All Pack, version 4

There are few things that will get more mileage, if you’re a regular adventurer outside, than a stout 40-50 liter pack. Enough room for technical day trips or short backpacks, not big enough to be a nuisance on a dayhike, tough enough to beat on for years.

My version of this do-most-things pack has evolved considerably since I built the first version 20 months ago.  My skill set has evolved, my preferences have changed, the fabrics I use and my designs have grown more sophisticated.  After the North Fork Pack was such a success, another All Pack redesign was inevitable.

I finished this latest one up just in time for last weekends traverse in Glacier NP, and can report that the revisions performed admirably.

Central to this are the bellowed side pockets, with burly 1/4″ shock cord running through a sleeve on the curved edge, with grommets on either end.  The cord is adjustable and replaceable should it wear out.

The pockets hold a lot of stuff securely, fold pretty flat when not in use, and stuff can be extracted and inserted with one hand without removing the pack!  Here in Montana I typically bring just one water bottle, and refill water often from little streams.  Side pockets are essential for making this approach efficient.

The bottom and back panel, as well as front and sides of the wrap around pocket, are Ballistics nylon.  Heavy, and absorbs water, but very abrasion resistant.  The inner layer of the double bottom, and the black inner fabric, is Dimension Polyant VX-21.  The VX-21 is lighter and very waterproof (200 psi). As a result, it aborbs very little water.

The hipbelt design I’m quite proud of.  The outermost wings are Osprey Talon 11 belt pockets/wings, while the inner belt is VX-21.  It’s bartacked to the middle of the back panel, and to the side wings (that also serve to attach the shoulder straps).  Two gussets shape the belt midway between the attachment points (the gussets are bartacks sewn into the belt to take up fabric).  The result is a light, unpadded belt that carries weight well and does a remarkably job moving with me during climbing and bushwacking.

This shows the belts attachment to the side wings, as well as the drain slot in the bottom of the side pockets.

I modified the stock hip belt buckle rig for two reasons after this weekends trip.  First, having two buckles for adjustment seemed excessive.  I also wanted to replace the fancy Osprey buckle with this more conventional black one.  The male end of the Osprey buckle doesn’t have much space for snow to exit when you close it, and is thus surprisingly prone to icing up.  This should solve that issue.

It’s rather impossible to give a complete sense of all the design details.  Do feel free to ask questions.  The only pieces which have been apart of every revision up to the present are the shoulder harness, extension collar, and back pocket daisy chain assemblage.  The overall dimensions have also changed.  This version is shorter than past versions, as I have a big pack for serious gear, and fatter.  A pack worn while cycling can only be so tall (it hits your helmet), and I wanted a better pack for bike-rafting.  In the first photo I have my packraft, paddle, PDF, drysuit, and a days accessories all loaded in.

It’s been a fun journey.

6 responses to “All Pack, version 4”

  1. you can probably export you content from blogspot and import here…

    just saying…


  2. Nice design/retool.
    As I understand it, did you get rid of the padding in the hip belt? I’m curious how much weight was in the pack this last outing. Thanks for keeping us in the loop in regards to your “tweeking”.

  3. Sweet…..I’m allowed to comment now!

    I make that exact modification to my Talon waist belts. I need the torso length of the M/L but the waist belt of the S/M……so that’s been my solution.


  4. The Talon 11 waistbelt is unpadded, though in every other way identical to the 22 belt. I like it, a lot.

    I probably had 15-17 pounds, including food and a half liter of water, for the trip this past weekend. The pack carried really well, exceptionally well when I had the snowshoes on my feet and not on the back of the pack mucking things up. (I want smaller snowshoes.) Based on past incarnations this pack will be good to 30 lbs on a multiday trip.

  5. […] packrafting gear on a bike is not hard, provided that you have a fat backpack that rides a bit low.  It’s more than most like to have on their back while riding, but that […]

  6. […] hip belt cut out, which mitigated effectiveness and rubbed my hip bone.  It also wasn’t the secure yet dynamic design I’ve come to prefer.  So I fixed […]

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