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My first sling pack inspired by Christopher Zimmer technique of sewing packs
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Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
My first sling pack inspired by Christopher Zimmer his technique of sewing packs on 03/19/2011 17:00:48 MDT Print View

I have been really impressed with the simple but well thought out construction techniques of pack designs and sewing of Chirstopher Zimmer.

When I saw the TrailLite design bandoleer sling pack design by Thom at TrailLight designs who contracted Chris to make the prototype I was impressed with it design. Last year we were discussion how to make a sling pack on this MYOG board but I could not figurer out how to make it work for me.

So I made up a 2266 or 37 liter sling pack for my personal use that can extend to 3200 with extension sleeve of the pack.I used my own elements of design and Chris Zimmer techniques of pack sewing and other and some of Chris's own design elements he used on his personal use packs.
I am really excited about this pack how it could work for ultra lite weekend pack.

I used Vx21 Xpac pack cloth from rocky woods and Grid X Dyeenma from thru hiker for the rest of the pack. I used light weight pre folded seam tape from quest outfitters. That is a joy to use over cross grain ribbon.

I want to make it truly ultra light weight with the least amount of seams in construction of the pack plus durable.
I only did bar tacking at webbing points,I went back to box stitching to keep the light weight fabric from tearing under stress. The Xpac bottom is The one piece design I learned from Chris Zimmer photos of his packs to make a stronger bottom.

I also incorporated the back pad with cut down ridgerest padding to place the pack under my feet at night in conjunction with my ridgerest sleeping pad. The large one piece of fabric wrap around outside pocket will hold a ground cloth for OR aurora Bivy, and four 1 liter platys. plus other odds and ends.

I also slanted the pack strap to be carried over the right shoulder so it would sit on my back almost straight up down instead of at slant.I also used only ladder locks for the pack harness strap attachment because they are stronger than buckles.It only took me one try to get in the harness.

I will have to go to the post office to weigh the pack but holding it seem to weigh about 20 to 23 oz.

I will keep you updated when I take it out for a few day hikes fully loaded to access using a sling type pack for ultra lite backpacking will work for me.

Here are some photos below enjoy.
Thanks for looking ,
sling pack frontsling pack backsling pack with ridge rest padsling pack inside out constructionsling pack compression construction

Edited by socal-nomad on 03/22/2011 08:49:43 MDT.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Re: My first sling pack inspired by Christopher Zimmer technique of sewing his packs on 03/19/2011 17:10:41 MDT Print View

The side view photo did not load.

sling pack side

Edited by socal-nomad on 03/22/2011 08:51:33 MDT.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
"My first sling pack ...." on 03/19/2011 17:22:56 MDT Print View

Sling packs have one ability I used extensively when wearing one shooting photographs: They can be rotated almost instantly from your back to your front .One gear maker Kata has taken this concept pretty far. Their 3N1 lets you use it as a backpack, or a sling bag and permits opening options into the bag never seen on a conventional pack. You may want to check out the concept. I'm sure you could both adapt it to UL packs.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: My first sling pack inspired by Christopher Zimmer technique of sewing packs on 03/19/2011 20:07:36 MDT Print View

Wow Terry!

Very nice. Intriguing design, that's for sure.

If you have time, a pic of the front & back while wearing it would be great. I'd like to see just how vertical rides, and where the strap rides across the front.

Between this, Chris', and Thom's designs I'm diggin' it!

Edited by funnymoney on 03/19/2011 20:29:43 MDT.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Re: Re: My first sling pack inspired by Christopher Zimmer technique of sewing his packs on 03/20/2011 14:23:50 MDT Print View

Thanks for the kind comments on the pack. I will try to get a neighbor to take a photo of me with it on in a few days.

Edited by socal-nomad on 03/22/2011 08:50:49 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: My first sling pack inspired by Christopher Zimmer on 03/20/2011 15:57:21 MDT Print View


Kudos to you for taking on the challenge of replicating Chris Zimmer's sewn curves. I thought about it and that was about as far as I got.;-)

Chris is challenging all of us to get up and take our feed dogs for a walk down a different path.

