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Want to add stretch mesh pocket to REI Flash18 - thoughts?
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Neil McGee

Locale: Northeast, East Asia
Want to add stretch mesh pocket to REI Flash18 - thoughts? on 02/06/2011 13:01:05 MST Print View

I use an REI Flash 18 as a daypack and the thing would be perfect if it had a pocket for a water bottle (I'm not a big fan of bag water...). I'm thinking of modifying it by sewing on a single stretch mesh pocket (I may add a second if the first goes well). I thought I would ping you all for thoughts on where to get some stretch mesh to perform the operation, as well as any advice you might have on how to make it work best. I'm not particularly good at making things by hand, but I figured soliciting the collective BPL mojo would go a long way toward averting certain disaster. Anyone done this before on a comparable project?

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Want to add stretch mesh pocket to REI Flash18 - thoughts? on 02/06/2011 13:34:09 MST Print View

The sides on that pack are very narrow for adding a pocket. I did not come up with a solution that did not look terrible. If you are carrying a small amount of water you could carry the bottle on the shoulder strap A/R style. I do that with my Ion and keep additional water in a dromedary bag in the pack if necessary.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Want to add stretch mesh pocket to REI Flash18 - thoughts? on 02/06/2011 15:33:33 MST Print View

that is one of the downfalls to the micro-packs that are out there. You want the SUL weight and the fact that they are inexpensive is a real bonus, but how do you haul water? And water is one of the heaviest things, especially on a day hike.

With the really small packs without a waist belt, a waist/fanny pack comes to mind, but by the time you add the waist pack, you might as well have a larger heavier pack that has the bottle pockets. It would work though, and the weight would be distributed to your hips. You could rig up something more elemental to wear around the waist that is simple loops or bags to hold bottles. Lowepro (the camera bag maker) has a mesh bottle holder with a belt loop. Nalgene and MSR have made them too.

Another solution is to use a sling for your water bottle, carried cross-body "baldric" style. It is easy enough to create your own, and there are all kinds of them out there to purchase. Bear Grylls carried a Pattern 58 NATO water bottle through a couple seasons with a simple paracord sling. Using some 1/2" webbing would make it a little more comfortable. I once made one from a sling of webbing and a couple rubber ands cut from an inner tube.. Chico Bag has a nice take on it:

I have an "H2O to Go" brand rig that is a mesh bag with a drawstring top and has 1" webbing sewn down the sides and under. It came with a tall (13") PET water bottle and the whole thing weighs 3.5oz. If you can sew a stuff sack, you could whip this out in a few minutes.

H2O to Go water bottle sling