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A few projects I've been working on.
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Ben Strickland
(ben_strickland) - F

Locale: Georgia
A few projects I've been working on. on 05/03/2008 16:13:59 MDT Print View

Just wanted to show off a few projects I've been working on. Hopefully each of these pieces of gear will accompany me on my AT hike this summer.

First is my solo tarp. Just a 5x9 rectangle made out of some $4/yd PU coated polyester ripstop from kitebuilder. Weighs a little less than silnylon and doesn't stretch at all. Amazing stuff for the price. Weight with lines on it is about 7.8 ounces.

7.8 ounce polyester ripstop solo tarp

Second piece here is an insulated vest from AYCE's Minima Vest kit. My first piece of clothing. Didn't turn out perfect, but I like it still. 1.8oz primaloft, 1.1 shell, momentum lining. Total weight about 5.5 ounces.

Insulated vest from Minima Vest kit.

Lastly is my topbag. After using quilts for a couple of years now, I decided I could make a topbag that was warmer and lighter. This is my first attempt. 6oz Primaloft insulation (2x3oz) and 1.1 shell material. I tested it out once before adding the draft collar and drawstring and the two elastic bands for the sleeping pad attachment... slept in it down to 22*F with only a t-shirt, shorts, and a wal-mart beanie no problem. Weight is 1lb 15.5oz. I hope my next try is a bit lighter.


Top View.
Quilt top view

Bottom view of straps.
quilt bottom view

Close up of draft collar.
view of draft collar

Edited by ben_strickland on 05/03/2008 16:19:28 MDT.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
A few projects you've been working on on 05/03/2008 16:41:56 MDT Print View

Looking GOOD!

Bill Forshell did a lot of work with top bags here over the last several years. You might look up his posts before you work on your next bag, however, a 20 degree bag for under 2 lbs is still really good, especially in Synthetic.

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: A few projects I've been working on. on 05/03/2008 18:26:36 MDT Print View

Ben,

I agree w/ him: nice weight for a synthetic 20* bag! One tip to make it lighter: if you are taking the vest anyway, possibly use less insulation, at least above your torso, and ear the vest. This would save the weight of some insulation, and save room in your pack, too.

All of your gear looks great, and I'd like to hear more about the waterproofness of the polyester!

Great handywork!

Todd

Edited by funnymoney on 05/03/2008 18:29:43 MDT.

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: A few projects I've been working on. on 05/03/2008 18:59:24 MDT Print View

care to share more about the material used to make your tarp? i didnt realize there was anything cheaper, lighter, and better than silnylon???

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: A few projects I've been working on. on 05/03/2008 20:54:32 MDT Print View

i need some advice on your tarp pitch. i also have a 5x9 and when i try and pitch it 1/2 pyramid there is never enough length for me to lay out and not touch the tarp, even on the diagonal. Can you give me a tip or 2.

oh, i'm 6'2"

Ben Strickland
(ben_strickland) - F

Locale: Georgia
re: a few projects I've been working on. on 05/03/2008 21:03:55 MDT Print View

Thanks for your comments and suggestions! My thoughts for trimming weight in future topbag projects include making it more "mummy" style. It could be a little narrower below the waist area, and it is a little long as well. I could also replace the 6 ounces of Primaloft Sport with 5 ounces of Climashield XP for nearly the same CLO, and the 1.1 ripstop with .9 oz momentum fabric. Making all of those changes I estimate that I could reduce the weight to very nearly 1.5 pounds for a 20* synthetic topbag.

As for the tarp material:

I purchased it from www.kitebuilder.com here:
http://www.kitebuilder.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/24_110/products_id/1297?osCsid=d104f02c543fae2ef1c8bb5d7b57ab86

On the product page there is a link to information about the fabric which is located here:
http://www.kitebuilder.com/inventory/polymax.gif

I purchased the polymax 42 which is 42g/sqm or .75oz/sq yd according to the info sheet. I have not confirmed this but will try to in the next day or two and post it here.

As for waterproofness, I was hoping to get to test it thoroughly tonight, but the storms blew through earlier in the day than expected. I have taken the hose to it on full pressure from about 2 feet with no signs of soak-through or even mist-through, and like silnylon it doesn't bleed through when you touch the underside. It was only subjected to the hose blast for about a minute though, so I couldn't tell you yet about long-term waterproofness or the durability of the polyurethane coat after some wear.

What is great about the material is that it is polyester so it doesn't stretch like nylon and gives a much tighter pitch. My silnylon tarp has a tendency to be saggy in the morning due to stretch, but this tarp stayed pitched in my yard for 3 days this week and remained taught the entire time. I feel like this material would pitch better with some cat curves since it doesn't really stretch at all. I have never tried cat-curves but will if I make another tarp out of it.

Ben Strickland
(ben_strickland) - F

Locale: Georgia
A few projects I've been working on. on 05/03/2008 21:08:15 MDT Print View

Tim,

I pitched that half pyramid pretty dang low. I can't sit up under it at all. I feel your pain with touching the tarp. I'm 6'1" myself. When I laid down under that pitch I JUST missed touching the tarp with my head and feet. I'm not so concerned with that though. This material does not bleed through if you touch it (as far as I can tell with limited testing anyway), so I figure me touching the tarp in the night is really more of an annoyance than a real problem.

Alan Hughes
(natchez) - F

Locale: South
I love the tarp on 05/03/2008 23:07:21 MDT Print View

Great Job I like it all tarp vest quilt. I am Georgia also.
Let us know how the tarp does.


