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Modifying an existing pack
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Aaron Bradshaw
(bradshaw) - F

Locale: Alberta
Modifying an existing pack on 01/23/2007 13:36:52 MST Print View

Looking for some advice from the pack makers out there. I have a vaude rock ultralight 25 - love this pack. Anyways, I'd like to use some stronger fabric instead of the thin nylon portions it uses. There are basically 3 of 6 pieces that are a really thin nylon - the other panels are more robust ripstop nylon.

If I can get some more durable material, I figure I could turn the pack inside out, sew pieces to reinforce the under portion of the thin nylon. The alternative, which I think would be more difficult, would be to take all the pieces apart and replace the nylon with the more durable material. Any thoughts? If this isn't clear I can try to provide more explanation. Thanks.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Modifying an existing pack on 01/23/2007 22:06:11 MST Print View


If you're going to go to that much trouble, you might check out Jay's new MYOG article, published just a few minutes ago. He tells how to build a SUL pack - 3.1 oz in spinnaker fabric. A pack made with more durable fabric would be one seriously streamlined bushwhacking pack.

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Re: Modifying an existing pack on 01/23/2007 22:20:11 MST Print View

I have struggled with similar issues in evaluating and wanting to improve my pack. My solution was to buy a second pack of the same type on sale, for a backup. Aside from that method of dealing with the problem of durability I decided to use a garbage bag pack cover if I thought the brush, terrain, or whatever was doing to be a threat. As for the bottom of the pack I use, my idea is to duct tape it if it is getting worn. That's my thoughts -- since I don't want to mess with sewing the thing over, espcially taking it apart and then resewing it. bd

Edited by bdavis on 01/23/2007 22:21:07 MST.

Aaron Bradshaw
(bradshaw) - F

Locale: Alberta
Re: Re: Modifying an existing pack on 01/23/2007 22:45:27 MST Print View

Thanks for the comments.

Benjamin, what I'm interested in for the pack is just a little more durability. It suits most of my needs very well but sometimes I like to take off on a cheap flight somewhere, and I just grab a few clothes with a small pack and go. I'm just worried about the weakness of the nylon fabric in case something happens to it on the road. But then I could take b d's advice about the duct tape.

I have no experience modifying packs so just wondered if ths would have been too much trouble. Sounds like it may be.

Bd,I like your suggestion about the backup pack. There's a place in town that sells these packs for like $30 and was actually thinking about getting a backup in case you can't buy them in the future.

IF I had a more durable material, what about just lining my pack loosely with it, kind of like a U shape from the top of the back panel across the bottom and up the inside of the back of the pack. Would that do anything, I wonder?

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Re: Re: Re: Modifying an existing pack on 01/23/2007 22:55:06 MST Print View


I tried the inside fix and it doesn't seem to work if the stress on the material is coming from the outside -- thus, the garbage bag cover idea, which has worked but the garbage bag gets trashed, of course. It also has to be put on tightly. If it is loose then it gets caught on limbs, or mainly when going under downed trees.

The second pack is good, but to really solve it you might want to carry the pack in a duffle bag for airlines. For hiking I have been tempted to get some iron on material and just iron it on the weak points. Having worked as a "seamster" one summer I dread the thought of undoing the stitching and resewing my pack. In that case I would cut the whole bag off the harness, which is why I like the pack, and tie a GG whisper onto it.

I almost forgot, I just bought two smaller day packs that are lightweight at Big 5 (an outlet sporting goods store here in CA) for $ 20US each this weekend on sale as standby quick packs for travelling. So $30 a pack is a deal. bd

Edited by bdavis on 01/23/2007 22:58:49 MST.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:Modifying an existing pack on 01/24/2007 00:10:34 MST Print View

Aaron, I sympathize totally with your desire to modify a pack, but honestly packs are getting cheaper and cheaper; you could buy a spare of almost any configuration for less than the 'cost of your time' if you know what I mean.

I usually buy my packs at steep discount from previous years stocks, and tend to cut them up a bit to reduce weight.

I've pretty much settled on three packs for any situation..
20Liter, Day hike: Montbell Versalite (350grams)
40Liter, Alpine/climbing: REI Pinnacle (heavy and strong)
60Liter, Granite Gear Nimubs Ozone (1426g, big to hold winter down and fleece)

I have a few old packs as backups and loaners.

Please share what you decide to do, and which packs you prefer and why?montbell versalite 20

Edited by Brett1234 on 01/24/2007 00:11:14 MST.

Aaron Bradshaw
(bradshaw) - F

Locale: Alberta
Re: re:Modifying an existing pack on 01/24/2007 07:50:54 MST Print View

Thanks guys. I've decided to just leave it alone. If the pack rips, well, it rips and I'll repair it or get a new one (use the backpup).

Actually, what I might do is get some fabric and start dabbling with sewing given the instructions on this site.

For dayhikes and commuting, I love the rock ultralight 25.
For backpacking/gear intensive activities, I use the Jam.

Steve Smith
(bardsandwarriors) - F

Locale: Wales
Have a look on 01/24/2007 21:53:49 MST Print View

In the interests of learning how stuff works, you might as well turn it inside out and have a look. It is possible to figure out how all the seams add up, and how it's been made.

When I've done this, my conclusions is usually that it's very difficult to retrofit pieces, because you would, in most cases, have to unpick the seams and sew them together again, to take the strain off the old fabric and transfer it to the new fabric. Internal seams are usually trimmed quite thin, so there may not be much leftover material to do it any other way.

Anyway - to save further waffle, just get yourpack and turn it inside out, and have a look.