Beeline 900 modifications?
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Michael Demchak
(mikey) - F

Locale: new england
Beeline 900 modifications? on 01/08/2006 03:41:40 MST Print View

hello everyone, I currently have the Beeline 900 made by the north face. its a great bag and is very warm... however it is to warm. this bag has no zipper and rated to 30 degrees, so the summers are a little tough in CT. so I've been thinking about how to add some ventilation to this bag, the standard idea would be to add a zipper, but i was thinking about making it into a quilt with straps something like a nunatak's. granted i would probably loose the hood, i would enjoy the freedom of the quilt and the weight savings. the circumference is 62" at the shoulders to 38" in the foot, would this give me enough girth for me to work with in terms of a quilt? any comments/suggestions? or should i just buy a down summer quilt...
thanks!
mike!

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Beeline 900 modifications? on 01/08/2006 12:06:08 MST Print View

If the bag itself wraps around you without being too tight, then it should work fine as a quilt. The seams would probably only cost you about 1" of girth.

My idea would be to first slice off the hood. Perhaps you could modify the hood into an insulated bomber cap or reclaim the down to insert into the bag. Next, cut the bottom layer of the bag [the part you lay on top of] to the desired opening length. Have the opening go to somewhere between mid-calf and mid-thigh height. You can use masking tape to shut the baffles as you go, adjust the down as needed, and sew them up later. You could also consider a drawcord and snap closure at the neck, and maybe a snap or two for the bottom.
-Mark

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Beeline 900 modifications? on 01/08/2006 16:26:26 MST Print View

Dennis,
Unless you are really big, a 62 inch shoulder girth is more than enough for a quilt/top bag. 58 to 60 works for most folks. Remember, the quilt tucks under the foam pad making the rig maybe 10 to 12 inches wider.

This should not be a hard job, but sure as shootin' it'll void your warranty.

You will have to lose the hood. Let me suggest replacing it with a drawstring casing and a button/button-hole behind the neck (on the ends of the casing). You are right about adjustable elastic straps on the sides to go under the pad and to keep the sides tucked. Leave about 18 inches closed above the foot box.

To remove the hood, mark the line you plan to follow and sew 2 lines of stitching parallel about 1/2 inch appart. That will keep the down from going everywhere.

Depending on how The North Face put this bag together, you may have to do the same thing (parallel stitch lines) down the bottom. I doubt there is a seam and baffle there. You will have to either bind the raw edges or roll them. I usually roll the edges when making down quilts.

And yes, there might be enough hood left to make a down cap for sleeping. You will need something like that when using a quilt if it gets nippy.

Michael Demchak
(mikey) - F

Locale: new england
Beeline 900 mods... on 01/09/2006 02:05:16 MST Print View

thanks vick+mark you guys are making my idea come to life. the down 'hood' on this bag is just a flat peice of insulated fabric, so i dont know about making a hat out of it... maybe an insulated eating bib? (har har)anyway i've been trying to think of what kind of strap system the arc bags use, but no luck. so i was thinking (probably already thought of...) how about using just a single bungee laced through a series of small loops with a mini cordlock at the end? pretty much just like an elastic backpack compression deal. i would imagine this would keep everything pretty uniform and simplier then dealing with multiple straps when going to sleep. im just curious though... an elastic cinch cord was mentioned for the neck, and im kind of confused. do you sew the elastic at both ends of the quilt, then when you snap the 2 ends of the quilt around the neck togther you can then tighten the elastic?
thanks!
mike!

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Beeline 900 mods... on 01/09/2006 07:17:13 MST Print View

First, the neck casing: Nothing complicated, just a casing with a drawstring. The purpose of the button is that you won't have a zipper to keep the quilt around your shoulders. The button does that. You could use a snap, but buttons are more reliable and easier to install properly. Don't use elastic here.

Second, the elastic straps *should not* be numerous or complicated. Just one or two (I use two) straps, evenly spaced. More than two and you will look like a clown trying to thread the sleeping pad between the quilt and a bunch of cords.

My straps are just plain, flat, 3/8" elastic from the neighborhood fabric store. They are adjusted by running them through 3 tight holes poked in ovals of milk carton plastic. That is a simple, ultralight tensioner. They unhook from one side and are held with a Velcro sandwich -- two 1 1/2X3/4 strips of hook Velcro stitched together, face to face are stitched to one side of the quilt. The end of the elastic is stitched to two 1X3/4 loop Velcro strips stitched together with the loops facing out. This is a secure fastener that doesn't expose hook Velcro.

Michael Demchak
(mikey) - F

Locale: new england
Re: Re: Beeline 900 mods... on 01/09/2006 16:08:21 MST Print View

Thanks Vick, good point with the button, my comment with the elastic around the neck was just to have an elastic drawstring, is there a problem im not seeing? i'd imagine it would be more comfortable etc and prevent the button from being ripped out.

Thats a very interesting idea with the milk jug, if im thinking correctly, itll work just like a guy line tensioner. but just for brain storming's sake, i was thinking of just using like a D ring secured to one edge and passing the elastic strap through with hook velcro at the end and loop velcro running for a few inches? instead of using the plastic ring i could just use some cord (properly reinforced of course) think this will work?
thanks again!
mike!

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Re: Beeline 900 mods... on 01/10/2006 12:51:12 MST Print View

Dennis,
Keep it simple. This is simpler than a guyline tensioner. The plastic tensioner needs nothing more than two or three holes (the more holes, the harder it holds) and a slot or hole for a loop of tape that stitches onto the side of the quilt.

Instead of a D ring, consider just a loop of grossgrain tape. The velcro idea would work, but you might find 2 problems. First, everytime you run into the hook velcro it will stick you or stick to something like your clothing. Second, the range of adjustment with Velcro would be very limited. Unless you know how much you need within a few inches, you might be better off starting with a long elastic strip that you can adjust down until you feel secure about trimming the excess.

Sure, elastic will work for the neck drawstring.