- Nov 23, 2017 at 6:51 pm #3503698
This pack is for short, summer, SUL trips in the Pacific Northwest. Weight and waterproofness are the priorities, with just enough robustness to hold up to weekend use, mostly on trail, by a guy who babies his gear. It will be the lightest in a quiver of packs that includes an MLD Burn (UL trips up to a week) and a GG Gorilla (LW trips or long trips without resupply). The pack will be patterned after an MLD Burn (but smaller with less frills), around 23 liters, target sub 4 ounces, with side pockets, a simple roll top closure and daisy chains on the shoulder straps and that’s about it.
Which of the three sub 2-ozy fabrics below would you use, or is there another I’m missing? The first two are attractive due to price, the third due to waterproofness. Also, Nylon and Polyester may be easier to work than Cuben:
- 1.6 oz HyperD PU4000 Nylon
- 1.6 oz Silpoly Polyester
- 1.43 oz DCF
FYI, I’m relatively new to MYOG and plan to make a food hang-bag, duffle bags, wind pants, bug bivy and maybe a few other simpler projects before making the backpack.Nov 23, 2017 at 8:12 pm #3503703
Bob .BPL Member
@bcbobLocale: Vancouver IslandNov 24, 2017 at 5:05 am #3503770
@ryanLocale: Rocky Mountains
I think your proposed fabrics are too light. None of them can withstand sustained resistance to:
- The abrasion that comes with laying a loaded pack on the ground, or even light bushwhacking; and
- Seam ripping at sewn seams, when the pack is under heavy loads.
In particular, I think the seam weaknesses are going to come where the shoulder straps and hip belt meet the main packbag.
I recommend 2.9 oz DCF at minimum for even an ultralight pack fabric. You’re talking about ounces of extra weight in the packbag in exchange for a lot of extra durability and seam strength = a pack that will last you much longer, assuming you assemble and sew it with sound technique.
Even though you are targeting SUL and short trips, a little bit of added durability in pack fabric, combined with simple (e.g., frameless) construction, may result in a good tradeoff. Don’t get hung up on pack weights so much as function.
A long time ago (10 or 12 years?) Alan Dixon and I were having our own versions of the Gossamer Gear G4 made by a custom sewist for SUL-type trips. He went with a more durable fabric, and I think he had the right idea at the time. The more durable fabrics are stiffer and also carry under-capacity loads better (they sag less).
Good luck, let us know what you decide, and I’d love to see your final product!
Nov 24, 2017 at 5:44 am #3503779
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by Ryan Jordan.
Aaron WBPL Member
2.9 DCF is way overboard.
The best fabric for what you’re after is the
RSBTR 1.1 Mountain Sil 6.6.
Much stronger than the 1.6 HyperD.
Yes it will sag some, but for the size it is, the sag actually can help it carry more comfortably on a smaller pack, if done right.
Here’s a 6.9 ounce 27 liter pack I made. No issues at all.Nov 24, 2017 at 6:23 am #3503783
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. The ability to withstand sustained abrasion and loading are valid points and my MLD Burn certainly provides both characteristics that make it the best pack choice for most trips. The 2.92 oz hybrid cuben was actually on the radar for this project, along with Xpac TX-07, as more durable SUL pack options.
The 1.1 Mountain Sil 6.6 looks like a good choice for this kind of specialty application (short, mostly on-trail 1 or 2 nighters in mid-summer) and it’s not too pricy. The GG Murmur also uses a 30d (but Robic in that case instead of 1.1 Mountain Sil 6.6) that gets good reviews for a light duty pack material. This pack may end up seeming too fragile for my liking, but it would be a good practice before using more costly options like 2.92 oz hybrid cuben (stronger and easier seam sealing there).Nov 24, 2017 at 7:08 am #3503788
@ryanLocale: Rocky Mountains
@aaron-sorensen suggests a great fabric for a trail pack, but I still don’t understand the choice to save less than (what? 1/2 lb?) for a pack that will be far more durable over the long run.Nov 24, 2017 at 11:47 am #3503799
Aaron WBPL Member
He wants it to weigh 4 ounces.
Another “What 1/2 pound” would mean tripiling the weight.
SUP loads don’t need a super robust fabric or fabric weight.
Just because the material wasn’t around to make the a viable option 5-10 years ago, doesn’t mean it is now.
Go look at the tear test video RSBTR has for the Mountain Sil 6.6
All I can say is, he’s stronger than I am. I can not tear it, even after making a cut to start the tear. The material is also easily durable enough for what your intended use is.Nov 24, 2017 at 12:16 pm #3503802
Adam KilpatrickBPL Member
@oystersLocale: South Australia
That pack looks gorgeous Aaron… I love it!
