G4 pack questions
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Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
G4 pack questions on 07/28/2006 22:34:15 MDT Print View

I'm putting together the G4 pack from the pattern I got from Quest Outfitters.

The instructions are vague in some areas, so I'm going to ask some questions before I paint myself into a corner.

I'm assuming that the hydration tube loops and the thumb loops in the shoulder straps will be on the upper, exposed part of the strap. Is that a fair assumption?

The pattern calls this side the "lining" which confuses me since I equate "lining" to something that is hidden.

I guess you don't need to have experience with the G4 pack itself to answer this question. I'm assuming that the hydration tubes, most of all, are not going to be running between the body and the strap, but I just want to make sure before I get too far.

Dwight

Marius Bunes
(marius) - F - M
G4 pack questions on 07/29/2006 02:26:04 MDT Print View

I've made a prototype g4 from scrap materials. I also wondered about the strap assembly instructions for a while.

"On right side of fabric, stitch thumb loops (6" grosgrain ribbon) and drinking tube loops (4" grosgrain ribbon) in lining of left and right straps where indicated on pattern and shown in Figure 2."

The lining is the strap piece that faces your shoulder. It does not really matter wether you stitch them on the lining or the outside. The important thing is to stitch them on the "right" fabric side, so that when you stitch the right sides together and turn them inside out, the loops will protrude from the seam. If you do not stich them to the outside, a little bit too far inside the seam allowance, the stitches will show on the outer strap face. Perhaps that's the reason to stich it to the lining.

I also forgot to read the part where it says that unless stated otherwise, seam allowance is 1/2". That should go nicely with the 1/2" slits for the velcro in the straps...

I chose to omit the thumb loops and drinking tube loops.

Good luck!

Edited by marius on 07/29/2006 02:38:42 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: G4 pack questions on 07/29/2006 06:56:36 MDT Print View

Marius has it right regarding the loops.

I did not buy Quest's instructions ... used the ones at gossamergear.com.

If they are the same, you might consider switching the order of steps 5.1 and 5.2 (gossamer's numbering). The way they have it, the lower lashing loop ends up inside the mesh pocket

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
G4 loops on 07/29/2006 07:23:46 MDT Print View

So, with the hydration tube loops next to the body, won't that be uncomfortable, and possibly impede fluid flow in the tubes?

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Another possible error in the instructions on 07/29/2006 11:50:16 MDT Print View

One error, or seems to be, is the Velcro’ed openings in the shoulder straps.

The instructions say to sew the Velcro on the wrong side of the fabric. When this is done, the only way the Velcro can meet each other is if the tabs are extended outside of the strap, making something that sticks out and possibly abrades. Seems like the Velcro should have been sewn to the right side of the fabric, and never cut the slits to make a flap. This way, the Velcro is always tucked on the inside, and the fabric is stronger due to no tear points at the slits.

Any feedback on that?

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Loop placement on 07/29/2006 18:32:14 MDT Print View

Ok, I think something is dawning on me. Or maybe not.

I've stitched the loops to the face of the strap. From what was posted before, it sounds like I might have needed to insert the loop ends into the seam, so that they protrude to the side of the strap.

Is that right? Kinda hard to tell what to do with no photos.

Dwight

Marius Bunes
(marius) - F - M
G4 pack questions on 07/30/2006 13:15:11 MDT Print View

The drinking tube loops are supposed to protrude on the outer strap edge, and therefore it will not put the tube under any pressure.
Regarding velcro tabs: the velcro is really stitched to the right face - the tab is just folded over to the wrong side. This is getting more and more like a John Cleese "Clockwise" movie. The right side, but on the wrong side, right? It would be difficult to sew the velcro on the way you describe. Remember, first the straps is stitched together right face inwards. On this stage, the velcro is already stitched on around the edges. After inverting the strap so right side faces out, a top stitch is done - this reinforces the slits on the velcro tabs.

The two free ends of the grosgrain loop protrudes away from the center of the strap = the loop side points into the center. It is stitched to the right face. This way, when turning the straps inside out, the loops should point nicely to the side of the strap.

