I've walked to the grocery with mine a couple times (1 mile away or so) to see what I really made - a useful pack or a conversation piece. Maybe the former. Regardless the wife is impressed because when she says, "Darn, I need some ____ for dinner tonight." I volenteer to walk up and get it for her.
There's a couple of issues I'm finding with mine as well. First, the shoulder straps are not compatible with the buckles. The buckles hold ok just standing still, but when I walk with it, they slowly creep looser and looser. I'm going to try and texture the plastic or something to give it more grip.
I also wish I had lowered the strap attachment to maybe three inches (as opposed to two) from the top. If I place the belt on my hips where it feels right, the straps take off sorta high off my shoulders and I have to really cinch them down to get my shoulders to stablize the weight. When I was testing the pack size with the straps pinned in place, I thought the horizontal spacing was real good, but I wondered about the waist belt which I had not installed yet. If (when?) I build another one, I will reduce the space between belt and shoulder straps by an inch. I'm nearly 6', so I thought I'd be fine with the stock dimensions, but I guess not. You might suggest that the new instructions measure the distance from two handy bones and adjust the spacing to suit. Also, if you attach them too low, you can add some bar tacks and a cover and they now attach higher. If too high, well, it's not so easy to alter after the fact.
I did use the modified order of the instuctions in section 7. Made a lot of sense to do it that way.
I also became a big fan of basting when I started attaching the irregular shaped parts.
Oh, one more thing I wish the instructions would have said explicitly is when sewing the mesh, measure and mark where both ends should end up and be careful not to stretch the mesh. My pockets were not even, but luckily I could match a tall side with the tall part of the front and it appears things came out exactly right. But they are really off by 1/2 inch or so.
And I had to trip the top edges of three of the four sides to make a straight edge to attache to collar to. Maybe 3/4 inch at the worst place.
As a test, I filled my pack with two 30 degree down bags, a flannel blanket, a camp pillow, my hammock and tarp, and nearly all the items that make up my base as I came up to 15.5 pounds. I didn't have some of the clothes I'd carry, but I did have two sleeping bags and the blanket. So I should be somewhere around 15 pounds base when I go for real.
I didn't like things in stuff sacks inside the pack. The sacks made the objects assume sometimes incomatible shapes. So the hammock and tarp I just stuffed into the pack.
It will be a learning process to put food and water in the pack as those things won't be so nice and flexible. I don't like hard things next to the fabric with it being as thin as it is.
But it's a great start to going light, and makes one not want to put too much into it. I am looking for a nice rain when I can put my poncho on and take a walk to see how that works with the pack. (Poncho is made from the same silnylon.) At the moment we have daily rain, but it has lightning with it, so I prefer not to go strolling around in it.
Thanks again for the help.