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Meteor Bivy and Pack
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David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Meteor Bivy and Pack on 10/22/2008 13:43:19 MDT Print View

I just got done with making a Metoer bivy via Six Moon Designs and a pack that I plan to use for thru-hiking the AT in February. I switched some of the nylon out for netting so its more breathable. It's 8 oz.
meteor bivy

I put a cord lock on the inside so I can adjust the tension without getting out.

Here is my pack. The red is 4oz oxford, the black nylon is 8oz packcloth. THe shoulder straps are are ergonomic and feel great compared to normal straight ones. There is a pocket on the back that is made from 6.5 oz lycra fabric. It can hold a lot. There is also a pocket on the pack to hold a sit pad/frame. To help keep the pack slim, I added straps on the bottom to hold the sleeping pad. This should help keep the weight close to my back as well. The pack weighs 11 oz, with the sitpad/frame weighing 2 oz. I have loaded it up with a 20* primaloft topbag, and all my other gear that would keep me warm to about 5* or so and it still had room for what I would guess to be a weeks food. There are a few problems though, I didn't make some webbing long enough, and I would like to have the shoulder straps 2inches high, but overall, it feels great.
There are 2 2liters in the pocket, with room for another!

David Stenberg
(dstenberg1) - F

Locale: South
Re: Meteor Bivy and Pack on 10/22/2008 14:05:59 MDT Print View

Great Job! It looks like it will work out well.

Matthew Bishop
(mattsbishop) - F - M

Locale: Northern Frontrange, Colorado
Re: Meteor Bivy and Pack on 10/22/2008 16:21:56 MDT Print View

Nice. That's some quality work. The pack has a wonderfully simple and clean design.

How do you like that foam pad with (i assume) coated oxford pockets on the back? I'm trying to design a day pack for myself and am getting stuck on lining materials for the back and straps. Would a wicking material like 3D foam be more comfortable (get less wet) than a coated nylon?

And good luck with your thru-hike.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Meteor Bivy and Pack on 10/22/2008 19:27:24 MDT Print View

love the bivy, it makes me want to make one.

Is the pack built like the MLD prophet (1 back piece and 1 side/front piece)? I know this is at least your 2nd pack with the curved bottom, why do you like that vs. a square bottom pack? Also, why did you use such heavy fabrics? OWFINC sells a 3.5oz mesh i love for pack pockets? Not trying to poke at your choices, just curious if those choices have specific reasons behind them i may not have thought of.


David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Re: Meteor Bivy and Pack on 10/22/2008 23:27:19 MDT Print View

Matthew- The part that holds the pad is 6.5oz lycra. It stretches to allow either 1 piece of foam for a frame, or even a full pad. It was the lightest 4 way stretch fabric OWF Inc had. It feels great, but may not be optimal for the sole purpose of lining the back. Thru-Hiker sells 3D mesh, which is what most companies use for stuff like that. For the shoulder straps, I used pack cloth the whole way around. I just like the feel better than the 3D mesh personally- less grippy, slightly cooler. They will get sweaty, but wouldn't absorb the volume of water 3D mesh would. It's all personal preference, but I think most would opt for the 3D mesh.

Tim- The pack is built similar to the Prophet. It could have been 1 back piece, but I wanted to put the shoulder straps in a seam instead of sewing it to the body, and I also wanted to put the pad straps in seams as well, so it ended up being 3 pieces. I like the curved bottom because I feel like it reduces that saggy feeling i've gotten from square bottom packs which pulls back on the shoulders. Its a PITA for construction though, so next time I may the bottom piece a trapezoid instead of a half moon. I do support the use of an acute angle at the bottom of the pack either way. I did use heavier materials than usual. I figured if I can make it 2000+ miles (fingers crossed), my pack should be able to as well. I noticed GG put up a notice that one of their packs would only be suitable for 50 trail days or so and didn't want to be SOL so far from my sewing machine, or heaven forbid buy a retail pack. Also, oxford and pack cloth are dirt cheap and durable. I was hoping to find a lighter spandex, but the 6.5 fit the bill well. I wanted to use lycra to keep the pack streamlined and small, reduce snags, and have highly adjustable volume. It stretches a lot more than I expected which is great. It's difficult to work with though, getting it stretched and sized appropriately.

Here's a picture of it with 11 rolls of TP in the pocket (#12 was in use). I could hire a thru-hiker to sherpa my stuff with 11 rolls of TP. After that is the curve on the bottom of the pack. With at least 3 of my other homemade packs, i had a constant sensation of the weight being transferred to the bottom of the pack away from my back. The curve forces the weight to go against my back, which is nice whether or not I am using the hipbelt

Edited by willspower3 on 10/22/2008 23:33:16 MDT.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: Re: Meteor Bivy and Pack on 10/23/2008 17:08:27 MDT Print View

why do you prefer sewing the straps into a seam vs on the body?

I sew them to the body and then cover them with 1.5" nylon or gross brain webbing across the entire width of the back panel. This also works well if adding the pad holder. I fear that having them in a seam makes the junction weaker.

I am intrigued by the curve for the bottom. For me to use it would require a major re-think of how i make packs. Would the trapezoid you suggested work just as good to pull the weight into your low back?

Have you tried the GG hipbelt pattern? I add 1 or 1.5 inches to the height and i find the tapered shape very comfortable (used upside down from GG). However, i have never used a hipbelt like the one you have made.

How did you decide on the shoulder strap design? I've tried to make s-straps before but never came up with something i liked.

I love being part of a community where we can share our ideas and as a whole the gear we makes just gets better and better.


David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Meteor Bivy and Pack on 10/24/2008 09:18:31 MDT Print View

I like the professional look that comes from sewing into the seams. Just looking at cottage industries, they go both ways- MLD does in the seam while GG does on the body and covered. The big boys use in-seam style for all of their things that get put on the packs, which makes for a lot of seams. I triple stitch everything that gets put into a seam- compression straps, reinforcements, hipbelt, shoulder straps. Using the cover method saves a good bit of hassle in seam allocation though.
Have you felt the same sag effect I have? The trapezoid should work just fine. You have to cut out part of the body of the fabric on the back of the pack in order to get an acute angle at the bottom to 'aim' the weight to your back. It takes a surprisingly steep angle to get the desired effect. A trapezoid would also be better for sleeping pad straps.
I like the GG hipbelt style on their new packs. If I had to do it again, I would make a 3"x12" tube of packcloth integrated into the seam at the bottom of the pack under the spandex pocket and made a removable hipbelt similar to theirs. I would have to trim the bottom of the sit pad frame to be narrow enough to fit over the tube, but would probably get a much better weight transfer. The hipbelt on my pack is pretty mediocre.
I based my S-shaped shoulder straps on the pattern from thru-hiker:
I made mine a tad bigger in all directions. I had to make a few before it got the size I wanted. I used poster board as initial patterns before using fabric. That Thru-Hiker pattern has some good info in it.

Could you post up some of the packs you have made and critique them? I would like to see them to get some ideas. Thanks


Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Meteor Bivy and Pack on 10/24/2008 21:37:12 MDT Print View

i have pics of some i've made.

tan is 100% ray-way
green is mostly ray-way with some changes by me

black and red are all me. obviously they are ray-way MLD types but i made them a diff way. i made the bottoms square which makes it easier to sew and changes the whole order of the construction. also using gg strap design. black one is unfinished in the pic (it went on a 16 day 400+ mi trek and did suffer a major seam rip at the hipbelt)

i do notice the sag factor and am thinking of how to make the bottom trap like you suggested.

i don't have any of these packs left as i sold most of my stuff before i moved recently and won't be able to sew until jan1, which sux.