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New Backpacks
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Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
New Backpacks on 05/29/2011 09:17:32 MDT Print View

It is really great seeing all of these new backpacks being made on this forum, really some nice work being done here! I hope to see more and more people posting their creations and sharing their experiences with us, I think it has a snow ball effect. Once someone sees that someone else can make a pack, it plants the seed of "why can't I" and before you know it they are off working on a pack and posting it on here. I know that is what got me started, I lurked on here all the time, looking at what others were making and thinking I want to give it a try. Now I can't stop making packs, I just love it and have a great time doing it. I love seeing peoples expressions when I tell them how I like to sew backpacks, it is priceless!

This week has been a busy backpack week for me, on top of my 40hr day job I completed three backpacks and wanted to share some photos.....

First off is the HalfPack 2.0 that I have been working on with BPL member Doug Ide, this is a sweet little pack and I am glad that Doug thought of me when he wanted to bring this pack to life.
HalfPack side view
HalfPack front view
HalfPack side view 2
HalfPack Back view
Hipbelt pockets

Next I had a request to build a pack that had similar features to a SMD Starlite which he had previously owned, but he was looking for a lighter option that still had all the features he wanted. So I came up with this pack. I used 1.45oz cuben and dyneema X for the body and 3D mesh for the skin side of the straps. The packs main volume is around 2500ci and the pack weight is 15oz for the stripped down pack and 18oz for the full feature pack.
Front side
Front other side
back side
pocket detail
This is the shoulder strap pocket that I have been working on, it can fit a GPS, cell phone or 3-4 power bars.
shoulderstrap pocket
This is a cuben bladder sleeve.
Bladder sleeve

Finally I had a request to build one of my all XPac framed packs but with dyneema X side pockets and a large front pocket with flap. For the frame I used a Gossamer Gear U hoop, and sewed in a sleeve to hold the frame and pad to put in between the back of the pack and frame. The shoulder straps and hipbelt have 3D mesh on the skin side. The pack also includes load lifters and removable hipbelt pockets.
Front side
other side
The piece of black 3d mesh on the lower back of the pack is a lumbar pad with velcro closure so more padding can be added if needed.
Back side
Side pocket detail
Here is a Dyneema X version of the shoulder strap pocket.
shoulderstrap pocket

And that has been my week in building backpacks.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: New Backpacks on 05/29/2011 09:39:04 MDT Print View


You continue to amaze us not only with your pack construction but your photographic presentation of your creations. Did you use an all white backdrop to get the suspended in air effect of the packs on this forum?

Those are some really great packs and detailed pictures of them.

Do the water bottle pockets on the XPac and dyneema X framed pack have the ability to drain the way the large front pocket with flap does?

Party On,


Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
New Backpacks on 05/29/2011 09:49:53 MDT Print View

Very nice, keep up the great work.

Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re: New Backpacks on 05/29/2011 09:59:45 MDT Print View

Hey Newton, for the photos I use 2 sheets of white foam board, one for the floor and one for the backdrop. For lighting I use 2 speed flashes with umbrellas and radio triggers. I set the flashes to 1/16 power and have the camera on manual with an 800iso, an aperture between 5.6 and 8.0 and a shutter speed of 100. This blows out the white foam board and gives an appearance of the packs floating. For the half pack I used fishing line to get the shoulder straps to float. Now it gets tricky with white cuben, because it is so easy to blow out the pack, so it takes some adjusting of the settings. I just love it when two hobbies cross paths!

Yes the side dyneema pockets have drain holes.


Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: New Backpacks on 05/29/2011 10:02:15 MDT Print View

Great work Chris! The Half Pack 2.0 will be on the trail next weekend!

Really like that cuben pack with the double side pockets you made, looks sweet!

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: New Backpacks on 05/29/2011 10:15:49 MDT Print View

Hi Chris,

You soon may have the opportunity to become even busier. ;-)

Check it out.

Never mind the mule just keep loading the wagon! L O L

Once again, great work as always.

Party On,


Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Sweet! on 05/29/2011 12:21:13 MDT Print View

Awesome packs!
Any chance of selling the pockets? I bet you make a killing.


drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: New Backpacks on 05/29/2011 12:42:21 MDT Print View

Excellent work, and nice photography too!

Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re: New Backpacks on 05/29/2011 13:10:24 MDT Print View

WOW thanks guys I really appreciate the positive feedback and the promoting of my work!

Yeah forget about that mule! LOL

Doug I look forward to hearing your feedback about HalfPack 2.0!

Matthew, shoot me a PM if your interested in some pockets.

Take care

Al Nichols
(everready) - F

Locale: Sh!^^% Ohio
When? on 05/29/2011 14:34:16 MDT Print View

So, um, when are you going to start taking pack orders? You should start looking in to forming a LLC....................

Those pack look great. I especially like the last/orange one. Very good work. Man, I'm jealous.

+1 on the pockets too!!

Edited by everready on 05/29/2011 16:06:51 MDT.

Paul Osborn
(bcoutdoors) - F
looking good on 05/29/2011 15:04:35 MDT Print View

Wow... I'm impressed...

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
New Backpacks on 05/29/2011 16:34:46 MDT Print View

Wow your the new bench mark!! Your attention to detail and innovation is giving the regular manufactures a run for their money in backpack sewing skills.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Pack Master on 05/29/2011 17:07:11 MDT Print View

Your packs are just plain wonderful! I'm pretty good at making things that work but they seldom look good. You are good at both. A rare skill.

Shane Bailey
Great work on 05/29/2011 18:35:37 MDT Print View

Very nice work, Chris. Very impressed. I can barely knock out a pack in 2 weeks, and you do 3 very awesome packs in 1 week?!

What is the weight of the HalfPack 2.0? I made a similar day pack that is more of a lumbar pack, but I didn't add load lifters like you did, and I may have to add some.

Jennifer Lane
Day Job on 05/29/2011 20:45:33 MDT Print View

Great looking packs! You're an inspiration to all of us budding MYOGers. It looks like it's about time for you to quit your day job!

Ryan C
(radio_guy) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Re: New Backpacks on 05/29/2011 21:05:43 MDT Print View

Wow! I love the looks of that third pack made out of XPac and Dyneema. What does it weigh as configured? What is the volume? Could a small bear canister fit at the top securely?

Also, being a noob when it comes to certain fabrics, how water resistant is XPac?

Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re: New Backpacks on 05/29/2011 21:46:30 MDT Print View

The half pack weighs in at around 14oz total, the main body with out shoulder straps weighs 9oz and the shoulder strap harness system weighs 5oz. The load lifters really help keep the pack from bouncing and snug to the back.

The last pack weighs in at 2lbs for the total pack with frame and 28oz with out frame. Comfort not weight was the driving factor with that pack, hence the 3d mesh lumbar pad. Xpac is a laminate so it has very good water resistance and makes a very nice pack.

Jeremy Platt
(jeremy089786) - F

Locale: Sydney
+1 on wow on 05/30/2011 02:47:21 MDT Print View

Indeed those packs look spectacular. Super clean looking lines there!

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
+2 on Awesome WoW on 05/30/2011 09:16:23 MDT Print View


You continue to amaze us not only with your pack construction but your photographic presentation of your creations. Those are some really great packs and detailed pictures of them."

I totally agree with John. Some sweet packs you have sewn there, and you totally got me psyched to try some sewing myself - Thanks!

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Sweet packs on 06/01/2011 10:39:37 MDT Print View

Awesome packs Chris, I like the Orange pack the best, even though, its sooo heavy. :)