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J W
(jhaura) - M

Locale: www.Trailability.com
Modified Whisper G6 on 11/15/2006 20:07:36 MST Print View

This is a work in progress. So far I have completed the following mods. The new weight with all the current mods is 3.1oz. down from 3.88oz factory weight:

1. Removed the velcro from shoulder straps, and sewed up the slits. No padding inside.

2. Removed velcro from extension collar and sides, replaced with Aircore 1 Spectra and micro barrel lock. The G6 has a rolled edge at the top of the collar that accepts the drawcord. Ahh. No more velcro bites on my nice wool top. And no more gear falling out on the trail when the top comes unrolled from my poor roll up skills.

3. Removed overly robust, difficult to adjust webbing from shoulder straps and pack body, replaced with 5/8" grosgrain webbing and kept stock 5/8" buckles. I really like the feel of this mod. The straps adjust much more smoothly. Most of the weight decrease came from this mod. But, will the grosgrain hold-up?

4. Added Cuben Fiber stake bag inside pack above shoulder strap area. Weight: 0.8g (yup, not even a gram).

Next:

5. Add sternum strap.

Some pics:

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Edited by jhaura on 11/15/2006 23:06:44 MST.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Modified Whisper G6 on 11/15/2006 20:20:13 MST Print View

Jhaura,

That looks like nice work! I've experimented with using grosgrain instead of webbing, but haven't been pleased with the results when the straps are under load. It worked fine for my quilt under-straps, but backpack straps seemed to slip. What size grosgrain, and what size buckles? It looks like the grosgrain is bunching a bit in the buckles - does that increase the friction enough to keep them in place? I think you'll be happy with the durability of the ribbon - if it fails, it's easy to replace, as you found. I'd guess abrasion from the buckle will be the weak point, but at least that restricts the failure points to the longer strap (not the buckle attachment piece).

Plus, that orange looks uber-cool against the blue.

Do you have a way to compress the load from the top now? That's one benefit of the roll-top closure that you're losing here - I'd love to hear how it works for you.

And I totally agree about sewing in the foam on the shoulder straps - using spare socks just increases the fiddle-factor way too much for me. Objectively, any time I might "save" by being faster on the trail due to the .2 oz weight reduction would be more than eaten by having to stuff and un-stuff the shoulder straps every day.

Nice job!

Ben

J W
(jhaura) - M

Locale: www.Trailability.com
Re: Re: Modified Whisper G6 on 11/15/2006 21:31:50 MST Print View

Ben,

Thanks for the "uber" nice comments :) I tried the ribbon under load and it seems to hold fine. The ribbon is 5/8" grosgrain and the buckles are the stock 5/8" buckles. It's bunching because 5/8" grosgrain is wider than 5/8" webbing which the buckles were probably designed for.

As for top compression, I have a 9.5 foot piece of 3/32" shockcord that runs through the side tieouts and over the top. This works as good as the roll top IMO, but is still moderate. A better mod is out there.

I don't have any padding in the shoulder straps, with 11lb total pack weight, I don't even notice the pack on there. Even with 16lbs it is comfy.

I agree on the ribbon failure point and that the upper buckle ribbon will most likely last fine. Like you say, it is easy to replace the lower strap. I even first added a d-ring to the lower extension and then the ribbon so that it could just be knotted on and easily replaced. I decided to try in sewn in for now. I could see a grommet in the triangle extension area as a tie on point for quick repair. Hmmm. I'll think on that.

Anyway, I'm adding a cuben fiber stake bag on the inside just above the shoulder strap area attached horizontally. I worry too much about my stakes bouncing around in the pack and don't really carry any stuff sacks or bags where I can stash them. Back to work!

J W
(jhaura) - M

Locale: www.Trailability.com
Whisper G6, Mod #4 on 11/15/2006 23:08:20 MST Print View

Just added pics and description of cuben fiber stake bag mod.

J W
(jhaura) - M

Locale: www.Trailability.com
New mods to Whisper G6 on 02/10/2007 17:06:05 MST Print View

Just finished a few more mods on my G6, new weight 3.8 oz:

5. Ergo/contoured upper shoulder strap. I cut out a 6" section from the inside upper edge of each strap because it was digging into my neck. Feels great now.

6. Sternum strap with 3/4" grosgrain ribbon and quick release buckle.

7. Load compression strap with 3/4" grosgrain ribbon and micro buckle.

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Edited by jhaura on 02/10/2007 17:54:01 MST.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Modified Whisper G6 on 02/11/2007 12:52:23 MST Print View

Oh yes, looks great. It looks like you just did a couple bar-tacks to hold the sternum strap in place. Did you put any other fabric on there as a reinforcement or just sew right through the shoulder strap?