- Jun 29, 2020 at 4:57 pm #3655369
New project, brainstorming out loud here. Comments welcome
– I have a neck injury. Good shoulder fit and weight transfer makes hiking more comfortable
– Seems fun
– Nothing out there like I have in mind
– A E S T H E T I C S
-2 Aluminum stays
-Large hip-belt (or wings), dual-strap fastened for luxuriance
-large hip pockets for snacks, camera, phone etc.
-no air gap (i’m not that sweaty)
-wizard stick/ice axe stowage
-Do I need load lifters for effective weight transfer? It seems like if I got the right torso length I could do without them. But maybe they add adjustability and comfort.
-How optional is a sternum strap? I could also do without, but it seems like they could help transfer weight forward.
-Could straight shoulder straps substitute for curved ones? My Camp Trails external frame has straight straps (and no sternum strap either) and it carries well
-Anybody ever seen laterally adjustable shoulder straps?
-I have some 3mmx12mm aluminum stock from a filing cabinet. Unknown alloy. Good for stays?
-Where do I get 1/4″ foam? I don’t see it on RSBTR, Rockywoods, Quest, Dutchware, or DIY Gear Supply.Jun 29, 2020 at 6:10 pm #3655393
What does “do everything” mean? Dayhikes? Work/laptop? Commuting? Travel? Gym bag? Groceries?
And how much weight are you planning on carrying?
Keep in mind, every “feature” you tack on (load lifters, sternum strap, daisy chain, trekking pole loops, stuff pocket, hip belt, removable hip belt, etc.) adds to complexity and therefore cost and construction time. Be warned… you might come out of COVID with a backpack buy also a grey beard! Welcome to BPL lol!
Most people have a certain weight threshold that bothers them. And then there are those people who can carry 40+ lb on their shoulders only and not complain. I call them superhuman. My shoulder’s get tired after a 30 minutes of 10-15 lb on my shoulders only.
I feel (yeah… just a personal feeling/observation) that most daypacks don’t generally have or require load lifters, unless you’re looking at a framed pack like the Osprey Kestrel, or some other big manufacturer. I love load lifters… but idk how crucial they are for day hikes. I guess it depends on your weight you’re carrying and how comfortable/tolerable it is on your neck.
If it’s a flat aluminum bar, sure. If it doesn’t bend (and stay bent, but springs back) under you just gradually forcing the two ends together in compression, should be OK. I think a 1/2-inch x 1/8-inch flat bar (like what you have) is what a few manufacturers use. Should be ok for 20+ lb easy. I’m gonna guess though that that bar is not that long. My personal opinion is that load lifters work better if they’re up a little higher. But, while I’ve never been able to find it at Home Depot, I’ve found 1/8 x 1/2 x 36 aluminum flat bar at Lowes for a few dollars. Works great.
The reason I like a sternum strap is because it’s one more layer of adjustability, allowing you to move the shoulder straps in or out depending on your preference. This is crucial for me… I hate getting chaffed pits! Might be helpful with an MYOG pack… which you wouldn’t be able to “try out” until it’s completed. I tried to mimic the shoulder straps/fit of an existing backpack I have, and while good, it’s not quite the same.
The only concept I’ve mulled over regarding the laterally adjusting shoulder straps is using webbing and sliders (triglide, perhaps?) attached to the pack body, similar to how they have sternum straps you can adjust up and down. Or… I’m sure you can figure something out with enough Velcro :) However, I’d think that’s potentially weaker than just sewing it in. It doesn’t need to adjust laterally if you construct it to fit you well. I think that’s way more important. Doesn’t matter how cool it looks if it doesn’t fit you well… you won’t want to use it.
OWF Inc. has 1/4-inch, but regardless of you find it, it usually cost’s a buttload to ship from what I’ve seen. But I guess that’s all foam. Quest’s 3/8-inch is fairly cheap for me since I’m close :)
There are a bunch of cottage manufacturers that have backpacks that are good reference for getting an idea of what you like, what you don’t, and how to construct it in a simple manner.Jun 29, 2020 at 10:58 pm #3655430
Here ‘do everything’ means all-day peakbagging, and desert hikes where I carry more water, down to minimalist casual hikes with little more binoculars and a book. Maybe a watermelon and an astronomy telescope if I’m out at dusk. Light air travel and carrying kids stuff to the park. Maybe groceries yes ;)
Weight wise, thinking up to 25 lbs I guess.
I appreciate the advice on features, I love elegant simplicity, but I also don’t want to have to redo anything.
Maybe I’ll skip load lifters this round. Adjustability is always a plus in fit, but I’m willing to give it a try without. As long as the torso isn’t too short it should be ok I would think.
Lateral shoulder strap adjustment was something I saw mentioned on a thread somewhere. I can’t find one and never imagined it before. I like your webbing idea for it though. Maybe I could use it on the prototype to dial in the shoulder width.
I’m glad that I have the right size for the aluminum stays. I’m not sure on the length but I’ll check Lowe’s if it’s short. Thanks!
