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Modified MLD Zip Pack
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(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Modified MLD Zip Pack on 04/08/2007 16:32:30 MDT Print View

Here's some pics of my MLD Zip pack that I modified recently. Total weight with sternum strap: 8.9oz, size large. Approx new volume 1750ci.

Thanks to Ron at MLD for a great pack and excellent customer service!


1. Roll top full pack side compression system. This is the major mod for this pack.

Using three snaps on the top to close the collar and thin cordage (MLD guyline cord), I created a roll top system that integrates with a side compression system, and is very easy and quick to use. The snaps are installed such that the top closure overlaps on it self when snapped to provide a better water seal.

I like side compression much better than criss-cross top panel types because side compression flattens the pack closer to the body rather than creating more of a tube or round pack like top panel compression does.

I tied the cordage to the lowest and highest (usable) webbing tieouts with simple knots. Fixed a barrel lock on the top collar at both sides and then grabbed the cordage just above the side pocket and ran it through the barrel lock.

To compress the pack and cinch the roll top all one has to do is pull down on the cordage and the top is pulled down while the sides are compressed. The fixed barrel lock stays in place so you don't have to run it up tight as a second step. In the pics I had to use a barrel lock that does not have the side tieout option, so I attached it to the collar with a piece of string temporarily.

Neat thing, while the pack is worn you can reach back and snug up the whole thing just by pulling down on the loose ends of cordage.

Since I removed the top extension collar of this pack, to apply this mod to a stock pack you might have to adjust the points at which the cordage attaches to the top side of the pack and where you choose to pull the cordage up to the barrel lock.

You can't reach a water bottle in the side pockets of this pack anyway, so the cordage running over that area is no problem.

2. Sewn in GG 1/8" thinlight lower leg pad for when using the pack as sleeping pad. My GG 3/4 Torso pad is used for my upper body and packs in next to this sewn in pad. I sewed it so that it would stay put when sleeping and stay in place when packing.

3. Removed hip belt.

4. Added webbing tie outs on sides for side compression system.

5. Removed extension collar. This pack seemed to be very very tall in terms of collar height. By removing the collar completely it felt better to me.









Edited by jhaura on 04/08/2007 16:48:30 MDT.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Modified MLD Zip Pack on 04/08/2007 20:00:22 MDT Print View


Looks right good. It's nice when you know what you want out of a piece of gear and get chop up a brand new piece with comfort.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
MLD Zip Pack mod on 04/08/2007 20:10:28 MDT Print View

Very nice mod. I'm curious what Ron of MLD thinks. Was sewing in the foam the only way to achieve your goals?

(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: Modified MLD Zip Pack on 04/09/2007 09:58:38 MDT Print View


Thanks for the props! I'm basically at the point where I will be making my big 3 or 4 gear pieces start to finish. This was one of the last gear items I will buy for myself that is ready made. I just got a new sewing machine so my old battle ax that caused me a lot of pain is a thing of the past.


Sewing the foam in was the last thing I did that day and it was very hard since the pack was already put together. But so far I like it like that. I could use velcro or something, but I don't forsee any time when I would want to remove it. I thought of was to open the pad up at the top seam alittle and use it for a sleeve pocket or stash area for flat items. We'll see.

I went on a day hike with it fully loaded for a 5-day trip plus 3 liters of water and it felt great. I was most pleased with the compression system, I'm glad it is working as planned.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Modified MLD Zip Pack on 06/30/2007 22:43:26 MDT Print View


You mentioned in your review of your Zip pack, that they run small and you needed a large?
What is your torso size? I'm 5'11" with a 19" torso and ordered a med. size Zip.
Now I'm wondering myself as to whether the Med. will fit me or not?
I don't want to wait 8 weeks only to find out the pack doesn't fit me, and have to send it back and wait another 8 weeks?
I do have a GG Mariposa that I could measure and call Ron with this info to compare with his dimensions on the Zip?

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: Re: Re: Modified MLD Zip Pack on 06/30/2007 23:07:24 MDT Print View

The torso lenghts of all the MLD packs were adjusted a couple of months after they were first offered in Feb. Most folks now feel the sizes are about right with reguard to commonly used S/M/L pack torso sizes.

If packs are received and the fit is off, a replacement/exchange would be received in about a week.

So, no need to change any sizes on orders not already shipped.


Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Modified MLD Zip Pack on 06/30/2007 23:14:40 MDT Print View

OK Ron, sounds good. I guess you can disregard the e-mail that I just sent you then?



Edited by mfog1 on 06/30/2007 23:15:32 MDT.