Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Mesh, sil-nylon or 4-way stretch for side pockets on backpack?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Mesh, sil-nylon or 4-way stretch for side pockets on backpack? on 01/14/2010 09:05:08 MST Print View

I'm contemplating the three following: mesh, sil-nylon & 4-way stretch.

The mesh would offer visibility, drying and drainage but would seem to be more susceptible to snagging on branches.

I believe sil-nylon would be the lightest and the contents would slide in and out easily but, if something was wet inside, it would be slow to dry and the bottom would be susceptible to wear when the pack was on the ground.

The 4-way stretch would seem to be the least amount of work. I could just sew a flat piece on like Granite Gear does on their packs. No pleats, billowing, etc. However, I'm guessing the elasticity would fade with time and it may be tricky to sew (might stretch??). I'm also guessing it would be the heaviest material of the three.

I'm favoring the lightest option but if one is that much better for other reasons, I'd be open to using it at the expense of a few extra grams.

Which material for these pockets do you prefer and why?

Edited by rustyb on 01/14/2010 18:32:00 MST.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Mesh, sil-nylon or 4-way stretch for side pockets on backpack? on 01/14/2010 10:32:40 MST Print View

if it were me i'd go sil for the bottle pockets and stretch for the big stow pocket (if using the standard 3 pocket configuration). Balances the weight, protects the mesh from snags and allows easy in out of bottles on the trail. The stretch pocket keeps the lines clean when nothing or little is in it, also helps control little things from coming out of pocket.

You can use a stretch mesh or a 4way lycra. Both should let stuff dry pretty good.

-Tim

En Deizeler
(gimpslayer) - F
strecth mesh on 01/14/2010 14:50:06 MST Print View

stretch mesh imo,

it won't snag too bad, YMMV, but i've used a bag made from nothing but for a while now.

plus, it's the best for the purpose of drying stuff.

you will get deformation eventually with the 4-way

Chris Collins
(hobbitling) - F
re: Mesh, sil-nylon or 4-way stretch for side pockets on backpack on 01/14/2010 15:22:29 MST Print View

how about a combination. the leading edge of the side pockets can be something snag free, like a light weight cordura or silnylon. but the rear half could be mesh. That way, when you're walking forward through the brush, the leading edge will not snag, but the trailing edge will be breathable.

also, if you have a particular water bottle in mind, tailor it for that size. the tighter it is stretched, the less it will snag.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Mesh, sil-nylon or 4-way stretch for side pockets on backpack? on 01/14/2010 16:48:38 MST Print View

rusty,
Another option is to use uncoated nylon for your pockets and put narrow elastic in the top seam. 1.1 oz ripstop is much lighter than spandex, and the only mesh that is lighter is Thruhiker's nanoseeum net which in my experience gets religious (holy) too soon. Wash out any water resistant coating and any spilled liquids will drain right through the ripstop. I use that on my 6 ounce UL packs.

On my heavy-duty thruhiking pack, I made my pockets with 1/4 inch mesh bottoms and used silnylon for the bodies of the pockets. The bottoms are less likely to snag but ensure quick drainage when the water or fuel leaks.

Christopher Mills
(Hiker816) - MLife

Locale: Denver
Re: Mesh, sil-nylon or 4-way stretch for side pockets on backpack? on 01/14/2010 17:43:46 MST Print View

What kind of stretch mesh is everyone using for this sort of thing, and where are you getting it?

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Thanks for all the great ideas, everyone! on 01/14/2010 18:30:55 MST Print View

While driving, I noticed the local fabric store was having a 50% off sale so stopped and found a 4-way stretch mesh material called "speaker cloth". It felt very similar to what Granite Gear uses on the "helmet flap" on their Wisp pack. This "speaker cloth" was 84% nylon and 16% spandex....and looked (felt) to be many times more durable than the spandex that's used in bike shorts and such.

Anyone have experience with this type of material?

I like all the ideas everyone has presented. Keep'em coming. Thanks!

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Concern with 4-way mesh. on 01/14/2010 18:36:55 MST Print View

"you will get deformation eventually with the 4-way"

En...or whomever else would like to opine,

This is my main concern with using any type of stretchy material. For side pockets though, maybe it's not such an issue. What's the worst that can happen: I end up with a slightly saggy pocket with a stretched out opening?

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: "Mesh, sil-nylon or 4-way stretch for side pockets on backpack?" on 01/14/2010 21:12:26 MST Print View

Rusty,

I used urethane coated nylon for the bottom pleated section of the pockets. Silnylon will work just fine. I was using what I had laying around for my pack project.

A polyester shirt, from my repair/doesn't fit right pile, was used for the top of the pockets.

Top and bottom were joined using a felled seam. Top was elasticized through the original bottom hem of the polyester shirt material.

The polyester does have some 4 way stretch to it but the nylon bottom reinforces its lower edge. The elastic keeps the upper edge gathered and snugs the pocket up against the water bottle. Unless I am removing the water bottle there is minimal upward stretch if any.

SUL pack pocket detail

If you use this method be aware that the polyester tends to gain in length as you sew the first stitch line of the felled seam. I trimmed it from the edge of the nylon to the corner of the polyester. I simply removed the excess "triangle" of material and kept all my original dimensions the same.

SUL pack pocket detail 3/4 view

Good luck with your project.

Party On ! 2010

Newton

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Thanks, John. on 01/15/2010 20:37:26 MST Print View

Great resourcefulness. I appreciate you taking the time to post the photos.

rusty

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Re: "Mesh, sil-nylon or 4-way stretch for side pockets on backpack?" on 01/25/2010 05:48:51 MST Print View

John, I really like that pack. The double pockets look great.

Rusty, I made a few packs with 4 way stretch pockets. Only complaint was that they dried very slowly and slowed the drying of the contents of the pockets.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
4-way stretch? on 01/25/2010 09:17:17 MST Print View

Hi David,

Thanks for the input. Have you noticed your 4-way losing some of its stretch? How much were your packs and pockets used?

rusty

Edited by rustyb on 01/25/2010 09:18:55 MST.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Re: Re: "Mesh, sil-nylon or 4-way stretch for side pockets on backpack?" on 01/26/2010 08:09:29 MST Print View

David,

Thanks for the kind words regarding my pack.

>Rusty, I made a few packs with 4 way stretch pockets. Only complaint was that they dried very slowly and slowed the drying of the contents of the pockets.

I had the same concern regarding the pockets. I use a pack liner and no pack cover. The pack itself is 95% PU coated ripstop nylon. I have some plastic snap in grommets that I got from Quest Outfitters. I plan on popping them into a relatively unstressed area of the pockets near the bottom to aid in "drainage". It probably won't solve the problem completely but I'd only be concerned about it if it is raining.

Thanks again,

Party On ! 2010

Newton