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vapor trail mod
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John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
vapor trail mod on 04/07/2006 00:12:37 MDT Print View

Just got the Vapor Trail I ordered. Looks good... The compression straps over the side pockets is an obvious and oft-mentioned problem. Has anyone ever put a couple of slits in the side pockets so the straps could run under?

Edited by johnbrown2005 on 04/07/2006 00:39:11 MDT.


Locale: South West US
Re: vapor trail mod on 04/07/2006 00:58:56 MDT Print View

Yep, did exactly that. Wasn't really effective though because the strap would catch on everything put into the pocket. Plus the pocket doesn't have much give anyways. I wouldn't bother, it's more hassle than its worth.


Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Not always a problem on 04/07/2006 05:14:31 MDT Print View

At the risk of hearing how stupid I am (without the benefit of being married to you! ;>), I don't always find the strap across the pocket to be a problem. I think it all depends on how you use the pockets. The only things I keep there are a water bottle, map case, small first aid kit, and 1 or 2 energy bars. I actually find that I like how the strap "closes" the pocket that the small stuff is in and, if I'm reasonably careful about how much I tighten the one over the water bottle, find that it isn't any particular annoyance.

For me, the pockets aren't a problem because I don't carry much outside the pack and don't need to get into them every few minutes. I can see how, if your style is different (say, with a lot of photography, and the camera's in the side pocket), they can be an annoyance.

Edited by garkjr on 04/07/2006 05:15:28 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: vapor trail mod on 04/07/2006 06:37:27 MDT Print View

I broke out laughing when I read this. I've been wracking my brain for months trying to figure out how to work this out (mainly because I'm so reluctant to do anything to the pack), since I can't stand the way the compression straps over the pockets work on the Vapor Trail. Your solution is so simple and elegant and obvious! I don't know why I never thought of it before.

My one concern is how you will sew the free hem once you've cut the fabric. I'm thinking that using a sewing machine would be quite difficult because the back panel foam wouldn't allow the pack to fit under the many sewing machine needles. You'd probably have to do it by hand, no?

I also want to do something about the huge extension collar. I'm thinking of folding it in half to the outside and sewing it into a circular tube into which you can stuff belongings when you want quick access to. At the new folded crease along the top I think I might then sew a new channel for the closing cord.

Also, I like to use an outside pocket for my shelters and added a removeable mesh and silnylon pocket to the front of the pack. The existing straps hold the contents secure and velcro strips attach the pocket to the underside of the flaps running down the length of the front of the pack. Been using this for about eight months now and it works very well. Here are some pictures (the tent inside the pocket is an HS TarpTent Rainbow:

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Edited by butuki on 04/07/2006 06:54:54 MDT.

Timothy Chauran
(TimChauran) - F
Vapor Trail Mod on 04/07/2006 08:43:38 MDT Print View

I too was bothered by the excessively long extension collar, so I cut out a six-inch section about a 1/2" below the drawstring seam (to leave room for sewing it back on) and then re-attached the whole drawstring assembly back onto the top of the extension collar. By essentially using the seam that creates the drawstring "tunnel," as a guide for re-attachment the resulting seam is pretty much invisible.

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Re: vapor trail mod on 04/07/2006 09:14:43 MDT Print View

Nice Mod!

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: vapor trail mod on 04/07/2006 10:25:20 MDT Print View

Thanks Roger. Actually it would be even better if I could just make the time to make a stuff sack version so that I don't have to carry the stuff sack for the shelter around. Just wasted extra weight.

Timothy, that's a simple way to reduce the extension collar.

I wonder why Granite Gear designed it like that? It seems a little silly.

Edited by butuki on 04/07/2006 10:28:09 MDT.

John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Re: Re: Vapor Trail Mod on 04/07/2006 11:54:16 MDT Print View

Miguel, great mod.

Do those of you who only keep a water bottle in the side pocket find that running the strap over it interferes with compression? I'm only gonna keep water, and a map in the pocket, so if it didn't interfere w/ compression it might be ok as is... Thanks!

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: Re: Vapor Trail Mod on 04/07/2006 16:38:37 MDT Print View

Very cool. I like that mesh center pocket a lot.

scott Nelson
(nlsscott) - MLife

Locale: So. Calif.
Vapor Trail Top Pocket? on 04/07/2006 17:36:37 MDT Print View

Has anyone seen the "Ultralight Lid"/Top Pocket that Granite Gear is now selling as an accessory?

How does it attach back by the shoulder straps? Does it hold enough to be worth the weight?

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Vapor Trail Top Pocket? on 04/07/2006 19:49:16 MDT Print View

It's hard to tell in the pictures above, but the Granite Gear Lid is attached to my Vapor Trail. It attaches by the load lifter straps at the back and with a strap that runs around the upper compression strap on the front. I like it a lot. The top portion is made of stretch fabric with a waterproof zipper. The whole thing is flat, but allows enough room for some snacks, a map, essential items, and perhaps a compact camera. Besides holding items, what I like about it is that it holds down the often loose top of the pack when the pack isn't full.

Josh Gallamore
(sagan) - F

Locale: Midwest
hip belt pockets on 04/19/2006 08:49:29 MDT Print View

Miguel,where did you get your hip belt pockets? They appear to be the size I am looking for. Granite Gear has some brand new on thier site (no price yet) but I was looking at other options. Do they work well? Thanks.