I finished my second homemade backpack. I had already made one Ray-Way backpack which I wore out on my AT thru-hike. I added a hip-belt to my last pack but it stressed the fabric significantly and every outer pocket on my pack had several holes in them by the end of the trail. I made a lot of modifications to the design based on my experiences and preferences. The final weight is 15.2oz which is more than the last one I made, but the hip belt is a lot more comfortable and this bag will be much more durable. I could also save an ounce just by taking the sternum strap and elastic off.
I used oxford for the back panel, bottom and straps. I used 2.2 oz ripstop for the sides and 1.1 oz silnylon for the extension.
I used Schoeller Dryskin (I think that's what it was called) for the zippered pocket and the bottom of the side pockets. I salvaged the Schoeller from pants that I got on sale, tried to turn into zip offs (complete failure) and couldn't even use for shorts because I've since lost a bunch of weight. The zippered pocket was actually a cell phone pocket on the pants. I wanted a more durable stretch fabric on the bottom of the pocket because I got huge holes on both pockets because of the abrasion against the bottom of the water bottle when putting the pack down. The mesh is a stretch Lycra from Quest Outfitters.
The last pack I made had a simple hip-belt from 1.5" webbing. It started to pull out of the side seems and wasn't as comfy as it could have been so I added padded hip-belt wings to distribute the stress over a wider area and reduce abrasion on my hip bones. I also reinforced the sides and back panels with a double layer of oxford. I cut the reinforcement pieces at a 45 degree angle so the fibers would be less likely to pull apart. I also changed the shape of the pack bottom so the hip-belt would come out of a straight seam instead of the half-circle bottom called for in the directions.
I didn't sew on the sock drying straps and used a piece of elastic instead. I rarely used the straps and this way I can remove the elastic if I want. The elastic can also compress the bag if it's mostly empty.
I added a pad holding pocket on the inside of the bag made from nobul1 from Titanium Goat.
I made a removable sternum strap which I doubt I'll end up using. I didn't really miss it on the old one unless the pack was mostly empty on a town day.
I made some other simple changes like adding the webbing along the side seams so that I can add compression cord if I like, adding the ice axe loops on the bottom (which I only ever use to attach a pulk sled in the winter), changing some seams and tucking webbing ends in to give a more professional look, and using a box stitch on the straps instead of straight stitches.
I also figured this time I'd push myself to go for a more professional look so I went with the black and green scheme.
Let me know what you guys think.