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Ralph McNall
(rumps) - F

Locale: SF Bay
Tyvek Backpack on 02/13/2009 19:21:04 MST Print View

I totally forgot about how great it is to make your own gear. I used to do it all the time when I was a little kid, but then I grew up and got a job and just started buying stuff - till I found this website. So here is the first project that I completed: My Tyvek Backpack.

I pulled the straps and some hardware off of a camelback I never use. It has a front zipper pocket, bladder and frame pockets on the inside. Two side mesh ones, compression straps. I gave it a roll-top lid, but I think I will switch that to a drawstring. Volume starts about 1300 in3 and expands to around 2300, weighs in at 9.5 oz.

Tyvek pack on back


tyvek pack front


tyvek pack back


tyvek pack inside

Edited by rumps on 02/13/2009 19:23:31 MST.

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Locale: www.jolly-green-giant.blogspot.com
Re: Tyvek Backpack on 02/13/2009 19:27:34 MST Print View

Nice work. Be sure to come back after a stretch with a report on its durability.

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Re: Tyvek Backpack on 02/13/2009 20:20:40 MST Print View

Ralph,
I can't believe that is your FIRST project ... looks like something purchased off the self !!! Very nice work !!
Definitly want to hear how the Tyvek holds up in a pack of this size. What weight do you plan on carrying with the pack ?

Kevin

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"Tyvek Backpack" on 02/13/2009 20:26:10 MST Print View

I second Kevin, that looks like a storebought item!!!

Very good work!!!

-Evan

Michael Chudzinski
(oknowa) - F
Wow !!! on 02/13/2009 21:01:15 MST Print View

That is very cool,great job man !

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: "Tyvek Backpack" on 02/13/2009 22:07:53 MST Print View

Fantastic piece of work. What type of Tyvek did you use? I can just imagine pulling a Tarptent Sublite out of that great pack. Congratulations.

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
tyvek backpack--mesh shoulder straps? on 02/13/2009 22:54:50 MST Print View

I am interested to see more images of the straps. Nice and airy.

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Tyvek Backpack on 02/13/2009 23:41:58 MST Print View

Awsome pack, Ralph!!! It's just simply, awesome!! How long did it take you? What would you say was your total, estimated monetary investment?

Edited by socalpacker on 02/13/2009 23:44:33 MST.

D LARSON
(epilektric) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Tyvek Backpack - Hip belt on 02/14/2009 15:41:34 MST Print View

That pack looks awesome. Great job!
It doesn't look like there is any padding in the hip belt. Do you still find it comfortable and do you think it affects the performance of the pack in any way?

Ralph McNall
(rumps) - F

Locale: SF Bay
Tyvek Backpack on 02/14/2009 19:21:46 MST Print View

Thanks for all the responses. The base of the pack is made out of Tyvek 1059B and the soft stuff at the top I think is 1422A or whatever they make tyvek aprons out of. I definitely questioned the durability going into this, so before I started on the bag I made a little sack because i wanted to test out the tape that I was going to reinforce the seams with. Then I filled it with rocks and tossed it around for a while, and it held up surprisingly well. So we'll see how it performs over time, but I can always just put more tape on...

Other than some thread and a couple feet of elastic I had the rest of this stuff already, so I probably put about 5 bucks and 20 hours of time into it. The straps are just mesh, but are surprising comfortable. I've loaded it up with about 15 lbs so far and seems to do fine. I don't really expect to be carrying much more than that. I think it will make a nice bag for the overnight trips. There have been lots of other posts on here about belt or no belt, but I always seem to use them and the tyvek doesn't weigh much. I don't know how much it will help in transferring weight to my hips, but it will at least help hold it to my body for when I'm climbing around or running.straps

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Tyvek Backpack on 02/14/2009 20:28:26 MST Print View

Did you use nylon thread? And, if you did, was there a particular guage or thickness? I'm also curious about the needle and the tape.

Thanks,

Kendall

PS I've never made ANY gear before. I don't know if it's the economy or curiousity, but I've been thinking about making some of my own gear lately (a quilt and a pack). I think it'd be hugely rewarding.

Edited by socalpacker on 02/14/2009 20:32:19 MST.

Jim Colten
(jcolten)

Locale: MN
Re: Tyvek Backpack on 02/15/2009 07:15:23 MST Print View

I've never made ANY gear before. I don't know if it's the economy or curiousity, but I've been thinking about making some of my own gear lately (a quilt and a pack). I think it'd be hugely rewarding.

