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Best practice consensus: adding a frame for Jam?
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Sam Sockwell
(sockwellsam) - MLife
Best practice consensus: adding a frame for Jam? on 06/06/2012 06:10:07 MDT Print View

The first question of course is do I pause to look up the spelling of consensus?

I carry a Synmat so mat for stabilization is out.

I started reading through some posts, using real estate signs etc on BPL, but:
Is there a simple way that most people address this concern, if indeed they choose to go the modification route?

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Here's my MYOG Jam frame on 06/06/2012 08:13:47 MDT Print View

I picked up a couple of aluminum frame stays when Brendan Swihart kindly offered them last winter. One was used to replace the delrin rods in my Osprey Hornet prototype pack. I wasn't sure what to do with the other one. I was down in my war room, making those titanium pot supports for you guys, my hands needed a rest, and I was just staring at some gear strewn about the room. I happened to notice the frame stay sitting next to my Jam 2, and I saw the light. Here's what I did:

Jam side view

I sewed loops in the pack's compression straps, using kevlar thread, and also a tubular webbing section into the seam where the hip belt connected to the pack body. I sewed closed the bottom of the tubular webbing. The inverted U- shaped frame width happened to be exactly right to fit into the two hydration ports of the pack.

Back view

This photo shows the back view, where the aluminum frame exits the hydration ports, and also the load lifters that I sewed into the pack seam (the bottom ends are attached to the tops of the shoulder straps as you can see in the photo above).

Outside top

This shows the inside of the top of the pack. I added two loops of Velcro to hold the frame firmly in place. These were sewn directly through the pack seam and connected to the load lifter straps on the outside. This secured the load lifters to the frame.

Top inside

The frame stay and load lifters added maybe 1.75 ounces to the pack. I had already removed the stock frame sheet and hydration sleeve, and I place a GG Sitlite pad inside against my back (I always carry one, as a multi-use item--part of my pillow system, for a comfortable seat on a log, etc.). My Jam now weighs 1# 11 oz., and it carries 25# more comfortably than before. I'm thinking of adding another ounce or so to beef up the shoulder straps, as that's now the weak link for me.

Edited by Zia-Grill-Guy on 06/06/2012 09:24:54 MDT.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Here's my MYOG Jam frame on 06/06/2012 10:37:47 MDT Print View

Awesome mod Gary! I had the same idea a little while back, but I ultimately decided to get a pack with a removable frame (Granite Gear Crown). Honestly, after I came up with the idea, then decided it wasn't worth the trouble, I wondered why GoLite has never added this as a removable component to the Jam. For the weight, it is incredibly functional. Making it removable would just increase the Jam's draw as multifunctional.

Sam--do you carry a thin CCF to protect your inflatable? I just fold up a 1/8" Gossamer Gear Thinlight and use it as a frame for light loads (up to 20-25 pounds) and then use it to protect my NeoAir. Just a thought.

Sam Sockwell
(sockwellsam) - MLife
will check it out on 06/06/2012 11:12:33 MDT Print View

Gary- nice work and photos.
Clayton- had not thought inflatable needed protection but if a thin pad adds structure too might be a good idea. Will look into your GG idea.

More thoughts anyone?

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: will check it out on 06/06/2012 11:21:25 MDT Print View

Sam, I'm not sure if they do, but it is something I have done to protect the investment. A lot of inflatable users do the same (I certainly wasn't original).

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Look at on 06/06/2012 22:56:53 MDT Print View

Posts started by David Chenault. He has a different idea than Garys, which by the way is pretty awesome. Either idea will provide support for extending the comfort of that pack. Good luck.

Sam Sockwell
(sockwellsam) - MLife
thanks on 06/07/2012 07:12:10 MDT Print View

will check for thread Sam

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Jam frame on 06/07/2012 07:30:30 MDT Print View

That's some great work Gary.

My idea, which I've yet to actually execute, is to sew/glue a sleeve into the stock backpad for a stay. A bit more flexible and easier to do, but I would imagine not as supportive as Gary's mod (which would be harder to do with the newer hipbelts). I rather expect GoLite to offer something like this stock within the next few years.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: re: Jam frame on 06/07/2012 07:54:52 MDT Print View

concur on the great work Gary! looks like something from the factory

were these frames one offs that he was offering, or are these something that can still be sourced? that's exactly what I'm looking at for my Pinnacle :)



Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Jam frame on 06/07/2012 08:24:50 MDT Print View

Thanks for the nice words. everyone. It was a case where everything lined up by chance--the frame just happened to be the exact shape and size for the Jam. The sewing part was easy and minimal, and the hydration ports allowed it to work as you see it. I thought I might take it the Skurka presentation at the Boulder GoLite store, and show it to Coup. But then I remembered when the GL management guys just humored me a year ago when I proudly showed them the Ion that I had extensively modified, and I decided to blow it off.

Mike, why don't you contact Brendan Swihart to see if he has any more of that frame tubing. He's a great guy, and he didn't charge much for these. I just told him how wide and how long I wanted them to be, and I asked him if he would do the bending for me (which was nice thing for him to do).

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
I have a few frames left.. on 06/07/2012 19:50:10 MDT Print View

I have 3 left. Mike, you can have dibs on one if you want.

$15 each shipped. PM me if interested.

Edited by brendans on 06/07/2012 19:52:34 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
frame on 06/08/2012 07:25:08 MDT Print View

pm sent :)

Daniel Tekiela
(T3Knical5urg3) - F

Locale: Northeast
Interest on 06/09/2012 21:38:33 MDT Print View

So this mod looks pretty awesome for how simple it is. One question, How did you create the "sheath" that the bottom of the sides of the stay slide into? I would love to get my hands on one of those frame stays!

