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lightest mesh for backpacks?
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Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
lightest mesh for backpacks? on 04/10/2011 20:50:29 MDT Print View

I have an UL backpack design in mind that uses mesh for the shoulder straps and hipbelt, as well as a backpanel that will be under high tension.

So, what is the lightest mesh I can use that can withstand being used on shoulder straps and backpanels?

Also, what kind of mesh can withstand being under tension that won't stretch? Would this possibly be a different material than the shoulder strap mesh?

I assume no-seeum mesh wouldn't cut it?

How about the micro mesh(2.8oz), or the polyester wicking mesh(1.9oz) sold here?

The Leno mesh seems to be something that is commonly used in shoulder straps, but I can't find the weight for it.

If you guys could suggest some different meshes with there listed weights per sq./yd. I would appreciate it.


Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Anyone? on 04/12/2011 09:02:23 MDT Print View

Really? With all the great MYOG people on this sight, no one has any experience or thoughts on mesh?

Marc Shea
(FlytePacker) - F

Locale: Cascades
Re: Anyone? on 04/12/2011 09:27:13 MDT Print View

I would stick with polyester, but most mesh will stretch and flex to some degree, it is kind of the nature of the beast.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: lightest mesh for backpacks? on 04/12/2011 09:28:42 MDT Print View

Leno mesh at Quest Outfitters is 6.6 oz per square yard.

"So, what is the lightest mesh I can use that can withstand being used on shoulder straps and backpanels"?

Go to the address below and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page.

Party On,


Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
mesh on 04/12/2011 09:59:45 MDT Print View

The 3d mesh does have some stretch and is relatively heavy (not sure the exact weight), but it's awesome for shoulder straps and hipbelts. I've tried using mesh in the 2 oz range for packs (mostly for pockets) and ended up replacing it with the 5oz lycra mesh (stretchy) from Quest. I know there's some 4 oz non stretch mesh out there which would probably work. Are you ONLY using mesh for the shoulder straps and hipbelt, or using it just for the against-the-skin side (your post sounds like you might just be using mesh)? If you're only using mesh, you probably need something pretty tough. For a back panel you could get away with lighter stuff, and if you're just backing the straps with mesh you could use something lighter. Mesh is tricky; it might be worth getting some samples from different places (check out and in addition to rockywoods). For the pack I made I ordered a yard of mesh from 3 places before finally finding what I wanted. Sometimes the pics and descriptions are deceiving.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Pack design on 04/12/2011 10:31:04 MDT Print View

Ok, so I suppose I should elaborate a little more on the details of my design.
I'm basically trying to make a light version of an Osprey Atmos style pack and harness system by using lighter materials like Cuben and Carbon fiber, and keeping the extras to a minimum.

Shoulder straps and hipbelt - Perforated foam sandwiched by mesh
(For this application I don't think I would need the padding of the 3D mesh, and I don't want a solid material)

Backpanel - A sheet of mesh being stretched to shape by an arched X frame made of carbon fiber tubes. (I understand there may be a small initial amount of stetch, but I need something that isn't going to stretch out over time, if that makes sense. It needs to stop stretching at some point so the carbon tubes stay arched.)

I'm shooting for an under 10oz internal frame pack that will offer great breathability. Maybe not possible, but I'm gonna shoot for it.
Knowing that most of the weight of a pack is in the harness system and straps, I'm trying to find the lightest materials that can hold up to this kind of use.

Imagine shrinking down this tent design, and adding a sheet of mesh on the inside(of one panel), and the outside of the tent panel would be the inside of the pack.

I'll also probably start another thread later on about the weight difference of grosgrain, nylon webbing and ladderlocks, and cord and cordlocks.

Edited by stingray4540 on 04/12/2011 10:35:15 MDT.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
pack design on 04/12/2011 11:13:02 MDT Print View

I wish you luck and I am excited to see your trampoline back panel pack it has stumped me. Because of all the perfect tolerances in back panel design and sewing fabric together to get a pack that sits straight up and down on your back. The simplest design of a trampoline back is on the lowe alpine airzone series of packs then Dueter packs is next. The most complicated design is on the osprey packs. The design is basically the holy grail of the MYOG pack.

You will want a heavy duty mesh for the trampoline mesh back panel that being stretched. 3d foam mesh would tear.

I have seen heavy duty nylon mesh used on difrent packs and Phifertex mesh used on dueter back packs I think would be your strongest mesh fabric for a small light weight pack ,I even like their simple easy one frame design . Seattle fabric has mesh photos to go along with description of the mesh .

Rocky woods has heavy duty mesh I have seen used on the older Osprey Stratos packs


Edited by socal-nomad on 04/12/2011 11:18:27 MDT.

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: lightest mesh for backpacks? on 04/12/2011 11:29:33 MDT Print View

If you are really into mundane tasks, the lightest mesh that I could think of would be to take .7 oz. Cuben Fiber and systematically poke several holes in it using an appropriately sized object. The holes should stay the same size and the Cuben should have next to no stretch. Otherwise, call Cubic tech and encourage them to make some mesh material. It is bound to happen at some point, it is just a question of when. a .25 oz. mesh would not be out of the question at that point.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: Re: lightest mesh for backpacks? on 04/12/2011 12:25:08 MDT Print View

Terry: Thanks, you gave me a lot more information to look at, and other pack designs to study.

a gould: Ooooh, that's not a bad idea. It would be terribly mundane though. Maybe something to try on the second generation. As it stands, I still need to learn how to sew, and buy a sewing machine, and find the time...

Right now I'm in the design phase, just trying to figure out what materials I want to use.