Ultraweave 400 Packbag for Seek Outside Frame
Jul 20, 2021 at 10:33 am #3722508CHRIS LBPL Member
I bought a Seek Outside pack last fall and it’s proving to be a wonderful platform for MYOG. Since the suspension components are so difficult to sew, it’s awesome to have these parts professionally built and to make packbags to fit the frame. And the SO frame carries so well! I also use the talon compression system—it and the compression straps can be switched from pack to pack.
I made a 100L X-Pac X21 packbag for packrafting, and used it for two week-long trips early this summer (one packraft, one ski-raft):
When I saw that Rockywoods was selling Ultraweave fabrics (branded as “Diamondhide”) I couldn’t help myself even though I generally try to avoid any fabric sold by the linear foot :-) I wanted to build a more general-purpose 70L packbag for less gear-intensive trips. I was tempted by the 2o0 weight since (in theory) it should be more durable than X21. But for a few ounces more, I decided the bomber 400 weight was worth it. I was able to get by with 4 linear feet of fabric, which at $18/foot, wasn’t too bad.
Here’s the finished pack:
The frame interface is from 500D cordura and basically mimics the SO design. The backpad is just thin spacer mesh without foam – I found I prefer this to be thinner than the stock design. I’m sort of an oddball in that I don’t really use side pockets, so that makes construction simpler. The talon pocket, hipbelt pockets, and water bottle holder are made from 200D Robic.
I thought hard about attempting to seam seal the pack. There are too many layers in the main vertical seams to topstitch and then tape. I attempted to make 1″ strips of the Ultraweave fabric to use as binding, and then tape on both sides of the binding. I was getting poor results running the fabric strips through my binding attachment, so I gave up. With more patience, I think this approach would have been viable. In the end, I used grosgrain as you can see.
Total weight with the shown accessories is 3 pounds 3 ounces. So far this pack has only been out on two overnights, but I look forward to torture testing it on a month-long this in September.
Thanks are due to Dave Chenault, whose website has a ton of MYOG info for the Seek Outside platform.
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