an ounce for each pocket (two pieces per pocket).May 17, 2016 at 1:24 pm #3403032
Amazon actually sells it now so it would be way cheap with prime. AND they have a thinner stock(.028), which I think would still be plenty stiff and much better than zip ties. They have the product weight at 4oz for a 12×12 sheet. Based on the size of the Zpacks puches (5″ tall and 6″ wide) you would need a 16″ long piece and I would say 1/4″ is probably wide enough. By my math, this kydex stock would weigh .027 oz/in2. Each piece would be 4 in2 so each piece would weigh .11 oz. So .44 oz total for four pieces, two in each pocket. Not bad!May 17, 2016 at 2:38 pm #3403040
Oh nice….1 12×12″ for $5.35…or I could get an 8 pack for $10!
So I ordered the 8 pack…I’m sure I won’t use them all so if someone wants some, let me know via PM.May 17, 2016 at 3:32 pm #3403054
Nice! Really interested to see how this turns out. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about working with the kydex. It’s mostly very easy though. Just score it several times and snap off your 1/4 x 16″ pieces. Post results for sure.
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