Interesting poetry, Dale.
Today I was sewing a failed seam on a TNF glove, and I noticed there were still a couple of labels inside it. They were carefully cut off to honor Mike's! presence. Then I got to thinking...
Dale, of course you are right about the overall idea of buying the right item to begin with, to encourage vendors to meet the actual needs of the consumer. But then there's another thing to consider--I enjoy hacking things to improve them to my taste. It's a hobby. I've actually done my surgery on 3 different GoLite packs, and I've then showed them to Coup and other GL employees to try to get them to see the light (I usually get blank stares from Coup and the design people, but kudos from the rank and file employees). I've hoped that I could encourage them to come up with packs that would serve us better.
So here's what I did during Boulder's recent deluge/flood. I picked up a silly student's "computer/book bag" day pack that GL had put ON SALE. It had scads of silly features, like a padded computer sleeve, a hydration bladder sleeve (I think), useless too-small water bottle pockets, and an inadequate pair of side compression straps. But since it only weighed 18 oz. for a 1525 cu. in. capacity, I decided it might be worth hacking. Here's the stock photo of the GoLite Daylite pack:
Note the water bottle pockets and the compression straps. The zippered front pocket is intended for storing pens and other small items.
So I removed 7.5 oz. of useless nylon, zippers, interior pockets, and shortened most straps. Then I added back some mesh pockets that actually do something, like carry a liter water bottle on each side, as well as a huge front pocket. Then I added a 1.5 oz. external titanium rod frame, put evo pads on the weenie waist belt, and modified the compression straps. I also employed scads of mini biners and silicone hair ties (the best rubber bands ever). The total weight of add-back things was 4.0 oz. Here's a front view of the final hack job:
Here's a side view. Note the locations of the 3 black mini biners on each side. These can be clipped to the titanium frame to effectively compress the pack completely. Then the huge mesh front pocket and side water bottle pockets can hold everything needed for a day hike away from camp. Also, note the modified side compression strap to which the silicone "rubber band" attaches to securely retain the 1 L. Platy. On each side of the pack, after the straps were sewn with a loop to hold the titanium frame piece, the straps were trimmed to 1". I heated a piece of ti rod until red-hot and pierced the strap to make a hole (thanks for this tip Mike C!). The heat melts the inside edges of the hole to strengthen it against tearing under stress. Then I just attached a silicone band to the hole, with the other end being secured by a mini biner. The biner and silicone hair tie are both of course removable, so they can be used for other things. I carry a few extra silicone hair ties (of various sizes--I seem to have a fetish for silicone).
So modifying a rather silly 18 oz. pack to make it 14.5 oz. (or 15.5 oz. if I want to keep the waist belt), with a far more functional set of features, seemed worth it to me. It will carry my 10# summer base weight kit just as well as my de-ionized Ion does, and the carry comfort is about the same for both. Fully set up with waist belt, they both weigh 15.5 oz. Now the goal is to catch Coup sometime and make him look at this modified pack. Maybe if I pester these guys enough they'll finally make a BPL Special Pack for us.
Important to note: No labels or logos were harmed during this pack-hack--they all were attached to the nylon pieces that I carefully removed.
Edit--to expand on the compression strap mod thing, and also to correct a couple of spelling errors...