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: frame on 06/18/2012 20:15:07 MDT Print View

received my frame, looks like it's going to work- have to find someone who can sew though :)

I did have one question- there are small loops formed where the load lifter straps attach to the pack, instead of going through the hydration ports, is there any reason you couldn't go through these loops? there would be no need to add the velcro tabs at the top would this routing

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Here's my MYOG Jam frame on 06/19/2012 06:32:57 MDT Print View

> Sam--do you carry a thin CCF to protect your inflatable? I just fold up a 1/8" Gossamer Gear Thinlight and use it as a frame for light loads (up to 20-25 pounds) and then use it to protect my NeoAir. Just a thought.

I do the same except my CCF is one of the Oware ones (and I have a 2009 Pinnacle). It's so flexible though that even with 6 thicknesses worth it doesn't provide any more support than what the OEM did. Perhaps the GG pad is stiffer?

What did work well for me was adding a small piece of coroplast (eg, election sign) to the OEM pad. I think I used about 10"x12" taped to the OEM pad so it wouldn't shift. The issue I had was with loads over 25 lbs the OEM pad would buckle at the top of the hipbelt - this solved that.

What also worked for me was a generic blue CCF cut down to 50" but it was almost twice the weight of the full-length Oware one.

I don't believe I've carried more than 33 lbs with it.

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Jam 70L Internal Frame mod on 06/25/2012 21:00:50 MDT Print View

I just bought a Jam 70L (884g/31.2oz) to carry a heavier load (and fit the >>x%^?!! bear cannister). It is fine up to 30-35 lbs, but then the weight is all on the shoulders. The pack really doesn't do well transferring weight to the hip belt. At the moment, I like the large capacity to allow the quilt and jacket to air out more and not squeeze them down (npi).

After reading the OP, I bought a 6 foot x 1/4" soft aluminum rod and bent it to match the stock stiffener. The rod is solid, so it weighs 125g (4.4 oz) which is a lot more than the other post's stays. I removed the stock stiffener so the additional weight is 71g/2.5oz. It slips in where the stock stiffener goes although I had to bend it to get it in. That makes it less than removable. Nothing needed to be sewn.

Huge difference in comfort for heavier loads. I can *almost* enjoy hiking the 45 lbs of food I'll be carrying in to resupply some JMTers next week.

Jam 70L internal frame

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Final Jam mods on 06/26/2012 07:30:25 MDT Print View

Here are the final mods of my Jam--I beefed up the shoulder and hip belt padding. I made sleeves which I sewed to the seams of the existing straps. The tops of the shoulder sleeves are not sewn closed, which allows me to easily replace the Evo pads. The hip belt sleeves are only sewn at the top and bottom. I found it interesting that all four sleeves/pads only added .5 oz. to the pack's weight, so it now weighs 1# 11.5 oz. I'm a happy guy.

Today, I'll take a black Sharpie to the white cord on the hip belt sleeves, which was previously done to the shoulder strap sleeve cords. The white cord looks kinda cheesy...

To Mike: If you use the loops in the load lifters to secure the aluminum stay, I'm not sure that you will be able to insert the ends into the sleeves at the bottom. I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with your own "de-Jammed" Jams.

To Daniel: The sheaths were made from 1" tubular webbing. REI sells it, and probably climbing stores do also.

Jam pads

Edited by Zia-Grill-Guy on 06/26/2012 11:11:04 MDT.

Don Abernathey
(OldGuysRule) - F

Locale: PNW
Funny how "ultra-light" doesn't work out on 06/26/2012 10:56:18 MDT Print View

I almost bought a Jam too - got caught up for a moment by the low price and light weight. But I stopped when I realized that it is just a bag with straps - not a backpack really. So I'm continuing with my old "heavy" pack that fits me perfectly and is tried and true.

I commend the efforts to rebuild the Jam into something it was never intended to be. But I think this thread best serves as a caution to those pondering a purchase because there is a lot of hype within the ultra-light crowd.

Brad Walker

Locale: SoCal
Re: Funny how "ultra-light" doesn't work out on 06/26/2012 11:08:08 MDT Print View

Yes I don't think that the Jam (or any other frameless pack really) is meant to carry >25 lbs with much if not any comfort (in fact the Jam does better than most of it's similarly-built competition, check out the BPL articles).

I take this thread to show that with a little work you can greatly increase the versatility of the Jam. Right now I switch back to a different framed pack if I need to carry more than 20lbs or so, but now I have some inspiration to change that.

I don't see any sort of hype involved. Both framed and frameless packs have their own limits of functionality (or at least best uses), which I don't think is news.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Funny how "ultra-light" doesn't work out on 06/26/2012 11:45:47 MDT Print View

You will find many recommendations to buy yor pack last, so it suits your load. There are many variables and personal preferences. Most recommend frameless packs for loads under 30 pounds and almost always add the provisio that "less is better."

You will find some of the most experienced backpackers around on this site and hype gets shot down pretty quick. And you can't lump all UL hikers in one group---- it is a technique, not an orthodoxy.

I'm puzzled when people will try to make a product into something else when there are perfectly good examples of the end product available. In this case the Ospery Exos packs might do the job better. On the other hand, the spirit of innovation, thinking outside the box and a good dose of iconoclasm are what have lowered pack loads and allowed many to hike with more comfort or even hike at all.

If you want hype, go look at 8 pound packs dripping unneeded gadgets and hardware at 3x the cost!