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My first DIY Backpack
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Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
My first DIY Backpack on 01/04/2011 18:22:16 MST Print View

Hello everyone, I'm a long time reader, first time poster to the forum. I have really enjoyed reading about everyone's projects, it is so cool to see what everyone can come up with and make on there own. It has inspired me to give gear making a try and this is my first pack. For the body of the pack I used Xpac and for the straps I used 330d cordura sandwiched between 4mm foam ventilated mesh all from rockywood. The packs volume is roughly 2900 cubic inches and weighs 20oz. I put pockets on the hip straps and on the sides of the pack. There is also a pocket on the inside for a foam pad to add some extra comfort.Front view of packSide view of packBack view of packShoulder StrapHip Strap Pocket
This project was really a lot of fun and I can't wait to finish up a few other pack designs I have been working on.
Thanks for looking,

Sean Staplin
(mtnrat) - MLife

Locale: Southern Cdn Rockies
WOW on 01/04/2011 18:27:48 MST Print View

WOW. Great job. Looks Pro.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: My first DIY Backpack on 01/04/2011 18:29:27 MST Print View


You could sell these! Such a professional job.


Andrew Wolff

Locale: Chattanooga
Nice Pack on 01/04/2011 19:28:57 MST Print View

Yeah, wow, that is very professinal looking. Design looks similar to a ULA CDT. You have a future in gear making.

Nick Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: SW Montana
Excellent pack on 01/04/2011 19:44:59 MST Print View

Very nice job Chris!

I just received a sewing machine and look forward to a creation such as this. The X-pac is burly stuff and I am pleased to see that the weight of your pack is so low for such rugged materials. Truly impressed.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Excellent pack on 01/04/2011 19:49:04 MST Print View

sewing machine?

you must mean "thread injector"


nice looking rig. cool color, too.

Chris Peichel

Locale: Eureka
excellent pack on 01/04/2011 20:02:06 MST Print View

You sure did an amazing job on your pack.

Can't wait to see what else you are going to make

Andrew Schriner
(lettheguydance) - F

Locale: Midwest
Nice on 01/04/2011 20:50:40 MST Print View

Great work! Very impressive.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: My first DIY Backpack on 01/05/2011 06:25:42 MST Print View

Very nice pack, looks very robust and professional.

As I am considering making a pack of similar size, I'd be very interested in a breakdown of the weight of all the individual pieces. It still surprises me that a relatively small amount of fabric can add up to 20oz (compared to a tent or tarp, which has several sq yds)

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: My first DIY Backpack on 01/05/2011 07:12:19 MST Print View


Beautiful pack!

Outstanding stitchwork and craftsmanship.

I do have a warning for you. MYOG is addictive. There is no cure.

At present the only known therapy is to sew early, sew often and post lots of pictures. ;-)

Welcome to the MYOG community.

Party On,


Nate Powell
(powell1nj) - F

Locale: North Carolina
Nice! on 01/05/2011 08:58:09 MST Print View

Beautiful pack Chris! I have a question for you about the 4mm foam/mesh you used for the straps. Is 4mm the thickness of the foam used or does that measurement pertain to the mesh? Basically just trying to figure out approximately how thick your total foam padding is with the two pieces sandwiched together. Thanks in advance and, again, really nice work.

J Thomas Peterson
(tpeterson1959) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Wow! on 01/05/2011 11:01:43 MST Print View

First time MYOG! You did a great job. Congratulations.

John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
WOW! on 01/05/2011 11:46:40 MST Print View

I'm blown away at the talent that is found in the BPL community! I wouldn't know how to turn a sewing machine on and yet you guys/gals are making equipment like this... WOW!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: WOW! on 01/05/2011 11:54:07 MST Print View

"I wouldn't know how to turn a sewing machine on"

John, change the default position of the 1/0 switch.


Jared Dilg
(Village) - MLife

Locale: Texas
Re: My first DIY Backpack on 01/05/2011 12:57:42 MST Print View

Excellent execution, Chris! I have a soft spot for lime green gear - this looks really sharp!

Rockywoods' XPAC appears to be VX07 70 denier based on their weight claims. Does the grey and lime green fabric feel like the same weight?

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: My first DIY Backpack on 01/05/2011 13:15:10 MST Print View

All I can say is Great Job!

Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
Thanks on 01/05/2011 17:08:00 MST Print View

Thanks for all the kind replies, I don't know who was more amazed at how well it turned out, me or my wife. I was so nervous at first to start cutting up the xpac, but once I started I couldn't stop, just too much fun!

Stuart - I wish I would have thought about weighing out the pieces before I put them together, it would have been neat to see how much just the fabric weighs. But when you add in buckles , bungee cord, webbing and gross grain the inside seams the weight adds up.

John - I like your idea for therapy! I am hoping to finish up my second pack tonight and will have to get some photos and post.

Nathan - The 4mm is the thickness of the foam mesh, so my straps are around 8mm thick, I did put a piece of 330d Cordura between the foam just to make it a little stronger. I would be interested to compare thru-hikers 3d mesh to the foam mesh from Rockywoods. Has anyone compared the two??? Thru-hikers is defiantly more expensive but i wonder if it is any better?

Jared - The green xpac feels lighter then the grey, The green looks like it has a 70d ripstop for the top layer, where the grey is not ripstop, and feels heavier and stiffer, which i like for the bottom and back of the bag. I do want to try some of there red and orange xpac, I hope it is like the green.

Josh Newkirk
(Newkirk) - MLife

Locale: Australia
first myog pack on 01/05/2011 20:56:45 MST Print View


Brad Walker

Locale: SoCal
wow on 01/05/2011 22:21:28 MST Print View

Looks very professional, especially the shoulder straps and hip belt. Loving the other outside features and color too.

Jared Dilg
(Village) - MLife

Locale: Texas
Re: Thanks on 01/05/2011 22:36:28 MST Print View

Thanks Chris! Yeah I've got some white VX07 XPAC with ripstop top layer, while my VX21 200d stuff is without the ripstop. I'd like to use the VX21 for higher abrasion areas like you did. Looking forward to your next project post!