As good as the Unaweep is, and every time I use any other pack I’m reminded at just how good and how versatile it is, there are inherent limits to the design. Namely, the size and external presence of the frame. There are rather few instances in which this is an issue, but problems exist simply to be solved. Eventually.
I’ve been enamored with the suspension in this pack, with a few significant reservations. As readers observed, the foam pad is so wide it inhibits ideal hipbelt wrap. Unexpectedly, the single stay ended up being the limiting factor, as at certain weights it presents a point pressure against the lumbar, even with three layers of padding between it and the user. This version has two stays, six inches apart, and a foam panel slot 8 inches wide. As can be seen above, the belt attaches with velcro a la Gossamer Gear, so the pack can be run without the stays. The shoulder straps attach with 1 inch webbing, which makes attaching them easier and allows me to swap straps.
I’ve become a firm believer in wide and thin packs, so the back on this one is 12 inches wide. Felled seams throughout. I did outsmart myself a bit here, as with no structure beyond the 8 inch center panel there is nothing to prevent the 2 inch strips on either side from barreling out and making the pack far fatter. I improvised and sewed a velcro sleeve inside the full width of the back, which currently holds a 1/4 inch by 12 inch steel rod. Not an elegant solution, but functional.
Bottom diameter is 32 inches. Top diameter is 36. Height is 34. Standard feature set includes twin daisy chains from 3/8 inch webbing, two side pockets, and an inside zippered pocket.
Main fabric is X33, which remains a favorite. The bottom is X51, a great heavy use fabric. Side pockets, inside pocket, and the exterior of the pad sleeve are WX20, which is light and flexible. I’m using an old Gossamer Gear belt, and Mountain Hardwear shoulder straps. Stays are 1/8 inch by 1 inch 7075-T6, which is the only way to go. Blue foam from Walmart.
I’ve only put a limited number of miles into it, but thus far it is promising. The idea is to have the option to run enough suspension when the pack is totally full of heavy stuff (see top picture, with 2 days of packrafting and fishing stuff), and also run it frameless as well as beltless for smaller trips. To this end the torso length is a half inch undersized.
I’ll keep ya’ll updated.