I actually do not have a website yet! Since I do them by hand, it takes about a week to make each one at most, but I can work on getting some samples finished up pretty quick. I actually tore one apart to make it into a different pack, but I will post a picture of it here as I finish up my latest project.
I do have to add that the packs I have made so far are 1000D cordura, so they are a bit on the heavy duty side, but the designs can translate to 500D cordura and other materials.
To make it easier, could you guys tell me what it is you are looking for in your packs? I have some excess fabric that I didn't use and I'd love to come up with a mock up to show off.
Like, do you want top loader, panel loader, what size zipper(#10 is what I prefer), I am thinking I could potentially make the interior lined with silnylon(decently water resistant), What do you guys like on shoulder straps, sternum straps, waist belts?
If my packs are good by most standards, I'd love to see more people using them!
For the size, I'd like something in the 12-15L range with a normal 20L backpack silhouette and a thinner depth. Material-wise I'd like the lightest durable fabric with some amount of water protection. It doesn't have to handle falling into the water, but light/medium rain shouldn't be an issue.
I hate top loaders... panel loaders are way better. I'd like the zippers to go all the way down, too, at least on one side.
I like to have lots of 3D pockets (so that they don't interfere with each other), a big main pocket with a laptop sleeve on the back (I'd love for the sleeve to be lined on one side with semi-rigid plastic to make it easier to stff the laptop into a full bag). There's really no amount of pockets that's too many. I've actually looked at getting a camera bag because they're all small compartments.
The straps of the pack should also have pockets. I'd love to be able to store my headphones (maybe some cool pegs to wind them around) and flashlight there. Camera would be great, too.
Items that don't store well in my backpack now:
I also think that the interior should be a fluorescent color. True fluorescents actually convert invisible wavelengths of light to visible, so I think a fluorescent color would make it easier to find things at low light.
Not super important, but I like the idea of little clips at the end of each zipper to clip the zipper to. Makes it so that in crowded public trains or whatever, you don't really have to worry about someone sneaking into your bag.
An integrated rain cover on the bottom (like the Deuter 28) is a good idea and makes it so that you don't have to waterproof the whole bag.I think that on a bag this side, waist and sternum straps are useless. I took mine off of my Tom Bihn.
Well, the pack is underway. I'll hopefully have something to show before the new year arrives. Will definitely keep this updated
Interesting, I looked heavily into solar power packs a year ago (there's a company in round rock TX that specializes in these) - and at the time concluded they're largely pointless unless you're planning to maybe hike the appalachian trail. They take up a a fair bit of visual space, and can usually only charge a smartphone (and an ipad really slowly)
I've usually done what Tynan's done to charge things when travelling - I just make sure I buy a laptop with an always-on usb port (macbooks do this, most thinkpads do this, and ty's asus laptop does this)
Love this. I've been daydreaming about making my own pack as well. I've been looking at the goruck and 5.11 bags, but the gorucks are so much money and the 5.11 isn't quite what I want. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
hmm, I'm interested in something custom as well. Right now the only two packs I'd consider are the goruck gr1, goruck radio ruck, or 5.11 rush 12 (which i own). The reason isn't aesthetics - it's because these packs keep the laptop in a separate compartment, and are still relatively durable, and the zippers go all the way down.
The 5.11 rush wins over goruck in terms of organization, and it also has a separate lined pocket for glasses. Sadly, I have to switch away from my rush 12 soon since it doesn't fit a 15" macbook (it's perfect for my older 13" though).
My biggest complains of the gorucks/5.11's are the lack of water pockets - adding on an extra molle hydration pack looks really nerdy to me. Also, I'm not the biggest fan of army-colors, something lighter colored and not black or camo or army green. Light sand colors are currently what I rock, but I'd love a rugged pack that's aesthetically pleasing/modern.
Well. I'm still awaiting my silnylon for the interior of the pack, but I'll throw it together as soon as I get it. Thanks for all of the input thus far, this is turning into a very exciting project for me!
If the pack Tynan and I are putting together isn't quite what you are looking for, feel free to give me suggestions on what you'd like to be done differently and I'll see what I can come up with for you.
By the way, what do you think of 'foliage grey' as a color? That's what the pack I'm working on currently will be since that's what I currently have, but I should be able to do just about any color of backpack.
I really need to finish my personal backpack since it might be something you'd find interesting. Its about twice the size of Tynans pack concept, but I think it should still be good for carry on luggage. I'm also hoping to add a few strips of velcro to hold my camelback in there for overnight hiking and all.
Foliage grey might work, I did some googling and it looks a bit too green for some variations, the more greyer ones looked decent though.
As far as color prefs, I personally tend to like browns (I have a nice espresso color + pattern timbuk2 bag I hoard because I love how it looks), really light canvas/sand colors, white (a white cordura pack would be neat), and also steel blue-ish or sundried-tomato red styles. Basically colors with a bit of natural-hue to them.
The other thing I've liked in the military packs is that usually EVERYTHING is the same color, down to the zippers and pulls. It really gives it a more solid object look. I've usually hated packs where the zippers contrast too much against the bags main color (i.e. black zippers on yellow), but that's me. That also probably explains why so many folks sell/buy black backpacks too.