Every Blessing
Alan

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: A few projects I've been working on. on 05/04/2008 08:30:25 MDT Print View

my concern with touching the tarp is if it is wet on the inside due to any condensation. if my face is very close to it my breath will definitely cause some wetness on that bad boy.

also, that .75oz yd is not square yards, it's sail maker's yards, which AYCE told me are smaller and it is also pre-coating. So the real weight will be something like .5oz more, but that is still great for $4yd, if it's waterproof. My 5x9 silnylon tarp is right around 8oz (my scale is spring and crappy so no exact info)

Edited by MarshLaw303 on 05/04/2008 08:33:56 MDT.

jas l
(jas123) - F
What's your experience on this polyester fabric? on 05/04/2008 09:12:55 MDT Print View

Ben, I too was thinking about using this fabric to make a tarp. I found few people complain about the durability of the coat. Coat on this fabric seems not tough enough, it damaged after few days of folding and wrapping, anther one tested it by washing with hand and make a little flag that hang on his car and drive to and from work, he also found the coat pretty much toasted in a day. However they said this only happened on their "regular" finished fabric, not the "Z" version that currently for sale, which has the different finish. I have ask about the durability of the coating and waterproofness of their Z finished fabric but not get much answer, only one said this fabric is not waterproof. What's your experience on this polyester fabric?

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
I love that vest! on 05/04/2008 10:59:34 MDT Print View

Its looking really cool.

The tarp and the top quilt are looking good too. I am impressed. Very good work!

David Stenberg
(dstenberg1) - F

Locale: South
Re: A few projects I've been working on. on 05/06/2008 10:52:11 MDT Print View

I have a question about your topbag. Why does your topbag have stitching across the shell? Is the insulation sewn to the fabric? Is the quilt sewn through? How did you secure the insulation?

Any comments would be helpful. I have not made a synthetic quilt yet, but I am looking to do so soon.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: A few projects I've been working on. on 05/06/2008 13:50:06 MDT Print View

also, that .75oz yd is not square yards, it's sail maker's yards, which AYCE told me are smaller and it is also pre-coating. So the real weight will be something like .5oz more

yep, (42 gram) / (sq meter) = 1.23872804 ounces / (sq yd)

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: A few projects I've been working on. on 05/06/2008 13:58:33 MDT Print View

i need some advice on your tarp pitch. i also have a 5x9 and when i try and pitch it 1/2 pyramid there is never enough length for me to lay out and not touch the tarp, even on the diagonal. Can you give me a tip or 2.

glue or sew a guyout along the center line 18 inches from each end and use it to pull the panel up in that area. That means a bit of extra weight for line and maybe two more stakes.

or don't pitch it quite tight to the ground ... but not quite as storm proof

or get comfortable sleeping in the fetal position;-)

All that being said, it's tight, even with a 9.5 foot length ... and I'm 2 inches shorter than you (but likely broader).

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: A few projects I've been working on. on 05/06/2008 19:15:42 MDT Print View

hey Jim, we've had this gluing conversation before, worked great by the way.

I'm not sure i really care about the 1/2 pyramid pitch with such a small tarp i'm more of a modified a-frame man. (head side lean-to foot side a-frame)

I doubt anyone who has ever even read a post on this forum is broader than i am @ 305lbs.

Edited by MarshLaw303 on 05/06/2008 19:17:15 MDT.

Ben Strickland
(ben_strickland) - F

Locale: Georgia
Re: A few projects I've been working on. on 05/07/2008 20:50:38 MDT Print View

David: My topbag is made of Primaloft Sport. I made it with 2 layers of 3 ounce insulation. I sewed each layer of insulation to it's accompanying shell piece around the perimeter. Primaloft needs to be stabilized when used in large panels, so I sewed stabilization seams (insulation to shell material) across the insulation every 10 inches. I did this with both the top and bottom layers of insulation separately so that it would not be sewn-through. I offset the stitches to minimize cold spots.

If you use a continuous filament insulation like Climashield XP, you would not need to do these stabilization stitches. You could instead use yarn loops to stabilize the insulation per Ray Jardine's method. It's much easier and, in my estimation at least, far more effective.

If you are thinking of making a synthetic quilt I would recommend Ray Jardine's kits to get you started. They provide everything you need and have the most detailed instructions of any kit I've ever purchased. And go for it!

Tarp pitches: So lifter patches could add room to the half pyramid pitch? Nice idea I hadn't thought of. Also, I'm unfamiliar with the modified A-Frame. How does it work for stormy weather?

Fabric Weight: Yeah, I did similar calculations. So not much lighter than silnylon, but a little. The great part is the lack of stretch and the $4/yd cost. Now if only it would rain here so I could test out the quality of the PU coating...

Kyle Purcell
(dufus934) - F

Locale: North Texas
Re: Re: A few projects I've been working on. on 05/08/2008 12:10:30 MDT Print View

That is some awesome gear! I only wish that I had the patience to sew something like that. I get to frusterated with long stiches and seams. Plus my sewing is not the greatest (obviously a DIY project when I'm done with it). But you do give me hope...haha!

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: A few projects I've been working on. on 05/08/2008 16:10:07 MDT Print View

the pitch i am talking about can be seen on the MLD website. Look at the monk tarps, it's the 5.4x8.5 one that is a-framed @ the foot with one head side down and one up.(if that makes sense)

if wind shifts its pretty exposed on the high side, but you can set it up in an a-frame 1st, then raise the side so you can lower it later if you must to stay dry.

bemany pife
(BemanyPife) - F
neato! on 05/11/2008 16:44:59 MDT Print View

Great job!

I am new to the MYOG and backpacking in general. Can you post a few more photos of the draft collar? I am not quite grasping it's concept :)

Edited by BemanyPife on 05/11/2008 16:45:57 MDT.