Regarding Colten's post about lashing loops: I erred and sewed my lashing loops on the outside of the mesh pockets . This way I can't get to the contents without loosening the lashing cord. In a new version, my lashing loops goes inside the pockets. I use the side pockets for water bottle on one side, and raingear on the other.
This is also a problem on another backpack I own - Bergans Helium.

Edited by marius on 07/30/2006 13:25:56 MDT.

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Velcro on 07/30/2006 19:44:51 MDT Print View

Regarding sewing the velcro on, I first sewed it on the right side of both the lining and strap side.

Then I put the two halves together, sewed them together (except at the velcro opening), turned them inside out, and the velcro sides were correctly positioned.

I did not need flaps. Just needed different sequencing I guess.

By the way, I appreciate the feedback I'm getting from you folks. Hopefully I'm not pestering too much. I'm just on the beginning end of conceptualizing how these things go together, and need some guidance.

Dwight

Marius Bunes
(marius) - F - M
g4 on 07/30/2006 23:01:00 MDT Print View

Happy to help!

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
G4 Pack - instructions on pattern vs instructions in document on 08/19/2006 21:59:18 MDT Print View

Ok, made it past the straps and waist belt. Now I'm looking at the pattern, and it has lines on the pattern to position the shoulder straps. These do not correspond to the positions in the written instructions. The written instructions show them farther apart and further down the back of the pack.

Which is right?

Dwight

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Next Question on 08/22/2006 20:14:53 MDT Print View

Ok, I went with the instructions rather than the pattern on the shoulder strap placement.

Now, the mesh on the back -- should it be tacked down into the seam allowance before doing other stuff?

Carey Parks
(cjp129@earthlink.net) - F
Shoulder placement on 08/26/2006 12:11:42 MDT Print View

Hi Dwight, I'm about to cut out the parts and start sewing my G4. I'm following the pdf instructions on the Gossamer Gear site. Tell me about the difference between the pattern position vs. the instructions you mention.

The pdf instructions indicate the bottom corner of the straps should be five inches from the top of the back panel, and 3-3/8 inches in from the center of the back panel. The angle appears to be determines by specifying the top at 1-1/4 inched from the center at two inches down from the top. Is this where you ended up sewing the straps or did you place them somewhere else?

Thanks,

Carey

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Shoulder placement on 08/26/2006 21:52:30 MDT Print View

I ended up just following the instructions. Here's what I've put together so far regarding notes for corrections to the instructions. Someone a little more experienced at doing outdoor gear might not need it so lined out as I've done, but this is what I've been running into.

Maybe more info than you wanted.

Don't cut the tabs for the velcro. This is unnecessary. Don't sew the velcro to the WRONG side. They go on the RIGHT side. The instructions are wrong.


G4 Pack Addenda to Instructions:

SHOULDER STRAPS

HOOK AND LOOP
The instructions call for taking 3/4" H&L (hook-and-loop) and cutting it down the center to create a 3/8" wide pair. Cutting the 3/4" in half will cause it to unravel. I had this happen as I was trying to sew the cut edge. Also, having to sew within the hook area of the hook strip (which is unavoidable is you cut the strip down the middle) may be problematic for your sewing machine. I experienced cutting of the thread, bird nests, etc, while trying to sew the hook strips, and this problem was verified by experienced sewers on a usenet group. It is better to sew within the 1/8" border at the edges of the proper width strips. Sewing feet are available that will help facilitate this. Consider getting a contrasting color between the fabric and the H&L. Trying to sew black H&L on black material is not that easy when you're shooting for a 1/8" margin.

Supposedly there's some 3/8" sew-on H&L out there, but I could only find a reference for it on a UK website. Other references were for adhesive backed products.

You can buy 1/2" H&L strips for waist belt and shoulder straps from some place like www.owfinc.com or www.questoutfitters.com.

