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Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
How I dyed my SMD TRAVELER PACK on 03/25/2009 18:14:42 MDT Print View

This is thread is the same that I posted on another site, just spreadin' the word ;)

I've seen posts about "does color matter?"... well to me it does, for many reasons, I like to blend in and not be a neon sign walking through nature, so the foregoing is how I dyed my SIX MOON DESIGNS TRAVELER all black...

I first sent Brandon Moak an email, asking if he had any experience dying his packs, he did not... so i researched "dyneema" found out the pack was not 100% dyneema by a hybrid textile made with mainly nylon... GREAT! because although you cannot dye dyneema, nylon you can defiantly dye using RIT, found here:

You can find RIT dye anywhere, safeway, longs, walgreens, walmart, target..

So I LOVE the SMD traveler, great features, great design, low weight, LOVE THE EXTERIOR PAD POUCH (it allows easy access during brakes, I keep my sleep pad and big agnes UL camp chair assembled and folded in the pocket, so i have a padded chair at all times)

BUT... I hate the color! to be honest i almost went to a ULA pack for this reason, but I went traveler, and im glad I did!

original traveler

black traveler

How did I do it?

I'm a homebrewer, so i decided to use my mash tun to do the dying, its stainless steel so not worried about dying the thing black... heres what it looks like:


So i put the kettle on my stove top, this is because i know it will not boil (when I make beer its on a separate sculpture, thats all electrically fired, anywho) I ADDED 2 BOTTLES OF BLACK RIT DYE, TO APPROX. 6 GALLONS OF WATER, brought the temp to 130F turned off the burner, I should note, that while the water was warming up, i was in my living room taking the hipbelt and shoulder straps off, unzipped everything, I also cinched down the whole thing by connecting the shoulder strap bottom tensioner to the load lifters on top, this made a compact taco looking package. Then with a nod to the gods, submerged my beloved pack into the now steaming black water, fingers crossed, I stirred and stirred. ONE HOUR LATER, I precariously lifted the now all black pack out, took it outside, rinsed with a garden hose till the water ran clear, a smile from ear to ear! :) my pack is now black, not the white dyneema threads of course, but all nylon took the dye perfectly! I hung it up in my shower with a fan on it, and a few hours later reassembled the hipbelt and shoulder straps, job done!

Thanks for reading, hope this helps someone :)

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: How I dyed my SMD TRAVELER PACK on 03/25/2009 18:20:35 MDT Print View

Thats cool.

Christopher Mills
(Hiker816) - MLife

Locale: Denver
Re: How I dyed my SMD TRAVELER PACK on 03/25/2009 18:24:29 MDT Print View

Did you find that any of the dye transferred to your clothing after sweating through, or was it totally colorfast?

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
How I dyed my SMD TRAVELER PACK on 03/25/2009 18:42:34 MDT Print View

I would also like to know about the dye holding in the pack, without leaching. I suppose this would work on a ULA also?

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: How I dyed my SMD TRAVELER PACK on 03/25/2009 18:56:41 MDT Print View

Nice work Jesse, the pack looks great!

I'm interested in your opinion of how the pack carries. How much weight do you generally carry, and what pad do you use as a frame? Do you find the hipbelt comfortable? Do you use the stays?

Sorry for all the questions, but there are very few SMD traveller users around so I've only heard one opinion from a BPL user so far ('wanderingbob'). He was very positive about it, but I'd like to hear a few more points of view because we are all different. Is there any area where the pack is lacking or could be improved?

Thanks in advance!! - Ashley

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Great Dye Job! on 03/25/2009 18:59:12 MDT Print View

Wow, that's great! I also like SMD packs but don't like the colors. Nice to know this is an option. Thanks for posting this!

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
colorfastness on 03/25/2009 19:04:00 MDT Print View

so far no problems, I did this about 6 days ago, and every night I throw on the pack with my 3 day setup, and "urban hike" around the hills in my area, so I can say i have got the back quite wet and so far nothing, to better address this issue I may apply this stuff:

I'm assuming its a similar treatment, possibly even a cold one, another thing I'd like to not about this little project is I don't think you need such a big vassal, as I doubt we all have 8 gallon pots laying around... another method would be to decant hotter watter (160f-190f) to a 5 gallon bucket and do this.. .

