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MYOG : My first attempt at a rucksack.
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Keith Bassett

Locale: Pacific NW
MYOG : My first attempt at a rucksack. on 07/18/2011 14:20:21 MDT Print View

I have been lurking on here for some time, and have made a couple of tarps and many stoves. However this is the first project worthy of a post.

I designed this to use the shoulder straps from my old Gregory pack, and actually just found a way to use my waist belt from the same system. The roll top has also been finished, with a traditional roll top rather than the snaps down the side.

I will post another photo of the pack in its finished state tonight.

The material is wx20 from Dimension Polyant - a light version of their xpac. They have stellar deals on their overruns and factory seconds. The black back was made from a cheap jansport duffel that I picked up at a thrift store to get all of the buckles and clips.

It is just a 400 denier pu coated el cheapo fabric, and was pretty hot when we took it out last weekend. Next version is getting some airflow.

I used the heavyweight packing bubblewrap, and some closed cell foam from packing to make a pad inside the back. The cordage is 550 paracord, which is heavy, but cheap because I had some laying around. It cinches down well to keep the load nice and motionless.

I don't have the weight, as my primary focus was learning how to actually sew one of these, but it is much lighter than my commercial pack. I suspect that it will be lighter still when I use only the Xpac and make my own straps. It is pretty darn water resistant, but I am not taping the seams on this one.

I hope you like it, I do so far.

The rucksack, stuffed full, w/ bearvault and gear.

Side View


Edited by keith_bassett on 07/18/2011 16:37:33 MDT.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: MYOG : My first attempt at a rucksack. on 07/18/2011 15:24:28 MDT Print View

I think you mean WX20. DP doesn't have a WX31. WX20 lacks the backing of VX21 but has twice the thickness in the film layer and an additional poly insert, so it's considerably stronger than VX21 and lighter to boot.

The pack looks great for a first attempt.

Edited by simplespirit on 07/18/2011 15:25:33 MDT.

Keith Bassett

Locale: Pacific NW
WX20 on 07/18/2011 16:17:44 MDT Print View

You are correct it is the wx20. Slightly crinkled film made it nice and cheap.

Wow. 150 emails in a morning at work and your brain shuts down.


Pilate de Guerre
(deGuerre) - F

Locale: SE, USA
oooooh on 07/18/2011 21:20:40 MDT Print View

Ooooh, it's nice! Love the way that XPAC looks. What color is it listed as in their catalog?

I'm a fan of narrow packs like that. Like the way they ride if you can fill them right.

Keith Bassett

Locale: Pacific NW
Fabric Color - Better photo of ruck on 07/18/2011 21:43:59 MDT Print View

The color is "grey" and it is the wx20. I ordered about a month ago directly from DP and they had seconds for $3 per yard. Got ten yards, didn't even have to pay a cut fee! My son is already asking for his own kid sized pack.

I like narrow packs too, and made an attempt at measuring to keep it narrower than my shoulders. It will hold the bear vault with no trouble, but I took it out for a spin a couple of weeks ago and it is more comfortable with just a hang bag.

Here is a pic of it packed up for 3 days, now I just need to get any excuse to take a vacation day so that I can get out into the cascades. :)

Side view

The back - you can see the bumps from the packing bubbles across the middle...

Simple Roll Top

Packed tight.

Chris Muthig
(cmuthig) - M

Locale: Georgia
Buying From Dimension Polyant on 07/19/2011 07:23:15 MDT Print View

The pack looks great. I haven't yet tried a narrow pack like that just yet, but I am thinking one of the next ones I make will be of a similar shape. My question is how do I go about getting seconds straight from DP? I tried looking around on their site, but I couldn't seem to find a lot of information about that. The price seems reasonable, and I would be interested in trying out a pack made from it just to see what it is like.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Buying From Dimension Polyant on 07/19/2011 07:32:42 MDT Print View

Email Hale Walcoff via and she will send you the list of what they have and a fabric guide.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
nice job on 07/19/2011 07:33:20 MDT Print View

I like the fact that you were able to reuse many items from your old pack. I like the roll top and compression system. Many people forget the vertical strap, but you have a sturdy one to keep things in place.


Edited by dmgoody on 07/19/2011 07:46:42 MDT.

Keith Bassett

Locale: Pacific NW
Re-use of parts on 07/19/2011 10:17:49 MDT Print View


I tried to re-use parts in a way that didn't make them a permanent part of this bag, so I could put them back onto the old pack if I wanted to sell it. I wish I could say I was made of money, but I'm trying to stay thrifty.

As for the compression straps, I hate it when stuff clinks around in a half empty pack, so I probably over-designed to satisfy my pet peeve. I love it when everything is secure and nothing shifts around.

I tried to leave the main body of the bag with no stitching through it other than the rolled seams on the side, the stitching on the back, and the flat join in the middle. Basically a big stuff sack. All the compression straps are floating and only attached to each other or the back of the rucksack.

I figured my sewing skills were weak enough without adding additional seams to leak. Seattle isn't known for its hot dry weather. :)