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Chris Peichel
(momo)

Locale: Eureka
shoulder strap questions on 11/18/2010 21:51:19 MST Print View

I am getting ready to make another pack, two actually, one for my sister and a smaller one for myself.

The question I have is has anyone used neoprene for the padding in the shoulder straps.

I was thinking of using 3mm (1/8"), and sandwiching it between two layers of fabric.

I used the 3d mesh on my last pack and am looking to do something different. I originally had foam pads in the shoulder straps and took them out and like it much better with just the 3d mesh and a layer of fabric.

However I don't like the way the 3d mesh holds moisture and grabs sticks and pokey things.

The reason I am considering going to neoprene for padding is that it is super durable and can be sewn through without worry of tearing where it was sewn.

I know that neoprene is heavy compared to foam, but I will be using very little of it just where needed.

Plans are to make something similar to the golite ion. (Thanks Ken for showing me your modified Ion, now I HAVE to make one)

Any thoughts?

Edited by momo on 11/19/2010 18:36:39 MST.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
neoprene shoulder straps on 11/18/2010 22:15:16 MST Print View

On the one hand, neoprene is fairly resistant to longterm compression, and should thus make a long lived strap. On the other hand, it soaks up quite a bit of water, and dries pretty slow. Most commercially available closed cell foams (say, a generic sleeping pad), pack out far too fast.

One material I've found quite good in this regard is yoga mat. It is heavy, but dense, and resists packing out quite well. In my tests it absorbs the same percentage of its weight in water as closed cell foams, and dries at a comparable rate.

Henk Smees
(theflyingdutchman) - MLife

Locale: Spanish Mountains
3D mesh + evazote on 11/19/2010 11:41:48 MST Print View

Hi Chris - I’m in the middle of the process of making a new pack and will be starting - this weekend - with the hip belt and shoulder straps, so this post is really timely. I’m sorry I’m not able to say anything about neoprene, except that it’s pretty strong and, IMO, too heavy, but...... what’s wrong with 3D mesh? I was thinking of using a 1/4” Evazote strip (just over 2” wide for the hip belt) inside a 1/8” 3D mesh wrapped around and stitched. The ends of the 3D mesh would meet in the middle on the outside because that would be covered with the webbing (2” for the hip belt). For the shoulder straps I was planning to use 1” webbing and the same double 3D mesh a bit wider (no Evazote inside). I thought that was a good and viable solution and pretty light weight as well, but now I’m puzzled. What am I to do? Please help – Anyone.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: 3D mesh + evazote on 11/19/2010 11:56:21 MST Print View

How much paddin you need depends on what weight you plan to carry and the width of the straps. I prefer waterproof microcell polyethelene - lightweight sleeping mat material. It starts off light and does not absorb moisture.

It is easy to get too complicated about straps. Keep it simple. A small-hole mesh can be OK on the inside. It helps keep the strap in place at the cost of more friction (abrasion). It really does not vent much better and can work around to the front if not stabilized. Too complicated.

I would avoid neopreme, ensolite and other such last-generation materials. They start off heavy, absorb water, sweat, and bodily effluvia and start stinking really really bad. Think football pads in high summer in Texas. Or a world traveler (homeless bum) a month without a bath. Really.

Henk Smees
(theflyingdutchman) - MLife

Locale: Spanish Mountains
Padding needed depending on weight on 11/19/2010 12:18:46 MST Print View

Thanks Vick
> How much padding you need depends on what weight you plan to carry.
Base weight, three-season use: between 8 and 10 pounds, in winter up to 12 or 14. Add food for self supported treks (max. 10 days - approx. 22 lbs) and water (3 Ltrs max – approx. 6,5 lbs); makes a total of about 40 lbs. Summer weekends trips can be as light as 12 lbs (base-weight + consumables).
Agree with keeping it as simple as possible. That's why I didn't want to use the Evazote inside the shoulder straps. Hip belt, with these weights, is a different kettle of fish. Would Evazote hold up to the task?

Chris Peichel
(momo)

Locale: Eureka
shoulder strap questions on 11/19/2010 18:35:00 MST Print View

Thanks for the replies

I personally want to avoid the 3d mesh for my new pack, trying to avoid sweat/ water absorption and sticks etc. sticking to it.

