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Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Awesome New Chris Zimmer Pack on 09/30/2012 23:19:35 MDT Print View

After my Absaroka pack was run over I've been on a hunt for something to replace it. I bought a HMG Porter from Anthony and liked it but it just didn't quit fit right. So I emailed back and forth with Chris Zimmer about making something similar but out of X-Pac with some ideas of my own. He was very patient with my rather picky requirements and his turn around time was amazingly fast.

Here are pictures of what he came up with. I can't wait to try it out.

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James Berwick
(jhb0510) - F
Looks Great on 10/01/2012 05:04:16 MDT Print View

That looks fantastic, how big is it, how heavy is it and what did it cost?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Looks Great on 10/01/2012 06:22:20 MDT Print View

The weight is 28oz which is great for a pack with a frame made from durable materials (compare that to a frameless golite pack for example).

The dimensions are about 7x11 on the bottom and a total of 33 inches high. So I'm guessing without the whole extension collar you have around 2000-2500 cubic inches to work with. My gear fit nicely inside the HMG Porter so we used similar dimensions for this pack.

The whole point of this pack was to have a pack that was
1. Rugged
2. Big enough for a thru-hike but that compressed down so it wasn't overkill for a weekend hike.
3. Sturdy enough to haul 35-40 pounds but not so heavy that it was overkill for a weekend UL hike.

I think this pack nails all of those. It should be my go to pack for pretty much any trip except a few weekend SUL trips.

Chris' pricing depends on materials, number of pockets etc. but overall its very reasonable. I would have paid basically the same price if I'd bought a couple of popular cottage gear packs that are NOT custom made to my exact specifications.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Awesome New Chris Zimmer Pack on 10/01/2012 06:29:00 MDT Print View

Luke,

Both of us make our own packs but I have to say Chris Zimmer is in a class by himself.

I am serving notice here and now that I am officially jealous! ;-)

Sweet pack!

Party On,

Newton

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Awesome New Chris Zimmer Pack on 10/01/2012 07:23:30 MDT Print View

Luke: Nice looking pack.

You said it has a frame, what kind and how many stays?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
The Frame on 10/01/2012 17:02:47 MDT Print View

Hik - The frame is a U shaped frame similar to those used in Gossamer Gear packs. It fits into a sleeve inside the pack. I asked Chris to attach the frame as close as possible to the hipbelt. I think this will really improve comfort carrying heavier loads.

John - I've made some packs too but nothing this nice. I actually tried a similar project with Dyneema X and give up because it was just so complicated fitting it all together. I'm sticking with frameless packs for MYOG right now although I have a design I like for a MYOG internal frame pack I want too try at some point.

Edited by Cameron on 10/01/2012 17:05:14 MDT.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: The Frame on 10/01/2012 17:58:29 MDT Print View

Wow--I really like this. It looks like it ticks off a lot of boxes that I've been wanting for some time now. I'd love to hear how it performs. If my MYOG plans don't turn out well this winter, I might give Chris a call.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Awesome New Chris Zimmer Pack on 10/01/2012 17:59:31 MDT Print View

Definitely looks good.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
nice on 10/01/2012 20:44:35 MDT Print View

Nice Luke, I have some xpac shoulder pockets from him. Its very durable and waterproof. It does seem that the material is somewhat stiff, seems like it would be good for structure. Like opposite of thin nylon. Do you see yourself removing the frame and using CCF ever?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Update on 10/03/2012 21:20:10 MDT Print View

I got the pack today and its every bit as nice as the pictures indicate. I loaded it up with an estimated 30 pounds and walked around a bit. The load lifters are only about 1 inch from the top of the shoulder straps but they are handy for dialing in a perfect fit. The double straps on the hipbelt help it to wrap around better.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Update on 10/04/2012 04:05:37 MDT Print View

Luke,

So what did you and Chris wind up calling it?

I went to the Zimmerbuilt site and I see a pack called the "Cameron" but it's a dyneema pack and it doesn't look like yours.

May I suggest the LSCZ pronounced El's Easy. ;-)

Party On,

Newton

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Alaska
Awesome! on 10/04/2012 12:27:56 MDT Print View

Looks like a great pack! Chris does excellent work.

One thing I am curious about with pack designs like this and the porter: How do you go about storing/accessing water on the go? After using my Ohm 2.0 on a number of trips, for me personally, not having such easy access to water bottles in the outer pockets is a deal breaker on these types of packs.

Edited by aaronufl on 10/04/2012 12:33:56 MDT.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Xp on 12/26/2012 23:02:46 MST Print View

What grade xpac did you use, vx21, vx07?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
xpac on 12/26/2012 23:19:27 MST Print View

The back, bottom and sides are VX21 (the gray and black parts). The orange is the VX07. My original plan was to hang two water bottles from the front. The lighter xpac is noticeably softer (and a bit lighter) so its well suited to the roll top closure.

I had originally thought about hanging water bottles off the front but I may not bother now. Its a bit of a hassle to take the pack off to get water but not too much. The trade off is that my pack is very streamline which is nice for slipping between trees when I go off trail.

If I ever really wanted too I could make detachable side pockets and connect them to the compression straps. Probably won't though.

Edited by Cameron on 12/26/2012 23:20:54 MST.

Rob Daly
(rdaly) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
nice on 12/27/2012 08:04:02 MST Print View

That pack looks great, very clean. How is the fit. Is it broken in yet? How do you like it so far?

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Luke re: on 12/27/2012 08:15:40 MST Print View

How is your vx21 handling abrasion on the bottom? Would you say it's better than dyneema x?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Michael on 12/27/2012 08:53:08 MST Print View

It is hard to say. I've only had it out for 6 days and its showing no signs of wear (not that I've abused it). I imagine they would be about equal for normal wear and tear. Dyneema X is a bit more tear resistant (I've tried tearing samples of both) but I'm not sure how big a difference that makes.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
looks good on 02/05/2014 16:57:53 MST Print View

Luke, I'm having Zimmer make me a pack largely based off of yours - thanks! I was using the pictures on his site to help illustrate features I'd like and more and more referred back to yours. As luck would have it, while searching the web for additional images I came across this thread. Lucky for me, but probably not for you with all the questions I have.

Above you mentioned the dimensions of the pack at the bottom are 11" x 7"; does your pack taper? If so, what are the dimensions at the top, before the extension collar?

Also, you mention that you wanted the frame as close to the back as possible. What was done differently by Zimmer in this regards?

Anything you might change?

Thanks for your time.