Thanks for mentioning OWF. If the shipping kills me I guess I can always dig through Amazon 😐
Like your suggestion, I am using a cottage pack for construction inspiration. I won’t mention out of respect for the cottage. I wouldn’t attempt it without a ‘guide’.
one thing I forgot to ask:
<b>Continuous wrap hip-belt? Or lumbar bump with wings? </b>Jun 30, 2020 at 7:40 am #3655441
If I were making the pack… and considering carrying a whole watermelon :) (or up to 25 lb)… I would consider the load lifters instead of the adjustment of the shoulder straps laterally. I personally think it’d be more worth the time spent, for sure. And with that, since you’d want to use it for peak bagging, which arguably requires more flexibility and maneuverability (scrambling, etc.), I would make consider making the aluminum stays removable since you hopefully won’t be carrying 25 lb to the peak lol. Not that hard, just requires planning on how you sew it up.
I would take a bag that you know fits you comfortably and use that for all of your measurements (shoulder strap spacing, torso length, shoulder strap size/type, hip belt dimensions). Looking at a pictures can only get you so far… it’s good to have an in-hand reference IMO.
Check out the SWD Long Haul. That was my “inspiration” :) for my last pack. They’re just clean, simple, and functional looking packs. They might make you a 30L Long Haul (I think the lowest they go is 35L – 25 oz per their site). They offer a lot of great customization options in general. Pretty sure I’ve seen them sew a hip belt onto their 30L Superior pack (frameless), but it wouldn’t have the aluminum stays. Just some options.
It did cost me a significant amount for supplies, plus about 40 hours of sewing on and off (maybe I’m slow) to finish up everything on it. After spending how much time I did on it, I might consider just buying one next time. Here’s my MYOG pack…. scroll down to the middle of the post: https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/covid-projects/
I’m sure the continuous wrap belt would be comfy enough. The issue is attaching it to the bag. Depending on your sewing machine, you may not be able to sew through 3/8″ foam. I found that the Singer 4452 Heavy Duty model can do it, but you gotta go slow, and it’s not a sure thing every time. I was able to bartack, webbing onto the 3/8″ straps I just made recently, but I had to play with the tension a lot. You might be able to get away with using a home machine if you’re using the 1/4″ foam for belt and straps.
You could always make a sleeve on the lumbar area of the pack to slide the hip belt in and out, but depending on how you do it, a sewn-in belt would probably transfer weight better IMO.Jun 30, 2020 at 8:54 am #3655453Greg PehrsonBPL Member
@gregpehrsonLocale: playa del caballo blanco
I’m not necessarily advocating for laterally-adjustable shoulder straps (I think Christian makes good points) unless you are trying to have a pack that can fit dramatically different-sized people, but if you want to see one way of doing them, here are some pics of an old Dana Design Shadow Peak. There are two parts to the adjustment. First, the tops of the straps are connected by adjustable webbing (1st picture). Second, the straps attach to a sleeve on the back panel (like a hydration sleeve) with wide and long pieces of strong Velcro. The entire inside of the sleeve is a fuzzy material like the loop-side of Velcro and the backs of the shoulder straps are the hook part of the Velcro (2nd picture). So you can move and attach the straps anywhere along the back panel. Hopefully this makes sense.
-GregJun 30, 2020 at 12:29 pm #3655486
I am trying to make one bag that does everything reasonably well, that’s my goal here.
As they say “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. And I will rip off as much as I can of the cottage industry’s best designs.
Your pack looks awesome! Very clean and I love the green. For mine I am thinking lime green, turquoise straps, and maybe lavender. I know I will most certainly spend more than 40 hours on my pack! I’m pretty slow. But I enjoy the tinkering as much as the hiking, and I hope to get more enjoyment from my bag than anything I could have bought. That ‘dialed’ feeling.
My Al bars are too short, so I’m going to order some 6063-T5, seems to be the same stuff as Lowes.
I doubt my machine will be able to sew through foam, maybe if I run it by hand but likely not. I’m going to have to work around it a little.
That looks awesome! Thank you so much! I had thought that I would have to mount the shoulder straps to a bar and where they could slide along it laterally. But now I see I can mount the shoulders directly to the stays and just change the angle of the stays. It looks like that’s kind of what’s going on in your photo, where the straps have a stiffener inside. I don’t like velcro, but it wouldn’t be hard to space them apart with a rod or something. Thanks!Jun 30, 2020 at 1:41 pm #3655496
Yeah, I spent countless hours over a few months of planning and designing until I finally pulled the trigger and picked something, ordered materials, and sewed it up. Definitely takes time, but the end goal is (hopefully) something to be proud of :)
I’m sure we all get the desire for something to feel dialed in and “made just for you”. That’s a huge pull towards MYOG. My other bag (a Gregory) has an adjustable hip belt size and adjustable torso length. Kinda made me spoiled.
Not gonna lie… the turquoise VX21 looks beautiful. I was stuck between that and the yellow I used. I like the hot lime (neon yellow, really) color that I used, which is VX25, but it’ll likely get dirty quick. I was hoping it would be a little more bright green (my favorite color), but it’s definitely more like yellow from a safety vest! But hey, you learn.Jul 1, 2020 at 4:41 am #3655626Greg PehrsonBPL Member
@gregpehrsonLocale: playa del caballo blanco
Yair, glad it was helpful. For a little more clarity, here’s a link to a bunch of images from a Dana Design catalog from the 90s. You’ll see a grid of thumbnail-sized photos–click on the one in the 5th row down that says “CrossFlex Series” to see an illustration of exactly how the suspension works. Instead of the straps connecting directly to the stays, they velcro to a sleeve that tightly contains a rigid framesheet with a single center stay. Not an ultralight setup by any means but interesting engineering. I like the way you interpreted what you saw though and think that way would be fun to try out. Best of luck with your pack.
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