This new pack will be for total carried weights under 14lbs probably 12lbs max. I am not putting a hip belt on this pack.

My padding requirements are minimal. Looking for between 3mm and 5mm padding sandwiched between layers of waterproof pack fabric (x-pac).

The yoga mat idea sounds good and well as the microcell polyethelene foam.

Where can I find microcell polyethelene foam and can I get it in 1/8 to max 1/4" (prefer a little under 1/4")?

Is there a particular type of yoga mat to look for? Have you been able to sew through the yoga mat?

will sawyer
(wjsawyer) - F

Locale: Connecticut
yoga mat absorption on 11/20/2010 13:06:38 MST Print View

I re-soled a pair of crocs a few years ago with some yoga mat that I found laying around. Maybe a different type than what David uses, but it absorbed water like crazy. It was durable, but whenever it rained i felt like I was walking around on a pair of sponges. So I'd be careful to make sure you have a nonabsorbent yoga mat.

Chris Peichel
(momo)

Locale: Eureka
evazote for shoulder strap pads? on 11/20/2010 19:52:43 MST Print View

Anyone try gossamer gears evazote foam for shoulder strap pads?

I am looking at the 3/16" thinlight

I looked at some yogamats, they seem to vary quite a bit in materials.

Where is a good place to order the minicell foam if you think that is a better option. I would rather support gossamer gear if the thinlight will work.

Thanks

Jim Colten
(jcolten)

Locale: MN
Re: evazote for shoulder strap pads? on 11/20/2010 22:58:55 MST Print View

Where is a good place to order the minicell foam

Quest Outfitters carries it in 3/8 inch thickness

ziff house
(mrultralite) - F
shoulder strap questions on 11/21/2010 20:44:29 MST Print View

I'm going to use cuben with a polyethylene foam fill.

Henk Smees
(theflyingdutchman) - MLife

Locale: Spanish Mountains
Cuben outside - polyethylene foam fill on 11/22/2010 02:29:40 MST Print View

> I'm going to use Cuben with a polyethylene foam fill.

Not worried about Cuben being too sweaty?? I understand one part of Chris’ reasoning behind not using 3D mesh (“trying to avoid sweat/ water absorption and sticks etc. sticking to it”): I mean the things sticking to it – but I thought the “beauty” of it was exactly the fact that it is capable to absorb moisture so that it doesn’t hold all the sweat against my skin (as Cuben or any other waterproof fabric would do).

ziff house
(mrultralite) - F
shoulder strap questions on 11/22/2010 10:06:37 MST Print View

Henk , good point as this was a concern of the OP, but i just looked at the OR pack i've been using, it has the same waterproof material on the strap as the body of the pack. So i guess its not an issue for me, always hike with a shirt. Maybe the diff is its colder in Canada.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: shoulder strap questions on 11/22/2010 10:27:27 MST Print View

Source for thin (1/4 to 3/16") microcell poly: automobile upholstery shops (scraps, usually free) or upholstery suppliers (larger pieces costing money).

Evazote tends to bunch up in shoulder straps and must be stabilized. Microcell poly stays flat and needs little if any stabilization. Microcell adapts well to contoured straps.

Henk Smees
(theflyingdutchman) - MLife

Locale: Spanish Mountains
Evazote + 3D mesh + plastic strip on 11/22/2010 13:37:26 MST Print View

@ ziff
> "always hike with a shirt." – So do I.
> "Maybe the difference is it’s colder in Canada." – I live in warm and sunny Spain (south) and here it certainly is an issue.

I had some Evazote and 3D mesh at home, so this weekend I thought to give it a try. I started cutting a 6 x 80 cm (≈2 1/3 x 31 1/2 inch) Evazote strip and a strip of rigid plastic (same length, little bit narrower). After that, I cut a 12,5 x 85 cm (≈5 x 33 1/2 inch) 3D mesh strip, wrapped it around the other two strips held together and sewed the edges in the middle as in this pic.
TFD pack 2.0 - padding belt 1

Next pic shows how the Evazote + plastic tapers towards the end, where it’s 4 cm wide (≈1 1/2”), which is the width of the webbing I’ll be using. The seam will be on the outside so the webbing will cover this.
TFD pack 2.0 - padding belt 2

The 3D mesh is a little bit longer than the Evazote+plastic, because I wanted the thickness to become less towards the end of the cushioning. The end result is a 13 mm (≈1/2”) thick cushioning strip that’s about 33” long (this is long enough to wrap around my back and reach as far as a little past the anterior superior iliac spine on both sides – beyond that no padding is needed).

