Here's a link to pics in my Whiteblaze.net gallery.
new prototype pack
I'd appreciate any comments. It's fairly similar to the silnylon G6 clone I made a while back, but this one has a more involved compression system and a hipbelt \and water bottle/wand pockets. I also made sleeves inside so you can insert lengths of arrow shaft to serve as a frame. It works very well, better than I expected, actually! I need to find something about the size of an arrow shaft (so I don't have to rethink the sleeves!) that can be shaped - the only downside to the arrow shafts was that since they were straight, the pack didn't hug my back the way I'd like.
A couple of tips for those who want to try this - I triple-stitched everything, and the 1.9 oz uncoated nylon shows no signs of pulling seams, no matter how I stress it. HOWEVER, I would suggest that you single stitch the whole thing until you have your cord loops, straps, velcro, etc attached - it's more of a pain to rip three seams than one! Save the reinforcement stitching for last!
Also - overestimate your seam allowances and your shock cord for any elastic pockets you make. The water bottle pockets on the sides came out just right, but the "kangaroo" pocket is too tight. I can easily fit a poncho-tarp, or jacket, or whatever in there, but I'd prefer it to be looser at the mouth.
A couple of thoughts on straps - I ran webbing all the way down my straps. In the future, I'll limit this to only the places where I think I'll want to attach accessories. The single strip of webbing actually creates a pressure point down the center of the shoulder strap. Next time, I'll just attach some grosgrain to the strap further down, in the places where it would help.
I will also use thicker/stiffer foam for the hipbelt. It begins to collapse around 20 pounds. That's ok, because that's at least a week's worth of gear and food for me, but I'd rather it didn't do it at all. I used some 1/4 inch closed cell from a local auto upholstery shop.
Anyways, fire away - I'd love to hear any tips from people who have been there, done that.
Oh, and the final weight:
10.6 oz without stays, 12.2 oz with.
This is just a prototype. I think I'll make the final with a combination of 1.1 oz silnylon and 4 oz Dyneema from thru-hiker.com.