> "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.
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.
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).
> "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.