A sling pack is something that I have been interested in because of the throw it on and throw it off simplicity of design. I'll be interested in those pictures to see how it "rides and carries".

The inside zipper pocket is a very nice touch. I always like them when I see them on someone else's pack but I always overlook putting one on mine.

Are all of your box stitches "all bartacked"? Wow!:-0

Party On,


Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
Nice Job! on 03/21/2011 06:27:58 MDT Print View

Terry very nice job on the pack! It is really nice to see that you used some curves on this pack! How was it sewing the curves? The pack looks great and thanks for posting the photos!

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Re: Nice Job! on 03/21/2011 12:24:36 MDT Print View

Thanks Chris for the nice comments the curved parts were easy the one piece fabric bottom that wraps up stumped me for awhile. It took some thinking trying to sew it different ways then I figured it out. I really like your the less stitching method for making a backpack It is a stronger pack using less thread and a faster sewing time. The compression system you get on the pack vertically and horizontally makes for a pack that you can carry closer to your back. . I am also really happy rockywoods has Vx 07 in the color black I have on order for a new all traditional Xpac pack I have in mind.

John I always used X-box stiching on my packs for along time for strength. Then I thought I needed a bartack stitch to look more professional like store bought packs. I was experiencing tearing at the bartack seam on single layer Vx07 xpac so I started using two layers of fabric were I bartacked. With a Cordura and Xpac top or 210 Grid x dyeemna fabric for looks if I bar tacked. But it made the pack heavier.

Then I subscribed to the premium backpacking light articles I read the article by Jay Ham
"Reinforcement Stitches for Lightweight Fabrics" They did some test found the X-box stitch is the strongest and does not tear out of the light weight fabric like a bartacking does. The BBL premium articles are worth their weight in gold for what you pay for them IMHO.

So I went back to the box stitch and I am experimenting with a modified box I call the hour glass stitch.

I still use bartacks on double nylon webbing and and on the inside of the pack were the webbing for the hip belt and pack straps attach.

So I rather have a stronger more durable stitch on light weight fabric than a stitch that looks good and tears out.

Edited by socal-nomad on 03/21/2011 12:28:13 MDT.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Re: Re: My first sling pack inspired by Christopher Zimmer technique of sewing his packs on 03/21/2011 17:03:08 MDT Print View

Here is some new photos of me carrying the sling pack I went on about 1 1/2 mile urban hike around town. I loaded my pack for a 2 day hike with my things and food plus 4 liters of water the minimum amount of water for southern california backpacking were water points are far and few.It weighed out at 24 pounds I am light weight hiker verse a super ultra light hiker who carrys 15 lbs packs not as much water because of personal needs.I still did not have my ridge rest sleeping pad on my pack.

The pack carried all right for awhile at this weight but it started to pinch my right shoulder at the neck half way in to the test. One thing I like is my back stayed dryer than a traditional pack. One thing it did not pass the test was the bush whacking test we have a opening slot in a fence between a wall for short cut to my home because of the extra width of the pack at angle it took me quite lot of twisting to get trough the slot.

I have decided the pack would suit me better for day pack for day hikes and around town pack on the bus for grocery shopping. Some super light weight back packing over night trips in the local trails were water is plenty full about 15 lbs pounds for my personal use. As you can see from my photos I am 49 years old and I am not athletically built anymore as when was in teenage years through my late 30's and weigh in at 195 lbs.

I did learn a lot from my sling experiment and I learned new pack sewing construction technique and also I was able to get the question that have been going through my mind about sling pack for my personal use. Since last year when I was studying Tactical sling pack designs and arctreyx quiver pack. So it was fun. One thing I really like about MYOG packs and equipment sewing is it challenges your mind and you learn something new with every project you do. I am constantly sewing day packs with new idea's of mine I give them to my very large family of Nieces and nephews.
Thanks for letting me share my projects with you.

front view photoslingpack front

side view:sling pack wear side

back view:slingpack wear back

Edited by socal-nomad on 03/22/2011 08:59:15 MDT.