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My Center Zip pack I made
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Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
My Center Zip pack I made on 06/04/2011 19:03:12 MDT Print View

The story starts this way I won a Six moon designs swift 10 on ebay .I loaded it up with 30lbs I carried for 3 miles I was so impressed with how easily it carried the load conformed to my back with the folded up Z rest virtual frame and how dry my back stayed.
I have always been fond of panel loaders I was looking at the Terra Nova 35 liter center zip pack .I watched Stick's You tube review on the Terra nova 35 center zip I really like what I was viewing.

So I started thinking I wanted a center zip panel loader that carry heavier loads and large capacity of 45 to 50 liters constructed out of Thru Hiker dyeemna grid stop fabric with vx21 X pack bottom,shoulder straps and belt, side draw string and center compression system, large fabric pockets that could carry lots of water a # 8 water proof zipper.
The pack also would have a detachable mesh pod that would be attached to front compression straps to dry out wet clothes or tarps kind like the ULA Omh pod. I call it the turtle because of the shape and the webbing legs that stick out.
I drew out the design in my pack design book I draw out different pack idea concepts in. And and then drew out the pack templates on poster board.

The first hurdle was to trying and find the driglide fabric that was use as the back panel of the SMD swift 10. I took the SMD swift 10 to a upholstery fabric outlet that all the upholsters use to buy fabric . They did not know what kind of fabric it was. I went to joann's fabric other fabric stores I found a non stretch polyester that was the same fabric and weave but it was very very thin and it would rip under stress.

So I went with 3D foam for the back panel sewn to the pack and and the pad sleeve pocket It works great.
So I sewed the pack together and loaded it up and took it on 3 mile test walk up and dow the hill were i live and caries great and holds my 2 liter source water bottles I could realistically carry 1 litter more in each pocket.

I wanted to find out the approximate capacity but with all the complex curves the math was giving me headache. I went to UPS store to buy foam peanuts to measure the capacity with they gave me a big bag of used foam peanuts. I have 2 liter bowl So I load the pack up with foam peanuts to get a approximate capacity and with I came out with 55 liters of foam peanuts in the pack body,4 liter for each pocket. But because it was not ping pong balls I would say it between 45 to 55 liters at the most.

So I really liked how this pack turned out one and I have some photos below for to you look at.
Thanks for looking,

Pack front:front of pack
Pack front with turtle pod:front of pack with turtle pod
Side of pack:
pack side
back of pack:

Edited by socal-nomad on 06/04/2011 20:12:07 MDT.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: My Center Zip pack I made on 06/04/2011 19:27:37 MDT Print View

Gotta love the material on SMD packs!

Great looking pack, Terry! The padded straps look comfy.

How much for the Swift?


David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
awesome turtle pack on 06/04/2011 19:35:51 MDT Print View

I like the low profile and easy access to gear. Are the side pockets removable? It looks like they attach to the compression strap attachement points.

Rock on


Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
awesome turtle pack on 06/04/2011 19:48:03 MDT Print View

Dave and Todd,
Thanks for the comments on the pack the SMD swift 10 is going to a nephew of mine.
The side pockets are sewn in they just look that way. I use a hypalon patch with metal eyelet to attach the shock cord at the front and cord lock attached to webbing to pull the pocket tight.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: My Center Zip pack I made on 06/04/2011 20:06:34 MDT Print View


Your latest 3D fabric sculpture is quite the work of art!

I know that I am a real pain in the camera but can we see a shoulder strap view of the back side with the pad pocket / 3D foam back panel?

How much does this 45 to 55 liter pack weigh?

You and Chris have combined the XPAC with the Dyneema X Gridstop fabric on the latest packs from both of you. I must say that I am tempted to give it a try myself.

Was your inspiration for the "turtle", Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael or maybe Leonardo? ;-)

Well done.

Party On,


Edited by Newton on 06/04/2011 20:11:18 MDT.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
My Center Zip pack I made on 06/04/2011 20:34:38 MDT Print View

I uploaded the photo of the back of the pack. Thanks for the comments on the pack I really like working with the two different fabrics using the dyeemna grid x for light weight strength and the Xpac for heavy wear stress areas like they do on my Mystery Ranch pack.
I figure if master pack designer Dana Gleason use it their is reason But Dana did like you did on your pack he put cordura on top of the Xpac for better wear protection. Dana also like his product to have a more traditional looking pack, Dana use Xpac for strength and to stiffen fabric that's my take on it.
I have not weighed the pack yet but I guestamate between 18 to 25 oz. I need to get it to the post office to weigh it.

Teenage mutant turtles was after my time but I had a pair of pet ground turtles about 12 years ago in my back yard. They dug under the 12 inch buried chicken wire fence like Hogan Hero's TV show or the movie the "great escape" escaping from prisoner of world war 2 camp during the mild beach winter and escaped.

Edited by socal-nomad on 06/04/2011 21:20:23 MDT.

Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
Very Nice! on 06/05/2011 20:45:30 MDT Print View

Terry, great looking pack! I like the center zip design. I really like the hardware you used for the compression system. Looks like you have been busy thinking up the design of this pack, it has some really cool features that will make it very versatile. Very nice!

Rob Hubbard
(robwa10) - F

Locale: England
Re: My Center Zip pack I made on 06/06/2011 02:45:08 MDT Print View

Terry another great looking pack! I keep tossing up whether to make a similar pack but with two separate compartments inside. It would be used for when we go out with my two children to keep things separate inside. It can be a nightmare trying to get something at the bottom of the pack when it's full!

If only there were a UK supplier of X-Pac and Dyneema rather than ordering from the US @ high shipping rates or Europe @ high prices.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
my center zip pack i made on 06/06/2011 13:22:57 MDT Print View

Christopher and Ron thanks for the comments on my pack I am real happy how it came out and carries.
I learned a lot from the project.

Ron have you used extreme textil for your fabric needs to purchase from,I found some Vx07 Xpac that is 14.90 british pounds or $24.00 US dollars. But I don't know if the tariff will come out to expensive.
Do they charge a import tariff if you order from the US fabric shops?

A way to get around it is we used to ship skateboard factory team riders products in the UK and they were marked "GIFT" so they did not pay a import tariff.

Ask the fabric shops here in the USA to mark the package Gift with no receipt in the box just a nice note for example "hope you enjoy the fabric for your project I am giving to you." to get around the import tariff.