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Netting pack
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Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Netting pack on 12/28/2011 09:47:52 MST Print View

I'm working on a pack (only the second I've made) and I have several criteria in mind. I don't want a waterproof pack. I'd rather have a very breathable pack fabric that I can line with a pack liner or lightweight dry bag, or cover with a pack cover. I would prefer that my packed insulation breathes a little during the day.

It occurred to me that the pack could be made completely of netting, with light fabric underneath. I have some lightweight, very strong (185 lbs per cord) knotless dyneema sk75 netting, with about 1 inch openings. It looks a bit like the photo below (from supplier website).


Compression could be achieved by just lacing a bit of cord through the netting and cinching it up. Also, anything that would go on the outside of the pack could be clipped to the netting, including small external pockets. Larger external pockets for heavier items could be equipped with grommets and laced on wherever they are appropriate given the load. Loops of cordage to harness water bottles could be placed anywhere. Hiking poles, or wet socks could be stuffed through an opening under the netting. And insulation dampened by dew or perspiration would dry much more readily during the day than it would in a pack made from X-pac or some other waterproof pack fabric.

Has anyone seen or used packs of this kind? Any feedback is welcome.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Netting pack on 12/28/2011 09:53:24 MST Print View

I've seen mesh packs, but not this loose netting.

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Netting on 12/28/2011 10:07:36 MST Print View

I considered using mesh. I've seen mesh knapsacks (like the photo below) and backpacks for scuba gear. Because the openings in leno mesh and similar materials are much smaller than the netting, they would protect underlying things from abrasion (which the netting doesn't do). But mesh strong enough to withstand having cordage laced through it for compression or attachment of pockets would be very heavy, and things couldn't be attached with clips or stuffed through the openings.


Edited by ckrusor on 12/28/2011 10:26:31 MST.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Netting pack on 12/28/2011 11:13:20 MST Print View


You said "I'd rather have a very breathable pack fabric that I can line with a pack liner or lightweight dry bag"

I agree with this and have been using uncoated fabric for this reason for about 10 years now. Another great advantage of breathable material is that I can throw my pack into the washer after each trip. Kelty used to make their some of their frame pack sacks out of uncoated nylon in the 70s.

I've toyed with the mesh or netting idea but backed off for a couple of reasons:

(1) I'm currently down to 1.1 ounce ripstop nylon for my pack bags. Can't save much weight by going to netting.

(2) Netting is much more prone to snagging on things than a finely woven ripstop nylon.

Haven't given up on the idea yet and your experience may sway me. Please keep us posted.


Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Netting on 12/28/2011 12:23:18 MST Print View

Daryl, I agree about the weight and the snagging. The snagging should be a little less irritating with the netting than it would be with mesh, because the netting won't tear, but it still might be an annoyance.

I initially felt conflicted about the cost in weight, but I have decided that I'm willing to accept it. The netting itself is basically 200 lb test dyneema fishing line in a grid of 1" squares (it is actually marketed as fishing net), and it weighs about 1.3 oz/yard. I'm considering using a 1.6 oz/yard dacron pack bag underneath, and a thin liner inside that. This brings the total material weight up to just over 3 oz/yard. This is still lighter than Dyneema Gridstop and some of the Dimension Polyant pack fabrics, and the pack should require less than two square yards of each material, so the absolute cost in weight of the netting design over 1.1 oz nylon is probably less than three ounces.

I plan to use a mesh-like high-tenacity nylon from a fencing jacket for the bottom, 1/2" thick 3D spacer mesh for the back, and pocketed straps that will hold 2L of water, so it will definitely end up much heavier than your packs in the end. I hope to keep it under 16 oz.

Edited by ckrusor on 12/28/2011 12:32:47 MST.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Netting on 12/28/2011 15:01:46 MST Print View

Snags have almost taken me off my feet, and at 220 lbs, that says a lot about snags. If you do this, I hope it works out for you.