For full disclosure, I did end up ordering a GR1 in sand a few days ago, and will be doing a comparison between it and the 5.11 rush 12 (which I have in tan) on my blog soon. I know I'm going to regret the lack of organization in the GR1, but if I really hate it I figure I can sell it for close to what I paid.
Most packs do not come with the GoRuck GR2 / REI Overnighter style 'luggage' zipper that zips all the way open. It's like a panel loader, but just more zipper. I find that style very very useful. Also making the interior a very bright color is fairly useful too. Something like the REI overnighter, but with a laptop pocket, clips with a metal latch vs plastic and a lighter fabric to save weight would be fairly useful.
The full length panel is definitely going to be part of the project. I don't know if others use them, but I plan on adding a loop on the interior of the pack for attaching a small keyring light. Before I took my current pack apart, it had one in there and having it was a godsend.
I'm having some difficulty finding a source for luggage style zippers, though. I do know that a #10 zipper should accommodate a lock, but it's far from ideal as some smaller objects could be pulled through the opening it'd create.
What are you referring to when you mention "clips with a metal latch?" Metal hardware like side release buckles, triglides, ladderlocks, etc.?
Thus far, what I have come up with shouldn't actually need too much hardware like that due to the requirements of the pack.
I don't mean luggage style as in being able to attach a lock, but able to zip all of the way open. I guess that is the full length panel. Go checkout a REI overnighter at a REI to get what I'm seeing, it's pretty close to ideal. The REI overnighter side pocket is also completely flat and is able to take a coffee tumbler quite securely.By metal latch, I mean metal hardware anywhere there would be something to clip on (like a messenger bag strap) instead of flimsy plastic. Also the strap clips that clip on to metal loops should be metal too. A lightweight metal although.
I'd be wanting exactly what you make for tynan xD
I think I might be able to pull something like that off. Do you guys like side pockets? Like water bottle type? Or would you rather have a sleek bag?
Sidepockets are useful but dont really look good. I would want the back to have a very sleek look.
Mabe you can hide the water bottle holders like this Vaude bag does (I have exactly this model and the problem is that the net is not strong enough and has too much stretch)
You see the net where the bottle is in? This net can be hidden in a small zipper pocket. If you want I can take photos of it on my bag.
yeah. I do like the sidepocket setup on this, and also the synapse. I'm weary of half-height mesh pockets though because I once lost a nice water bottle using one of those pockets.
I'll see what I can do. I'm having a difficult time finding something that has enough elasticity to hold a bottle(nalgene sized) and be able to compress itself back down. Could you post detailed pictures of the zippered pocket on your bag for me? I can come up with something. I want to keep the pack somewhat simple so less can go wrong, but I really like that idea and need to see how that is done. it sounds very clever..
I messaged Tynan the other day.. I ordered a bit of fabric online for the interior. I was hoping to find the color that you will see construction/DOT crews wearing around, that sort of bright green/yellow, but I don't think anyone makes it, so I ordered a yellow instead.
I usually use a needle and thread to make things, but the interior will have be sewn by machine, which will speed the process of construction up. I'll probably still sew the body itself by hand for strength though. I know from experience that the artificial sinew I use is very difficult to rip at the seams, so the pack should for certain be rugged.
Also, I have been calculating the dimension of my pack lxwxh and I'm coming up with between 800 and 1000 cubic inches depending on the depth. This is actually incredibly easy to change, so I can potentially make each pack a bit different as far as volume goes if required.
I'm hoping to have some pictures of the completed pack up around Christmas, depending on shipping of the fabrics.
I have a big project I'm working on (secret for now, haven't decided if I should write about it yet or not), and I've been seriously procrastinating.
It's not that I don't want to do it. It's something I arrived at myself, is very inline with my Life Nomadic goals, and will be very exciting to complete. It's my perfect project.
I'd been working on it for a week, though, and had been getting very little work done. To use a rough estimate, I had done maybe 5% of the work in a week. Twenty weeks until completion is way too long.
The original title of this post was, "The Reason We Didn't Meetup When I Visited Your City" and it was geared towards explaining what it's like to be busy with lots of correspondence. The post grew past this. This one will be useful for people who expect that they might have huge correspondence increases in the future - rarely do people talk bluntly about what it's like. It'll also be useful for the expansive sort of person who reaches out to people they don't know, so you can understand the mindset of who you're reaching out to. It rambles a little bit in the middle, but I think the mindsets and details could be useful for you.
The Reason We Didn't Meetup When I Visited Your City...
...is because I'm disorganized and you didn't drop a line again.
So, I get a lot of correspondence. Which is great. I really dig that. A couple days ago, I had a great Skype chat about international investing and business expansion with a really smart and cool guy out in SF, and then I met three people locally in Tokyo who are all exceptionally cool guys. I learned a lot, and I think so did the guys I got to hang with, and it was good. I like seeing other people thrive and make money, and got to have some good talks on business and entrepreneurship with everyone I met - I think everyone can hustle a bit more cash here or there.
I really enjoy that. I like meeting smart and enterprising people. I say that everyone - on my site, in posts, on my "About" and "New? Start here" pages,