I wasn’t sure about adding the plastic strip (which ads about 1 oz. to the total weight of the cushioning), but I wanted to make sure that my external frame (that will rest on the back-side of the belt) will be able to transfer the load of my shoulders to my hips and I thought that the rigidness of the plastic strip would makes this into a desirable feature.

I haven’t got a picture of the end result of the cushioning part of my belt (yet), but it worked out quite nicely. If anyone is interested, I can make one and post it tomorrow. Ahh...... The total weight is 91 grams (3.2 oz.), which isn’t SUL (y know) but I think I can live with this :); as long as it will be comfortable. Think of a “normal” total weight (base weight + consumables for 10 to 12 days max. - three season) of approx. 35 lbs (when starting) and up to 40 lbs in winter (maybe even more).

@vick
> "Evazote tends to bunch up in shoulder straps and must be stabilized."
Once I’ve added the bells & whistles I need/want (fixed camera case, bottle-holders, etc. – made of Cuben) to the webbing strap, I plan to sew this to the cushioning length-wise with two seams right on both edges. This should be enough to stabilize the Evazote, don’t you think so? BTW: I have an industrial sewing machine that should have no problem with the total thickness or the rigidness of the plastic.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 11/22/2010 14:39:15 MST Print View

Don't you have to sew through the 3D/plastic/foam so the plastic/foam doesn't rotate within the 3D?

I like the pics of the 3D, curved needle (I have to get one of those), and those clips that hold the 3D together.

Henk Smees
(theflyingdutchman) - MLife

Locale: Spanish Mountains
Rotating on 11/22/2010 15:25:42 MST Print View

Hi Jerry, thanks for your comment.

> “Don't you have to sew through the 3D/plastic/foam so the plastic/foam doesn't rotate within the 3D?”

Not for now, but I will when I’ll sew the padding to the webbing strap as explained in my answer to Vick, so that will avoid the rotating. Problem is that I can’t start sewing until the rest of my pack is ready. Still need to make my camera case, bottle holders, the “sleeves” at the back of the belt (in which the alu tubes that I’ll use as external frame will be “fixed”) and -most important- three 20 Ltr. Cuben Fiber waterproof stuff sacks (“up-graded” dry bags).

Only just (this weekend) started with this new project, although this will be an improved (= lighter) version of the TFD pack 1.0 I made over 2 years ago. Next step will be the cushioning of the shoulder straps. BTW: Won’t be using foam or plastic for these; just 1” webbing and double 3D mesh (a little bit wider). Pretend to have the entire load on the hips, so not much padding is required for the shoulder straps.

Just in case you wouldn’t have figured out, the clips are ordinary bandage fasteners (can find these at any pharmacy).

Chris Peichel
(momo)

Locale: Eureka
shoulder strap questions on 11/22/2010 18:24:59 MST Print View

Thanks Vick, have you tried to sew through 1/4" or 3/16" microcell poly?

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
strap foam on 11/22/2010 20:19:33 MST Print View

Thinlight will pack out ridiculously fast.

The yoga mat I used I bought at walmart. It's pink, which is vital.

Chris Peichel
(momo)

Locale: Eureka
yoga mat on 11/22/2010 22:22:16 MST Print View

David, thanks
I think I will give another look at yoga mats, I am tired of ordering materials without being able to see and touch them.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: shoulder strap questions on 11/23/2010 14:01:15 MST Print View

Sewing through 1/4 or 3/16 microcell poly: Hard to do unless you have an industrial machine or one with a long shank. It will lift the presser foot of a normal machine to its max and may not feed at all. If you get lucky you can do it. Usually I thin the foam where I plan to put stitch lines.