Kendall,

It was cost savings that got me started but I long ago came to realize that those last six words sum up the drive to MYOG. Go for it!

ben wood
(benwood)

Locale: flatlands of MO
tyvek backpack on 02/15/2009 09:30:18 MST Print View

nice job. the work looks great. i like the camelbak harness too nice light and airy. very cool.

D LARSON
(epilektric) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Thread for Tyvek project on 02/15/2009 14:19:27 MST Print View

I have to second Kendall's request about the thread. I've often pondered the best thread for this or that.

I have some nylon stuff that looks like fishing line (I thinks it's nylon) and some sweet Kevlar thread my brother gave me but haven't found a use for them yet.

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re:Tyvek Backpack on 02/15/2009 16:01:35 MST Print View

Jim,

Thanks for the encouragement. I started looking at sewing machines and talking to my mom who used to do quite a bit of sewing. She was encouraging as well. Sears has a couple of models for just under $100. I think as a beginner maybe I'll start with one of those.

Edited by socalpacker on 02/15/2009 21:42:16 MST.

Michael Chudzinski
(oknowa) - F
sewing on 02/15/2009 17:58:04 MST Print View

Kendall,

As a newcomer to MACHINE sewing...All I can say is,GO for it!

I bought a cheap Janome machine,it will do all I need for now. Less than a 100 bucks,seems to be great quality for the money.

I have made stuffsacks,patched packs,bags,etc.

My next project is making a quilt for my buddy out of his 30 year old bag.

I just picked up an old DRESSMAKER machine for 20 bucks. Heavy steel rig that will do some heavy duty work. Put a belt on it and it is working just fine.

I am addicted to sewing now,and I do not have to beg my wife anymore.

I hemmed(spelling?)my first pair of pants this morning,I am free !!!

Sewing is only as difficult as you make it,anyone can do the basic stuff. It is mostly common sense and a few tricks.You just need to think things out in advance. My wife was amazed at some of the ideas I came up with,not like I am a genius. Like I tell her...I don't mean to make sense...but....and then she tells me to shut the hell up.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Thread for Tyvek project on 02/15/2009 19:12:35 MST Print View

> some sweet Kevlar thread my brother gave

Very tricky stuff to use. It is rarely needed, and can give worse results if misused. Yes, I have Kevlar thread, and no, I don't use it much at all.

I would recommend you don't use it until you have had a LOT of experience with sewing with ordinary threads.

Cheers

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Tyvek Backpack on 02/15/2009 21:41:09 MST Print View

Thanks Mike... I mean I probably wouldn't be able to do as good a job as Ralph did on his Tyvek pack. I mean that takes experience, which a lot of you have. But, making ultralight gear that's functional would be really fulfilling, not to mention save hundreds even thousands of dollars. By the way Mike your post, although true, is very funny.

Roger,
What's the scoop on kevlar thread? Why is it so challenging to work with?

Edited by socalpacker on 02/15/2009 23:40:49 MST.

Matthew Roberts
(matthewjamesroberts) - F

Locale: San Fernando Valley
Kevlar Thread on 02/15/2009 23:28:01 MST Print View

I used to use Kevlar thread to sew up my fire tools (DIY Kevlar wicks) when I performed as a Fire Dancer. It's tough-stuff. I found the thread to be sufficient for hand stitching high-impact areas - running it through a machine is a whole different story.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Tyvek Backpack on 02/16/2009 00:23:27 MST Print View

> What's the scoop on kevlar thread? Why is it so challenging to work with?

As Matthew said, it is very stiff and hard. That means it runs poorly through a machine needle. This can create a lot of friction, which heats up the needle and that then melts the Kevlar in the needle. Messy.
---------
Correction, thanks to Dave Olsen: it frays and breaks fibres at the needle, but this may be due to its high stiffness rather than melting, as Kevlar has a very high melt temperature. But that still causes a mess!
--------

My experience is that ordinary polycotton or nylon thread, even fine stuff, is as strong as the lightweight fabrics we normally use - provided you use short stitches and make a good seam.

About the only place where you might want to use Kevlar thread is sewing 100% Kevlar fabric. There the thread is matched to the fabric. Good for bullet-proof jackets, but irrelevant for most UL gear.

------
Also, as I was reminded by Dave Olsen, Kevlar is UV-sensitive. This is not good for outdoors gear.
------

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 02/18/2009 14:49:25 MST.