Forum Index » Make Your Own Gear » Building a pack using an existing frame?


Display Avatars Sort By:
Aaron Reichow
(areichow)

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Building a pack using an existing frame? on 08/01/2010 21:06:37 MDT Print View

I've long been intrigued by the idea of building a pack on top of an existing internal frame. It could be something UL, or simply a pack exactly like you want it.

Since most of the lightweight/standard packs I've had were made by Granite Gear I've mostly thought about doing so with a Granite Gear Nimbus or Stratus frame. No separate stays and framesheet- just a molded carbon fiber with attachments points for the hipbelt and shoulder harness. To build a pack around this frame you basically build a sack with a sleeve with the correct dimensions to hold the frame- you could build something airy and ventilated with only a small amount of 3D foam padding; or you could retrofit a heavy canvas portage pack to make some sort of 10 lb beast.

The weights of the Nimbus packs (40-64 oz) are higher than a lot of folks here use, but I still wonder what could be done with the GG framesheet, a simpler hipbelt, and a lighter shoulder harness.

For those who aren't familiar, here's a photo of a Granite Gear's Tepex frame:

http://www.amphilon.com/upload/ftp/gg/frame.jpg



I'm going to remove the frame from my Nimbus Meridian tomorrow and get weights on the frame, hipbelt, and shoulder harness. I'm a sucker for minimalistic utility and modular systems, so I'll have to give it a try at some point! :)

Just wondering if anyone has done this and what their results were!

Edited by areichow on 08/01/2010 22:03:30 MDT.

Aaron Reichow
(areichow)

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Weight on 08/05/2010 22:01:31 MDT Print View

So- I weighed the carbon fiber frame and shoulder straps on our postal scale at work. The breakdown:

Topoflex frame: 7.2 oz
Shoulder Strap (Medium Trim): 8.8 oz

Seems like you could use them for building a pack capable of pretty heavy loads. I seem to recall seeing them on sale at the Granite Gear outlet store for $40, which wouldn't be bad as a starting point... Anyway, just a thought!

Aaron

Robert Logue
(robertlog) - F
Building a pack using an existing frame? on 08/07/2010 23:27:54 MDT Print View

I did something similar with a GG Nimbus Latitude that I picked up cheap on EBay. In my case, I kept the original frame, waistbelt, and shoulder straps and just replaced the packbag and am very satisfied with the results.

Original weights:
Frame, waistbelt, shoulder straps: 25.7 oz.
Packbag: 30.9 oz.
Total 56.6 oz.

I don't recall the weight of my DIY packbag, but it's about a pound lighter than the original, so IMO, I saved a substantial amount of weight while retaining comfort and weight carrying capacity.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Weight on 08/07/2010 23:40:54 MDT Print View

Why do you want a pack capable of pretty heavy loads?

Twenty years ago, I might have seen the point of this. Not now.

--B.G.--

Aaron Reichow
(areichow)

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Re: Weight on 08/08/2010 08:54:41 MDT Print View

Not everyone lives somewhere you can get by with a 10 lb pack weight. Some of us will need to carry 20-45 lbs for years to come. Fortunately, I'm fit enough that I can handle an extra 8 ounces on the weight of my pack if it means not settling for an uncomfortable pack.

It's not like I'm the only one- this thread is proof that there is significant interest in lightweight frames.

Aaron Reichow
(areichow)

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Building a pack using an existing frame? on 08/08/2010 08:56:09 MDT Print View

Robert- very cool! Any chance you could post a few photos?

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Building a pack using an existing frame? on 08/08/2010 11:42:52 MDT Print View

Aaron,
Does that weight include the hipbelt? If so, is it included in your topoflex frame weight or the shoulder strap weight?

Thanks.

Aaron Reichow
(areichow)

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Re: Re: Building a pack using an existing frame? on 08/08/2010 12:00:09 MDT Print View

Steve- Nope, it is just the frame and shoulder straps.

I left out the hipbelt because I have an XL belt. I've a Medium belt somewhere around here, thought weighing it would be more appropriate than using the XL's belt.

Looks like Robert's weight of 25.7 oz includes waistbelt, frame, and shoulder straps, suggesting that his waist belt weighs 9.7 oz if his frame and shoulder straps are the same weight as mine. Frame I measured was regular and shoulder straps were medium.

Aaron

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Re: Re: Building a pack using an existing frame? on 08/08/2010 13:03:09 MDT Print View

Thanks Aaron. I probably should have caught that on my own. That adds a bit of weight and it's a tad more than what I need, but one thing is that I have owned 3 GG packs and they are ridiculously ultra comfy.

Aaron Reichow
(areichow)

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Building a pack using an existing frame? on 08/09/2010 11:38:19 MDT Print View

Also occurred to me that replacing it might be a good way to shave some weight off a rebuild. It would be pretty easy to adapt or create another hipbelt thanks to the bolt and grommet attachment GG uses for the hipbelt.

I'm going to have a go at it myself soon and create a combination daypack and stroller carrier for use at the State Fair later this month. I've lashed the stroller onto packs before, but it isn't terribly stable. Outside the realm of this forum, but an idea I plan on pursuing.

I've had the same experience with the comfort of GG packs- a lot of packs just don't work for me, the combination of being overweight and having a long torso means that a lot of packs just don't fit right.

Edited by areichow on 08/09/2010 11:46:19 MDT.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Building a pack using an existing frame? on 08/11/2010 15:20:17 MDT Print View

For the fair......modify the stroller to have 12" rear wheels(think golf bag carrier wheels). Use the Kelty Kid pack for extra fair goodies. Open the stroller , put child in and pull to nearest entrance gate or until you get to smooth surface.(assuming you will have to travel over grassy parking lot) Tilt stroller onto larger wheels for pulling mode.

Nice project!!!!!

Aaron Reichow
(areichow)

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Building a pack using an existing frame? on 08/11/2010 15:33:06 MDT Print View

Dan- ha! I hadn't thought of that!

I had been pondering the idea of mounting wheels onto the kid carrier. I have a cheapie hand-me-down we got from a relative when we first had our kid, that served us well between the Baby Bjorn and when he got to big. I was going to do some practice on that before taking the drill to the Deuter Kid Comfort. We haven't used a stroller until now, when he's too big for the Deuter Kid Comfort, but doesn't have the endurance for walking for more than a mile or two. He's a two year old, so... :)

Other mods I have started for the Deuter- replacing the hipbelt with a Granite Gear ultralight belt, replacing the shoulder harness with a granite gear harness that will allow me more options for torso length, and a torso length extender for the existing harness. :)

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Building a pack using an existing frame? on 08/12/2010 09:18:08 MDT Print View

I recently purchased a Kelty Kid from a thrift store for $7.50 with the intentions of modifying it:-) It has frame work that swings out to provide a angled chair for the child when the pack is removed and placed on the ground.

My thought was to retain that swing out frame work. When it comes time to take a rest, swing out the frame, sit down and lean back on the extension. No need to remove the pack.

Might work, something to play around with. I get tired of making stoves. not really :-)

Aaron Reichow
(areichow)

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Kelty Kid on 08/13/2010 19:09:05 MDT Print View

Let me know how it goes! I'm going to look around for some wheels and start practicing on the junker kid carrier!