5/8" is readily available in retail sewing stores. I used this on a test shoulder strap and I don't see a problem right now, except it sticks out slightly. Another option would be to adapt the pattern to increase the seam allowance to 5/8" for the shoulder straps and waist belts, or at least at the place where the H&L goes.

If you do decide to use the 3/4" cut into 3/8" strips, here's two different tips I got on doing this:

1) seal the cut edge of the H&L over a flame.

2) Make small tack stitches to hold the H&L in place. Turn the fabric/H&L over to where the fabric is on top and sew from the back, using a zig zag stitch.


LAYOUT OF GROSGRAIN LOOPS AND H&L (HOOK-AND-LOOP)
Despite what the instructions say about cutting a slotted tab on the edge of the shoulder strap, this is not necessary. Also, the instructions are wrong where they tell you to sew the H&L on the WRONG side of the fabric. It should go on the RIGHT side.

[PHOTO OF PLACEMENT OF H&L AND GROSGRAIN LOOPS]

The instructions for laying out the grosgrain loops are almost non-existent. Diagrams would have helped. The pattern gives you a position for them, but little instruction on how to place them. For someone new to this endeavor, a little help was needed, which I got on the BackPackingLight.com site. But I only sought out help after I got a bit "creative" placing them myself.

Walking Foot
If you're going to be sewing slick fabric, get a walking foot. This photo shows the difference of sewing a shoulder strap with a walking foot, and without.

[PHOTO OF STRAIGHT AND CURVY SHOULDER STRAPS]
[PHOTO OF WALKING FOOT]


Webbing for Shoulder straps
Watch it here, because the square piece of fabric needs to be folded TWICE, to make a smaller triangle. In the instructions, there are two diagrams showing to fold it twice, but it does not say the same in the written instructions. At first I only folded it once, and sewed it at an angle on the webbing. See photos.

[PHOTO OF FOLDED REINFORCEMENT]

DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN THE INSTRUCTIONS AND THE PATTERN
The instructions give positioning for the shoulder straps which differs from the lines sketched out on the pattern. The pattern shows them closer together, with corners touching, and higher up on the pack than the instructions.

[PHOTO OF PATTERN LAYOUT]

I called Quest Outfitters to get their feedback on this. They could not contact the person who developed the pattern or instructions, so they contacted someone who has made several G4 packs. The following is an excerpt from the email I got from Kay at Quest:

"...I just got a hold of someone who has made many of the G4's and she said the straps can be done one of two ways. If the person using the pack is on the smaller side the points of the straps should be touching each other (she is 5'2", 120 pounds and that is the way she does hers). If it is for a larger guy they should be separated like the instrucions say. She said there is no set in stone science to it."


Figure 12
4.4.2 Lashing loops go on top of mesh, not under.

Might be good to stipulate that when you trim the excess from the strap gusset, DO NOT cut the webbing. Even though the photo shows that, its a little confusing and I cut the webbing the first time through.

5.1 DO NOT sew all the lashing loops to the ripstop. Some of them should go over the mesh.

5.2 Specify that the wrong side of the mesh goes against the right side of the ripstop.

5.3 Might want to explain what you mean by double-stitch. I cannot find a definition for this anywhere on the web, except for crocheting. I just did two parallel lines of stitching.

Step 6.1 Specify that the wrong side of the mesh goes against the right side of the rip-stop.

The 1/2" opening at the bottom of the mesh sides, might want to explain what that's for.

If its for feeding out a hydration tube, 1/2 opening at the bottom of the mesh is probably not going to be enough to get a hydration tube through when the seam allowance is 1/2". Maybe an inch.

If its just to facilitate sewing it down to the ripstop at the corners, might want to say that.

Edited by zydeholic on 08/27/2006 09:51:29 MDT.

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
message deleted on 08/26/2006 21:55:08 MDT Print View

disregard this.

Edited by zydeholic on 08/27/2006 09:53:03 MDT.

