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Foam for Backpack Straps?
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Nate Powell
(powell1nj) - F

Locale: North Carolina
Foam for Backpack Straps? on 12/16/2011 07:25:33 MST Print View

Howdy,

So what types of foam are folks using for backpack straps and where are you getting it? Just interested in whats out there. I'd love to find something cheap and easily available (I know, shocking right?). I've got a couple rolls of the 3/8" blue foam from Wally-World, which I imagine is about as cheap and available as it gets, but it's not particularly squishy. I haven't actually made any straps with this stuff yet, so if someone has it'd be cool to hear about how it worked out.

I'd be sandwiching the foam between some type of ripstop (whatever I'm using for the pack body) and some of the 4mm foam mesh from rockywoods for the business side - which is really nice stuff by the way.

I'd love to hear folks' thoughts. Thanks!

Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
FY20 on 12/16/2011 07:37:29 MST Print View

Check out the FY20 foam from OWFinc, it is a really nice closed foam for shoulder strap, I love it! I do have a roll of the blue wally word foam, in comparison there is no comparison between the two! The FY20 is much softer and will make a much nicer shoulder strap for your pack project. If you plan on sewing through the shoulder strap just remember not to get to thick of foam or else your sewing machine might not be able to lift the presser foot high enough to sew through the foam 4mm mesh and any webbing that you might add to the strap.

Nate Powell
(powell1nj) - F

Locale: North Carolina
re: Foam for Backpack Straps? on 12/16/2011 07:58:19 MST Print View

Thanks Christopher - always good to get advice from the man behind Zimmerbuilt! Your gear is legendary by the way. I'll definitely check that foam out. What thickness do you recommend? I would likely be sewing through the webbing/foam/4mm mesh as you said. 1/4" seems like a good option if owfinc has it (their website is all jacked up right now so I can't see the options). Thanks again man.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: re: Foam for Backpack Straps? on 12/16/2011 08:06:08 MST Print View

Agreed on the FY20. Good stuff. While I would never use it on shoulder straps, I will say that the blue foam is great for hipbelts. The stiffness resists collapse much better than softer foams.

Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re: FY20 on 12/16/2011 08:29:46 MST Print View

Yeah their site leaves a little to be desired, but they are great to work with. You can download a pdf of their catalog to get all the thicknesses. I use 3/8" and 1/4" foam, you can sew through the 3/8" with webbing and mesh on a regular home machine but it will jack up your machine sooner or later, been there done that. So I would suggest 1/4" foam, 1/4" foam makes for a nice padded shoulder strap.

Michael Duke
(mpd1690) - F
Needle on 12/16/2011 10:00:31 MST Print View

Also, get a thick needle. I use a 16 or 18 generally. It is thick, but it pretty much mitigates misfires on the bobbin grab. As Chris said, 3/8 is a pain to sew on a home machine. I've done it, and now use 1/4. 3/8 has a lot of thread skipping on a home machine and is just a pain.

Thomas Budge
(budgthom) - F

Locale: Idaho
hipbelt foam? on 12/16/2011 10:39:20 MST Print View

What foam do y'all like best for hipbelts?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Foam for Backpack Straps? on 12/16/2011 13:26:27 MST Print View

I have used EVA30 and EVA 40 for shoulder straps. But I have also used double layers of heavy X-Pac fabric with no foam at all for shoulder straps. If your pack is light (this is BPLIGHT after all), then you may not need foam.

For hipbelts I have used sprung mesh or EVA30 as well.

The blue foam mats you get at WW etc do work quite well as a source. Very cheap.

Cheers

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Foam for Backpack Straps? on 12/16/2011 15:26:17 MST Print View

You can avoid sewing through the foam. See here.

here

Michael Duke
(mpd1690) - F
Sewing through on 12/16/2011 21:10:56 MST Print View

The method I use can avoid sewing through as well. Dp you not have problems with the material around the foam rotating? I've had problems on non sewn through rotating.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Insignia Cloth Straps on 12/16/2011 22:14:30 MST Print View

Michael,

The adhesive backed insignia cloth sticks to the foam like....well glue. There is no rotation at all. You can't remove the insignia cloth from the foam without destroying the foam.

Daryl

Michael Duke
(mpd1690) - F
Re: Insignia Cloth Straps on 12/16/2011 22:25:24 MST Print View

Ah I see. Very clever. Thank you.