Many MYOGers make lots of packs. Like Aaron. This is because they love to tinker and invent and keep improving their skills and ideas. Many don’t just make one pack and stick with it for life. They accept that there might be a few iterations.
Given that iterations happen anyway, thus each pack doesn’t necessarily get several thru-hikes of use, and, they built it themselves and can replace fabric panels if they need to over time (not hard eg for Aaron to swap out a small section of bottom panel if he needs to after a trip with abrasion), then it actually makes a lot of logical sense to just build with cheaper, lighter fabrics than hybrid DCF. MYOGers aren’t manufacturers that have to deal with dissatisfied customers and returns.
:-)Nov 24, 2017 at 4:55 pm #3503843
MYOGers aren’t manufacturers that have to deal with dissatisfied customers and returns.
Yep – why offer a niche pack that satisfies the needs of only 1% of your customers but dissatisfies another 5% who shouldn’t have bought the pack to begin with? If Zpacks still offered the customizable Zero, then this MYOG project probably wouldn’t have crossed my mind.
I still don’t understand the choice to save less than (what? 1/2 lb?) for a pack that will be far more durable over the long run.
The choice is definitely not logical outside of a very narrow context. Two or three ounces adds a LOT of versatility and longevity to a pack for sure (well worth the extra weight in most cases). But those same two or three ounces add up in a hurry if you’re playing the SUL game for the first time. It’s an arbitrary but educational game best played when the consequences for a mistake are not too high. I’ll be lucky to use this pack a handful of times each year, when the conditions are just right. And given that this first MYOG pack may look horrible, cheaper fabric is definitely a big plus.Nov 24, 2017 at 4:58 pm #3503844
Ken T.BPL Member
“Discussion of SUL hiking/backpacking – that is, the practice of carrying insanely light packs (e.g., 7 lbs or less) – and intense study of about how to trim even MORE weight from your pack.“
Nice job Aaron. Good to see you (briefly) posting again. See you in Feb. maybe?Nov 24, 2017 at 5:08 pm #3503849
That’s an interesting looking pack, Aaron. I’d be curious to see more photographs of it. I like the pocket configuration. Does the bottle flop around much?Nov 24, 2017 at 5:14 pm #3503853
Greg MihalikBPL Member
“… but I still don’t understand the choice to save less than (what? 1/2 lb?) ”
“what? 1/2 lb?”
Nothing like time and an achy back to change one’s perspective.
Nov 24, 2017 at 6:25 pm #3503873
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Greg Mihalik.
d kBPL Member
I have to side with Aaron on this one, even being a non-SUL person I can imagine that my 8 ounces would be better spent elsewhere when we are talking 5 pound base weights here.Nov 24, 2017 at 8:12 pm #3503888
Ben CBPL Member
I had a DCF 1.43 backpack that gave reasonably good durability. It was the old Zpacks Blast. Its still serviceable with a few cuben tape touch ups.Nov 24, 2017 at 8:37 pm #3503892
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I had a backpack made with 1.9 oz/yd2 silnylon that lasted quite a while. Eventually the fabric started to rip near the shoulder straps.
A pack uses maybe 1 square yard of fabric. Going to a 4 oz/yd2 fabric adds only 2 ounces compared to a 2 oz/yd2 fabric. I am currently using some 200D nylon that weighs 4 oz/yd2 that has held up for a long time.Nov 25, 2017 at 2:02 am #3503945
Ryan SmithBPL Member
Given your requirements, MTN Silnylon is your best bet out of what is listed in this thread. Its seams will hold at SUL weights and it’s abrasion resistance will be at least equal to hybrid DCF. If I was making it, I would use TX07 X-Pac, but only because I have a bunch on hand.
Good to see you back around, Aaron.Nov 25, 2017 at 4:16 am #3503973
Daryl and DarylBPL Member
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Is the ROBIC fabric you mention coated (I prefer uncoated)?
What do the letters ROBIC stand for?Nov 25, 2017 at 4:47 am #3503975
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
“Like all materials in our ROBIC® line, the difference starts with the yarn. See below for a typical comparison between fabrics using standard Nylon 6 yarn and ROBIC® yarn:
Translation? ROBIC® fabrics are up to 50% stronger with 2.5x the tear strength. In other words, it’s hard to break and tough to rip. “Nov 25, 2017 at 8:18 am #3503988
Franco DarioliBPL Member
from Ryan :
“@aaron-sorensen suggests a great fabric for a trail pack, but I still don’t understand the choice to save less than (what? 1/2 lb?) for a pack that will be far more durable over the long run”.
well I am not into SUL but 1/2 a pound is still half a pound.