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Photos on 08/26/2006 22:21:54 MDT Print View

Here's a photo of what happens when you cut the tab in the shoulder straps, then sew the velcro to the WRONG side:Error regarding tab and velcro

Here is how I sewed things. I put the velcro and the loops on the RIGHT side of the fabric:My strap assembly

Here's how it looks before being turned right side out:assembled strap

Here's how a walking foot can make sewing easier when doing slippery fabric. The top strap was sewn without a walking foot, the bottom with:a tale of two straps

Hope this helps, or if someone else has some better ideas, please chime in.

Dwight

Edited by zydeholic on 08/27/2006 09:50:09 MDT.

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
message deleted on 08/26/2006 22:24:15 MDT Print View

disregard this.

Edited by zydeholic on 08/27/2006 09:53:55 MDT.

Carey Parks
(cjp129@earthlink.net) - F
Pattern vs instructions on 08/27/2006 07:27:01 MDT Print View

Hi Dwight,

Holy smokes, what a good job explaining that. Thanks. There's no such thing as too much information in this case.

It sounds like the instructions you got from Quest differ from the pdf file on Gossamer Gear's Make Your Gear page, which is what I am using. On this page there are no full size patterns, but creative use of the computer allows me to print a full scale shoulder strap pattern at least. I hope the pdf drawing is accurate.

The other parts I just drew on paper and cut my own patterns.

There are no instructions for the shoulder strap attach points, it just says follow the diagram. Which I think shows spacing like your instructions where they are not touching. It would be better if they said to put the straps over your shoulders and measure the gap on your back eh?

I think the hook and loop instruction errors are the same in both places. Inside, outside, wrong side, right side. I don't know what they are saying in the end, but it doesn't sound right to me. A photo (like yours) of the end result clears it all up. "Make this next." is about all I need if there's a good photo or diagram.

There are enough people making G4's still, that you would be doing the community a great service if you were to create an appendix of Dwights approach and post it somewhere it could be referenced for posterity. You could even contact Gossamer Gear and ask Glen if he would like you to make a revision for him. The pdf instructions are from 2002.

Good job - thanks a lot. I'll be back with Q's I'm sure. I just cut the nylon oxford last night.

Cheers,

Carey

Edited by cjp129@earthlink.net on 08/27/2006 07:28:36 MDT.

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Instructions, etc. on 08/27/2006 07:48:02 MDT Print View

The instructions I have are the same as from the Gossamer site. Pretty sure anyway. Same diagrams, etc. I just got the pattern in addition from Quest.

The shoulder strap was the only piece that I could not replicate well from just the instructions. They left out a couple of key dimensions that would let you do a good job. Luckily you can print it out rather than relying on translating.

The reason I have all these instructions is that I'm wanting to do an Owners Review for BackPackGearTest.org. So, they would be up on the web for people to see.

In the meantime, Quest if redoing the instructions and pattern to try to clear up a lot of the inconsistencies. They said my questions sort of prompted them to do this. Though, actually, I only asked them one or two questions.

I'm not dissatisfied with their product though. Its been somewhat fun trying to conceptualize this whole thing in my mind as I build it. But I just figured I could help save someone else some headache.

Carey Parks
(cjp129@earthlink.net) - F
instructions on 08/27/2006 09:30:18 MDT Print View

I've written my share of user manuals and other instructions. What appeared completely clear to someone who knows what to do often is not to someone without that perspective. I think the instructions are pretty good too, just some points that need cleared up. Best way to do that is have someone who's never made one or studied the instructions before make one, and see what questions they have.

Good job all.

Carey

Edited by cjp129@earthlink.net on 08/27/2006 09:30:53 MDT.

Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Hit another rough patch on 08/29/2006 21:32:49 MDT Print View

Ok, I'm currently working on sewing the sides to the back. As I come around to the front, I'm finding that I cannot make the fabric seams meet at the "angled" areas. In fact, I'm short by about 2". The seam at the bottom of the mesh pockets is supposed to meet all the way around. Mine is stopping short. Same way on both sides it seems.

Anyone run into this before, and know what to do? This is a major faux pas compared to the other problems I've had.