Z-lite in shoulder straps?
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K C
(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
Z-lite in shoulder straps? on 04/06/2012 22:04:12 MDT Print View

So I always start my packs by making the shoulder straps. I'm fresh out of 1/4 inch CCF, I was thinking of cutting up some sections of my Z-lite to pad the shoulder straps. Anyone try this? When it compresses the dimples kind of flatten the material so it may be more comfortable/thicker than 1/4 CCF, any thoughts?

I do have several cheap blue mats, but can't bring myself to using them in a pack, when I squeeze it you can hear some cells pop and the rebound is poor.

The 1/4 inch foam I like to use is from D.I.Y gear supply.

Edited by KalebC on 04/07/2012 08:06:49 MDT.

John Almond
(FLRider) - F

Locale: The Southeast
Possible Alternative on 04/07/2012 03:43:28 MDT Print View

My most recent version of my DIY pack didn't use any CCF in the shoulder pads. Instead, I took a layer of 3d OCF and sewed it to a layer of breathable Cordura.

Took the whole thing, turned it over on itself with the Cordura on the outside, and sewed a French seam 2/3 of the way around the remaining edge. Flipped it inside out and finished the end with grosgrain edging.

It's a more traditional pack, in that the weight is supposed to sit on a waist belt rather than the shoulder straps, so keep that in mind. That being said, I've got about forty miles on it so far, and it's comfortable with up to about fifteen pounds (about what I'm comfy with on a store-bought pack) without using the waist belt for weight transfer.

The 3d mesh isn't all that much lighter than a fabric tube filled with CCF, though. It just breathes a lot better (a definite plus down here in FL 7+ months out of the year). I still sweat into the straps when the temps are above 50 F, but it helps a bit in keeping "soaked shirt" syndrome to a minimum.

Hobbes W
(Hobbesatronic) - F

Locale: SoCal
Z-lite in shoulder straps? on 04/07/2012 08:47:22 MDT Print View

I use 1/4" neoprene - I think it's a lot softer & more comfortable, yet still holds its form.

There's no need to cut up an entire CCF pad either; just buy the amount needed from any hardware store. Neoprene is more expensive per sq ft, but if you buy only what you need, the cost comes out around the same as a Wally CCF ie $10-12.

My shoulder pads are 3" wide, and my hip/waist pads are 5" wide. I take a 1" (router) drill bit and punch a series of holes in both shoulder/hip pads, enough to lighten but not so many as to weaken the material.