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The Wifes New Pack
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Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
The Wifes New Pack on 09/03/2011 00:43:34 MDT Print View

So my wife has been asking me to build her a pack for the longest time now. I have had the design all worked out and ready to start, but I just never seemed to have the time build it. Well the other week I made sure to find the time to build the pack. Her only request for the pack was that it be green, which was nice because it gave me the opportunity to try out a few ideas I had floating around in my head. The volume of the pack is around 1600ci for the main pack, and weighed in at 13oz. The materials used were VX07 for the front and sides and VX21 for the back and bottom. The shoulder straps and pocket trimming is dyneema X. On this pack I changed things up and attached the shoulder straps to the top seam of the back panel. This method saved some weight by not using webbing to cover the strap connection area. Instead of a front and two side pockets I wanted to make a pack with two large side wrap around pockets. The compression shock cord acts as a divider to keep your water bottle up toward your back.
Front side
Side View
Side View
Back View
Other Side

If I made it over again I think I would leave out the beak that sticks up from the bottom and just leave that flat. But hey the wife is happy with the pack so that make me happy!

Pilate de Guerre
(deGuerre) - F

Locale: SE, USA
Re: The Wifes New Pack on 09/03/2011 01:41:35 MDT Print View

That mesh pocket idea is smart with the shock cord divider. Looks great too. The shock cord and cord lock to tension the pockets is another bright idea.

What mesh did you use for the pockets?

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: The Wifes New Pack on 09/03/2011 08:54:59 MDT Print View

Hi Chris,

This post will be in green in honor of your wife's pack color request.

Nicely done as always and I am "GREEN" with envy at how quickly you produce these packs.

New and different mixed with tried and true. I really like the "division" of the main pockets by the shockcord. The addition of the linelocs to the shockcord tensioning system is a nice touch.

I've noticed that you tend to orient the diamonds of the grey VX21 horizontally as opposed to vertically in the front panels of your packs. Is there any structural reason for this or is just more aesthetically appealing to you?

Are those tri-glides that I see for the possible addition of a hipbelt next to the shoulder strap adjustment webbing attachment points?

I see how you have included some other webbing loops so that the shockcord can be arranged in so many other ways. I'm impressed as always with the flexibility of your designs.

I noticed the name of the pack, JZ, on your website. It's a very elegant name for this pack. I'm quite sure its new owner is every bit as elegant. ;-)

Party On,


Edited by Newton on 09/03/2011 08:59:31 MDT.

Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
"The Wifes New Pack" on 09/03/2011 10:03:55 MDT Print View

The mesh is from OWF and it is the 1/8" Rawhide netting, it is a really nice mesh to work with.

I am not really sure why I put the diamonds of the VX the way I do, I guess mostly because I like the looks of it. I know I do try and make sure to keep the diamonds going in the same direction for the same color pieces though.

The tri-glides are to attach a piece of webbing for the hip belt if needed and the extra loops are to set the compression system up differently depending on what you need to do.

I am horrible at coming up with names for my packs so I just used my wife Julia's initials for the pack, so now she has a pack named after her or a hip-hop artist.

John you sure do have a way of sweet talking the ladies, you made her blush!

Mike D.
(mpd1690) - F
Nice on 09/03/2011 10:22:04 MDT Print View

Good looking pack. Was the heart shape on the front subconscious or on purpose? Haha I'm sure it will help you either way. The mitten clip closure is a pretty cool idea. I like the in the seam method for straps. It can be a pain getting it through the showing machine, but it has a clean look.

Where do you get the slide/buckle combination that is used on the sternum strap. I've looked for them, not too hard admittedly, but they seem like a better alternative to the glide and buckle being seperate.

Edited by mpd1690 on 09/03/2011 10:25:50 MDT.

Jennifer McFarlane
(JennyMcFarlane) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
New pack on 09/03/2011 10:50:05 MDT Print View

Another nice pack Chris. I like the green- it looks good.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
The Wifes New Pack on 09/03/2011 11:59:23 MDT Print View

Very very cool day pack design!! You have come up with a new simple design way to combine side pockets and front pocket . With the front center seam split and you use less stitching with just a back and two sides that wrap around the front. You are truly a Artist in pack design and sewing.

I have been banging my head against a wall trying to come up with a simple way to to the joined pockets on my day pack all summer. I have had it on paper and you helped fill the last piece of the puzzle in. I would like to use the it on my day pack.

Thanks for the inspiration,

Daniel Sandström
Re: The Wifes New Pack on 09/05/2011 03:28:19 MDT Print View

Nice pack. How did you like the VX07? I like it alot, still need to get some tougher fabric (VX21) for the bottom of my next pack...
I posted a question about outer pockets last week, it's here on the MYOG forums. Was thinking, do you have any comments on it?
I like that you've gone lighter with the progress. Do you like the chords&chord locks? Funny, but perhaps fiddly top strap. :)

Thank's again.

Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re:"The Wifes New Pack" on 09/05/2011 08:12:16 MDT Print View

I didn't even notice that the pockets looked like an upside down heart in the photo. That was not on purpose at all and I would more then likely not put the beak that sticks up on the bottom of the pack again. It takes away from the capacity of the pocket.

I love using VX07 and VX21 together for my packs, VX07 works great for the tops and VX21 works great for the bottom of the packs.

I do like the top closure being the shock cord, cord lock and a clip, it is a very light setup for closing a pack. Getting the clip off can be a little challenging at times, but that just means that it is not going to accidentally come undone while hiking.

As for the pocket material, I responded to that post last week. Shane did a great list of pros and cons of the different materials and I would agree with what he wrote. I like using mesh and dyneema the best for pockets and in some cases Xpac, but find it a little stiff sometimes. If you know you are going to be bushwhacking through a brier patch on your hike then you would want to use a dyneema or xpac for the pockets, but if you are just going to be staying on trail then a mesh pocket will be great.

The one thing I love about building these packs is that there are no right or wrong answer or way to make them. You can do whatever you like, some ideas do turn out better then others, but you don't know until you try it. That is what I love about the MYOG forum, we all can share what we have come up with, which will give others ideas that they can build upon and share back with us. With each post and new pics of projects we all add fuel to the fire, so lets keep it burning!

Christopher Wilke

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re:"The Wifes New Pack" on 09/06/2011 18:43:53 MDT Print View

Well said about this MYOG forum Chris. You most of all have been heaping on fuel to make a bonfire! You put out some very interesting ideas on pack design and this one is no exception. Your two wrap around pockets are pretty nifty. I'm trying to wrap my mind around how they would function from an organizational point of view for backpacking (I'm assuming this is a day pack). Seems like things might shift around and cause you to have to dig around. Maybe it's not that big of a deal. What do you think?

Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
Pockets on 09/06/2011 20:59:34 MDT Print View

With the large pockets sure items are going to shift around, especially if you put a bunch of smaller items in them. My wife liked the pockets because she could reach her water bottles and jacket with out taking the pack off. The shock cord setup helps to somewhat partition the pockets, but items are still going to be able to shift over time.