First MYOG Project - Arc Blast Inspired Pack

Discussion in 'DIY & MYOG' started by Niels, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. Niels

    Niels Hiker

    Long time lurker, first time poster. Inspired by BPL and you guys, I decided to make my own backpack and figured I would share the result. This is my first MYOG project so I didn't have to high hopes for the final product, but I think it turned pretty well considering i have never really used a sewing machine before.

    I finished my PCT thru in September and carried the Osprey Exos for the entire hike. The mesh back was fantastic for keeping my back from getting drenched, so I wanted to incorporate that feature into my design. The Exos is way too complicated so i looked to the Zpacks Arc Blast instead, but tweaked the design slightly and added some features.

    Key features that had to be included in the final design:
    Mesh back
    Highly waterresistant
    Shoulder strap mesh pockets
    Internal mesh pocket
    Shock cord attachment for socks/ice Axe
    Hands free umbrella attachment
    Hip belt pouches

    Main body - VX07 / VX21 for the bottom.
    Hip Belt - 210D Diamond Ripstop + 8 mm spacer mesh + 4 mm LD 29 PlastaZote foam for structure.
    Shoulder straps - 210D Diamond Ripstop + 4 mm spacer mesh + 10mm EVA50. 170 gsm stretch mesh for the pockets.
    Frame - 12 x 2 mm carbon fiber bars. Tried several different round options, before I managed to find the bars in a local RC-shop, and they work a lot better.
    Mesh pockets - 50 gsm mesh. It may have been a big mistake to go this light. Time will tell i guess.

    I'm estimating the volume to be around 40 L for the main compartment and I have no clue about the pockets. It weighs 675 g which is pretty decent for a fully featured pack i think.

    It has definitely been a learning experience. Lots of tinkering, trial and error and plenty of stupid mistakes; like switching the inner and outer mesh pockets around so the outer pocket is too small, and not realising it until I was done binding all the edges :banghead:. Doesn't hold as much stuff as i would like, but I couldn't be bothered to redo it.

    This is turning into a wall of text so i better stop now and go to bed :sleep: :).

    island, Beachlover, tom and 34 others like this.
  2. theoctagon

    theoctagon Thru Hiker

    First attempt? Nailed it!

    Great looking pack :)
    edh, Shewie, Teepee and 1 other person like this.
  3. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    Very nice indeed
  4. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    Really great. What mesh did you use for the back panel/frame?
  5. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Thats really very impressive :thumbsup:
    Good weight too
  6. Niels

    Niels Hiker

    Almost first attempt :). I used some cheap 210D Ripstop for a prototype and it turned out to be a good decision. I had to change the design quite a bit for version II. Especially the frame attachments gave me a ton of problems.
  7. Niels

    Niels Hiker

    I used the 106 gsm mesh from Extremtextil. Seems pretty durable and has only a very slight 2 way stretch.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
    Clare likes this.
  8. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    Incredible for a first time pack, let alone first time using a sewing machine. :notworthy:

    Wow! You knocked that one out of the park.
    Shewie, cathyjc, Enzo and 1 other person like this.
  9. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    Diddi, Ken T. and Jon jons like this.
  10. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Excellent :). I'm (sometime ??) going to have a go at making a pack but I cannot see me achieving anything half as good as that :thumbsup:.
    Teepee likes this.
  11. Taz38

    Taz38 Thru Hiker

    Wow, very professional and very nice!
  12. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    Very very impressive, stitching looks very good for a first timer too. You should be very proud of that!
  13. Munro277

    Munro277 Thru Hiker

    Very impressive
  14. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Section Hiker

    That's your first project? Do you have any background in making this sort of stuff at all because that's incredibly professional looking. Me, i'm thinking of having a go at making a stuffsac for my first piece of gear :)
  15. Niels

    Niels Hiker

    Cheers guys.

    I'm actually surprised they ended up looking this good. I was able to look through the stitching when pulling on the fabrics which worried me a bit. Could it be caused by the thick thread I used or is that normal?
    I ended up binding the edges with strips of X-pac to "waterproof" it, so I guess it doesn't matter too much.

    No experience at all, but i'm pretty good at figuring out how "technical/practical" stuff works. You can learn a lot by browsing forums and watching Youtube videos. Trial and error - keep failing till you succeed :).
    SafetyThird likes this.
  16. valerii lytvynov

    valerii lytvynov Day Walker

    Great backpack! How are carbon plates in contact? Overlap or butt? Thank.
  17. Niels

    Niels Hiker

    It was designed for them not to overlap, but it doesn't quite work in practice though. The carbon fiber strips will eventually end up overlapping which is fine.

    I made a newer version of this pack and included a pattern in the bottom of the album if you are interested.
  18. KVerb

    KVerb Trail Blazer

    Thanks for the pattern, this kind of pack is definitely on my want to make list! How is the flex of the CF strips? Would you have them any thicker or thinner if you'd ever make a third version?
  19. Niels

    Niels Hiker

    I wouldn't go any larger than the 12x2mm strips I used. I think 10x2mm is the sweet spot, but I don't have access to it, so I'll probably never know.
  20. KVerb

    KVerb Trail Blazer

  21. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    You can get 10x2mm carbon fibre strip on eBay for much less than that. Not sure where @Niels is based. States maybe?
  22. Niels

    Niels Hiker

    Denmark. I managed to find 12x2mm for 7.5 EUR in a local RC-shop that's has now closed. Maybe try that before ordering online.
  23. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    I’m in the middle of doing similar. Shoulder straps with bottle carrier below.

    But question: on the zpacks arc blast the back fixings are sewn to the back fabric panel but miraculously the stitching doesn’t come through to the inside. It looks as though they have bonded a second thinner layer of cuben to the inside, the glue being global. This presumably is good for waterproofing but mainly for strengthening those crucial fixings.

    What glue could I use to bond cuben to cuben like that or xpac to xpac? I haven’t yet decided which fabric to use,(currently using 90gsm sil for prototype. )

    island, WilliamC and Mole like this.
  24. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    I think they just use cuben tape over the stitching. Paul sells cuben tape.
    Clare likes this.
  25. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    On mine the entire inner rear surface seems to be lined with a glued on extra layer. Not just tape over the stitching, although that might adequately do the necessary I suppose.

    Btw. Straps made from 8mm multi mat. Your suggestion. Wouldn’t have got 10mm foam through my machine.
    WilliamC likes this.

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