[edited – MK]
Nov 25, 2017 at 1:55 pm #3504003
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by matthew k.
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
The older packs I still have and use are lighter than most of the newer packs. I applaud your efforts, Lester!
Of course, with 4oz-5oz SUL packs, we accept that they are fragile compared to other non-UL packs. Forget what the manufacturers say. It is certainly a viable area of MYOG, despite not being in the mainstream of weight gaining packs. And forget what manufacturers say about “Ultra Light.” In most cases, they are not close to the 1 pound cut-off I use for a true UL pack. There is a HUGE difference between 16oz and 24oz…or a half a pound. SUL/UL travel, whether on weekends or on multi-week thru hikes, means I have room for more food (at least that) or more conveniences on the trail.
And yes, we accept the truism that maximum loads exist for a REASON. As Ryan pointed out, you can easily rip out the shoulder harness/straps from the main pack body. Or drop a 20# loaded pack at camp on a stick and have it puncture a hole in your pack (or simply wear out the bottom after a week!)
One of the BIG points I do *not* like about current manufactured packs is the total lack of system integration. They do not integrate side pockets, they add them on, for example. They do not consider a third pouch (for simple garbage collection) on the sides of their packs. They do not consider what I think of as “key” or “cardinal” stress points on the packs and increase strength there, reducing other places strength to compensate for the weight. They do not integrate what you always need to carry into a complete hiking system. For example, they insist on using internal or external frames when you have CCF pads and tent poles you *must* carry anyway. And, they do not integrate (well everyone except HMG, anyway) packing storage needs into a well defined, waterproof system. All these points can be addressed by a MYOG person. *NOT* through buying any pack that has all these features in a true UL or SUL framework. Staying within Lester’s weight budget, and, incorporating as many features as possible may not happen, but hitting this weight budget for a weekend hike in summer over a good trail is certainly possible.
Some of the packs out there have nice “bells and whistles”…in many cases literally for the whistles. Learn how. and save a few grams. So what, you might say. Because true Light Weight philosophy demands it. Knowledge and skills weigh nothing (well, maybe the cost of a few molecules running around your brain.) Know when and if it is safe to head out with SUL gear. A good example is winter…yup, it isn’t safe to head out SUL in winter (unless you really, really and I mean seriously really know what you’re doing.) Sometimes, snowshoes or skis will instantly put SUL travel (<5 pounds) out of reach, for example. Ya’ gott’a eat. But, what if you are using them from the start? For example: Things you stick in your pocket? What about my pocket knife? What about my car key chain with a Leatherman Micra/LED light attached? What about my lighter? Yes, there is a lot of “looseness” in the definitions. Anyway, Knowledge is usually fundamental to all hiking. You will know when you are intentionally “cheating” just to hit a magic weight number.
And now, getting back to banning people for conflicting viewpoints. On a public site, I would point out that there is a certain thing called Freedom of Speech. However, highly argumentative, derogatory statements made against a person, intentionally disruptive comments, or, anything like that is probably grounds for removal. Such statements *could* open the publisher up to libel charges regardless of who wrote it. ‘Corse, this also implies a scathing review could also be considered a form of libel.Nov 25, 2017 at 5:07 pm #3504032
Some really good points James. I was surprised at the difference in ease of travel between LW and UL backpacking, so it will be interesting to see what SUL feels like. The “system integration” of a pack is probably what drives most MYOGers – nothing on the market fits all our backpack wants or needs, which are quite different from person to person. The integration of tent poles (if you carry them) into the backpack frame is an excellent idea, but obviously everyone’s poles are unique.
As for freedom of speech, does it even apply for a privately-owned website like BPL? If there is no legal requirement to provide freedom of speech, then the forum moderators are allowed to restrict whatever speech they feel conflicts with the rules of the forum. All the replies above (including the deleted ones) seemed fine to me, but I’m not a moderator. If everyone posted comments as though they were posting to their grandmother (even if they disagree), it would likely decrease the odds of the post getting deleted.Nov 26, 2017 at 12:45 am #3504089
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
BPL does have Guidelines for Forum Postings – you can find a link to them at the bottom of every forum page. Read them.
Some Forum channels are devoted to certain subjects, so staying within the channel purpose is obviously sensible. No point in trying to post a commercial gear deal in a channel devoted to Scouting for instance. You will just irritate everyone.
But if you want the Forum rules summarised UNofficially: play nicely, moderate your language, and don’t attack other BPL members. Criticising IDEAS is fine if done politely. If you want to flame, do it (politely) in Chaff.
Roger CaffinNov 26, 2017 at 5:39 am #3504115
- 1.6 oz HyperD PU4000 Nylon
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