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My first DIY UL backpack
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Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
My first DIY UL backpack on 02/23/2011 12:39:17 MST Print View

So I was at IKEA the other day and saw a bag for only 7 bucks and thought... hmm... I could use this.

Got home, found an ski bag that was a gift (I don't ski, so kind of an odd gift) from my uncle in law. Cut a big square out of the ski bag, then got my supportive and kind wife to sew it onto the back of the 7 dollar bag we just got.

Being a broke student was my inspiration here. Oh, and I packed the bag with all my summer gear and it had room to spare. Hard to see, but it does have a hip strap too. It turned out much better than I thought, it feels just like a regular backpack, even with all the gear (I think the thick ski bag material helps).

Total weight: 445g

With this new pack, I might just be able to create my first UL gear list for you guys in the near future. I am also at the moment working on a DIY/MYOG summer sleeping bag, and once that is done, I estimate my base weight to be around 4.2kg.

Edited by PrimeZombie on 02/24/2011 01:21:22 MST.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: My first DIY UL backpack on 02/23/2011 13:19:53 MST Print View

A Swede that doesn't ski? How weird. Altho' you don't have a Swedish sounding name...

Good start at MYOG. The cheap ones are often the best :-)

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
@ Stu on 02/23/2011 13:28:06 MST Print View

Actually I am an American (or more accurately, a Chicano) living in Sweden.

And thanks! I am very happy with it so far, and can't wait to test it out in the field.

And yes, cheap can be good. I also made a beer can tea mug recently that only weighs 41g with cozy.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Very Resourceful on 02/23/2011 15:03:30 MST Print View

You are my kind of myog guy. Function over form. Very resourceful.

At less than 1 pound your pack is one of the lighter ones posted here. If it feels good you're ready to roll.


Jake Willits
(TrailSavvy) - MLife

Locale: Arkansas Ozarks
You may be my muse... on 02/23/2011 20:21:41 MST Print View

I'd like to play with some MYOG ideas, but don't picture myself as a sewing machine. I'm not very creative, so you may have lit a fire. Never thought about combining bits and pieces from various gear. Thanks for the inspiration!

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
nice feedback on 02/24/2011 01:31:27 MST Print View

@Daryl: Thanks! I am forced to be resourceful because I am broke. Checking out some UL packs made my jaw drop.

@Jake: Cool, very happy to inspire someone. If you don't own a sewing maching, you can always find someone that does. Surely a nice housewife or grandma living near you has one as is probably good with it. I am lucky, my wife is quite good with sewing, knitting, fabric, and such.

In the future when I have the dough I would like to buy fabric and make a pack from scratch. This pack I see as more a 1 season/summer type bag. I do a lot of deep wood crawling far away from any trails and roads, and there is some brush and thorns out there that would rip up a thin bag. I was thinking of doing a bag that is a nylon shell to start, with lightweight canvas or some other tougher fabric on the outside. Maybe not even do an full shell, but patches on the outside were brush and thorns and such are more likely to scrape the pack while hiking.

Just some thoughts. For now I am very happy with my first pack, and it is hard to beat the price and the weight. Even buying the polyester from the fabric store is more expensive than the IKEA bag itself.

Note: I edited the size of the first picture to make it easier to read the OP.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: My first DIY UL backpack on 02/24/2011 08:29:51 MST Print View

I like it, I'm impressed, I like thrift, I'll post this thread on my website so they can see your creativity. Thanks for sharing.

Logan Spader
(___o2) - F

Locale: .
re on 02/24/2011 08:41:44 MST Print View

I love it. But I'd cut those big green handles off the back and add two runs of light weight cord for compression straps. My favorite part about this is that it is not a traditional top load.

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"My first DIY UL backpack" on 02/24/2011 12:04:34 MST Print View

Very nice, it looks very durable too.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
replies on 02/25/2011 08:04:44 MST Print View

@ Dan:

Cool, thanks for the shout out on your website. Glad to share!

@ Logan:

Thanks! Yeah, still trying to figure out what to do with the green straps. Either I will cut them off or add some velcro so they can strap the sides. I will have to think about your compression strap idea, however.

And I too am very happy with the duffle bag style. It is very easy to pack and load, and especially easy to find something I am looking for. With a quick unzip I can pretty much see everything and have access to it. I keep the first aid kit in the side pocket for super easy access in case of an emergency.

I was worried about the zipper getting unzipped and my stuff falling out (mostly paranoia), so I tied a bit of nylon string to the top, you can see it in the 3rd pic in the OP (it's the white bowtie). That way I can secure the zipper to the shoulder strap buckle that came with the bag, which also gives the buckle a purpose since I ditched the shoulder strap of course.

@ Evan:

Thanks! We'll see how tough it is after I take it out for some field tests. If the thin fabric does rip or get messed up, I always carry both a sewing kit and duct tape with me out camping, so no biggie. Then when I get home I can run it through the sewin maching if needed. Can't wait until spring!

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
update on 04/10/2011 12:38:16 MDT Print View

Just wanted to report that I have taken this bag out on two overnight trips and it rocks and rolls! Comfy, easy to use, and I was surprised how tough it is. This past weekend I hiked a total of around 18km and through very thick, isolated woods here in Sweden. There were several times that some brush or branches scraped and poked my bag, and I thought to myself, "Crap, I bet I am going to have to stop and patch it up" but it was all good (or I got lucky).

I also further modified it. I cut the two straps off the middle of the bag, and sewed one of them on top of the bag for a nice handle. I also took a black permanent marker and went over all the bright yellow coloring.

I highly recommend this build for a MYOG/DIY backpack. All you need is an IKEA and an old backpack you don't use (which can also be found at a 2nd had store for cheap) and you have a great UL backpack for very little money and effort.