How to make a pack

Raw materials.

Added padding to spare Talon straps.

Top lash strap.  My dad and grandpa and I did a backpacking trip on Mt Le Conte (in the Smokys) back when I was in fifth grade, when I got that patch.
Ready for water.
And a shovel.
Basing the fit off the Talon 22 and the Cold Cold World Ozone, I hit things dead on.

The grey fabric is 1050 denier Ballistics, which in my experience is as close to indestructible and waterproof as nylon gets.  The bottom panel is doubled.  The extension collar, and the sleeve on the back panel (which holds the doubled 1/2″ foam back pad/suspension), are 1.9 oz/yard silnylon ripstop.  
The bottom panel is an 11″x10″x7″ trapezoid, and slants up 3″ from the back to the front of the pack.  The circumference of the pack bag is 3″ greater at the top than the bottom.  
Compression straps were placed to (try to) maximize ski carrying.  
Waist belt is plain 1.5″ webbing.  Load lifters and tri-sliders for the top straps are sewn and bartacked onto the bag via a 1″ webbing strap.  
Aside from a few miscalculations and some shenanigans with installing the drawcords, the process went off without a hitch.  Still took about 12 hours of work.
We’ll see how it works.

(This last pic has a shorter foam pad, which didn’t let the load lifters get full juice.)


11 responses to “How to make a pack”

  1. impressive dave. Looks quite functional but more amazed by how clean the work looks.

  2. I am curious about the cost in materials, not gonna have you figure labor?(If yu don’t mind sharing) After building my bivy years ago I learned I break about even in cost, without labor included. Seems the main benefit is a highly personalized piece of gear and the pride/experience of building something yourself. You seem to have the quality and functionality of the product developed to a higher level than I did, which really help justify the endeavor.

  3. The fabric was about 60 bucks shipped, with quite a bit left over for other, smaller projects (coming soon!). Add in another 10 bucks in webbing, cord, and a few buckles I didn’t have.The nearest comparable packs from Cilogear, Cold Cold World, or Wild Things run about 200, so I think I did ok.I also took my time, and have improved my sewing lately. The detail work in some places is far from professional, but I’m confident that it’s bullet proof.And ready for a two day Imlay trip!

  4. Sounds good, we should definitely plan on the full Imlay this summer.Not a bad price at all, sounds well worth it.Ariel led Pine Ck for the first time yesterday without me. All went well and only involved a little blood ;^)

  5. Well done!That looks great.

  6. At first I was thinking I would get amused at someone’s attempt at making a pack. I am astonished how well the thing looks. Nice work. Hoping to read updates on it’s durability and function.

  7. Sweet work.Did you use the wife’s industrial machine for this?

  8. We don’t own an “industrial machine”, just two very nice conventional ones. They do lots of cool stitch (and automatic bartacks), but don’t have a heavy-duty needle for thick thread and what not. I’d love a machine that can sew ballistics to neoprene and the like without fear, but I don’t break needles on our machines so long as I go slow through the thick stuff.

  9. […] been over three years since I started making whole packs mostly from scratch, and I’ve learned an enormous amount through all the hiking, […]

  10. […] daytrips.  This pack feels like the culmination of years of work, and a truly large step above that first pack back in the […]

  11. […] or scrappage.  On the one hand using all these has been a joyful and educational process.  My original pack had a lot of things in common with the ones I’m building today, but it also demonstrates how […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s