Introduction

This pack is designed for fastpacking. It features stretchy outer pockets, hydration vest straps and a dry bag style closure. The pack is intended to be used for shorter overnights or running hut to hut.

With far too few hot pink packs on the market, this one is sure to buck that trend.

Design Process

Like most of the packs I’ve designed, this one started on pen and paper. I drew up some ideas for shapes of the hydration vest straps, which were the main focus of this pack. The straps were largely inspired by the Inov8 hydration vest that I use for running. This helped to figure out dimensions and sizing, since the pattern and curved seams are fairly advanced and difficult to get right.

The main pack bit of the pack took shape in 2d using Adobe Illustrator. This helped get an idea of what materials were needed for the build, how big the pack was going to be, and what features it could have. The previous fastpack I made was one the first packs I made and didn’t have that much thought put into the design of the pack, the material choices or even how it might be constructed. This one almost had too much thought put into the design!

I tried lots of different combinations of colours and finally came to this colourway: Black and grey with pink and teal accents. Dashing.

People often ask about the sources of the materials, so I’ve included those below:

  • Main Body (Black): Dyneema Ripstop | ExtremTextil
  • Pockets (Grey): Stretch Mesh Fabric | AdventureExpert
  • Pockets (Teal): Jersey Mesh | ExtremTextil
  • Top Closure (Pink): VX21 | ExtremTextil
Here’s a quick mockup of the pack in 3D, because why not!

Construction

Once all the materials were gathered together, it was time to start putting everything together. An exciting moment, like when receiving a Lego set for Christmas. However, seeing the colours together made me realise this was not going to be a visually subtle pack.

For every pack I’ve made to date, the back straps panel is the last panel I’d construct. This is usually the hardest part of all, so this time I did it first.

These are the straps on the Inov8 pack. – Very narrow at the shoulders. This makes them comfortable at light loads, but the webbing feels like knives when carrying anything over 3kg.

Considering how narrow the straps are on the Inov8, I made these a little wider. Although, they’re still far narrower than the 35L and 40L packs I’ve made. One thing about the Inov8 hydration vest that I really like is having the water bottles lower down the strap towards the base of your ribcage. This helps with comfort of the straps and gives the opportunity for another pocket up top.

Once the straps were put together it started to feel like I was nearly there. Starting with the hardest bit first has its perks.

A stretchy bottom and a roll top later I had all the panels ready for that magical sticking of everything together.

Final Images

Next to Ironside

A Few Notes

What went well:

  • Vest style straps are super comfortable even under load
  • Runs well with a very small amount of pack bounce
  • Sturdy af
  • Hydration front pockets are dreamy
  • The hot pink VX21 is beautiful
  • Easy to adjust straps
  • Relatively stress free sewing
  • Doing a pimp my ride in Illustrator

What I would do differently next time:

  • Change main fabric to VX07 or LiteSpeed
  • Tone it down a little with the colours :/
  • Use a black front mesh to hide zig zag stitches
  • Try sliding sternum straps (Salomon Style)
  • Try a lighter 3D Mesh
  • Change shape to distribute load even further to the top of the pack
I usually name my packs, although this one’s true personality hasn’t fully flourished yet. Suggestions?

Thanks for reading,
Benjamin

  • Post category:Gear

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. chris

    Really nice work. I like the details and features, shows you really gave it some thought. Thanks for sharing

  2. Jeff

    Brilliant work! You made it look easy!

  3. Emmett

    Where do you get the hooks for the top cinch-down strap?

    1. Benjamin Davies

      They’re from Extremtextil in Germany

  4. chris

    Are you selling / sharing this pattern?

    1. Benjamin Davies

      Hi Chris. Currently, no. I’ve been testing the pack these past few weeks and there are still some tweaks to be made to the design before I’d consider this pattern ready to be sold. Already working on the V2 however!

  5. chris

    Ok, I will be watching! Thanks

  6. Perttu

    Hi! Looks really nice! I’ve also been making some packs lately. I was just wondering, what software do you use for the 3D models? Do you use also some other software for 2D or just Adobe Illustrator?

    1. Benjamin Davies

      Hi Perttu,
      I’m currently using Adobe Illustrator for the 2D patterns, which is where the majority of the designing occurs. Mocking up the basic 3D model in Fusion 360 or Rhino is helpful if you’re unsure of how the 2D dimensions might look. I’m not an expert when it comes to soft surface modelling, but Clo3D is what is commonly used by fashion and garment designers.
      Hopefully that is helpful!
      Best,
      Benjamin

  7. Perttu

    Hi Benjamin,
    Thanks! I used to have access to a variety of CAD software in my previous job, but at the moment I have to stick with free/affordable software with my personal projects. Yesterday I tried SketchUp to model a pyramid tent and that seemed quite alright for simple modelling. I think I’ll check if Fusion 360 would be more functional and more suitable for more complicated geometry.
    -Perttu

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