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David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Gear Mod: Converting Drawstring Pack Closure to Rolltop on 05/05/2011 12:17:15 MDT Print View

I like the idea of saving weight by removing a pack's top lid, but would like something better than just a drawstring closure. Here's a mod I worked out that allows roll-top closure without lid, and easy conversion back to lid + drawstring.

Plastic strip
After removing the lid, I replaced the drawcord with two strips of plastic strapping (free from lumber yard). This stiffens the bag top and helps secure the roll-top. Weight of strap is less than drawcord the pack came with.

buckle
I attached 3/4" side release buckles to the bag top with velcro tabs. Buckle is sewed to 3/4" webbing, which is then sewn to the hook side of the velcro.

loop side
Loop side of velcro is sewn to bag top on long edges. Loop side won't snag fabrics if drawcord is re-installed.

rolltop
Rolltop finished.

side closure
Bag rolled closed and buckle snapped into male end on existing top lid compression strap.

finished conversion
Bag fully closed. Roll-top conversion is 0.4 oz weight penalty versus drawcord closure (removing lid drops ~ 5 oz). Pack is a Jansport Bivouac 49, bought a few years ago on close-out for less than $40. Starting weight was 2# 13 oz. With top lid, framesheet and hydration pocket removed, and straps shortened, weight is now 30 oz. Could probably drop another 2 oz with more surgery.

Next, I plan to apply the same conversion to my Exos 58.

Edited by DavidDrake on 05/05/2011 16:26:14 MDT.

Eric Thompson
(er0ck) - F

Locale: PNW
nice! on 05/05/2011 13:04:00 MDT Print View

i've been thinking about this a lot for my golite Jam...

it takes up a bit of fabric to roll the top, but i rarely have my pack filled..
which basically means i should have a smaller pack, but i digress

i was thinking prior that one could probably go lighter with a length of cord sewn to the corners (or a velcro tab like you have) and then some linelocs down near where your buckles are. or vice versa.

this is why i'm looking for linelocs with a hook on the other side rather than a webbing loop or ladder lock.

i'm toying with the same ideas for some dry/ditty bags.

for a ditty bag you could just pinch off the top in the "wrong" direction with a loop of shock cord attaching both corners of the opening. roll it over then loop the shock cord around the bottom of the bag... should be lighter and more waterproof than snaps, etc

Edited by er0ck on 05/05/2011 13:06:20 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Gear Mod: Converting Drawstring Pack Closure to Rolltop on 05/05/2011 13:32:53 MDT Print View

I've found velcro near the pack opening to be a major pain! Everything snags on it when going into and out of the pack! I'm seriously considering converting my pack (2005 model SMD Comet) in the opposite direction--from a rolltop closure with velcro to a drawstring closure! This would also get rid of most of the expansion collar which I never have used.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: nice! on 05/05/2011 13:34:34 MDT Print View

Cord sewn to the bag top is a good idea--no need to remove when converting back to lid + drawstring. I don't want to remove the side straps, so something like the hook with ladder-lock Marc Shea linked to in your line-loc post would work well, except it's for 1/2" webbing, not 3/4".

The packs I'm working with aren't superlight, so saving 0.2 oz or so isn't critical. More radical pack surgery or a lighter starting pack, and I can see how it would be.

For your hook + line-loc: I've have guyline tensioners that are just flat pieces of plastic with a few holes drilled in. With a bit of tough, heat-formable plastic (nylon, maybe) you might be able to make your own.

Eric Thompson
(er0ck) - F

Locale: PNW
anti-velcro on 05/05/2011 13:35:44 MDT Print View

mary, seen this complaint before :-)

i never understood why the velcro was on the opening of roll top packs.

just remove the velcro? if the edges separate when rolling, i've also heard people using a coating of silicone to make the two edges "stick" together (let it dry first obviously)

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Gear Mod: Converting Drawstring Pack Closure to Rolltop on 05/05/2011 13:44:21 MDT Print View

Hi Mary,
I read your post on another thread about velcro near pack opening--that's why I did things the way I did. Soft side of velcro (loop) is sewn to pack, and the hook side removes when the pack is converted back to drawstring + lid. In roll-top mode, hook and loop are attached to each other and the velcro isn't exposed. I didn't use velcro to hold the edges of the pack top together. It didn't seem necessary, and your experience with stuff snagging seemed like a good reason not to.

Of course, I haven't field-tested this yet--it may not work as well as I think. In that case, out comes the seam ripper!

Eric Thompson
(er0ck) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: nice! on 05/05/2011 14:38:03 MDT Print View

David said:
"For your hook + line-loc: I've have guyline tensioners that are just flat pieces of plastic with a few holes drilled in. With a bit of tough, heat-formable plastic (nylon, maybe) you might be able to make your own."

hmm..... or a hook and a lineloc and some glue...

Edited by er0ck on 05/05/2011 14:39:13 MDT.