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New Cuben Backpack
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Mike D.
(mpd1690) - F
New Cuben Backpack on 06/23/2011 15:43:24 MDT Print View

Hello all, I finished a Cuben pack today. The pack body is around 1800 cubic in without the collar. The collar adds around 800 or so cubic inches. I am not sure about the pocket capacity, due to the stretch of Lyrca mesh. But with that taken into account, I'd say this is around 50+ L capacity.
I decided to eliminate a front seam needed to attach the closure strap. I was able to do this by running a strip of Cuben sewn to ripstop down the front. This created a solid anchor to attach the closure webbing to, as well as eliminated an extra seam. I also went with a triangle for the closure (pic 4) to disperse some pressure.

The side compression cord is 2.5 mm glowcord. I like having a reflective matterial on packs.
The Cuben is 1.43oz from Joe at Z Packs (I highly recommend him, great service). Green Cuben body, white Cuben collar. The bottom is VX21. The front pocket cuben strip is combined with 1.1oz ripstop nylon. The pack weight, with all removable features (shock cord, side compression static cord, load lifters, sternum strap) is 13.15 oz.

Here are some pictures (any blue seen on top is just my sleeping bag):pack front
sideother sidetopbackside anglepocket

Edited by mpd1690 on 06/23/2011 15:46:14 MDT.

Levon Jensen
(LevonJensen) - MLife

Locale: Canadian Rockies
well done! on 06/23/2011 16:19:04 MDT Print View


Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: New Cuben Backpack on 06/23/2011 17:04:55 MDT Print View

excellent work! the closure is awesome.

Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
New Cuben Backpack on 06/23/2011 17:58:21 MDT Print View

Hey great looking pack, very nice! You are on a roll so don't stop now, whats the next pack going to be? Don't keep us waiting too long :-)

Nice job the pack looks great.

Mike D.
(mpd1690) - F
Thanks! on 06/23/2011 18:03:55 MDT Print View

Thanks, I really appreciate the kind words!

Christopher, I have no idea, but at this rate I'm sure it will be soon ha.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: New Cuben Backpack on 06/23/2011 18:34:08 MDT Print View

Lycra, see through cuben, elastic shockcord, mesh, black VX21 and glowcord string compression. This backpack should be Xpac rated. ;-)

Did I get it all? L O L

Being from southeast LA I'm gonna tell you that is quite a "gumbo" you cooked up there 'cher!

If it carries as good as it looks you've got a real winner in that pack.

I really like how you tied in the top closure strap with the front pocket compression for a top to bottom "tightening" effect. This coupled with the side compression and the front bungee cord ought to make for a really tight pack.

Nicely done Michael.

Party On,


Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"New Cuben Backpack" on 06/23/2011 18:37:06 MDT Print View

Lookin' good man.

Mike D.
(mpd1690) - F
Re: New Cuben Backpack on 06/23/2011 18:49:55 MDT Print View

Haha yes, Newton, you certainly got it all, except I forgot to add there is ccf foam in the straps ha.

I am taking it out this weekend, so I will get to see how well it carries. I have loaded it down, and my Z-lite transfers weight extremely well. I'll know for sure this weekend.

Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Closure, compression on 06/23/2011 19:19:35 MDT Print View

I agree with John. The design of the closure and the compression cordage is very elegant and clever. It is very clean-looking. Congratulations on an excellent design. The craftsmanship also looks flawless.

Mike D.
(mpd1690) - F
Thanks! on 06/23/2011 19:28:56 MDT Print View

Thank you for the kind words Colin! I'm very excited to try it out this weekend.

Carl Holt
(Sundown) - F
Re: New Cuben Backpack on 06/23/2011 20:10:44 MDT Print View

So is the bottom fabric sewn on top of the cuben to add abrasion resistance or is it instead of the bottom?

Any issues with the seams?


Mike D.
(mpd1690) - F
Bottom and seams on 06/23/2011 21:03:27 MDT Print View

The bottom is just VX21. The seams are at least double stitched and stress points (anchor points, compression points, elastic top points) are all reinforced with either a box stitch or a bar tack.

Edited by mpd1690 on 06/24/2011 05:31:50 MDT.

Jared Dilg
(Village) - MLife

Locale: Texas
Re: New Cuben Backpack on 06/23/2011 23:17:08 MDT Print View

Very cool pack! The "skunk strip" really makes it stand out and is a great idea. I'm also a sucker for an XPAC/Cuben combo :-)

Shane Bailey
Re: New Cuben Backpack on 06/24/2011 06:32:04 MDT Print View

Very nice job on the pack, Michael. Love the front pocket/webbing closure. Reminds me of REI's Flash 50, though I'd bet your pack is much more comfortable than that one. Keep up the good work.

Joey Dawson
(inabag) - F

Locale: Northern VA
Nice! on 06/24/2011 08:00:28 MDT Print View

Big fan of the closure and front pocket. Will keep that in mind for future projects.

Mike D.
(mpd1690) - F
Pocket on 06/24/2011 11:35:29 MDT Print View

I'm glad you like it. I added pleats to it in order to make up for the lack of stretch from the center stripe, which I think is a good idea if you decide to go this route.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Sweet on 06/26/2011 21:30:56 MDT Print View

Sweet pack. I love the ULA Ohm style side compression. This system is the best.

Mike D.
(mpd1690) - F
Compression on 06/26/2011 21:58:15 MDT Print View

Thanks Dan, I agree with you about the compression. It is light and effective, as well as compatible with a side pocket and lower on the pack compression. I had an overnight trip this weekend. The compression and the way the pack carried were very nice.