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
pics! :) on 03/25/2009 19:53:49 MDT Print View

Thanks a lot for all your kind words... LONG TIME lurker here... figure I owe the community :)

ASHLEYB, I also don't understand why there is so little about this pack for me its great...

my 3 day 3 season 3 liter of h2o pack with my huge camera and food and snacks weighs in at 21.5 lbs! :) I'm happy... again gotta thank the people on these types of sites, if not for this community I'd be luggin' a 38lb pack around still... anyways as for changes to the pack, I had to lower the sternum strap, and I do use the aluminum stays, because it make the load lifters work so much better, for me the pad is not for structural ridgity, rather just easy access, and padding and as a thermo barrier between my back and the water bladder... as you can tell I'm pretty analytical about this whole backpacking thing... ;) but pictures are worth a thousand words... here's some I just took, again hope this helps...

heres the pack layin' down (molly approved btw)
traveler laying down

contents of pack:
contents of pack

Back, unzipped, exposing pad:
back of pack unzipped

To get the pad out you have to pull it to the side and lift out, illustrated here:pad coming out

Here is what the pad and chair combo look like when the come out of the pack, this is their stored configuration:
pad out of pack

Chair/pad combo, just unfold and sit :)
my fav piece of gear

Hope those help, if anyone has any more questions, feel free to ask

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: How I dyed my SMD TRAVELER PACK on 03/25/2009 20:09:24 MDT Print View

Thanks Jesse, I always appreciate pics of gear!

What kind of pad is that you're using? I assume it is closed cell foam pad of some sort (not inflatable?). I use an inflatable PE thermo so not sure whether that would work so well (apparently it can be a bit "bouncy").

How do you find the hipbelt? It looks thinner than the one on a ULA circuit (and I think wanderingbob confirmed this) but is it still plenty comfortable?

Hmmmm. One day I am going to have actually make up my mind on what my next pack is going to be. I've been trying to decide for ages, because there's no pack that has all the features I want! =-)

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
re: on 03/25/2009 21:23:34 MDT Print View

the pad is thermarest prolite small.. the one that just came out... although i see a neoair in my future, when they drop... the hipbelt is feine... I've noticed looser is better

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
How I dyed my SMD TRAVELER PACK on 03/25/2009 22:12:53 MDT Print View

I want to see on that says "How I tie-dyed my SMD Traveler Pack.

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
lol on 03/25/2009 22:20:55 MDT Print View

joe, thats the next project, just need strong rubber bands...LOL

John Paul Reid
(Reid) - F

Locale: SouthEast
UL on 04/02/2009 11:45:11 MDT Print View

Can we do this with ULA??? Is it the same material as the SMD??

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
ULA on 04/02/2009 17:56:43 MDT Print View

Im pretty sure ULA uses the same fabric, but im not 100% the color isnt that bad on it though....

John Paul Reid
(Reid) - F

Locale: SouthEast
ULA on 04/02/2009 22:39:34 MDT Print View

I did it. I'll post some pics when the sun comes back up, it worked great so far.

John Paul Reid
(Reid) - F

Locale: SouthEast
black back pack on 04/02/2009 22:55:43 MDT Print View

Im gonna give you props on the idea on Whiteblaze too, you should come over for a minute if your not already there. Same name, homeade forum. Posting pictures

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
:) on 04/03/2009 03:01:27 MDT Print View

I just had a long crappy night bartending, and you just put a smile on my face...

can't wait to see the pics...

what did you use for the container to dye...

also I've been to whiteblaze.. awesome site.. not a member, just a LONG TIME lurker.. like I was here...

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: black back pack on 04/03/2009 18:05:59 MDT Print View

Jesse -- very nice!!!

Now where's Michael Reid? Where are his pics?

I too dislike the color of ULA (although not as bad as SMD) -- and I wonder if the ULA can be dyed with an olive color -- like the old Golite Jam pack???

Edited by ben2world on 04/03/2009 18:11:01 MDT.

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
hmmm... on 04/03/2009 19:02:13 MDT Print View

if you can find the dye.. remember, it will dye all NYLON... POLYESTER will not dye, which can be nice to create some definition... but the golite jam looks great!, also hes got a few pics up on whiteblaze, check it out under "homemade gear"

Edited by tacedeous on 04/04/2009 04:49:55 MDT.

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
still good! on 07/21/2012 02:20:10 MDT Print View

Safe to say we this works! cant believe its been this long, no fading or staining! and this I still my go to pack, albeit just for longer trips after thinning out the bulk! dye your packs and gear to color you like folks! I'd love to see some data on the effect of using this dye on items with insulation however!